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Mary Robinson is all about real-world information on the switch to digital television signals. The success of the DTV switch will depend on regular folks understanding new technology and getting it running in their homes. Ms. Robinson is weighing in on those nitty-gritty details, sharing her enthusiasm for TV-signal technology with those who are less technically inclined. She’s developed an expertise through years of hands-on experimentation, pulling in signals from the rooftop of her Texas home. Now she’s a resource for consumers struggling with the digital switch. We discovered Mary right here on TVWeek.com, where she reliably dispensed information in the comments section of this story, First Digital TV Converter Box Wins Government Approval about the digital switch. Let’s keep the conversation rolling!

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Mapping Out Transition in East Texas

September 17, 2008 2:49 PM

Since I am still here in Tyler, Texas, awaiting word on when we can return home, I got curious about the full-power television stations here in deep East Texas. From what I could find out, there are four full-power stations that serve the cities of Tyler, Jacksonville, Nacogdoches and Longview.

All have built out their final DTV facilities except KLTV, channel 7, the CBS affiliate licensed to Tyler. KLTV is broadcasting on temporary channel 10 at this time, but plans to revert to channel 7 after the transition.

The construction of a new digital transmitter cabinet is set to begin Oct. 7, with installation in the transmitter building occurring during the week of Oct. 14 and testing to begin Oct. 22. KLTV will continue broadcasting the analog signal until the end of the transition period on Feb. 17.

KLTV has been granted a construction permit for an effective radiated power (ERP) of 10,200 watts (10.2KW), but has a maximization application pending before the FCC to go to an ERP of 66KW at a height of 313 meters above ground (MAG).

KYTX, the CBS affiliate on analog channel 19, is broadcasting the digital signal on channel 18 and will stay on channel 18 after the transition. It is broadcasting an ERP of 640KW from a height of 471 MAG.

KETK, the NBC affiliate on analog channel 56, is broadcasting the digital signal on channel 22 with an ERP of 1,000 KW from a height of 416.7 MAG.

And KFXK, the Fox affiliate on analog channel 51, is broadcasting on channel 31 and will remain there after the transition. KFXK is transmitting an ERP of 1,000 KW from a height of 338 MAG.

So, with the exception of KLTV, what you are getting now is what you will have to work with here in East Texas. I wish you good luck in setting up your systems to receive these stations.

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Comments (4)

EmmGee-Ohio:

Just a reminder to those who are trying to get channels on VHF (analog 2-13 and digital 4-13), you need to get a proper antenna that gets VHF waves.

For this particular problem, looks like "Channel Master's 8 bay should work before and after the switch, for KLTV. It's designed to get channels 7-69 either on analog (NTSC) or digital (ATSC, as with a new DTV or converter).

If the stations are not on a "tower farm," you will have to adjust your antenna.

If you have a converter and cannot get the digital of KLTV, get a box with "analog pass through" This means the antenna signals for analog WILL NOT get filtered out... and will go to your TV, to watch analog stations and low power TV channels.

For those who also don't know... MAG means "meters above ground." I know this, because I sometimes have to deal with the FAA on towers and tower lighting.

ERP means effective radiated power, or outgoing signal level.

We must remember that some readers are not in the industry or are not RF engineers.

mary... the cat lady:

Hi EmmGee-Ohio,
I tried to make it clear what the abbreviations meant in the column by stating "313 meters above ground (MAG)" or ""10,200 watts (10.2 KW) effective radiated power (ERP).
Also, there are some stations in the country that are on the VHF low band of channels 2 through 6, and the VHF high band of channels 7 through 13.
So, dependant upon the channels available in your area, you need to get an antena that is tuned to the channels in your area, and also for whatever stations may come on in the future.

jennifer:

hi, i live in the whitehouse/troup area..and i can only get nbc,cbs and klpn what ever that is..will i ever be able to receive channel 7 or any other stations ???? ( with the box)

mary... the cat lady:

Hi jennifer,
It depends.... A lot of it depends on what kind of antenna you are using.
I am suprised to see that you are getting KLPN with you living in the Whitehouse area. You are not even in the "footprint" for KLPN.
That being said, I am going to guess that you are already using an outside antenna. Am I correct?
If indeed that is the case, then you may need to add a rotor to your set up.
Also, it probably would be a good idea to add a Channel Master 7777 pre amp to the antenna. I would almost wager to guess that this would help bring in channel 7.
If my guess that you are using an outdoor antenna is not correct, then please post back, and let me know what kind of antenna you are using, and I will try to take it from there, OK?
By the way, my dad, who will soon turn 90, spent some time in Troup when he was a kid. We took a ride over there while we were staying in Tyler running from Ike, and we think we found his old house. It was just across the highway that runs through town, on a street that, if you kept going, would take onto the school property. I enjoyed the ride over there, and being in your neck of the woods.
Please post back if you need more help or info, OK?

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