Digital Delays and Answers To Your DTV Questions

(12/21/08) - Bad weather has put a huge delay in completing work on our new digital signal...

We were really hoping to give you all a great Christmas present this year.  It was to have our new digital signal up and running by the 22nd.

Instead...blame the weatherman.  (Hey wait...that's me!)

While we have our new full-power digital channel 13 transmitter installed at our tower site we are running terribly behind with the installation of our new antenna.  The combination of high winds, rain, ice and snow have given our tower crews fits this week in trying to complete installation by Monday, December 22nd as we had hoped.

And now we're on a two-week hold because of the holidays.

So, the patience we had ask you for earlier needs to be extended somewhat.  It appears that if we don't suffer any further delays, work might be completed around January 15th.  I realize that is a few weeks off our original target but we have no choice.

We understand the interruptions in our signal have been frustrating to you all.  However, those few hours during the day when we had to shut down allowed our tower crews to get some preliminary work done which should help the actual installation process go a little faster once they return from holiday break.

Ultimately all the delays and frustration will be worth it once we get our fully powered digital transmitter and antenna fired up providing you much better reception than what you've experienced so far.

In the meantime, you all have been so kind to send us your comments, questions and concerns about the DTV transition that have been posted under my last couple of blog posts.  If you'll notice, we've posted both positive and negative comments.  The only one's not posted used language that was a bit too colorful for public consumption...but we hear and understand your confusion and frustration.  I want to take this opportunity to answer some of those questions and comments here.

Posted by: Marcy in Clarkson
what a joke on us you can put the tv on the internet so we can watch it ?? you are not being every nice to all of us viewers?so just put it on your web page like ABC does and until you fix what you broke and yes you broke it then let us watch it on here ok ok ok ok

Marcy you actually have a great idea which we have discussed in some of our operation meetings.  When we can, we will activiate our live streaming service to our website so that you can watch our newscasts when we know they could be interrupted but this will have to be done on a case-by-case basis.  While we cannot broadcast everything we program on the internet because of contract and copyright issues, we will strive to make a better effort to stream our local programming on the web when situations allow it.  Right now, many of ABC network programs such as "Grey's Anatomy", "Lost" and many others are already available on our website for you to watch at your leisure.  All you have to do is click the ABC link on our home page that says "Watch ABC Shows On Line Now" located in the middle column just above the news headlines.

And for the record Marcy, we didn't "break" anything...the FCC is requiring us and all other TV stations in the country to make this switch to digital before February 17th.  To make the switch we had to dismantle our old equipment to make room for the new which is why you are seeing signal interruptions. 

 


 

Posted by: Adam in Pembroke
Here's hoping I can pick y'all up once you get the transmitter turned on. We have Dish and don't get any stations out of KY on our local package. The digital converter allows us to get KET and hopefully WBKO once you get it up and poppin'!

Yes Adam...once our new digital antenna and transmitter are fully installed, you should have no problem receiving our signal.  As far as Dish and DirecTV is concerned...keep bugging them about putting WBKO on their local tier.

 


 

Posted by: Linda at Nolin Lake
This certainly explains why I have had so many frustrations. I have the converter box all hooked up and ready to scan for channel 33 at 5:00 PM. Hope it works. We miss you and Gene and the gang. will let you know if I get the signal.

And the signal interruptions will continue for all who have a converter box until all the work is completed.  But as Linda notes here, most days we should be back on by 5pm so you can watch the news and our evening programming.  On the days when we're not back on by 5pm, keep checking back.

 


 

Posted by: Barbara in Breeding
Per AntennaWeb, my area is scheduled to receive only a PBS station #22 from Cookeville, Tn and supposedly that's the only analog station too. It comes in like you're watching a snow storm! We get analog TV 13,40,29-PBS ket-1,34-CW L'ville 9. So far only one I can get on converter is 34/9. KET is transmitting both digital & analog but for some reason I can only get them on analog. I assume I'll be able to get 13.1 on 12/22?? I'm not picking them up on temp 33? This is all frustrating! And don't believe all AntennaWeb tells you!.

The difference between a digital and an analog signal is that with digital, you either get it or not at all.  Remember with analog you'd sometimes get a "snowy" picture if the signal was weak.  With digital, you either get a good signal or one that goes in and out and is often "pixelated" or in blocks.  After we fully install our new transmitter and antenna, you should no longer have signal problems with WBKO.

AntennaWeb is certainly not the only website that offers antenna information for you and doesn't necessarily have all the answers for every single location.  My best advice to all of you is to be patient a little longer until we get everything up and running at full blast before moving your antenna all over the place or buying additional antenna equipment.

 


 

Posted by: Anita in Bowling Green
In my office I kept my radio, which has a TV band on it, on WBKO. I was able to listen to you while I worked. Now since the switch to digital, I'm unable to listen to you. Is this a permanent thing or will I have to get a different radio?

Anita is like many others we have heard from.  Those of you who have "TV Band" on your radio or combination TV/AM/FM/Weatherband units will no longer be able to pick up our audio signal there.  When WBKO was broadcasting with the old analog signal, it was essentially broadcasting on an FM signal which manufacturers could easily put in a multi-band radio.  I have one of these in my bathroom that I used to not only listen to us but also to switch over to AM or FM whenever I wanted to.  Now, I can't use it to listen to WBKO since the switch to digital.  Electronics manufacturers have been slow to build new units that pick up digital TV audio signals...so until they do, you won't be able to listen to WBKO's signal on your multi-band radio.

