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Ready or Not, Analog Has Gone Away

By Tom McNicholl

If you're still trying to find WKTV over-the-air on analog channel 2, you're not going to find it.  On 2/17, our analog transmitter was shut down for good.  The only way to receive an over-the-air signal now is with a digital TV or a converter box.  Those watching us on Time Warner Cable TV did not see a change and can still receive us the same way they always have and do not have to do anything for the time being.

If your TV is newer and has a digital tuner, you will just have to scan for digital channels to find WKTV at 2.1 and our CW channel at 2.2.  If your TV is older and only has an analog tuner, you will need to replace it with a digital TV or buy a converter box to connect to the analog TV.  When purchasing TV's or converter boxes, do your homework.  There is a wealth of information on the web rating digital TV's and converter boxes.  Read user comments on store sites as well.  We have found that there are three converter boxes that outperform others in regards to reception.  Those are Zenith (all models), Insignia (all models) and Dish Network's DTV Pal.  The DTV Pal is more expensive but has many features not found on other boxes, including an auto background scan that will find channels as they come online so you don't have to rescan manually.  The worst performing boxes on the market are all models made by Magnavox.

When you get your box or new TV, connect it to your existing antenna and try it.  If you have a directional antenna, make sure it's pointed at our transmitter site in Middleville.  A compass bearing from your home to our transmitter can be found at these websites:

http://www.antennaweb.org

http://www.antennapoint.com

Do a channel scan on the box or TV.  If you can't receive us, you may have to update your antenna system.  Here are a few key things to check:

    • Is your antenna UHF capable?  All of the digital channels in Central NY are UHF
    • Rabbit-ear antennas do not perform well with digital.  There are many other options available for indoor or outdoor use.
    • Is your wiring up to date?  You will need a good 75 ohm coax between your antenna and receiver.  The old 300 ohm twin-lead cable will not perform well.
    • If you have amplifiers and splitters in-line, are they UHF capable?

Area electronics retailers and home stores sell a variety of antennas.   We suggest our good friend Joe at JK Satellite in Rome.  He can suggest a good antenna for where you live, as well as amplifiers that might help your reception.  Joe also sells the DTV Pal converter boxes and accepts the government rebate coupons.  His phone number is 315-339-1930.

We have found reception to be very good in all areas where our analog signal was previously received.  We have been broadcasting our digital signal at full power for 2-3/4 years now and have had plenty of opportunity to test in various locations.  With the proper antenna installation, you can receive our digital channel.  In all cases where we have had complaints about reception, we have tested with an RV antenna on our Live Truck connected to a Zenith converter box and have had a 75 to 100% signal level at heights under 20 feet above ground.

Once you start receiving our digital signal, you'll be happy to see how great it looks!  And with our over-the-air signal, you can receive NBC programming in HD.

If you have questions, email engineering@wktv.com or call 315-793-3477 x251.  You will have to leave a voicemail.  At the end of the long greeting, leave your name and phone number, and a convenient time for a callback.  We will call you back within 48 hours.

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