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post #12211 of 12281 Old 08-19-2019, 07:53 AM
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WGBH Signal Boost Timeline

I'm one of the many having trouble pulling in WGBH/WGBX (2-1 and 44-1) since the move to VHF. I've seen a few references to the fact that they can apply for a signal boost ("maximization of power?") now that they've made the switch and reception is (predictably) way worse.

What's the likely timeline for an application, approval, and subsequent power increase? I've seen folks mention that this has happened in other markets where stations moved to VHF. What were the timelines like in those cases?
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post #12212 of 12281 Old 08-19-2019, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by azhelkov View Post
After a message day before, TiVo Guide switched programming from 15-1 (NBC) to 13-1. The later does not have a signal in my place (Peabody), while 15-1 shows normal broadcasting but with "to be announce" messages in the Guide. My question - is this switch real and NBC originated, and Guide running ahead of horse, or it is a TiVo screwup? Thank you in advance.
Something has definitely changed. My TIVO Roamio now has channel 8.1 in the guide as WYCN and lists it as WNBC. The guide has all the programming for that station, but if I tune to that channel, I get no picture. 15-1 is now in the guide as WBTS but has no programming listed in the guide, and if I tune to 15-1, it shows me the Boston NBC 10 programming. I don't see anything for programming on 13-1, and I was not able to tune to 13-1.

Both my AM21's (for DirecTV) show 15-1 as WYCN in the guide, but the guide now just says, "regular programming." There was previously accurate programming info. If I tune to it, it is showing the Boston NBC station. Neither AM21 will let me tune to 8-1 or 13-1 saying the channels are unavailable.

SMK

Last edited by RoyGBiv; 08-19-2019 at 08:53 AM.
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post #12213 of 12281 Old 08-19-2019, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post
Something has definitely changed. My TIVO Roamio now has channel 8.1 in the guide as WYCN and lists it as WNBC. The guide has all the programming for that station, but if I tune to that channel, I get no picture. 15-1 is now in the guide as WBTS but has no programming listed in the guide, and if I tune to 15-1, it shows me the Boston NBC 10 programming. I don't see anything for programming on 13-1, and I was not able to tune to 13-1.

Both my AM21's (for DirecTV) show 15-1 as WYCN in the guide, but the guide now just says, "regular programming." There was previously accurate programming info. If I tune to it, it is showing the Boston NBC station. Neither AM21 will let me tune to 8-1 or 13-1 saying the channels are unavailable.
15.1 recently changed from WYCN to WBTS, and WBTS is now at 15.1 (still calling themselves NBC-10 from Boston).

8.1 is the new home of WYCN, and (if not already) will broadcast from Providence.

When I see 13.1, it's a CBS station from Maine. I've been able to see 13.1 in the morning, but because I'm in Uxbridge, MA it must be atmospheric skipping going on. There's no way I'm LOS to that station.

btw, I'm using a Tablo.

LG OLED65C7 | Denon S930H | Klipsch 5.1 setup - 2 Forte - 1 R-25C - 2 R-14S
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post #12214 of 12281 Old 08-19-2019, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sound & Vision View Post
4.1 WBZ back to lower output as of this morning... Signal is going up then down to breakup... This is getting Very annoying. TG no Patriots game going on right now.

*I was informed to call WBZ at 617-787-7000 to report signal issues. I urge everyone else to do the same. Phone call sent.
If they were, they are not now, I'm 55 miles from the tower as the crow flies here in Epping, NH, WBZ is still my strongest channel next to WHDH.

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post #12215 of 12281 Old 08-19-2019, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bac522 View Post
If they were, they are not now, I'm 55 miles from the tower as the crow flies here in Epping, NH, WBZ is still my strongest channel next to WHDH.

Ok, when I called.... They informed me they were having issues and were currently working on it. Tnx.
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post #12216 of 12281 Old 08-19-2019, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Sound & Vision View Post
TG no Patriots game going on right now.
Yeah, cause that's like the only thing that's ever on TV....
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post #12217 of 12281 Old 08-19-2019, 11:23 AM
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I am getting WBZ with an excellent signal, but right now WGBH, WGBX and WCVB are almost unwatchable on all three of my devices.

SMK
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post #12218 of 12281 Old 08-19-2019, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post
Something has definitely changed. My TIVO Roamio now has channel 8.1 in the guide as WYCN and lists it as WNBC. The guide has all the programming for that station, but if I tune to that channel, I get no picture. 15-1 is now in the guide as WBTS but has no programming listed in the guide, and if I tune to 15-1, it shows me the Boston NBC 10 programming. I don't see anything for programming on 13-1, and I was not able to tune to 13-1.

