No Signal!

(12/11/08) - This post is especially for those of you frustrated with the transition to digital and WBKO's signal outtages...

For those of you who've read my last few posts dealing with the transition to digital television hopefully heard the warning of impending confusion in each paragraph.  On a given day we receive hundreds of phone calls and e-mails with questions about the DTV conversion.  Yet the greatest number of inquiries come from viewers who say they've hooked up their converter boxes correctly and still get "no signal".  What's up with that?  Wasn't the change to digital supposed to make watching TV an even better experience?

We hear you.

When we shut down our analog signal Sunday night for the last time, we said goodbye to the way our signal had been sent from us to your home for almost 50 years.  Granted, the timing of this transition is not the best with Christmas only a few days away in the middle of a recession...but the schedule of events that are taking place right now were set into motion long ago.  The FCC sat the mandate for every TV station in the country to make this change on or before February 17th, 2009.  In order for us to make the change to digital, we had to schedule our transition when the manufacturers and installers of our new antenna and transmitter could come to Bowling Green and do the work.  Keep in mind there are well over 1700 TV stations and only a handful of antenna crews and transmitter installers.  We had to take them when we could get them.

Our signal will be better once we fully install our new antenna and digital transmitter.  If all goes as planned, we should be on line by December 22nd.  Until then, there will be interruptions and lots of "no signal" messages on your TV screens.  As I have explained before, we are now digital but broadcasting on a temporary signal (which is actually located at digital channel 33) and the signal contour doesn't quite cover the same general area that our analog signal did.  That's why many of you with converter boxes have told us you either get a pixelated picture or no picture at all.

During this time of antenna and transmitter installation, we're also shutting down our signal from dawn until dusk each day.  This means regardless of your converter box or antenna setup, there will be no signal at all while crews are working at the tower site.  However, we will return to broadcasting at 5pm each evening to bring you the local news and weather and the rest of our primetime programming at night.  We will also hold off on shutting down our signal each day until "AM Kentucky" is complete so you can get your morning dose of news and weather before you head off to work or school.

All that I described to you so far affects those who have hooked up a DTV converter box.  If you are watching us through one of our partner cable systems such as Insight, SCRTC, Brandenburg Co-op, North Central, Glasgow EPB and Duo-County Cable WBKO's programming will continue without interruption throughout the day and night no matter what work is being done at the tower site.

Once we have the new antenna and transmitter on line there's one more thing each of you watching us will have to do to every TV that has a converter box hooked to it...RESCAN!

Rescanning will allow your converter box to then "see" the new digital channel 13 signal at channel 13 instead of it's present (but temporary) location at channel 33.  And because we are installing the very latest, technologically-advanced digital transmitter and antenna, those of you who've had reception problems should see a very clean digital picture!  Not only that, but our coverage area should mimick or even surpass the coverage area we had with our old analog signal.

That's why we're advising everyone that asks "what should I a new antenna?" we say 'no'.  Your rabbit ears or antenna configuration you're now using should work just fine once all the work is completed.  Just be patient.  We realize it's difficult to do without a portion of our daily programming but it will all be back soon with an even better picture, quality sound and great reception.  If I were you, I wouldn't invest in a higher priced antenna or TV set just yet.  Once all the new equipment goes on line we'll then deal with any reception problems there may be.

For those who wonder about signal patterns and which antenna may work best for your location I found a great website that takes all this into consideration.  It's called

The incredible thing about this website is that it allows you to input your home address and it will display a map indicating all the digital TV signals you should be able to view.  It also helps with the kind of antenna you should purchase and which way you need to point your antenna for best reception for the stations you wish to receive.

In this example, I submitted the location of the WBKO studios on Russellville Road in Bowling Green.  When the actual map comes up, you're able to click on it (just not this one displayed) and move it around to best suit your needs or to better show the actual location of your home.  You may want to double-check the map that displays because it doesn't always pinpoint your home address right off.  Feel free to move the map around until you're sure it is centered where you live.

In this example, any TV hooked up to a converter box at our station should be able to receive good reception from digital channels from four areas depending on the direction the antenna is pointed.

