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 Post subject: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 2:12 pm 
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The major station in Dayton Ohio, WHIO 7, has been off the air since the 5th. They said they are having "technical difficulties" but you can watch online. Back in the day, if there was a problem with the transmitter, they switched to a backup or something I thought. No days and days off the air, which at one point would have been a commercial disaster. I don't know about cable or sat for them. Seems to me they could have had a whole new transmitter trucked in by now. So far seen no guess when they will be back on OTA.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 2:16 pm 
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Apparently it's an issue with their tower and repairs are dependent on the weather:
https://www.whio.com/news/local/whio-te ... rSyFRAsXP/


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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 2:35 pm 
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OKC4 had both backup xmtr and tower. Until a tornado ate the secondary tower, that is. Believe it to have been rebuilt. Believe CBS9 had two towers. Not certain about the extent of other local backups, except one UHF/indep had a secondary xmtr (I saw it) but being co-located with the main suggests no backup tower.

I'd know more about the DFW market now if it were like the old days where you could call and talk with the chief. Last time I tried that, he was managing two entire plants singlehandedly; no time for chat.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 2:47 pm 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
A lot of radio and TV down time is happening due to the mandated TV channel allocation "re-pack" and antenna changes and tower modifications that are often required. Not only does this spread qualified tower crew availability very thin in order to meet the schedule, but the proliferation of more and more cell towers around the country makes matters worse.

Here in Utica, we have (had) a wonderful, listener supported, classical music FM station that has been essentially off the air since last Spring. It operates as a repeater of their main station and studios in Syracuse. From what I understand from my email communication with them, their Syracuse tower which supports a microwave link to Utica suffered damage during a storm. They are still awaiting a tower crew to arrive to fix the problem. They suggested that I listen on-line. Meanwhile, their on-air signal is unlistenable, plagued by noise and distortion even though I live only 1/4 mile from their Utica tower.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 3:17 pm 
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Thanks Alan. I read the earlier notices that it was a tech difficulty, with no details given. I missed that one on the link as their news page is kinda cluttered and it is easy to overlook something on there. As for climbing 1000 foot towers. Eeeeeeh! Very cold here this morning, 20 with a breeze.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 11:30 pm 
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Now the other Dayton channel is off, for me. No news. I lost the third Dayton news channel 45 in the last re-scan last month. The website says I need to rescan again to get ch.2 channel back, but then I will not retain the first station with them still off the air. There is a 4th network channel in Dayton but apparently they no longer do a newscast and then the PBS stations, that is it. This fiddling with spectrum is a big mess it seems. Well I still got good old RADIO.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Fri 08, 2019 11:32 pm 
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I was doing Dell server upgrades for TV stations here and at two stations; these servers were in the building beside the towers. I asked station engineer about changing the light bulbs that are at different heights. His response was. You don’t climb these towers. There is an elevator inside the frame to get you up and down. While waiting for a server load, I went to the tower and sure enough there is a little platform inside the frame to stand on and ride to the top. When the tower gets serviced, it gets serviced at the same time he said.
Could imagine the view you will get from the top. I have a problem with heights so I would probably pass out half way up.

Freeman


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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2019 7:41 am 
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Greetings to the Forum:

I can't speak to today, but back when NTSC was king, I don't think that KNXT / KCBS-TV had more than 15 minutes of unplanned outages in 30 years of operation.

We had two towers with antennas on each. We had three transmitters that were normally operated as a pair combined with the third as a spare, with switching so that we could pair up any of the three without interrupting the carrier. We had Edison power as our primary power source, with an 8V92 GMC diesel generator with air start as the backup power. The diesel could go from stopped to full load in about 3 or 4 seconds. We had a pair of Solar (division of International Harvester) gas turbines to back up the diesel. This was a CBS O&O (Owned and Operated) station in a major market (Los Angeles) and they were serious about staying on the air... and had the money to back it up.

The transmitter building was built in the early 1950's when the cold war was in full swing and it was hardened to resist the likely over-pressure of a nuclear detonation centered on Los Angeles. It had heavy metal shutters that could be dropped electrically to cover all the windows and filtered air for the whole building. I guess they wanted to be able to transmit coverage of the attack.... but we didn't have any cameras on site when I was there. Of course, by the time I went to work for them in 1981, the shutters had been disabled and the building integrity was not what it once was... and now, CBS doesn't even own it any more.

