Philadelphia, PA - OTA - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3836 Old 12-22-2005, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I have started this thread, because the majority of the posts on the Philadelphia HDTV thread have been dealing w/ issues regarding Comcast, Verizon, and cable. I do not have cable, nor will I ever have cable. If you live in South Jersey, Delaware, or in and around Philadelphia and its suburbs, please feel free to post your Over-The-Air (OTA) issues, concerns, problems, comments, and discussions here. Let's try and help out one another on trying to resolve issues.

Philadelphia Area Digital Channel Listing

Call Letters (affiliation) Channel #s Transmitter Location
KYW-DT (CBS) 3.1 Roxborough
WPVI-DT (ABC) 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 Roxborough
WCAU-DT (NBC) 10.1, 10.2 Roxborough
WHYY-DT (PBS) 12.1, 12.2, 12.3 Roxborough
WPHL-DT (MNT) 17.1, 17.2 Roxborough
WYBE-DT (PBS) 35.1 Roxborough
WGTW-DT (TBN) 48.1 Roxborough
WPSG-DT (CW) 57.1 Roxborough

*Roxborough is a neighborhood in the city of Philadelphia.

Please help me edit this list and keep it up to date!
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post #2 of 3836 Old 12-22-2005, 11:22 AM
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The height of 29's antenna is the likely culprit. Their antenna is a lot lower than the others. That along with the fact that they are not at the power of most of the others either. Of the two, the lower height is the most significant.
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post #3 of 3836 Old 12-22-2005, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I should have also stated, that I received Fox's signal during the summer. Perhaps weather also is a factor as to why I can't receive them as well? When I did get them, I was barely able to get them with upper 60s and low 70s as signal numbers.
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post #4 of 3836 Old 12-22-2005, 12:12 PM
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The signal can be effected by temperature, humidity or lack thereof and things such a whether the trees have leaves or not. OTA reception can be a real tricky proposition. I live in a very bad area for OTA due to real terrain issues. Beautiful area though. I can get only KYW with an antenna all year. A neighbor was able to get it only in the summer. Once the leaves fell off, that was it. I on the other hand, can get UPN57 only when the leaves are off the trees. That is why cable is so important to me. Without cable, all UHF is very problematic, whether digital or analog.
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post #5 of 3836 Old 01-05-2006, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone seen NBC's HD picture lately? It seems to have gone down in quality. Any ideas? There's a new ER (which I have almost given up on, since all my favorite characters are gone), that I hope comes in with a good PQ tonight.
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post #6 of 3836 Old 01-06-2006, 08:44 AM
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From TBN:

Channel: 27
Station: WGTW-DT
City, State: Burlington, NJ/Philadelphia, PA

Today, January 4, 2006, station WGTW-DT, Burlington, NJ/Philadelphia, PA began broadcasting via crystal clear digital transmission.

WGTW-DT operates with an effective radiated power of 160,000 watts from

1,082 feet atop it's tower near downtown Philadelphia. This station blankets portions of three states; Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania with a strong signal broadcasting a multicast of all five TBN networks including TBN, JCTV, The Church Channel, Smile of a Child and TBN Enlace USA.

Gilbert
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post #7 of 3836 Old 01-06-2006, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newsman View Post

Has anyone seen NBC's HD picture lately? It seems to have gone down in quality. Any ideas? There's a new ER (which I have almost given up on, since all my favorite characters are gone), that I hope comes in with a good PQ tonight.

actually since i inched up my DB8 6 inches higher inside my attic, i'm getting low to mid 80s versus unreliable 70s dipping to 60s. 64 and 67 now both have the same readings. ER was flawless on my HDtivo last night. All I need is someone to mount it on the roof and i think the neighbors house and 40 miles wont be any match for me!

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post #8 of 3836 Old 01-06-2006, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newsman View Post

I have started this thread, because the majority of the posts on the Philadelphia HDTV thread have been dealing w/ issues regarding Comcast and Cable. I do not have cable, nor will I ever have cable.

