Originally Posted by rpesq
I miss the full-time weather channel. I actually watched 4.2 quite a lot, almost every evening (very late, midnight+) I would leave 4.2 weather on "in the background" while I caught up on some work. It was great. Had to like Nikki, too! I watched a little closer when she was hosting.
Hopefully one of the other stations in town will bring back a full-time weather channel. It really is quite useful. For the past year that I watched 4.2, I do not remember ever pulling up the weather on the 'net, and in fact seldom watched the weather during the evening news. I figured that I would watch it at night before I called it a day.
RIP 4.2 Weather. Since I do not like very many movies, I doubt that I will watch the new 4.2., although I realize that a classic movie channel will appeal to some people. I just wish that with all of the unused subchannels available in Pgh, that someone would keep *1* as a full-time weather channel. I mean really, kdka has ZERO subchannels, wtae has the grand number of *1* subchannel, wpxi has a whopping *1*, FOX and CW have ZERO (simulcasting doesn't count). Public TV -- WQED -- is the only one with a honest attempt, having 2 subchannels (and that is still a LOT less than other cities, where it is common to find many stations having 3 subchannels.)
If these subchannels are any indicator, we Pittsburghers must be poorer than just about any medium-size city out there. Even Johnstown has a lot more subchannels than we do. I read these forums, talk to friends/family in other cities, and just about every other medium-size city (smaller than PGH) and certainly the larger cities all have a TON more subchannels than we do. Are we really this poor that we cannot justify more than *2* subchannels among the BIG THREE NETWORKS combined, with KDKA contributing NOTHING?
As has been pointed out on numerous times in this thread and a few others, KDKA and it's sister station WPCW are owned and operated by CBS Corp. And CBS has a current policy of not permitting their O&O DTV stations to multi-cast and create sub-channels.
Now the problem with multi-casting is that as you divide up the 6 Mhz broadcast channel you give up the ability of having the highest levels of HD DTV broadcasting. And given the number of current viewers with HD TV sets (and it grows daily) most stations want to delivery the highest quality programming they can on their main channel. Having a sub-channel, or multiple sub-channels, cut in to that, and can also create greater problems in the video and audio, like video artifacts, pixellation and sound drop outs on both the main and sub channel(s). Any broadcast engineer knows when it comes to multi-casting - THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH!
WTRF (VHF 7) in Wheeling, WV is a classic example. They are running three channels. 7.1 is a CBS affiliate, 7.2 is a FOX affiliate and 7.3 is an ABC affiliate, which is not an unusual setup for any station in a small market. WTRF operates their main channel (7.1) in HD at 1080i, while the two sub-channels are operated in SD at 480i. They have a hard time doing this and a simple look at posts from WTRF viewers about the reception quality shows this. Personally I can't say if they have managed to fix things yet, but when on occasion I was picking up WTRF's broadcast, I can attest that the sound quality on their FOX sub-channel (7.2) was horrible.
Now concerning comments about the lost of a OTA weather channel, I can agree that I'll be missing it too. Like you, it was easy to turn to and get a look at the local radar map when bad weather was threatening. One thing of note that I came across yesterday when I was doing a little surfing was something I saw on one site (and I'm not exactly sure which one it was). It stated that WPXI had received a lot of comments regarding the lost of their weather sub-channel. Now when this occurred it was beyond their control as the weather service they were using ceased operation at the end of 2008. It was also stated that WPXI management was toying with the idea of re-starting their weather sub-channel. So perhaps Dave Morrison, who is associated with WPXI and occasionally turns up here, can confirm this.