Hello all....this is the first chance I've had to get on here, and I know ya'll have tons of questions.
Unfortunately, I don't have very specific answers...I work in the News Dept., and while I'm the stations' primary and most-experienced ENG (Electronic News Gathering) live truck operator, I don't always get the lowdown on the Engineering dept. stuff.
From what I understand, here's the problem: While (thankfully) our multimillion-dollar ATSC transmitters are fine, the transmission lines going up the broadcast tower on Hwy 36, and possibly even the broadcast antenna array itself, are fried.
As a journalist, I really don't want to speculate on any causes, because only the facts are the facts, and I don't know the facts.
However, it's looking like "weeks" before the problem is fixed, though there may be a "duct-tape-and-bailing-wire" solution in the interim. I can guarantee that this is one of Nexstar/Mission's priorities, and all of the companies' resources are being devoted to it. Each hour that we're off the air is thousands of dollars of revenue lost.....
Compounding the problem, though, is that the 1,000' broadcast tower for KSNF, Nexstar's NBC station in Joplin, MO, collapsed during a severe thunderstorm on May 8. The goal is for them to be back on the air within 30 days, but, unlike here, their Mission sister station has seperate broadcast facilities. This situation is also consuming vital company resources.
For whatever reason, KTXS has chosen to air KTAB's ota signal on 20.3, instead of Telemundo. From what I understand there's no financial deals involved, but I heard an unconfirmed rumor that we helped out KTXS when they had transmitter issues decades ago, so they're repaying the favor.
And to keep KTAB on Dish Network, we're utilizing two of our "live trucks." One van is at the station, wired into master control, and sending the signal via digital microwave to the other van, located at Dish Network's Abilene headend....the signal is then piped directly into the Dish system. The signal is only SD, however. While the digital microwave infrastructure in all of our vans is HD-upgradeable, we currently have no need (or funding) to do HD live shots. That's still a few years down the line.
I'm not sure where exactly Dish's local facility is, but the live van's microwave dish is pointing due east of the t.v. station. KRBC is currently being replaced by San Angelo's KSAN on Dish Network. We would need one more microwave truck (we only have 3, which is 3 times more than KTXS, but they do have a locally-based satellite truck...ours is in Lubbock) in order to get KR's signal to Dish. Plus, we need at least one van free to do normal news live shots.....
Fortunately for me, as a Suddenlink HD customer, both stations have direct, digital fiber connections to the cable company, so my home viewing experience isn't affected
I'll try to keep ya'll updated.