Below is an email reply one of our members received yesterday from Dave Kaylor, WISN-TV Director of Engineering, direct line (414) 937-3375.
Thanks for your follow-up. You're right, we're not yet up, and we are still working on the same issue with the city, though we believe we are fairly close to a resolution. We are also working on a statement to put on our website. Hopefully, you should see it soon.
Our goal at WISN-TV is to fully replicate our current analog signal and provide our viewers with the best high definition television (HDTV) signal possible. In order to do this right, however, we at WISN feel that we need additional height for our antenna and have asked the City of Milwaukee for a construction permit to increase our tower height to the maximum allowed by FAA guidelines for the area. We are only asking to increase the height to be equal to that of the other stations, nothing more.
WISN is not in violation of the FCC mandate. The station filed for an extension
of the May 1, 2002 deadline. Due to present negotiations with the City of Milwaukee and some additional unresolved power issues, WISN has no construction permit to extend. The FCC will issue an extension contingent upon the issuance of a permit. At the time the permit is issued, the FCC will then grant WISN 6-months to get the antenna up on the tower and the signal into your home. We
are in compliance with the FCC, and we remain in constant contact with the commission regarding our mitigating circumstances.
Our antenna weighs more than 4-tons and must be lifted to a height of over 1,000-feet. It is connected to the transmitter with over 1,200-feet of rigid, cylindrical, copper waveguide over 6-inches in diameter. Its installation is somehat permanent, and to install it at a lower height, we feel would diminish the signal strength to viewers in the outlying areas.
WISN made a commitment and has already installed all necessary equipment to transmit HDTV to our viewers. Our digital transmitter has been in place and operating since September of last year. Unfortunately, our DTV antenna currently sits on the ground waiting one more attempt to settle the issue with the City of Milwaukee. We feel that this one last attempt is important to you, the customer, before we side mount the antenna at a lower height and provide an inferior signal. Unlike the analog signal, the digital signal does not get "snowy" when it weakens, it becomes undecipherable - with no picture at all on your screen. This is very important in our fringe areas, where the analog signal may be a little weak, but certainly viewable.
We at WISN-TV would love nothing more than to move beyond this issue and transmit a HDTV signal to our viewers. Our decision to provide you with the best possible signal is a long-term decision which, unfortunately, must supersede the original May 1, 2002 deadline. Our intention is to send our HDTV
signal to your home by the end of the summer.
Let me know if you have any additional questions. Please feel free to call my
direct line (414) 937-3375.
WISN-TV Director of Engineering
For more discussion on this topic and others of interest to Milwaukee HDTV enthusiasts, go to http://wwww.milwaukeehdtv.org