Originally Posted by Thomas Desmond
For many of us, the current ATSC system works well. Unfortunately, it's not always the same people for whom the old analog system worked -- with the result that some folks who had analog service can't get the digital signal. But the reverse is also true, with some folks getting good digital service who couldn't get acceptable analog service.
This held true in Chicago. On the VHF side, WBBM-TV on RF 2 was alright, but WMAQ-TV on RF 5 had ghosting & usually saw a couple of different color streaks across the screen. WLS-TV on RF 7, WGN-TV on RF 9, & WTTW on RF 11 were also good with WLS-TV coming in the best.
On the UHF side, WYCC on RF 20 was horrible, along with WJYS on RF 62 & WYIN on RF 56. Most other UHF stations from Chicago came in fine (including WCIU on RF 26, WFLD on RF 32 *the best of all UHF's, WCPX on RF 38 once they moved to the Sears Tower, but was horrible on the John Hancock, WSNS on RF 44, WPWR-TV on 50 [reception varied when RF50 was originally operated as non-commercial station WCAE Gary], WEHS [now WXFT] on RF60, & WGBO on RF 66.
Since the digital transition, WYIN dramatically improved, as the picture is clearer than it's ever been. While they don't have the latest CODEC's, & insisting on running 2 720p HD channels along with 2 widescreen 480i channels, it looks fuzzy. Even with the antenna pointed at Cedar Lake (their transmitter location), I could not get their station in clear at all on analog. For digital, it required me to get a second antenna just to keep this station from dropping out, when being picked up by the main antenna, pointed NW at Chicago. I should point out that because I'm closest to WYIN's tower than the Chicago towers, I don't have the antenna for WYIN on pre-amp, but the main one for Chicago is a pre-amp. WJYS moved from Tinley Park to Chicago (transmitter only & not their studios), & their station comes in better than when in Tinley Park (even with the antenna pointed at Tinley Park). Too bad WJYS hasn't improved their programming. My big concern will be with WCIU. Whenever they get the new eliptical antenna up & running at 550kw, it'll be strongest to the north & west (no real change to the south), but because WCWW-LD South Bend is also on RF 27, WCIU decided to keep WCWW-LD at 15kw non-directional, & will make WCIU weaker in Indiana (WCIU & WCWW-LD I know are interfering with each other in LaPorte County & parts of eastern Porter County Indiana). I used to not need a pre-amp for WCIU, but it's now mandatory, or I don't get this station at all. I need a pre-amp for low power stations: WESV-LD on RF 40, WWME-LD on RF 39 (didn't need one for WWME-CA on RF 23), W25DW-D on RF 25, & WOCK-CD on RF 4 (I barely get this one with my current antenna, but wouldn't get it at all w/o a pre-amp).
Now if I can get a deep fringe UHF only antenna pointed at South Bend, then I have the best chance of getting WSBT on RF 22 & WSJV on RF 28 the best, & a chance at WNIT on RF 35, & WNDU on RF 42 (used to come in quite often on RF 16 during the analog days). I can get WSBT most nights with my main antenna with pre-amp pointed at Chicago. I used to get them a lot when they were analog on RF 22.
I may not watch all the TV stations in Chicagoland, but at least for me, it has overall improved once the bugs were worked out. I was one of the few people who got WBBM-TV (actually, call letters at the time ended in -DT) on RF 3 with little trouble, & without a pre-amp on the current antenna.I have no problems with them on RF 12 either.