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Kirksville MO - Ottumwa IA HDTV OTA

post #1 of 74
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post #4 of 74
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In the recent stories about the Wilmington DTV transition, it was mentioned that about 15% of stations will see a decrease in digital coverage over their former analog coverage. Put KTVO in that column, if its current entries on
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/video/tvq.html are any indication.

The analog contour of KTVO on channel 3 extends about 62 miles from its transmitter site. Meanwhile, the digital contour on its DTV channel 33 is lucky to get out 45 miles.

Granted, the main requirement (as I understand it) is to cover the station's DMA counties. Long time ABC affiliate KTVO-DT doesn't quite make that mark, with the fringes of three counties cut off (Jefferson Co. IA, Union Co. MO, Milan Co. MO). The bigger problem that I see is that thousands of households that currently receive KTVO analog in the western half of the Quincy-Hannibal DMA are going to be denied ABC-HD broadcasts.

Now, that's different than losing ABC programming. A rather cynical (IMO)solution has been put into place here. ABC programming is currently broadcast on a subcarrier of KHQA-DT Hannibal (Quincy). Both KHQA and KTVO are owned by Barrington Broadcasting. For the eastern portion of the Quincy Hannibal DMA, that actually represents a gain, since there are no ABC affiliates in the market, just CBS on KHQA and NBC on WGEM. So, ABC in SD is for these people better than nothing, which is what they had before.

Problem is that Barrington is unlikely to be able to expand KTVO coverage into the Quincy-Hannibal market. It might be able to get a waiver to allow dual ownership of KTVO and KHQA, but then it would have to end its LMA with KYOU, the Fox affiliate for the Kirksville-Ottumwa market.

Back in the 80s, KTVO under different ownership built an ill-fated, 2000 foot tower that fell after less than two years. Had it stood, the Kirksville-Ottumwa and Quincy-Hannibal markets would have likely merged.

A couple of more rants on this subject: the KTVO website mentions NOTHING about the need for people to set up a new UHF antenna. That wouldn't be a problem if people were used to getting other UHF stations from the same direction. But, that isn't the case here. The other rant: KTVO's LMA partner KYOU at least has an application to increase its digital power to 360 kW, which would actually extend its coverage further than its current analog coverage.
post #5 of 74
At long last, something that at least covers Hannibal/Quincy, if only tangentially.

When a market fails to develop all three of the classic big networks, it's got troubles.

The DMA may not merit construction of anything other than LD's.

KYOU is the only signal I've gotten out of the Ottumwa/Kirksville DMA. KHQA and WGEM, plus the religious outfit have been logged many times here in STL.
post #6 of 74
We live in northeast Missouri. We installed a digital converter box. No signal. Our off air antenna was really old. So we bought a Channel Master 3020. Put it up - still no signal. Added new coax. Now we have a signal on 9 stations. No Channel 3.1 though. We are only 35 miles from the transmitter. This morning I decided to hook up our FM radio via a splitter. We lost part of the digital channels. Why? We are not getting 10's. We are getting the 7's and 20's. Any ideas?
post #7 of 74
Thread Starter 
To really pinpoint things, C.Q., could you state what town or burg you're closest to? If I were guessing, I'd say you were 35 mi SE of Lancaster MO, home to KTVO's transmitter. Let me know, and we can zero in more.
post #8 of 74
Yes, we are 2 miles east of Edina. We were always able to get KTVO on even rabbit ears. Right now, we can get it on 7.2 out of Hannibal. My main concern is why did we lose all of the 7's when I used a splitter to connect my FM radio?
post #9 of 74
Thread Starter 
With splitters, there is what's called an "insertion loss" each time you split one antenna to feed two receivers. In strong signal areas that isn't a big deal, but channels 7 and 10are using (for now) fairly weak powered UHF transmitters for digital. Here's the circle for KHQA-DT and you'll see that Edina is right on the edge. It's about the same for channel 10's UHF digital.

