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Yeah. Ion Shop must’ve shut off after Qubo and Ion Plus
If anyone has a Samsung TV with the Samsung TV Plus feature, Ion Plus (channel 1064) is still being carried there, though Qubo has already been pulled from their lineup. I can't say for certain how long it will be available, though if Qubo was kept, I wonder if they would have been exclusive to online streaming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13,582 ·
Other markets are saying that Qubo is crawling a message that its last day will be February 28. First page channel line up updated, and a few minor bugs fixed.

It will be interesting to see what WGN and WGBO will fill those channels with.
 

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Other markets are saying that Qubo is crawling a message that its last day will be February 28. First page channel line up updated, and a few minor bugs fixed.

It will be interesting to see what WGN and WGBO will fill those channels with.
I assume there will be duplicate channels in the Chicago market until the current contracts run out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13,584 ·
I don't know how those contracts were written. But Scripps probably doesn't want ad revenue to be diverted from them, so they'll want those channels off their competition ASAP. We'll see on Monday...
 

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Most subchannels these days are pay to play--the other stations get a check from Scripps for carrying the programming. They don't sell ad time on them, so the more places to see it, the better.

- Trip
 

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Plus there's the whole cable carriage thing since subchannel carriage is tied to the individual affiliates and not the networks airing on them. Like if Univision drops those Katz networks now, they will lose their cable slots to whatever WGBO and WXFT replace them with and they won't regain cable carriage until the next time Comcast's and WOW's contracts with Scripps are up for renewal.

Some cable and telco providers had Qubo and Ion Plus, so whatever replaces the .2 and .3 locally might get carriage on those providers, but no cable company picked up Ion Shop, while HSN and QVC deal directly with providers to give them commission for sales, so whatever replaces the .4, .5 and .6 channels would have to wait for carriage. (i.e. if you compare HSN on cable to the HSN that Ion any other local OTA affiliate has, you'll notice unique phone numbers for each one)
 

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Completely random question, but do any markets in the country carry Stadium in HD as a subchannel? Could Stadium be moved somewhere else and have more bandwidth thrown at it? It looks like that channel could find a better location than one of 10 channels on 62.
 

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Completely random question, but do any markets in the country carry Stadium in HD as a subchannel? Could Stadium be moved somewhere else and have more bandwidth thrown at it? It looks like that channel could find a better location than one of 10 channels on 62.
Probably won't happen until ATSC 3.0 is widely adopted. Otherwise, they can be seen in much higher quality on least a few streaming platforms (Samsung TV Plus & Pluto TV to name a few).
 

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Are other people still having issues with WMAQ? I saw early messages about them using a temporary antenna but were supposed to move back to their main Willis Tower antenna sometime in 2020. Did that ever happen, and if not, do they have an estimate of when it will happen? I'm less than 10 miles from downtown and am receiving all the other stations with either an HDHR-4K or an HDHR5-4US without a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13,591 ·
Are other people still having issues with WMAQ? I saw early messages about them using a temporary antenna but were supposed to move back to their main Willis Tower antenna sometime in 2020. Did that ever happen, and if not, do they have an estimate of when it will happen? I'm less than 10 miles from downtown and am receiving all the other stations with either an HDHR-4K or an HDHR5-4US without a problem.
The official FCC query still shows the construction permit expiring on April 12, 2021 with no "License to cover"...so they are still on their backup antenna. As to when it will be done...I have no idea.
 

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It's not only WMAQ, WLS, WTTW and WFLD have also been operating with redcued coverage since the repack too. It's because of manufacturing, shipment, and permit approval delays at the Willis Tower, along with the tower crew shortages. This isn't a Chicago only thing either, these issues have been affecting stations across the country in places like NYC, Philly, Boston and other cities.

WMAQ/WSNS and WFLD/WPWR are operating from temporary antennas at the Hancock tower, while WLS/WXFT and WTTW/WYCC are operating at reduced power from temporary antennas at the Willis Tower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13,594 ·
In general, correct. But WLS' power is still close to a million watts, which means that few people are having issues. Same with WFLD. WMAQ is running with 175 kw.

And per the FCC, WTTW is now at full power.
 

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And per the FCC, WTTW is now at full power.
Where do you see that? The last thing the FCC has on file from them are the tolling and STA extension requests from back in October. They have yet to file for a license to cover for their final RF 25 facility.
 

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Is there a good summary somewhere of chicago station moves to ATSC 3? Are all of these changes/upgrades related to that?
 

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According to the NextGenTV site, Chicago is slated to get ATSC 3.0 in Fall 2021, but as of now no Chicago station has made any ATSC 3.0 related filings with the FCC.

These current changes are because of the repack. Broadcasting antennas are designed to operate on specific frequencies, so in order to change their RF numbers they have to replace their previous antennas with ones designed for their new RF numbers. Many transmitters installed during the DTV transition era were designed to operate on specific frequencies, so they needed to be replaced too if they couldn't be retuned. But because of the manufacturing/shipping/tower crew issues mentioned above, stations across the country weren't able to complete their final facilities in time, so they have to operate at interim sites with temporary antennas until they can complete the work.
 

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Thanks for the updates on the channels. I am in the same boat with WMAQ. 35ish miles west of the towers - with the wind we have had the previous couple of days the signal has been shaky on an already weak signal. That is the only one I am having trouble with. When they are full power, will WMAQ be close to a million watts like WLS is? I get WLS at 95-100% signal strength consistently.
 

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WMAQ's full power will be a directional 398 kW, but since it's 1670' high, it will translate to a contour of 64.4 Miles, which is similar to what Big 4 stations have in other major cities and it will be bigger than the contour they had when they were on RF 29, which was 350 kW at 1677'.

WTTW will have a highly directional 250kw at 1627' giving them a 55.3 mile contour

WFLD will have a highly directional 1000 kW at 1706', giving them a 64.8 mile contour.

WLS will have a directional 1000 kW at 1699'. giving them a 69 mile contour

Even though WFLD and WLS will be 1000 kW, only the largest lobe will see that much power, the rest will see significantly less power. You can click on the "directional" links I posted to see the power for each direction.

The bigger issue right now is that the stations stuck at Hancock are on antennas that are 300' lower than the antennas on the Willis tower, which creates additional terrain and/or building obstructions further out. Plus the rules for auxiliary facilities prevent them from having a contour that extends beyond their main contour, so stations that have directional signals are more restricted since they have to use stock antenna patterns instead of the custom patterns that their final antennas will have. i.e. For WMAQ, the biggest lobe is at 145 degrees on their Hancock antenna, while their main Willis antenna will have the biggest lobes at 177 and 235 degrees. So they can't really crank up the power that much at Hancock without exceeding the Willis contour in areas to the northwest and southeast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13,600 ·
Where do you see that? The last thing the FCC has on file from them are the tolling and STA extension requests from back in October. They have yet to file for a license to cover for their final RF 25 facility.
OK, I thought they had. Rabbitears (which is right 99.99% of the time) has them at full power.
 
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