Good move to separate the threads.

I posted a notice and a link to this OTA thread in the 'Philadelphia, PA - HDTV' thread.

As a courtesy, could you please notify a Moderator to change that thread to 'Philadelphia, PA - Comcast', if you haven't done so already.
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post #9 of 3836 Old 01-06-2006, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newsposter View Post

ER was flawless on my HDtivo last night. All I need is someone to mount it on the roof and i think the neighbors house and 40 miles wont be any match for me!

I'll have to say this, ER was flawless. There were no hiccups on going from 4:3 to 16:9 during commericals and back to the show. No pixelization, though that happens more often during sporting events. I was happy w/ the PQ of ER last night. Let's hope WCAU-DT can keep this up during the Olympics.
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post #10 of 3836 Old 01-06-2006, 02:43 PM
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except now i get home and nbc is up to 89 but abc is down to 71...ugh...gotta get this thing mounted outside.

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post #11 of 3836 Old 01-09-2006, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by newsman View Post

I need to find out why I am not receiving 29.1. I get all the other channels just fine. Why not Fox 29.1? Their tower is in the same area as all the others in Roxborough. The signal is at 49, with a peak of 56. All the others are in the 80s and 90s. I am about 4 miles from Roxborough. Does anyone else have this problem?

I live 40 miles from Roxborough with a Winegard UHF antenna and pre-amp in my attic. I get 29.1 with reasonable signal strength but it is my weakest Philadelphia station. I have frequent dropouts and my old Samsung SIR-150 seems to have trouble locking on to the signal at times. Without the preamp I could only get intermittent reception on 29.1. However, during football games I often find the breakups and freeze-ups of the picture too much to bear. I suspect they must be at a lower power or transmit somehow differently as all the other Philly stations come in rock solid with about 75% strength, vs. 50% for 29.1.

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post #12 of 3836 Old 01-09-2006, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BrentHD View Post

I live 40 miles from Roxborough with a Winegard UHF antenna and pre-amp in my attic. I get 29.1 with reasonable signal strength but it is my weakest Philadelphia station. I have frequent dropouts and my old Samsung SIR-150 seems to have trouble locking on to the signal at times. Without the preamp I could only get intermittent reception on 29.1. However, during football games I often find the breakups and freeze-ups of the picture too much to bear. I suspect they must be at a lower power or transmit somehow differently as all the other Philly stations come in rock solid with about 75% strength, vs. 50% for 29.1.

Glad to see it isn't only I who is getting a poor reception from WTXF-DT. 4.3 miles away and I can't even get my receiver to lock on. Yet, all the other channels with signals from Roxborough come in at 85 or higher.
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post #13 of 3836 Old 01-10-2006, 07:46 PM
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This is a great thread. I've been ignored when asking OTA questions on the previous thread. I have been trying to determine why I can not get WTXF-DT but when it first went live I received it around 60%. I called an engineering and they told me their height was the main culprit. They do plan on raising the tranmitter but when remains a question. FYI for all those wondering how far you can receive a signal I live in Long Valley, NJ 50-60 miles NE and get CBS at a minimum of 75%. My interest in FOX was to be able to get HD Eagles football, obviously no loss for me this year! I have CM 4228 with the CM 7775.
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post #14 of 3836 Old 01-10-2006, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Signalseeker View Post

This is a great thread. I've been ignored when asking OTA questions on the previous thread. I have been trying to determine why I can not get WTXF-DT but when it first went live I received it around 60%. I called an engineering and they told me their height was the main culprit. They do plan on raising the tranmitter but when remains a question. FYI for all those wondering how far you can receive a signal I live in Long Valley, NJ 50-60 miles NE and get CBS at a minimum of 75%. My interest in FOX was to be able to get HD Eagles football, obviously no loss for me this year! I have CM 4228 with the CM 7775.