So putting in the splitter is putting your reception quality over the edge of the cliff. The splitter's got to go, or you'll need to put an antenna pre-amplifier in, which might not be a bad idea anyway. You'll want the kind that mounts on the mast just below the antenna. If it were mine, for the FM I'd go with a good omni-directional antenna with its own coax, but ask around...that might be overkill. Although using that big C.M. 3020 antenna with a good pre-amp could pull in a lot of FM stations from all over. 80 to 100 miles out (and sometimes more) should be possible for the bigger FM stations. If that's what you want to do, just get a good antenna rotor and skip the rest of this post. You can point it towards KTVO or towards Quincy and do pretty well.

Now, about why you cant get KTVO-DT: their UHF digital transmitter doesn't get out as far as their analog channel 3. And they'll stay on UHF after Feb 09, like almost all of the present stations on channels 2 thru 6. You're just not going to get away with picking up KTVO off the back of the antenna anymore. Like above, you'll need to point your existing C.M. 3020 with a rotor to whatever station you want. But if you decide you don't need the rotor, you will need to add a separate UHF antenna to point at KTVO if you want whatever HD programs ABC sends along. Then, jiust keep your C.M. 3020 pointed at Quincy. Antennaweb.org is a pretty good tool to see what kind of antenna will work for any particular location. Which, by the way, shows you might be able to get KYOU Fox15 which is about 12 miles north of Fairfield. (Don't ask why it's still there instead of with KTVO, cause they effectively run Fox15.)

One more paragraph with a cautionary tale about rotors: When I was growing up, about 10 miles north of Ottumwa, most everybody used rotors out of necessity, cause back in the day, we could only get NBC from Des Moines, CBS (and ABC) from Cedar Rapids, and of course KTVO came in off the back of whatever you used. They worked OK and was the best solution for the big antennas that were used. But BEWARE OF ICE STORMS! Back in the day, we'd get the bright idea to watch the ABC Sunday Night Movie (that really dates me!) and we wanted the absolute best picture. So, we'd point it the antenna towards KTVO, get an ice storm the next morning, and bam, it's one channel TV until the next thaw, which seemed to take a couple of weeks.
post #10 of 74
Thanks so much for your helpful information. As long as we can get 7.2 (ABC) out of Hannibal, it's not really a big deal about Channel 3.1. I got more from you than from any of help desks at Channel Master or Solid Signal. Thanks again!!
post #11 of 74
Re: KTVO-DT, I wonder if its past ownership by Raycom could also have figured into its power levels.

Raycom also used to own KWWL up in the Waterloo-Cedar Rapids-Dubuque-Iowa City market, and when it came time to start work on the DT allotments Raycom apparently figured 3.2 kW was enough for their post-transition operation on channel 7. Since QNI bought the station (small world, ain't it?), they've sought to get that up to 30 kW.

Of course, maybe even Raycom could have changed its mind had it decided to keep KTVO. KYOU was even more stingy back then and is now seeking decent coverage.
post #12 of 74
Thread Starter 
C.Q., thanks...hope I was able to help.


Back to KTVO-DT, it is very puzzling why they opted to build out channel 33 at such a low power level. After all, Raycom had to build a new tower to support the addition of the ch. 33 antenna. (IIRC, the folks at WTJR in Quincy bought the dismantled circa 1955 tower from KTVO and it's back up in use at Quincy. You might say it was "Born Again!" ) Granted, it appears the ch 33 antenna is a side mounted job, but after spending all that money on the tower, you'd think they'd spent more on a decent sized transmitter.

Then again, you'd think that while Raycom was needing a new tower, they would have sprung for a taller tower that would have reached better into the Quincy-Hannibal market.

I doubt Barrington will further build out KTVO-DT when they can have their cake and eat it too by having ABC in SD on Barrington's KHQA 7.2 While I have a good deal of respect for Barrington (their FOX station I watch now in Colorado Springs is considerably better tha Sinclair's Fox in Des Moines) it remains that Barrington's dual ownership of KTVO and KHQA, while legal under today's rules*, is not in the best interest of viewers in the tri-states.