If my antenna is pointed in the direction of "A" or northeast of my location, the webpage from tells me I should receive digital channels 13.1, 13.2, 13.3 and 24.1.

If I turn my antenna more toward the east ("B" in the example), I should be able to receive digital channel 40.1.  If I want to see more of the Nashville stations, I would then need to move my antenna more toward example "C" which points more southwest.

When you go to this website and input your own information, a map like the one above and a list of available signals to your house will appear.  This will give you a better idea of the kind of antenna you may need and which way to point it to get the best reception. recommendation is to wait until after December 22nd before purchasing new antennas for your residence.  Our new transmitter and antenna at our tower site should improve everyones reception of WBKO.

So, give this a try.  I think you'll find this website a real benefit to enhance your digital TV viewing experience.

Remember, should you continue to have questions about DTV and WBKO's transition to digital, please do not hesitate to either call us at 270-781-1313 (Monday through Friday 8am - 5pm) or send us an e-mail to

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Vicki Location: Bowling Green on Jul 14, 2009 at 11:43 PM
    Prior to digital tv, when the electricity went out due to storms, I was able to pick up WBKO on my portable Casio tv. Now thanks to this digital crap, we are totally left in the dark, no way to keep up with the weather. Also purchased your weather radio, haven't had it 4 months and it doesn't work properly.
  • by sheldon Location: sacramento on Jun 15, 2009 at 06:02 PM
    I'm watching tv on EyeTv Lite. It has digital converter but as of recently won't pick up fox 40 and a few other channels. Any body have any thoughts on that?
  • by jane Location: philadelphia on Jun 13, 2009 at 09:44 AM
    everytime we turn tv on we have to rescan. takes so long.
  • by KG4KBU Location: London on May 8, 2009 at 02:04 AM
    u all be sure and get a VHF antenna has alot of VHF antennas to chose from or one that says VHF/UHF
  • by Dolores Location: 100 Reidda Dr. Kingsville, Tx on May 5, 2009 at 07:54 AM
    Which is the best antenna to buy when using rca coverter box and need list of channel that will be availbable
  • by Murphy Location: Tompkinsville, Ky. on Apr 27, 2009 at 12:09 PM
    I have done everything that I know including getting a tv repair man and still get NO SIGNAL most of the time. Others in my neighbor hood get it fine. Occasionally it comes in fine but most of the time it freezes or breaks up and can never watch the WBKO news. Please HELP
  • by Regina Slaughter Location: Sweeden, KY on Apr 8, 2009 at 02:53 PM
    Why is channel 13-1 through 13-3 cutting in and out. It gets all wavy and the sound jerks on and off. It is not going to no signal but the signal is not real good or it wouldn't be doing this. I am having no trouble with 40-1 through 40-2 or 24-1 through 24-4. This is happening a lot lately. It was only when the weather was bad, but lately it happens even when the weather is not bad. I don't understand why we are having this problem. I would appreciate it if you could explain the problem to me. We have an outside antenna. If it were all channels I could understand it better, but it is only wbko 13-1, 13-2, and 13-3. Your help and information would be greatly appreciated. Regina Slaughter
  • by Henry Location: Casa Grande, Az on Mar 31, 2009 at 11:17 AM
    I have hooked up my converter box but every time I scan it says no signal. What can I do ?
  • by ricky Location: woodburn on Mar 26, 2009 at 04:15 AM
    digital was supposed to be better but anytime the weather is raining or foggy then i get no signal. bad weather is when i watch wbko news more and i cant.go back to analog where we can watch when its most needed
  • by Tracy Location: 1641 Shadyland Church Road on Mar 18, 2009 at 06:13 AM
    We have a Digital TV and in the evening the signal cuts in and out all the time. When watching TV it never fails just when your interested in it the signal goes out. This is very frustrating. Digital TV service is the dumbest thing TV has ever done. It was fine the way it was!!! Now you can't watch anything or at least all of it. I hate it!!
WBKO 2727 Russellville Road Bowling Green, KY 42101-3976 Phone: 270-781-1313 After Hours Hotline: 270-781-6397 Fax: 270-781-1814
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