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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's become common for forum regulars to say, "Digital power levels will increase after the analog shutdown," but is it true? No. It's an urban legend, a myth, that is not sustained by the facts.


I did a quick review [using TV Fool], comparing those digital stations that are remaining on the same frequency, and here's what I found for my former home (17579) which includes stations from D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Scranton, and Harrisburg region.


I discovered one of my stations is actually going *lower* in power, not higher:
Code:
Code:
CALL-#  |   Received Power Before & After
WGCB30 -32.3 -42.4 (lower)
WPMT47 -32.4 -32.4
WLYH23 -37.3 -37.3
-KYW26 -38.9 -38.9
WTXF42 -48.3 -48.3
WTVE25 -49.7 -49.7
WBFF46 -49.9 -49.9
WITF36 -50.5 -50.5 
WGTW27 -51.5 -51.5
WHTM10 -51.8 -51.8
WPPX31 -52.6 -52.6
WUTB41 -55.6 -56.1
WMPT42 -63.8 -63.8
-WBT7 -69.0 -69.0
WNJS22 -71.5 -71.5
WFMZ46 -77.3 -77.3
WBRE11 -82.8 -82.8
WYOU13 -83.4 -83.4
WOLF45 -83.4 -83.4
WQAW20 -84.1 -84.1
WVIA41 -85.5 -85.5
-WCS24 -86.2 -86.2
WTTG36 -86.1 -86.1 
WDCA35 -88.0 -88.0
WNEP49 -89.0 -89.0
WBPH9 -92.2 -92.2
WHUT33 -93.5 -93.5
WDCW51 -93.8 -93.8
WETA27 -95.1 -95.1
WNGN36 -96.8 -96.8
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy /forum/post/15526316


It's become common for forum regulars to say, "Digital power levels will increase after the analog shutdown," but is it true? No. It's an urban legend, a myth, that is not sustained by the facts.


I did a quick review, comparing those digital stations that are remaining on the same frequency, and here's what I found for my former home (17579) which includes stations from D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Scranton, and Harrisburg region.

What is the source for your numbers? May not be totally up to date. Some stations will be increasing their power or at least will be allowed to after the transition if the station has been granted their maximization filing. But, yes, many stations are at their post-transition allotment, so nothing changes on Feb. 18 except to turn off their analog broadcast. The ending of interfering analog broadcasts will in some cases help fringe reception for digital stations.


If you look at the Baltimore stations, WMPB-DT MPT 67 was granted it's maximization filing to go from 14 to 42.6 kW, although you are likely too far away to get WMPB-DT at the increased ERP (don't know when WMPB-DT will increase ERP). WMAR-DT 2 will get a nice boost in coverage when it moves from UHF 52 at 613 kW to UHF 38 at 1000 kW. WBAL-DT 11 is likely to have poorer coverage with only 5 kW for VHF 11. If you get WUSA-DT CBS 9 out of DC, WPXW-DT Ion 66 should show up for you as it is taking over WUSA-DT's UHF 34 broadcast at 1000 kW.


What happens by or on February 17-18 (assuming no last minute delay) is complicated. The more knowledgeable people on this forum know that there is no general digital power increase, just a complicated series of moves with some 500 stations flash cutting to their analog channel, some stations moving to new digital channels, and some stations firing up a full power digital signal for the first time.
 

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It's easier to tell people "they'll get more powerful" than to try to explain how some stations will boost power and others will go to lower power on VHF but it'll seem like more power because of the lower frequencies and still others will appear stronger because of reduced interference from analog signals.


I agree that it's a myth and I attempt to clarify whenever I run into it, but to try and do that is so complicated that most people outside of this forum have their eyes start to glaze over.


- Trip
 

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its also assumed that with analog stations going off the air 2/18 (they will still be there on the 17th) that there will be less interference which should allow better reception.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by afiggatt /forum/post/15526531


WMPB-DT MPT 67 was granted it's maximization filing to go from 14 to 42.6 kW,

Why doesn't this show up on my TVfool Post-Transition report??? I do show and increase of 2.7dBm...but shouldn't there be more of increase on my end? (I'm 40 miles away 2Edge).


Craig
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think TV Fool has the latest data.


As for WMPB, they are tripling their power so you should see around 4 dB increase. You're only seeing 3 dB, which is a doubling of power. I have no idea why.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA /forum/post/15526574


It's easier to tell people "they'll get more powerful" than to try to explain how some stations will boost power and others will go to lower power on VHF but it'll seem like more power because of the lower frequencies

Yeah, except we're still misleading them. My Baltimore station WBAL will be *less* power when it moves from UHF56 to VHF11.


It's doubtful I'll be able to receive it from Lancaster PA. I think a better answer is "We don't know" or "We'll just have to wait and see" rather than give false hopes.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy /forum/post/15527405


I think TV Fool has the latest data.


As for WMPB, they are tripling their power so you should see around 4 dB increase.