* before deregulation in the 90's, ownership of two overlapping stations was prohibited.
post #13 of 74
The Richland site provides coverage to the southern half of the Cedar Rapids TV market, which might have been a factor in their move back in the early 90's. C.R.'s Fox station, KOCR, had serious financial and technical problems, and was dark for awhile (it came back as KFXA under new ownership). I remember seeing Iowa City ads on KYOU in 94 and 95, especially during Hawkeye sports (KYOU probably had a better signal for many non-cable viewers than KGAN). No doubt that the population in the KYOU service area exceeds that of KTVO's.

I don't think KYOU could relocate easily to the Lancaster tower, since WSEC in Jacksonville, IL will also be digital on 15 after the transition. Quincy will be right in the middle of the signals.
post #14 of 74
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Griffin View Post

The Richland site provides coverage to the southern half of the Cedar Rapids TV market, which might have been a factor in their move back in the early 90's. C.R.'s Fox station, KOCR, had serious financial and technical problems, and was dark for awhile (it came back as KFXA under new ownership). I remember seeing Iowa City ads on KYOU in 94 and 95, especially during Hawkeye sports (KYOU probably had a better signal for many non-cable viewers than KGAN). No doubt that the population in the KYOU service area exceeds that of KTVO's.

I don't think KYOU could relocate easily to the Lancaster tower, since WSEC in Jacksonville, IL will also be digital on 15 after the transition. Quincy will be right in the middle of the signals.

I remember now how bad the former KOCR was. And I'd heard that the old owners of KYOU were sort of nudged by Fox to build at Richland to take care of the hole in the southern part of the CR market. But that was the 90s. Now, there's just a lot of overlap between the two Fox affiliates, and I'm guessing that 28 gets more viewers than 15 these days. (but I could be wrong...Fox28 is a Sinclair operated station)

You're right though about KYOU moving to Lancaster, with WSEC-DT staying on 15, and although 14 (KYOU-DT's current channel) might work post 2/09 at Lancaster, it wouldn't work in a traditional sense on a different taller tower that would better serve the Q-H area because of a post transition DT on 14 in St. Louis. However, if distributed transmission proves to be a success, we might not need those tall towers, and lower powered dist. trans. sites could cozy up lots closer to its full powered co-ch cousins a lot better. It's going to be interesting to see how it plays out.
post #15 of 74
I agree that KYOU's transmitter site isn't ideal today, but I also don't see a great case for them spending the money to move it. The market's revenue is so small, and with only 2 of the 4 networks, there's not much chance of the market picking up more counties.

Engineering a merger of the two markets would be difficult, since Barrington wouldn't be able to keep KTVO and KHQA. KYOU would have to compete with WGEM for Fox, and everyone would have higher costs for syndicated programs. Also, the Iowa counties would probably be lost to the Des Moines and Cedar Rapids DMA's, save Van Buren.

You know who the Richland site would make sense for? Iowa Public Television. Most of KIIN's coverage is overlap with KRIN Waterloo and KQIN Davenport's post-transition facilities. Those two stations are co-located with most of the their respective market's stations, unlike KIIN. Richland would still provide Iowa City coverage, but add most of southeast Iowa. Only Keokuk would still need a translator.
post #16 of 74
Thread Starter 
KIIN-12 at Richland? Sounds like an idea whose time has come. When IPTV put channel 12 on in the 70's, it made sense to try to get the signal to as many people as possible. (Plus channel 12 wouldn't have worked anywhere close to the CR/Waterloo towers, as it would have shortspaced to ch 12 in Mankato.)

I still think trouble's a brewin' for the Tri-States. The two de-facto owners that are left between the two markets, Barrington and Quincy Newspapers, are really in between a rock and a hard place. It might be a tough sell politically for the two owners to cook up an LMA deal where Barrington gets KTVO and QNI gets KYOU or vice versa, which would allow the K/O and the Q/H markets to merge. Plus, QNI has that grandfathered newspaper/TV/AM/FM combination that would seem to make it almost impossible to pick up an LMA partner. And absent such a deal, Barrington and QNI are ripe to get LPTV competition in the Quincy-Hannibal market that would snag the ABC and Fox affilliations. SD only isn't going to fly much longer.