 


 

Posted by: Mary in Edmonson County
I think you need guard your remote with your life,because if anything happens to it you can,t watch tv my puppy got hold of mine and chewed the end of it ,now we can,t turn on the converter box .we aregoing to get another remote ,which is going to take from 8 to 10 days.

Ouch!  Yes, remotes become an even more precious commodity with the change to digital...as if you didn't already have enough remotes to deal with!  The great thing is if you had to buy more than one converter box for the TV's in your house and you bought the same brand converter you can use one remote for all the boxes you have (maybe hide one away where the dogs and kids can't get hold of it!).


Posted by: Tina in Leitchfield
We got 2 coupons for the converter boxes when they were first made available. We didn't have the money to get them at the time,so we put them up wihtout really looking at them. When my husband finally got a job, we got them down and found out they expired in July and it was now August. We can't use them, we can't get another one,and we can,t afford to pay full price for them. I can't find a phone number to tell my anyone my problem ,We really enjoy WBKO and it's our only local news.I did'nt know where to turn so I thought maybe I could just let the station know. We still have the coupons if they would just re-activate the ones we have. Thank you so much for listening to my complaint.

Tina, I am so sorry you're having to deal with all this on top of the added confusion this switch is making for everyone.  Unfortunately the FCC puts a 90-day "use it or lose it" time stamp on each of the coupons because essentially they are credit cards.  I wish the Federal Government had not put a deadline on the use of the cards but that was their call...not ours.  We do not have the coupons in our possession nor can we do anything to re-activate them.  Maybe if enough people who missed the deadline called the FCC and petitioned them to reconsider...they might??  Anything is worth a shot.


Posted by: Irritated Viewer in Logan county
I think it's wrong that you went digital so SOON. Initially it was to be February. An unhappy viewer!

Dear "Irritated"...once again, every station has up until February 17th, 2009 to make the switch to digital.  In other words, the FCC required that it had to be done on or before February 17th, 2009 when each station could schedule the necessary work to be done at their individual facilities.  This was the time the tower crews and transmitter installers could do it for us.  By the way, get ready to lose the analog signals of all the other stations you're watching who are about to make the switch just like we did.  All we ask is that you be patient.  While you're frustrated about the change we're equally frustrated we can't get it all switched and back to perfect and back on the air as quick as we'd like.  Your unhappiness tells us you really love us or you wouldn't care!  


Posted by: Penny in Clarkson 
I have my converter box hooked up and i still can:t get ch. 13,ch.13 is how everybody keeps up with the weather around Clarkson,plus school closing.i don:t think it is right that the Clarkson area can:t get it no more, now what is people in Clarkson suppose to do cause everyone really depended on ch. 13 for news and weather and Polar Reports cause of their kids, i am very disappointed in it.

Penny and others in Clarkson or anywhere else in Grayson County...we love you guys!!  As I have explained so far, there will be interruptions in our signal until we get everything back in place and that may take up until January 15th barring any further issues with bad weather or installation snafus.  We are mighty grateful that you depend on our Polar Report for school closings and for trusting us for your weather reports.  But as my Pappy told me, there's more than one way to skin a cat!  The Polar Report is always available here on our website and is INSTANTLY updated the moment schools decide to close or delay.  And now, we even have the Polar Report available for those with mobile devices such as web-enabled cell phones, iPhones and BlackBerrys.  All you have to do is go to WBKOtogo.com.  There you can sign up to get a text alert anytime Grayson County schools are closed or running late.  Or, you can put the WBKOtogo.com website on your phone which loads faster than our regular website and you can see the Polar Report and all of our weather products there just like you see them on TV.


Posted by: Lisa in Brownsville
Why is the viewing screen so small?

Lisa, this depends on the type of TV you have.  If you are watching us on an HDTV, it has a screen that is in 16x9 resolution.  The old analog TV showed a picture in a 4:3 ratio.  If ABC broadcasts a show in HD, it will fill your HDTV screen.  However, most of our programming, such as the local news has not been converted to fit the 16x9 HD screen.  We are hoping that in the near future we will convert all of our programming...including the news...to 16x9 which would fill your screen.  In the meantime, you might try taking your converter box remote, go into the "Setup" menu and there should be a setting that allows you to fill your TV screen with the picture.  Give that a try.


Posted by: Viv in Alvaton
This appears to be helpful! We pick up several channels but do end up with no signal right in the middle of the good part of a show. (LOL) So, I'm guessing just wait on running out and buying a new antenna,just wait and give ya'll and the other stations time to get the ducks in order and see what happens. Thanks for the web site!

Viv...God bless you!  Thank you for understanding and for your patience with this change.  We're telling everyone don't waste your money on more antennas or high-priced boosters.  It won't be necessary once we get all the new equipment hooked up.


Posted by: Fazzell in Leitchfield
The thing i don't like is when a cloud comes up you lose it like satellite.i think that bad if it's storming outside.It has been said it will be stronger when the new attenna get's up right? Ths second thing I don't like is if your watching stations north and if you want to watch south you need to turn antenna then rescan.Maybe this will be better once all stations have changed over right?

It will be better, Fazzell.  Because our signal is rather weak and we're broadcasting at UHF digital channel 33 on an old antenna, our present signal may not be consistent during this time.  Once we have our new antenna and our full-powered VHF digital channel 13 transmitter installed, you should get us crystal clear without problem.


Posted by: Jeremie in Chalybeate
I find www.tvfool.com to be very helpful with knowing where to point your antenna.

Thanks Jeremie for another great suggestion!  TVFool.com is another great site like AntennaWeb.org for help with pointing your antenna for the best reception.

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