But... there isn't as much money in over-the-air broadcasting as there was then, so... I gues the situation is what it is.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2019 10:23 am 
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wazz wrote:
The major station in Dayton Ohio, WHIO 7, has been off the air since the 5th.

Here ya go, wazz old boy. Get you a ROKU streaming stick, and you'll be able to watch it online; scroll down to the last line.
https://channelstore.roku.com/search/whio

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2019 1:23 pm 
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Yea watch it on the computer in here. Or maybe the ipad. They supposedly are also off of satellite TV too. I would think this has to impact advertising revenue one way or the other? You can stream it on your device from their website onto some tiny screen. Eh, I can live with their radio outlet. That stays on the air 99.9%

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2019 3:35 pm 
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No backup tower? In March 2007, WSKY-4 here had a tower collapse, so they moved their transmitter site to WAVY's (CH10) tower while their tower was being repaired. I just happened to be in the WAVY studios the day after the collapse (for a PSA production) and got the story.

It might be competing corporations. Usually, the newsrooms and local production folks are cooperative with each other.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2019 4:18 pm 
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I was just about to ask Jim T's opinion on if there is as much revenue in broadcasting now as there was back in the "good ole days", but his last sentence answered that for me.

Sometimes I wonder if they don't find more value in the stream (or at least I wonder if they are heading in that direction) because with a stream they know who is watching and thereby have an accurate count to show advertisers. With over-the-air, they can only assume or speculate based on the neilson surveys.

I guess with the digital cable channels, they can see who's watching too.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2019 4:28 pm 
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Sometimes I wonder if they don't find more value in the stream (or at least I wonder if they are heading in that direction

I wonder if over the air broadcast will be going the way newspapers have gone.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2019 8:53 pm 
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wazz wrote:
Yea watch it on the computer in here. Or maybe the ipad. They supposedly are also off of satellite TV too. I would think this has to impact advertising revenue one way or the other? You can stream it on your device from their website onto some tiny screen. Eh, I can live with their radio outlet. That stays on the air 99.9%

You can transmit it with a Chromecaster or Steam device from the PC to your big screen. I do that all the time with TCM & You Tube flicks.

pauls.ironhorse wrote:
I wonder if over the air broadcast will be going the way newspapers have gone.

I doubt it. There is still plenty of rural America out there that either don't have access to CATV, or don't want to pay for it, nor satellite delivered fare.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2019 7:47 am 
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Hello Guys,
it's getting really bad nowdays about down time and I miss the old NTSC system there seemed to be less issues


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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2019 2:03 pm 
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At this time, I can receive all of the Dayton stations except WHIO 7.
I typically watch WDTN 2 for news as their weather reports show % chance of precipitation where 7 does not.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2019 2:34 pm 
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One of the scary things about the repack is that more and more channels are being shared on the same tower meaning if a tower goes down several, not just one or two, stations will go off the air. Yeah, the repack is causing havoc due to poor FCC planning. They way overestimated the availability of tower crews and way underestimated the time involved in tower erection. They also never took into consideration as to what was involved in the actual mfg of the towers and the very limited number of companies that actually make them. So delayed production followed by delayed installation has put the repack way behind schedule. The FCC claims otherwise but independent research has shown the FCC is fudgeing the numbers. A completion is supposed to be when the new tower and new transmitter are completed and functioning at full power and reaching all of it's target coverage on it's new frequency. The FCC has been found to be including channels who have simply moved from their old frequency to their new frequency as completed even though they are using temp facilities and operating on low power. All this adds up to some channels being off the air for long extended periods of time and many back on the air but low powered and not reaching large portions of their coverage area.

https://www.tvtechnology.com/repack/fcc-says-repack-progressing-nicely-others-disagree

Larry

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Sun 10, 2019 8:51 pm 
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Hello Larry,
yes I know I have friend who is a engineer who designs the towers also has to redesign them too.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 2:50 pm 
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Bumping up this old thread, after two weeks off the air I guess they got desperate. Channel 7 CBS programming is now being carried on one of the local PBS sub-channels as of this morning. 16.2. Format is wide but reduced size display.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern TV stations no backup?
PostPosted: Nov Tue 19, 2019 5:15 pm 
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I noticed that last night as I was getting ready to watch This Old House on 16.3.

I was surprised to see Wheel of Fortune on 16.2 :shock:

I heard on 1290 WHIO radio news this morning that their signal should be back on the air shortly as the work being done 1000 feet up on the tower is nearing completion.

-Steve

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