Ditto on this thread. I'm 60 miles east in Brick NJ and locked WTXF-DT and if the weather gods are good I'd get it. CBS is always a good 75% and WCAU I can get at night. Usually I'm aimed at NY but I can't get NBC ota. I got a CM4228, CM7775 pre-amp CM rotator, hooked up to 2 dish 811's and 2 retired VOOM boxes.
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post #15 of 3836 Old 01-10-2006, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johninbricknj View Post

Ditto on this thread. I'm 60 miles east in Brick NJ and locked WTXF-DT and if the weather gods are good I'd get it. CBS is always a good 75% and WCAU I can get at night. Usually I'm aimed at NY but I can't get NBC ota. I got a CM4228, CM7775 pre-amp CM rotator, hooked up to 2 dish 811's and 2 retired VOOM boxes.
John

It is sad (for me) that you can get WTXF-DT when the weather is just right, and here I am about 4 miles away and cannot get WTXF-DT at all, except in the summer.
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post #16 of 3836 Old 01-11-2006, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by newsman View Post

It is sad (for me) that you can get WTXF-DT when the weather is just right, and here I am about 4 miles away and cannot get WTXF-DT at all, except in the summer.

You probably have buildings/hills in your way. I only have 40 miles and one neighbors house in the way and if i only aim for fox, i can get it in around 60. Here are my most recent numbers the way it's set up now and as you can see fox's height/power sucks, plus being 2 degrees off doesn't help me:


Code:
uhf  station  signal  power  height
26 (cbs3)    90-92      770/375
31 (pax61)   90-91       
32 (upn 57)  75-80      250/400
34 (wbye35)  80-85      358/377
42 (fox 29)  25-45      305/161
54 (wb 17)   60ish      500/354
64 (abc 6)   85+      500/390
67 (nbc10)   85++      560/377

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post #17 of 3836 Old 01-12-2006, 06:32 PM
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I agree about the thread, its helpful to see some OTA discussion..

It sounds like many people have trouble with 29.1 and 12.1. Is this true of everyone? Is there any point in trying anything to improve on these?

I have a ~110" radio shack antenna with a 7777 pre-amp and a rotor. I'm using the built-in tuner in a samsung P2775H TV. I am in Delaware, rox towers are about 38 miles.

All the channels come in well except 42 (Fox) and 55 (whyy 12.1)

Interesting that I get all the Baltimore stations at about 56 miles, and I get the PBS annapolis station 42 at 64miles better than the Fox 42 from Philly at 37 miles! That surprises me since I thought PBS stations are usually lower power.

Here's the info on the Philly stations
uhf station signal power height
23 (PBS) 60 49 miles
26 (cbs3) 90
31 (pax61) 90
32 (upn 57) 80
34 (wbye35) 80
42 (fox 29) normally 0 sometimes 40
54 (wb 17) 70
64 (abc 6) 60
67 (nbc10) 90
57 ubn 90

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post #18 of 3836 Old 01-12-2006, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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It sounds like many people have trouble with 29.1 and 12.1. Is this true of everyone? Is there any point in trying anything to improve on these?

I am getting 12.1 just fine. I think you shouldn't worry about 29.1. If I can't receive it from 4 miles away, you probably have no shot. If you do, more power to you. I wish I had that power to receive.
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post #19 of 3836 Old 01-13-2006, 09:05 AM
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What's the effect of fog on OTA? I'm 40 miles out with a DB8 and 125 ft run. Paid someone to put the antenna 10 ft up on the chimney this morning. Fox is 2 degrees off but all other stations are the same direction. However it appeared even though it was on the roof, I couldn't get in ch 64 and 67 in the high 80s like i did in the attic. My guess is the chimney was 5 ft to the right of the original spot inside and i guess that made the difference. But i didnt' want the hassle of a tripod.

Anyway, after over 1 hour of struggling aiming the antenna 1 millimeter at a time, and trying a pre amp from the guy (turns out my regular amp was better anyways), I've now gotten fox to be solid mid 60s and channel 67 and 64 seem to be solid 68ish or 72 ish. If everything stays as is, i'll be thrilled as I can record solid 60 signals. Even WB is 65 now. But I was wondering if the dense fog helped or hurt the aiming this morning? If all the channels die tonight after the fog is gone, i'll scream lol.