Both my AM21's (for DirecTV) show 15-1 as WYCN in the guide, but the guide now just says, "regular programming." There was previously accurate programming info. If I tune to it, it is showing the Boston NBC station. Neither AM21 will let me tune to 8-1 or 13-1 saying the channels are unavailable.

SMK
They haven't updated the changes in the AM21 database since the call sign switches. Until then, you will just see Regular schedule. On the repack day, the changed some of the other remaps from the channel sharing situations that cause things to have guide data. I suspect that is why you lost the guide data for NBC 10 Boston on 15-1. You may see guide data for 24-1 now, though, they added that. Usually, low power stations like WBTS and WYCN are not added into the Directv database so they will always show "Regular schedule." BUT many low-power stations that are major network get added so I suspect you'll see it come back. Sometimes, other LPs may get added if they channel share, but get added as a subchannel of the full-power, like 24-1 is. You would have to have re-scanned after the re-pack day to see that I think.

If WBTS and WYCN have switched callsigns, you'll have to re-scan for it to show that. It won't make it have guide data, so your call. I will keep an eye out on the CE site where they post when it is updated and let you all know when NBC 10 Boston is added, if you don't discover it first.

Last edited by ejb1980; 08-19-2019 at 11:42 AM.
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post #12219 of 12281 Old 08-19-2019, 11:52 AM
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WCVB finally submitted something to the FCC about what happened last Saturday. There is a problem with one of the two transmission lines going to the antennna currently shared by WBZ, WCVB, WFXT and WGBX/WBTS at the Cabot street tower causing it to operate at reduced power, so WCVB switched to an emergency antenna from the CBS tower until it's fixed. That antenna is lower than the others and is only transmitting at 350 kW so it has a smaller coverage area:
https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/da...6c90c2179300de

WBZ, WFXT and WGBX/WBTS haven't filed anything yet to say if they also moved to emergency antennas or if they're just staying put at reduced power from the Cabot Street site.


About TiVO, it looks like they got confused when WYCN and WBTS swapped call signs. They removed 15-1 and 15-2 entirely (which were correctly listed as RF 32), kept the outdated WYCN entries on 13-1 and 13-2 and changed those to RF 46.

Last edited by KyL416; 08-19-2019 at 12:03 PM.
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post #12220 of 12281 Old 08-19-2019, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KyL416 View Post
WCVB finally submitted something to the FCC about what happened last Saturday. There is a problem with one of the two transmission lines going to the antennna currently shared by WBZ, WCVB, WFXT and WGBX/WBTS at the Cabot street tower causing it to operate at reduced power, so WCVB switched to an emergency antenna from the CBS tower until it's fixed. That antenna is lower than the others and is only transmitting at 350 kW so it has a smaller coverage area:
https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/da...6c90c2179300de

WBZ, WFXT and WGBX/WBTS haven't filed anything yet to say if they also moved to emergency antennas or if they're just staying put at reduced power from the Cabot Street site.
...
WCVB has always had an emergency / auxiliary antenna on the CBS tower, which served them well when the CBS tower master had problems a few years ago. That probably would not work on their new RF channel, but maybe it was in the process of being replaced and they were able to use it.
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post #12221 of 12281 Old 08-20-2019, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by bac522 View Post
The following is a signal levels on my HDHomerun from Epping NH. Might help some with wanting to know what Virtual Channels are tied to what RF channels. Currently scanning on a wet day with my roof antenna shooting through wet broad leaf trees, so my signal levels are probably a bit weaker then normal. Surprised I see RF 5 at all, although I can't get a signal lock.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...=0&single=true
Great chart listing the channels - amazed the signals traveled that far! I would suspect that the weak channel you received on RF49 would be WLNE-TV in Providence, RI.
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post #12222 of 12281 Old 08-23-2019, 03:04 PM
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PSA follows...

Quote:
Hello Len,

Thank you for watching and writing to WCVB. We are currently operating from an auxiliary antenna at reduced power following an issue that developed Saturday evening 8/10 at the shared interim main antenna site. Repair efforts on this multi-station antenna system are underway. We are working closely with the antenna provider to expedite repairs to enable a return to full transmit power.

