Originally Posted by Albireo
A few multi-faceted comments and some questions for the forum:
1a. I continue to be unable to receive WTTG-DT (36) from my location 2.5 miles north of the Mason Dixon line (south of Gettysburg) due to co-interference from WITF-DT (36). These two major/primary broadcast stations are only roughly 100 miles apart, yet somehow this spacing (or lack thereof) was permitted by the FCC. I received a PM from another viewer in the Greencastle area with the same issue. I've heard reports that WTTG-DT is easy to lock in Taneytown, MD (several miles south of my location). I continue to miss out on my favorite FOX5 news at 10PM... Awhile back, an invaluable member of this forum (TripVA) did the engineering analysis and determined that an "open" channel did exist for WITF-DT. Unfortunately, good logic didn't and doesn't prevail within our government agencies and commissions. (I am a federal contractor and get to see first hand how our govt fails us all every day. It is truly disheartening to say the least.) On a personal level, I now work in Frederick, MD with occasional travel to Falls Church, VA, so being able to receive WTTG-DT is more critical to me than before when I was working in Central PA.
1b. WITF-DT came up with the brilliant idea (speaking sarcastically) of putting a translator station on channel 33 (W33CR-D) near Chambersburg, PA. As soon as that translator was put into service, as if at the twitch of a wand, I lost WHUT (also on channel 33 in DC).
2a. At one time, WGAL-DT had a list of potential translators. The last I had read, they increased their channel 8 transmitter power substantially to see if this solved some of their viewers' reception dilemma (or lack of initiative to upgrade rig/tower/antenna to meet the challenges of receiving DTV, particularly VHF-HI, whichever school of thought you wish to espouse.) My question is, does anyone know if there is an updated status on WGAL's initiatives with respect to translators? Or, has the increase in power on channel 8 solved a statistically significant amount of the [lack of] reception issues?
2b. The reason I ask, is a while back I had noticed a WGAL translator slated for channel 27 near Carlisle, PA. Undoubtedly, such a repeater would wipe out a favorite channel of mine, WETA-DT out of Washington, DC (also on 27).
2c. Another potentially disturbing discovery was a potential WGAL translator just outside of Gettysburg near/on the blue ridge mountains. Gettysburg is a "fringe" reception zone, we don't have any tv stations within 35 miles. Viewer's TV towers/rigs in Gettysburg nearly all employ high-gain amplifiers (7777 is quite common). Does WGAL realize what kind of havoc they would create by installing a tv transmitter in a zone that has been fringe for as long as anyone can remember? The amps in the area would saturate and we'd have a real mess. This would likely result in forcing viewers in this area to downgrade to "suburban amps" and lose countless channels in the process, or at least make it far less practical to tune channels using a single, rotatable rig. And, as I had posted here on May 4, 2010, the proposed signal coverage map for the translator (WGAL 31) had most of the energy streaming southeastward into Gettysburg, an area that already has a solid signal for WGAL (it's the second strongest signal next to WITF). Once again, I simply cannot understand the logic.
[My hope is that through my post, others will begin to connect the dots and see the trend that is/may be occurring. The liberal use of translators has a tendency to decrease the quality and quantity of broadcast television channels, particularly for those viewers between DMA zones (in the "fringe").]
3. I've contacted WBFF-TV (FOX45 out of Baltimore) regarding their newscasts and what I have been observing as "MP3 quality audio", particularly noticeable when female newscasters speak, as if there is too much compression, like viewing a JPG instead of a BMP file. I did not receive a response from WBFF, but I continue to observe the atypical low-quality audio during their newscast. I've ruled out any rig-related issues and seem to be coming to the conclusion that their newscast audio stream is being compressed in a manner that results in lower-fidelity audio. Has anyone else observed this or can anyone else confirm that this is the case? [I've read somewhere that not everyone can decipher the difference between MP3 quality audio and CD quality audio due to differences in aural deciphering capabilities. Unfortunately, the sound of MP3 quality audio is like chalk on a chalkboard for my ears, so I'm trying to get to the bottom of this.]
Thanks, and have a great day.