WPVI Gets Power Boost From FCC
Special authority aimed at fixing DTV reception problems
By Glen Dickson -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/22/2009 5:44:13 PM
ABC-owned WPVI Philadelphia, which has experienced significant reception problems since launching digital TV (DTV) broadcasts on VHF Ch.6 on June 12, has received some immediate help from the FCC.
The FCC granted the station a special temporary authority (STA) to boost its transmission power on Ch. 6 from the relatively low 7.5 kilowatts (kW) to 30.6 kW, the maximum power for the northeastern “Zone 1” region of the U.S. The power boost is intended, in particular, to make WPVI’s VHF signal penetrate better into urban homes that have experienced difficulty in receiving the station on indoor antennas.
WPVI received the STA Friday, and slowly increased its power through the weekend. The station is encouraging viewers to give feedback on whether the power boost has solved their reception problems, and has already received some initial emails from viewers who have found an improvement, says program director Caroline Welch. She adds that the FCC and its local Philadelphia representative Dave Dombrowski have been very attentive to WPVI’s concerns over the effectiveness of its DTV signal.
“The FCC has been really helpful, to get this moving as quickly as possible,” says Welch.
WPVI had to help itself, too. It got FCC approval after it struck a deal with two nearby stations who had to agree with the power boost, according to an FCC spokesman. Those stations were WEDY New Haven, Conn., and WRGB Schenectady. Stations making such deals can agree to accept the increased interference from the power boost or increase their power to compensate, then the FCC must approve the solution.
The WPVI STA expires in six months, though it could also become permanent.
Also getting a temporary power boost was CBS-owned WJZ Baltimore, which is looking for some help until its new antenna arrives in a few weeks, according to the FCC. WJZ had already told the FCC it would not be ready to transmit at full power on June 12, but wound up asking for more power in the interim and striking a deal with one other station in the market, said the commission.
John Eggerton contributed to this report.
Why is the volume so low on my TV's only on channel 6? When I change channels, the sounds comes in blasting!!
George Wressig - 7/28/2009 3:14:01 PM EDT
WHY NOT MAKE CHANNEL 6 GO TO UHF !!!!...I'M IN SOUTH JERSEY 20 MILES FROM TOWER AND I GET A GOOD PIC BUT MY ANTENNA IS LARGE AND ON A 40 FOOT TOWER..
I'M SURE MY NEIGHBORS HAVE SOME PROBLEMS
ED DEAN - 7/7/2009 6:11:36 PM EDT
Amanda Holt - 6/25/2009 11:36:25 AM EDT
Power is not the issue. WPVI is nearly the strongest ATSC signal coming out of Philadelphia up my way (22 miles NNE), but it's fighting plenty of strong FM stations on the upper end of its carrier.
I've taken screen shots off my spectrum analyzer showing just how strong the signal is - about 60 dB C/N, adding in the 12.5 dB correction factor at 300 kHz RBW - which makes them twice as strong as WHYY-12, which shows up about 42 dB C/N off the same antenna.
Lowband V's should have been taken out of the equation entirely. If the extra power doesn't help (and I'm sure they'll love the higher electrical bills), WPVI should move to channel 5. The nearest stations on that channel are in southern Virginia and there shouldn't be any co-channel interference issues.
Pete Putman - 6/23/2009 11:26:24 AM EDT
Were there any tests done to see if FM traps would help the reception problems?
I'm concerned about the "Turn up the volume" fix...if we keep just adding power to every signal that someone has trouble receiving, we will soon destroy the ability of most devices to operate effectively.
I can already imagine refrigerator-sized banks of cavity filters sitting next to converter boxes, to correct for the "White Space" issues.
Ken English - 6/23/2009 9:55:15 AM EDT
No related content found.
No Top Articles