With digital television, the receive antenna selection and its orientation are important. Please find attached our DTV tuning guide which is intended to help you to maximize your OTA TV reception. Sometimes, after a re-scan, 5.1 (ABC) and 5.2 (MeTV Boston) may not be recognized. If you experience this, please try entering 33-1 or 33.1 into you remote control. If sufficient signal is present, your TV will display WCVB 5.1 or WCVB 5.2.

All Best,

Dave
Happy repacking!
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post #12223 of 12281 Old 08-23-2019, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by KyL416 View Post
Try using name brand LEDs if you can, or check the packaging to see if they mention FCC compliance testing.

We have several LED bulbs from GE in my house and they don't cause any problems with WPVI and WDPN. Although because of how the AC->DC power supplies function, there is a one second dip in reception across the VHF band when I turn the lights off and the power discharges.
I replaced them with Sunco bulbs (from Amazon) and the problem is solved - no interference at all. The new bulbs do meet FCC regulations.
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post #12224 of 12281 Old 08-23-2019, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wizwor View Post
PSA follows...

Hello Len,

Thank you for watching and writing to WCVB. We are currently operating from an auxiliary antenna at reduced power following an issue that developed Saturday evening 8/10 at the shared interim main antenna site. Repair efforts on this multi-station antenna system are underway. We are working closely with the antenna provider to expedite repairs to enable a return to full transmit power.

With digital television, the receive antenna selection and its orientation are important. Please find attached our DTV tuning guide which is intended to help you to maximize your OTA TV reception. Sometimes, after a re-scan, 5.1 (ABC) and 5.2 (MeTV Boston) may not be recognized. If you experience this, please try entering 33-1 or 33.1 into you remote control. If sufficient signal is present, your TV will display WCVB 5.1 or WCVB 5.2.

All Best,

Dave

Happy repacking!

With many sets - Samsung's and Sony's particularly - entering the RF channel number with no extension may work better - just "33". It only is taking advantage of a design quirk anyway. Why any TV would not include a full scan option that only adds, but does not delete channels, boggles the mind. It's all done in software anyway and would cost nothing to include, except the time the code writers spend on it.
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post #12225 of 12281 Old 08-23-2019, 07:10 PM
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On the WGBH/WGBX front, they have a form soliciting feedback for an upcoming FCC filing. I can't submit links yet, but the URL is:

HTML Code:
WGBH-dot-org/spectrum-auction-rescan
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post #12226 of 12281 Old 08-24-2019, 02:23 AM
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post #12227 of 12281 Old 08-24-2019, 09:45 AM
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I have a "deep fringe" VHF/UHF antenna which worked well when WGBH was on analog 2. It is now giving me fair reception with a lot of break up on WGBH and WGBX depending on the weather and time of day.

I just sent this info to WGBH, and I hope it will help to get the FCC to allow them to increase their power.

SMK
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post #12228 of 12281 Old 08-24-2019, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RoyGBiv View Post
I have a "deep fringe" VHF/UHF antenna which worked well when WGBH was on analog 2. It is now giving me fair reception with a lot of break up on WGBH and WGBX depending on the weather and time of day.

I just sent this info to WGBH, and I hope it will help to get the FCC to allow them to increase their power.

SMK
Do keep in mind that the poor WGBH signal coverage, and need for many viewers to buy new antennas to receiver the signal, is entirely due to the decision of WGBH to voluntarily sell their previous UHF channel for $180 million in the spectrum auction. This is in no way the fault of the FCC. They were fully aware of what power they would be allocated once moved to a low VHF channel. However, they should get the power increase, since it will benefit viewers.
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post #12229 of 12281 Old 08-26-2019, 07:53 AM
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This is in no way the fault of the FCC.
Well, I might quibble with this a little from a meta-perspective. The fact that our FCC auctions spectrum (rather than allocate, assign, and require service deployment within a time-frame) contributes to an overall problem. We sell spectrum once to high bidders with deep pockets, get no additional revenue and allow buyers to sit on bandwidth without actually deploying a useful service on it.

But, yes. WGBH did choose to take the $ because that is the way the system is currently set up.
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post #12230 of 12281 Old 08-26-2019, 07:16 PM
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Well, I might quibble with this a little from a meta-perspective. The fact that our FCC auctions spectrum (rather than allocate, assign, and require service deployment within a time-frame) contributes to an overall problem. We sell spectrum once to high bidders with deep pockets, get no additional revenue and allow buyers to sit on bandwidth without actually deploying a useful service on it.

