TV viewers in Hilly areas sacrificed

Mark Casey
Mon Nov 9 09:49:41 EST 2009

The end of fringe tv reception in mountainous or even, just hilly areas, is 
one of the bad results of digital tv. Many less VHF channels bending over 
the hills to supply rural areas with multiple signals. Although, in the flat 
areas of the country, my experience is that the digital signals are in some 
cases, almost as good, and in other cases, even better than their old 
analog, given the actual frequencies used.
One thing that hasn't worked out, especiually given the Channel 7/42 
example, is the original power limits on VHF. 15kw is just not enough on 
VHF-hiband to equal analog at 316kw or digital UHF with 1000kw. VHF hiband 
digital stations need at least 20% (63.2kw) , and maybe a lot more in an 
area with mountainouis terrain, to equal their old analog 316kw. I'll bet 
that if channel 7 was allowed to go up to 50% of their old analog power, 
with digital on RF Ch 7, all of their signal problems would dissapear, and 
they might even replicate their original footprint in the mountainous areas 
of central & western MA, NH, etc.
Of course, then  the redesigned station spacing might be compromised in some 

Probably, the best case for the present situation is for the digitals that 
are on VHF to be given increases to as high a power as possible without 
interference to other stations. Directional antennas may help in some cases. 
The highest I've seen on VHF hiband is around 63 kw. That will help, but 
there are still going to be many places in the hilly areas all around the 
country that will continue to have lost most of their off the air stations. 
Channel 7 has moved and is, or has made the move to 42 permanent. Would they 
be willing to go back to 7 if given more power? And, will TV stations want 
to invest any more money in their off the air signal. I don't have a good 
feeling for that.

So, many of you folks in the far-flung mountainous areas have been 

Mark Casey

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Cohasset / Hippisley" <>
To: "List Mailing BostonRadio" 
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2009 10:40 PM
Subject: Re: Digital TV

> Here in the sticks (Adirondacks), last year I could get "passable" 
> pictures from five or six of the Syracuse stations, three Watertown  (NY), 
> two Utica, and one Kingston, Ontario (Channel 11).  Today, I can  pick up 
> one beautiful Watertown digital signal (the old analog Channel  7) and its 
> subchannel (Fox outlet, I think), and the still-analog  Kingston 11. 
> Everything else over-the-air is gone.  My situation is  not unusual in 
> this area for people outside the hamlets where Time  Warner at least has 
> Utica on their system (although I understand they  have removed Syracuse 
> from the basic level here).

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