The only way I see for the two markets to merge would be for someone to buy KYOU and end the LMA with KTVO. It would take a 1700 to 2000 foot tower (not economically feasible) or a distributed transmission system. (still a gamble, though the FCC now has rules for it) In either event, KYOU looks like it might have to go to a new channel. As far as KYOU competing with WGEM for Fox, it would be no contest. Fox in HD on KYOU trumps GEM's Fox SD.

Other question: higher costs for syndie pgms with merged market vs. higher rates for national advertisers like the regional auto manufacturer buys. Don't know how that would balance out.
post #17 of 74
UPDATE: KYOU Ottumwa

(Hopefully this'll wake up your thread ...)

The FCC database now lists KYOU's application for a post-transition power boost as "granted."

They'll be able to put out 360 kW at 1,181 ft. (354.4m) on Channel 15 after 2-17-09 from their current location.

Application: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/cgi-bin/ws....ility_id=53820

Technical exhibit: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/f...ibit_id=650478
post #18 of 74
Thread Starter 
Thanks...was about ready to post a link to your post but you beat me to it
post #19 of 74
Now, the down side ... take a look at this map:

http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/markets/maps_...ksville_MO.pdf

It compares the analog and digital service areas of KTVO. It's part of an FCC report focusing on stations with siginificant changes in the number of viewers they'll be able to reach after the transition.

KTVO stands to lose more than 99,000 potential viewers as a result, and huge clusters of viewers -- particularly south and west of Kirksville and in Henry and northeastern Jefferson counties in Iowa -- may not have another place to turn for ABC (i.e.: KCRG, WQAD, WOI or KHQA 7.2.)

Ouch.
post #20 of 74
Thread Starter 
This may be one of the more severe examples around. Since we've been talking about these maps on the official Table of Allotments sticky thread, I've posted more there.
post #21 of 74
There's another link in which the FCC published maps for both KTVO and KYOU, but the KYOU map is misleading since it doesn't account for their latest construction permit for 360 kW, so don't panic.

In case any of you are curious, a similar map for Quincy-Hannibal-Keokuk stations is here: http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/markets/maps_...-Keokuk_IA.pdf
post #22 of 74
Although the FCC map shows the lower west corner of Macon Co., MO being dropped, I have been receiving KTVO, but only at nights and at a 22-23 percent signal. As of now, I am using a CM 4228HD antenna with a Titan II (also CM) pre-amp (23 db) and a cheap 25 db amp. It is pointed without a rotor at Columbia, MO. It is receiving off the back side (it was just put up a month ago, and I haven't had time to turn it, and the roofs been icy, to see if the signal is any better). Up until a week ago, I was unable to receive KTVO at all, but for some reason, since January 1, I have been able to at night. It is a poor signal, so usually unless I want to see something on the news, I use 17.1 (KMIZ) which is also an ABC affiliate.

I have looked around these forums for a while, and am glad to see I'm not the only one concerned with KTVO being lost to the number of people it will be affecting. According to the FCC maps, which I have found to be true by talking to other people around here, there is a chance that there isn't even supposed to be any coverage in this area from any station. The only one I've heard from about anyone getting a signal is KMOS (PBS) out of Sedalia, which means a lot of low income homes around this area will not have any form of broadcast that provides local info (such as emergency services, news, etc.).

I would recommend trying the antenna I mentioned above if you can afford it. The second amp added about 20% signal compared to the setup with the pre-amp alone; the antenna, although a UHF antenna, is designed to also pick up VHF 7-13. As of now, I am regularly receiving 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 17.1, 17.2, 17.3, 17.4, all stations over 100 miles away. Mainly at night, and with poor signal, I also get 3.1 (50 miles away) and 25.1 (over 100 again). I have received KYOU a couple times on and off.

A few other helpful tips (if I'm covering something that's already been covered, sorry!). Use RG-6 or better cable without any splits or couplings right up to the converter box or tv... it carries the digital signal with less interference. Look around at the surroundings to see if there is anything that can interfere (for example, with me its the railroad and the sale barn on sale days); moving the antenna to the right, left, backwards, forwards, up, or down may help. On that subject, you can also go too high or too low in some places. Hope this helps at least someone in what is the "KTVO viewing area" for another month and half!