But, yes. WGBH did choose to take the $ because that is the way the system is currently set up.
The FCC designed the plan after the passage of one particular bill in Congress to authorize it, though that bill primarily concerned a payroll tax cut. Of course the scare tactics of the time that bandwidth was running out haven't exactly come close to happening. And while most of the stations that shut down were of minimal value or were able to channel share, the public lost out on some of them.

Because WGBH could take the $$, didn't mean they had to. it would not be so bad if they were not also leasing half of the WGBX bandwidth for NBCBoston and Cozi
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post #12231 of 12281 Old 08-26-2019, 07:38 PM
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All the cuts to the public broadcasting budgets didn't help either, giving them even more of a reason to want to take the money.

Many of the stations that took the move to VHF-lo offer ended up being PBS or non-commercial/educational stations, including KVCR in San Bernardino, WQED in Pittsburgh and WSBE in Providence. Others sold their signals and entered into spectrum sharing deals, like WLVT in Allentown, the then-WYBE in Philly, WVIA in Scranton, KLCS in LA, NJTV who sold off two of their 4 signals, and CPTV who sold off one of their 4 signals.

WGBH is a major producer and distributor of PBS programming so hopefully they are putting that money to good use. WLVT used the money to launch a local community newscast that covers the eastern PA/western NJ area that straddles the Philly, Scranton and NYC DMAs since it's mostly ignored by the area TV stations.

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post #12232 of 12281 Old 08-27-2019, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by KyL416 View Post
All the cuts to the public broadcasting budgets didn't help either, giving them even more of a reason to want to take the money.

Many of the stations that took the move to VHF-lo offer ended up being PBS or non-commercial/educational stations, including KVCR in San Bernardino, WQED in Pittsburgh and WSBE in Providence. Others sold their signals and entered into spectrum sharing deals, like WLVT in Allentown, the then-WYBE in Philly, WVIA in Scranton, KLCS in LA, NJTV who sold off two of their 4 signals, and CPTV who sold off one of their 4 signals.

WGBH is a major producer and distributor of PBS programming so hopefully they are putting that money to good use. WLVT used the money to launch a local community newscast that covers the eastern PA/western NJ area that straddles the Philly, Scranton and NYC DMAs since it's mostly ignored by the area TV stations.
The stations that moved to vhf-low did so because their OTA eyes were not worth as much as the pay off. WGBH spawned WGBX to deal with reception issues. With the move to cable, their OTA operations became a cost center. The reverse auction allowed them to cash out without losing cable/fund raising footprint. PBS should not have been compensated for return of bandwidth paid for with public money.
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post #12233 of 12281 Old 08-27-2019, 06:05 AM
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WBZ ch 4 is back, at least for me, at full strength. I hope for others the same? Hopefully this is permanent (but I'm not placing any bets yet).
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After weeks of reviewing what WGBH has done to OTA viewing , it's my conclusion that they have acted deliberately:

1) They MUST have known that perhaps 50% of the over-the-air viewers would have trouble getting WGBH 2-1 on VHF LO.

Did they do any coverage surveys to discover loss of the new VHF-lo signal? They must have TV engineers there.

2) PBS is definitely planning to stream their stations on the internet and also cable.

3) WGBH got money from the Feds to upgrade their transmitters for the freq shift. Plus, they made several hundred million

from the freq shift sale to wireless companies.

4) WGBH is now holding on to the 76-82Mhz slot and wont be effectively utilizing OUR public airwaves. Why should they be allowed to

do that? Sprint is being criticized for doing something similar, with hoarding of spectrum.

5) LOCAST is sending out the SD of WGBH. They seem unable to receive WGBH HD either. The morning of Aug 3 showed that

LOCAST could not get the WGBH HD reliably. So they are substituting WGBH SD ( and many folks wont realize it)
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post #12235 of 12281 Old 08-27-2019, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Weinrich View Post
After weeks of reviewing what WGBH has done to OTA viewing , it's my conclusion that they have acted deliberately:

1) They MUST have known that perhaps 50% of the over-the-air viewers would have trouble getting WGBH 2-1 on VHF LO.

Did they do any coverage surveys to discover loss of the new VHF-lo signal? They must have TV engineers there.

2) PBS is definitely planning to stream their stations on the internet and also cable.

3) WGBH got money from the Feds to upgrade their transmitters for the freq shift. Plus, they made several hundred million

from the freq shift sale to wireless companies.