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post #20 of 3836 Old 01-13-2006, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Fog can affect reception. Who knows how it is affected? At least you are getting something. I don't get FOX at all. I am not even watching them on analog. They should do something to boost their signal.
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post #21 of 3836 Old 01-14-2006, 01:31 PM
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I know i'm lucky..but i want it all. LOL. And this is what happened when I tried:

Note I want WB/UPN so waiting for the HDdvr from Directv doesn't help me right now.

local installer ($60 per hour) that I hired to put the DB8 that I previously bought on the chimney won't be back in the office until Monday so I wanted my options before then. I had it in the attic but couldn't get in fox (uhf 42) because it was 2 degrees off. I figured if I got 75-90 in the attic on the other nets, (except 54), that on the chimney would be a good compromise to get in fox because in theory the signal is stronger outside right?

Well after much fiddling, we got it to where ch 42/54/64/67 were all pretty solid 60-70. Thing is, even when he was fiddling outside, i never got 64/67 to as good a signal as I had in the attic. I guess this was more of a big deal than I thought at the time. Does it sound reasonable that because the chimney was actually 6-8 ft away from the site in my attic, that it may be the reason I never got in a good signal outside? I'm assuming the antenna is perfectly plumb but of course I have no way of telling. He did seem to take great care when he did the chimney mount.

So overnight we had a very bad thunder storm. however this morning all the channels were the same as yesterday. Then this afternoon the winds and rains kicked up and the channels were all unwatchable during the storm (going from zero up to 70 wildly). Even now that it's calmed down, i can't get back in ch 67 but the others are relatively ok. I'm assuming this means the antenna moved. I didn't think up high on a 10 ft pole was very stable but he assured me it was rock solid. Obviously this isn't true.

So i have to think of my options and it's frustrating

1. tell him the antenna moved and make them somehow shore it up. I'd assume they would have to do this free/reduced cost since it obviously moved. However the problem I have this this option is even at the time of install, i only got low 70s for a high signal when inside i was getting 80s. So this may be foolish to try and solidify an antenna in this relatively poor position.

2. maybe lower the antenna on the 10ft pole down a few feet to make it more stable? Or is this pointless given my 'weak' signals of 60-70?

3. I'm assuming you can do a tripod mount on the peak of any roof. (didn't ask him but i'd assume they can do that). I could have him stand near the spot where I had the good signals inside and try to find a good signal and I'd assume they should be the same/stronger on the roof at that point. Then we can determine how ch 42 will come in at that point. I'd assume they would do this as they are the pros and i dont see how else you could tell a good signal. Also if they can't get in all 6 networks, I may as well put the antenna back inside away from the elements.

4. try to lower the antenna for more stability and just aim for channel 42 then put another antenna back in the attic and get another antenna (though I know it's a 2 week wait for a jointenna unless I can do something like a reverse splitter? Of course then there's the cost for another antenna plus 30 for the jointenna. And now i'm really paranoid about outside mounts not being stable.

5. ask them what antenna they have for my area (I know the like wineguard) and ask him to do a test of it on the chimney mount.


I already spent 200 on friday. I dont know how much more I want to put into this. I definitely have to have him back here, even if just to take the antenna down, as I dont climb on roofs. My gut says have him use a tripod and at least try to move the antenna to a point where the signal is at least as strong as inside and get the antenna as low to the roof as possible to minimize wind problems. I guess the 6 ft to the one side made a big difference.