Any ideas why their license was lowered from 100 to 87 power?
post #23 of 74
Thread Starter 
As far as why KTVO is going from 100 kW on analog 3 to 87 kW on digital ch 33, which will be their permanent home, it's anybody's guess. I posted some speculation on this toward the beginning of this thread.

Here are the maps for the Columbia Jeff City mkt

http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/markets/maps_...on_City_MO.pdf

I don't think Macon Co. will be part of the Kirksville Ottumwa market much longer
post #24 of 74
Thread Starter 
Barrington and their low-band V's w/ low power DTV UHF's over on the Marquette MI thread
post #25 of 74
Thread Starter 
shamelessly trolling for activity here
post #26 of 74
Just to kind of wake things up, here's the latest transition info:

- KTVO and KYOU appear to be delaying their analog shutoff until the new deadline, June 12. I'm guessing this also delays the power upgrade from KYOU-DT, since that upgrade will be for channel 15 and not their temporary digital 14.

- In the Des Moines market, KDSM and WHO will be shutting off analog Feb. 17. They are NOT listed in an FCC denial notice published today, so they're good to go. After they shut off analog, WHO-DT will move from channel 19 to 13.

- In the Cedar Rapids market, KWWL, KGAN, KFXA and KWKB are good to go on 2/17 as well, with KWWL moving its digital from channel 55 to 7. They may be at lower power initially, though, since they need parts from a station which IS on that tentative denial list. KCRG changed its mind and is delaying analog cutoff, which may be why the FCC is letting the other stations go ahead with their plans.

- In the Quincy-Hannibal-Keokuk market, KHQA and WGEM apparently want to shut off their analogs on 2/17, but they're on that tentative denial list since they're the only two network stations in the market.
post #27 of 74
Thread Starter 
(sknxxxxx sknxx sknx...) I'm awake..I'm awake!

KTVO is a "poster boy" example for a 6/12 transition date. I figured they wouldn't transition after the delay act came to pass. And with that problematic swath of about 3 counties in north central MO* that would lose their only TV station, they wouldn't have stood a chance had they tried for 2/17, as it turns out. Tough nut to be in market #198 or so.

Cedar Rapids/Waterloo meanwhile seemed to be ready to roll for 2/17 with about 99% readiness. They should have ALL been able to shutdown on 2/17.

*also there's Henry Co., IA too, but they at least have fringe signals from other mkts.
post #28 of 74
Updated information about a neighboring market:

FCC records released late Friday indicate KHQA will continue analog while WGEM should be able to shut it off Feb. 17.
post #29 of 74
I live northeast of Kirksville near the Adair/Knox county line. I get KHQA great on UHF, WGEM poorly, if at all, on UHF, but with the analog, the situation is reversed. KTVO comes in fine on both analog and DTV. KYOU DTV comes in occasionally, so I usually watch on 34. I have been interested in this thread and thought I'd post some info. KTVO news people have been saying that they are broadcasting DTV on half power until their transition, so perhaps reception will be better after the June date when the transition occurs for some of you having problems. I emailed WGEM because I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get the DTV signal and got an email back that as of tomorrow they will be upping the signal strength as well as moving from a side mounted antenna to a top mounted antenna, so my chances of getting the signal should be better. The changeover for them will begin after the noon news at 12:30 p.m., but that they expect to be off air for at least a couple hours. I also called KYOU. I was told that their current DTV is on a unidirectional antenna pointed to Ottumwa, so if you're not in the right orientation to this transmitter, chances are you'll have problems. When they do the changeover, now in June, they'll move to an omnidirectional transmitter antenna and a small signal boost. I asked about the increase to 360 kW, and was told that with the economy in it's current state, that upgrade is now on hold.
post #30 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaunceyjb View Post

I also called KYOU. I was told that their current DTV is on a unidirectional antenna pointed to Ottumwa, so if you're not in the right orientation to this transmitter, chances are you'll have problems. When they do the changeover, now in June, they'll move to an omnidirectional transmitter antenna and a small signal boost. I asked about the increase to 360 kW, and was told that with the economy in it's current state, that upgrade is now on hold.

I don't even think they can do that upgrade until they move their digital to channel 15, which in turn has to wait until they shut off their analog.
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