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Hello? WXXI - can you please respond to these questions?

WXXI is really the only station I care about, and I have not received their digital signal since the dtv transition hit. It was fine before. It seems I'm far from alone. Would somone from WXXI please make reply here, or make some kind of public announcement ... on the radio, thank you... about what's happening?

Thank you!

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Kent Hatfield has made a recent blog post.

Andrew Wheeland's picture
Although it's not on the radio, there has been a message posted here to our site from WXXI's VP of Technology and Operations, Kent Hatfield. Here is a link. You can respond directly to his post if you have further questions... http://interactive.wxxi.org/blogpost/friday-analog-shutdown-...

Why no Answers

Has anyone found a solution to the lost signal in Webster since June 12? I've tried everything including expensive antennas, etc.

Thanks for the note, Ken

Andrew Wheeland's picture

I will bring your newest batch of comments to the attention of our Engineering department. Hopefully some additional information will be forthcoming.

Thanks

Andrew - thanks. Please feel free to have them email me if they need more info. I've been pretty methodic in my testing as far as antennas, proper direction to point things at the WXXI transmitter, etc. It is very strange since all other stations' UHF signals from Cobbs Hill are coming in at 100% signal strength, and WXXI is a solid 0 even with a large antenna and amplification.

Methodical testing

Have you tried different tuners? The Apex brand of DTV converter box separately shows 50% signal strength (about what I remember before the 6/12 change) but 0% signal quality. My bet is that WXXI is sending out plenty of RF but it doesn't look like a DTV stream in Webster and points ENE. Many weeks ago a WXXI staffer posted on this board a message about WXXI engineering teams going out into the area in four quadrants (NE, NW, SE, SW) and making measurements. I wonder what they found.

Testing Info

..I tried two different brands of converter (Channel Master, one other), a Sharp HDTV, and a Hauppauge Digital TV Tuner card. All of them have one indicator, just signal strenth. All show 0%.

I have tried a standard roof mount UHF/VHF antenna, as well as a DB4 DTV UHF antenna, as well as a couple of brands of line amps.

I am going to experiment with the DB4 some more. The Hauppauge card shows a real time signal strenth reading, so I can try different angles and watch results.

I'm guessing the problem is something other than typical signal issues. Some kind of interference or cancelling, etc. Just doesn't make sense that all other stations on Cobbs hill are pegged at 100% and WXXI is 0%.

Interference

I have a DB4 antenna in my attic crawl space and it seems to do well overall.

My bet is a type of interference but I'm far from an expert. I keep coming back to a station in Watertown that transmits on the same channel (another PBS station, as it happens, but that's irrelevant). I believe Webster is right on the line between WXXI's transmitter and the Watertown station's. If all of WXXI's systems are working then this seems like a good suspect. If enough packets of data get mixed up then I bet the software in the TVs and boxes just give up decoding and say 'no signal'. Of course I may be way way off with this call. I guess I'm hoping to provoke a real answer from someone.

Do you think a taller tower will help (WXXI's plan according to another post on this site)? I'm skeptical that it will do much if anything against a competing signal Maybe if one has a directional antenna but then good luck getting any channel not along the line to the transmitter. Reception will still be really fickle and borderline not worth the hassle.