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Salisbury TV station dropping analog September 20


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#1 Baltimatt

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 08:47 AM

WMDT, Channel 47

WMDT-TV, the ABC affiliate serving the Delmarva Peninsula from Salisbury, will transition from traditional “analog” broadcasting technology to new digital technology on September 20, 2008. It will be among many stations around the United States switching early, before a required February 17, 2009 final deadline for conversion to digital and shut-off of analog stations. The switch from analog to digital, including digital high-definition television (HDTV) broadcasting capability, was mandated on a timetable initiated by the Congress and The Federal Communications Commission about 10 years ago. Presently, WMDT broadcasts both analog and digital signals.


I saw a billboard coming back from Ocean City yesterday and looked it up. It seems they have been broadcasting digital on channel 53 and will have to give that up, so they will go all digital on channel 47.
Dieser Weg wird kein leichter sein; dieser Weg wird steinig und schwer.
Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein, doch dieses Leben bietet so viel mehr. --Xavier Naidoo

#2 com6063

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 03:43 PM

How was your vacation, Matt?
"Pray, hope, and don't worry." — St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

#3 Baltimatt

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 04:59 PM

I had a nice time. Weather was great.
Dieser Weg wird kein leichter sein; dieser Weg wird steinig und schwer.
Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein, doch dieses Leben bietet so viel mehr. --Xavier Naidoo

#4 catmandew

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 12:03 PM

:eek: It never occurred to me a station could go dark early if they wanted to.
I imagine most wouldn't, unless they had a compelling reason.
Better get my butt in gear and get my converters! :P

#5 Ravenboy2003

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 08:59 PM

:eek: It never occurred to me a station could go dark early if they wanted to.
I imagine most wouldn't, unless they had a compelling reason.
Better get my butt in gear and get my converters! :P


It is strange that they would go dark early.. I am working in this field (DTV switchover) in another state... and the advertisers are ruling the roost. Nobody is moving until they HAVE to move.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]


Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya, Rich...

#6 Baltimatt

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 09:13 PM

Ravenboy--

The article notes they have to give up channel 53, which is the channel they've been using for digital. Will most stations stay on their analog channels or more to the digital channel with a virtual channel indicating their prior channel? I'm not sure how it works.
Dieser Weg wird kein leichter sein; dieser Weg wird steinig und schwer.
Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein, doch dieses Leben bietet so viel mehr. --Xavier Naidoo

#7 catmandew

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Posted 24 August 2008 - 09:35 PM

The article notes they have to give up channel 53, which is the channel they've been using for digital.



Sounds like a pretty good reason to me. Hard to broadcast both on one channel.

Will most stations stay on their analog channels or more to the digital channel with a virtual channel indicating their prior channel? I'm not sure how it works.


From what I've seen , most stations (VHF at least) are up and running digital on their new frequencies, which they will stay on, and quit broadcasting on their old frequency. Then those VHF frequencies are going to be used for emergency services like police and fire, and also commercial services like cell phones. The first reason was one of the main reasons given for the change, but I have a feeling that the bandwidth they're selling commercially was more likely a better reason as far as the feds were concerned.

#8 Ravenboy2003

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:19 AM

Ravenboy--

The article notes they have to give up channel 53, which is the channel they've been using for digital. Will most stations stay on their analog channels or more to the digital channel with a virtual channel indicating their prior channel? I'm not sure how it works.


Stations will continue to "own" their analog channel assignments after Feb. 2009. But remember, DTV is all about Virtual channels and converting to actual digital channel number "behind the scenes". The actual TV channel number displayed on the cable box or converter is no longer a big deal to the end user. In some cases, yes the analog channel assignment will be the same as the new DTV assignment. For instance, you'll still tune to Channel 13 to see Eyewitness News! It will just be fully digital with no analog broadcast on the air after 2/2009

Several stations have Special Temporary Authority that let them broadcast their digital signals between Channels 52 through 69 up until the Feb 2009 mandate. At that point, 52-69 must be completely cleared and all UHF DTV must be broadcast on 14-51. So my guess is that Salisbury was operating under an STA and they are moving off 53 early since they would have to vacate it anyway.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]


Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya, Rich...

#9 Ravenboy2003

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Posted 25 August 2008 - 10:35 AM

Sounds like a pretty good reason to me. Hard to broadcast both on one channel.



From what I've seen , most stations (VHF at least) are up and running digital on their new frequencies, which they will stay on, and quit broadcasting on their old frequency. Then those VHF frequencies are going to be used for emergency services like police and fire, and also commercial services like cell phones. The first reason was one of the main reasons given for the change, but I have a feeling that the bandwidth they're selling commercially was more likely a better reason as far as the feds were concerned.


Sure, money is a big piece of this.. But just take a look at the 800 MHz cellular vs Public Safety fiasco for a minute. Otherwise referred to as "Sprint/Nextel REBANDING" in my current line of work.