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post #22 of 3836 Old 01-14-2006, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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newsposter, have you tried a different antenna? Trying to get these digital channels is frustrating at times.
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post #23 of 3836 Old 01-14-2006, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh on Saturday, January 21 WILL be in HD!
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post #24 of 3836 Old 01-14-2006, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newsman View Post

newsposter, have you tried a different antenna? Trying to get these digital channels is frustrating at times.

no, i haven't tried one...but isn't that fact that i couldn't get high 80s signal on the chimney indicative of

1. he didn't have it level

2. the 6 ft difference inside and out made a big difference?


plus should the 10 ft have been guyed? He said it would be stable obviously something is wrong. Winds are calm now and still can't watch chn 67. Rest of channels came back to pre storm condition. Still 60-70 is a bad reading to start with. I think I need to do what I can to get the same 80s signal as I had inside, outside. Iv'e never heard of signal getting worse outside, did you?

must be the location...what do you think?

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post #25 of 3836 Old 01-16-2006, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Sounds like it could be the location. Bringing the antenna outside is beneficial, since the signals do not have to penetrate the structure of the house. Being level isn't the end-all be-all. You can still get signals, albeit at a lower level then you would if it were level. It's befuddling as to why you can't get channel 67.
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post #26 of 3836 Old 01-16-2006, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newsman View Post

Sounds like it could be the location. Bringing the antenna outside is beneficial, since the signals do not have to penetrate the structure of the house. Being level isn't the end-all be-all. You can still get signals, albeit at a lower level then you would if it were level. It's befuddling as to why you can't get channel 67.

Well I think the 6 ft away it was moved (to the chimney) made a huge difference. I think I have to get him to aim it thru my invisible 'tunnel' next week and perhaps live with a tripod mount. Are they more stable anyway?


Funny you mention level Something happened with our storms this weekend to make this signal better:

todays signals are
Code:
ch      power
26      91
32      91
42      71 (best EVER)
54       71 (best ever)
64        80-84
67      74-78 but looks pretty unstable
therefore, in theory, if he moves it 6 ft to the left (right above my previous attic mount) I may even get 100s out of this I'm not sure i'd even want it guyed where it is now, since its at the edge of the roof i dont even know if it's possible.

I was stupid in not realizing at a minimum, he should have been able to aim at least one channel in the 80s out at the chimney(disregarding all others of course). Even with 360 rotation, he never got higher than perhaps 70s. Had i realized it was an issue, i would have saved myself the 200 bucks i'm about to 'lose' since i need a 2nd trip out here.

Have to wait for next week thought to see about moving it. He's booked solid because of the fierce winds.

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post #27 of 3836 Old 01-16-2006, 04:52 PM
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Anyone having issues receiving 6.1 tonight? I am getting almost no signal, but everything else is fine. I know a lot of you do not like attic installs, but I have been able to get everything (including 29.1 and 12.1) for quite a few days. I'd hate to go troubleshooting if it isn't my problem.

Thanks!
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post #28 of 3836 Old 01-16-2006, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Watching a little this evening, and I can see some break-ups. Nothing major from what I see. Everything is still watchable.
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post #29 of 3836 Old 01-16-2006, 08:36 PM
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Thanks newsman... I did a little tweaking and got 64 to come in at 89-93. I still get everything else in the 70's with very little movement up or down, but I've completely lost 55 (12.1). I guess its better to have everything locked in solid then to try and get 12 in. The PBS HD stuff is pretty nice, but the other channels are what matter to me more. Signal isn't too bad considering I am about 32 miles west of Philly with an attic install. Once the numbers get solidified, I may post them up.
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post #30 of 3836 Old 01-17-2006, 03:37 PM
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Does anyone know if WTXF-DT has any plans on increasing their power and/or antenna height? I'm almost 60 miles from the transmitters in Stafford Township, (Southern Ocean County, NJ) and I can get 90% of the Philadelphia channels except Digital Fox 29. Analog 29 comes in fine (of course).
Also, does anyone know why Southern Ocean County is deemed as a New York market? As I was growing up in the area, before cable tv, we always relied on Philadelphia channels. After cable came in, we received both but they only offer NY HD channels and I now have DirecTV which only offers NY as our market. Is there any way to partition the FCC to change our market?
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