4) WGBH is now holding on to the 76-82Mhz slot and wont be effectively utilizing OUR public airwaves. Why should they be allowed to

do that? Sprint is being criticized for doing something similar, with hoarding of spectrum.

5) LOCAST is sending out the SD of WGBH. They seem unable to receive WGBH HD either. The morning of Aug 3 showed that

LOCAST could not get the WGBH HD reliably. So they are substituting WGBH SD ( and many folks wont realize it)
The WGBX signal is a full power UHF signal, equal to WBZ, WCVB, etc. (even though they are having some issues right now on the temporary Cabot St. tower location) However, instead of using that signal for the main WGBH and/or WGBX HD programming, they have half of that bandwidth leased to NBC for NBCBoston and Cozi, and are using the rest for the SD versions of WGBH and WGBX, Create, etc.
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post #12236 of 12281 Old 08-27-2019, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rm00k View Post
WBZ ch 4 is back, at least for me, at full strength. I hope for others the same? Hopefully this is permanent (but I'm not placing any bets yet).
Early Monday morning some of the stations broadcasting from the Cabot St tower were off the air. The problem with the transmission line was probably fixed or patched. The signal that had been most affected, WGBX, showed a big improvement in signal strength on Monday. But none of this is permanent, since most of the stations on that tower will move to the CBS tower in the next few months. Only WFXT, WGBH, and WUNI will remain on the Cabot St tower.

Last edited by Channel99; 08-27-2019 at 07:47 PM.
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post #12237 of 12281 Old 08-28-2019, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Steve Weinrich View Post
After weeks of reviewing what WGBH has done to OTA viewing , it's my conclusion that they have acted deliberately:

1) They MUST have known that perhaps 50% of the over-the-air viewers would have trouble getting WGBH 2-1 on VHF LO.
Personally I don't think they cared about OTA viewers and were more interested in the $218 million dollars they got from the FCC!
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post #12238 of 12281 Old 08-28-2019, 07:56 AM
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I spent just shy of $100 so that I can regain WGBH/WGBX in HD.

On the antenna thread I was advised to use rabbit ears (that I already have) with this HLSJ combiner/joiner :

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

but my reception wasn't great.

Then I bought this combiner/joiner:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

with this $43 VHF antenna :

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Oddly both of the two combiners/joiners seem to have been defective or something. Admittedly I know nothing about antenna science.

I then bought this combiner/joiner :

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

and now that with my new Wingard HD7000R antenna and my existing Channel Master UltraAntenna 60 for UHF

https://www.channelmaster.com/Digita.../cm-4221hd.htm

and I'm back to where I was.

I didn't try the 3rd combiner/joiner with the rabbit ears- I've got both the Channel Master and Winegard antennas set up, everything has worked well for the last week and at least for now I don't wish to spend any more time dinking around with it.

I suspect < .01% of 'GBH's OTA viewing population will be willing to go through what I just did. Realistically they might as well just shut down the VHF channel. I suspect though in order to qualify for retransmission on the area cable systems, they must broadcast. That is likely the only reason they are broadcasting OTA at this point- it sure isn't for OTA viewers!

I guess some of the Providence channels are transitioning to VHF after their repack timeslot in the next several months. I'll be interested to see if I continue to get them, even though VHF is more directional and I've got my new VHF antenna pointed at WGBH. I hardly watch the Providence channels anyway.

I am on AT&T TV Now and they don't carry PBS, so OTA PBS in HD is important to me. I also don't pay for PBS Passport (and want to even less after this experience.) I have a HDHomeRun along with a Plex Server to act as a DVR.

Thanks WGBH for making me $100 poorer!

(fyi, all of this is in my attic)
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Last edited by pnkflyd51; 09-05-2019 at 07:45 AM.
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post #12239 of 12281 Old 08-28-2019, 10:01 AM
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As an experiment feed the HDHomeRun directly from the VHF antenna, disconnecting the VHF/UHF combiner and UHF antenna. That will verify of the problem is lack of signal at the antenna or the combiner.
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post #12240 of 12281 Old 08-28-2019, 10:08 AM
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Where is the accounting for where all the PBS $ went from the auction? If there are public funds used by PBS, mustn’t there be full public accounting?

Are there PBS executives and if so are they partying on Boston Harbor on an gargantuan new yacht named “Standard Def” which is registered in rhode island to avoid Massachusetts tax?
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