Nextel gobbled up every available 800 Mhz frequency that they could get their hands on back in the early days of iDen technology. And over the years Nextel frequently caused interference to their Public Safety neighbors on adjacent channels. So the government basically ordered Sprint-Nextel to FIX the problem. In exchange for paying for this nation-wide mess, and I do mean MESS, Sprint got a nice chunk of 1.9 GHz spectrum all to themselves.

What I'm getting at is this.. The government does not want a repeat of 800 MHz Rebanding. EVER. It is already way behind schedule, with multiple cases hung up in mediation and other litigation.

With the advent of DTV, and the oppurtunity to fit 5 channels in the same spectrum where 1 channel used to fit, this basically opened the door to free up a huge chunk of 700MHz spectrum to set aside first and foremost for Public Safety.

Understand that the DTV mandate was not necessarily because of 800 MHz reband. The two processes have actually been running concurrently for several years. It's just that the DTV mandate ensures that the 800 MHz fiasco won't happen again, in my opinion anyway.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]


Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya, Rich...

#10 Baltimatt

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Posted 08 September 2008 - 11:17 AM

Wilmington, NC made the switch today

Wilmington's commercial broadcasters turn off their old-fashioned, inefficient analog signals at noon today, risking outrage from viewers not equipped to receive a digital signal on their aging televisions. Wilmington has volunteered to be a canary in a digital coal mine — a test market for the national conversion to digital broadcasting. The rest of the nation's full-power television stations won't be converting until Feb. 17, 2009, a date set by Congress.

...

All four of the city's network affiliates as well as the Trinity Broadcasting Network will go digital only. The local public television station will broadcast both a digital and analog signal.


Dieser Weg wird kein leichter sein; dieser Weg wird steinig und schwer.
Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein, doch dieses Leben bietet so viel mehr. --Xavier Naidoo

#11 BS21213

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 04:07 PM

I think digital tv is a bust. Yeah the pic is better but I get 20, 26, 50 analog. Does my tv get the digital channel 20 26, 50? Nope. What is that about? The analog signal must be a lot stronger.

Are they going to pump up the digital signals after Feb 2009.

I think someone is doing well from this but not necessarily the consumers. Same old same old.

#12 Baltimatt

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 04:38 PM

BS--

Digital TV is an all-or-nothing proposition. Either you get a good signal or nothing at all. The Washington stations are probably too far to get a good signal unless you have a good antenna.

Also, as far as I know, most stations will be broadcasting on a different channel (but still show the old channel), and I think that means the Baltimore VHF stations will be moving to the UHF band, which generally has less coverage. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Dieser Weg wird kein leichter sein; dieser Weg wird steinig und schwer.
Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein, doch dieses Leben bietet so viel mehr. --Xavier Naidoo

#13 Ravenboy2003

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:15 PM

I think digital tv is a bust. Yeah the pic is better but I get 20, 26, 50 analog. Does my tv get the digital channel 20 26, 50? Nope. What is that about? The analog signal must be a lot stronger.

Are they going to pump up the digital signals after Feb 2009.

I think someone is doing well from this but not necessarily the consumers. Same old same old.


Not sure what you mean by this. Are you saying you still have an old analog TV and a DTV converter box?

The DC channel 20 analog is broadcast on digital 35

26 analog is on 27 digital

50 analog is on 51 digital

26 is probably not simulcasting full time so it wouldn't suprise me if you don't see anything on digital 27 all the time.

There will be some power boosting done in Feb. 2009. Not every channel needs it. It's a complicated process.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]


Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya, Rich...

#14 Ravenboy2003

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:27 PM

BS--

Digital TV is an all-or-nothing proposition. Either you get a good signal or nothing at all. The Washington stations are probably too far to get a good signal unless you have a good antenna.

Also, as far as I know, most stations will be broadcasting on a different channel (but still show the old channel), and I think that means the Baltimore VHF stations will be moving to the UHF band, which generally has less coverage. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.



The networks that own the old analog channels that fell in between 7-13 (VHF) will, for the most part keep those assignments. That is actually still prime real estate (spectrum) for major networks.

For instance:

Ch 7 WJLA - will move back to VHF 7 in 2009
Ch 9 WUSA - moves back to 9
Ch 11 WBAL - moves back to 11
CH 13 WJZ - moves back to 13

Why, because it's cheaper to operate at VHF between 7-13 and it (DTV) works well in that frequency range.

Channels 2-6 VHF and DTV don't get along well from an interference perspective, so must of those "low band vhf" broacasters will opt to stay at a higher UHF channel for their digital broadcasts.

There are only about 35-40 broadcasters NATIONWIDE that will actually go digital on channel 2-6 come Feb 2009. Otherwise those frequencies will go dark.

Hope this helps.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]


Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya, Rich...

#15 Baltimatt

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Posted 13 September 2008 - 06:11 PM

Ravenboy--

Thanks for your info.

Here's a listing of analog, interim digital, and final digital TV assignments, by market (Baltimore is #24).
Dieser Weg wird kein leichter sein; dieser Weg wird steinig und schwer.
Nicht mit vielen wirst du dir einig sein, doch dieses Leben bietet so viel mehr. --Xavier Naidoo