Come to think about it, beggars can't be choosers. It's going up in power, not down, and I can receive it most of the time now, so it should only get better.
It gives my at-home wife some more choices for small childrens programing other than WITF-DT....


I just rely on the TV-fool data to figure out if my home created antennas are living up to spec.


Craig
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy /forum/post/15527405


I think TV Fool has the latest data.


As for WMPB, they are tripling their power so you should see around 4 dB increase. You're only seeing 3 dB, which is a doubling of power. I have no idea why. Yeah, except we're still misleading them. My Baltimore station WBAL will be *less* power when it moves from UHF56 to VHF11.


It's doubtful I'll be able to receive it from Lancaster PA. I think a better answer is "We don't know" or "We'll just have to wait and see" rather than give false hopes.

It's not false hope. WBAL-DT is the exception and not the rule. Overnight testing has shown excellent results as far as reception of upper-VHF signals. I follow lots of threads in the OTA forum, and read very positive results from:


WLS-DT (at only 4.75 kW!)

WHYY-DT

KGO-DT

WRDW-DT

KMGH-DT/KUSA-DT


And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.


I like to say that it varies from place to place, but in most cases things will get better after the transition, though maybe not right away. I figure that's the most accurate way to phrase it.


- Trip
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy /forum/post/15527405


I think TV Fool has the latest data.

Yes, tvfool has the latest construction permit data. Yet hundreds of applications for power increase that were filed this summer have not yet been acted on by the FCC.


Even so, many DTV stations will be easier to receive once the analog stations stop interfering with the DTV signals. Preamp overload will become less of an issue.
 

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KERO-DT RF10 (4,600 watts) shows up weaker on the signal meter and requires more adjusting of the rabbit ears to lock on than low power K18HD RF18 (13,000 watts). KERO-DT is supposed to go to 10,600 watts someday.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA /forum/post/15526574


I agree that it's a myth and I attempt to clarify whenever I run into it, but to try and do that is so complicated that most people outside of this forum have their eyes start to glaze over.

I can understand that approach. Just simplify the whole business. I did not even mention stations with side-mounted antennas for current digital operation who will put up new antennas on top of the tower for post-transition operation. Since they are replacing the analog antenna, some of these stations won't have full post-transition coverage until several months after the analog shutdown. WTXF-DT Fox 29 in Philadelphia is one of them and won't be at full coverage until around March 31 (assuming a Feb 17 shutdown). How do we summarize all these additional situations?
 

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I'd like to see the transition continue as scheduled. S.F. and Sacto. Power increases to max have been approved. We're ready to go. This would make digital reception easier, probably right off the bat. I see it like this:


1 - Low VHF analog is turned off on 2/17. (this lowers possible interference)

2 - High VHF becomes digital for KVIE, KXTV, and KGO on 2/17. (these signals travel much better than UHF and should be the easiest to receive in the area)

3 - Power levels are increased to max where applicable on 2/17. (this aids reception)

4 - Analog broadcast transmitters need to be removed from towers as necessary. (this can't happen on 2/17, but as soon after as it is possible would be nice)

5 - Digital transmitters are moved into place on the towers

as soon as possible. (this can't happen on 2/17 either)


When all of the above occur, the transition is complete. I wouldn't be surprised if a small number of people discover that they have to get rid of apms in their reception set-up because the signal will be that much stronger.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy /forum/post/15526316


It's become common for forum regulars to say, "Digital power levels will increase after the analog shutdown,"

No it's not.


The most common answer regarding transmission power is that most stations are at full power now.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H /forum/post/15530417


No it's not.


The most common answer regarding transmission power is that most stations are at full power now.

That's true for stations on their permanent digital frequency.


Quite a few stations on temporary frequencies are not, and are likely to improve on or shortly (depending on weather) after transition.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnS-MI /forum/post/15531218


That's true for stations on their permanent digital frequency.


Quite a few stations on temporary frequencies are not, and are likely to improve on or shortly (depending on weather) after transition.

It depends on what your definition of "most" is. If it's more than half, then "most" stations are operating post-transition facilities. If "most" is more than 75%, then "most" stations are not.


- Trip
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA /forum/post/15527497


It's not false hope. WBAL-DT is the exception and not the rule.

I agree. "Stations will increase power" IS the exception, not the rule, which is why should not be misleading visitors.
 

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It's not a myth so much as a partial truth.


Some stations are in fact getting a good old fashioned boost after the transition. Plus, we don't really know what the net benefit of thousands of analog stations, most transmitting at approximately five times the power of DTV, is going to be.


I think it would be better stated that this is a case where specific facts need to be taken into account. And, to be honest, we're all human and therefore we're all prone to wishful thinking. So, not so much is any of this a myth as it is a case where people would be well advised to assume the status quo until given real world results.
 

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What believe is true is that some stations are transmitting from a temporary channel. As a result they have not spent as much money as they might making sure that their transmission is reliable and at a strength that is adequate.


Rick R
 
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