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DTV Information

Television switched from an analog to a digital signal on June 12, 2009. That's when WRGB switched off channel 39 and onto channel 6.

Click here for tips on receiving digital television service with an indoor antenna.

If you have additional questions, you can call the FCC at 1-800-225-5322 or CBS 6 at 518-381-4932.

Frequently Asked Questions:


What is the reason for the digital transition?
Each station was been given a second channel to operate on digitally because the FCC has eliminated analog TV channels 52-69. The upper UHF channels will be used for public safety and auctioned to reduce the Federal deficit. Once analog is turned off stations could stay on the transition channel or switch back to their original channel assignment. WRGB returned to channel 6 on June 12, 2009 at midnight.

What are those second channels?

StationAffiliateAnalog ChannelDigital Channel
WRGBCBS66
WTENABC1026
WNYTNBC1312
WMHTPBS1734
WCDCABC1936
WXXAFOX237
WCWNCW4543
WNYAMyTV5113
WYPXION5550

What do I need to receive these stations off the air?
You need an HDTV with a built-in digital tuner, or a digital converter box connected to an analog TV, and an antenna.

What type of antenna is needed?
In the Albany area it is critical that you get a Lo-VHF/Hi-VHF/UHF combination antenna. The size of the antenna needed depends on where you live. You can get a rough idea of the antenna that you need by reading the advice and entering your address at www.antennaweb.org.

In some cases indoor antennas are adequate, but outdoor antennas are always better. Adjusting indoor antennas can be more frustrating for DTV reception than for analog. This is because the signal strength change due to an antenna adjustment takes a few seconds to display on the screen. In addition, some HDTV sets emit interference that bothers VHF stations more than UHF stations. This article explains how to minimize the problem by relocating your antenna.

I am tired of replacing my outdoor antenna when it breaks. What do I do?
Buy an antenna that is designed to survive our weather. Both Winegard and Channel Master build quality antennas.

What is the absolute best antenna to receive WRGB?
The Winegard HD7084P has more gain on channel 6 than most other all-channel antennas.

Will I need a rotor?
Probably not. Six of the Albany stations are located on a single tower that is in the Heldeberg Mountains, near Thatcher Park. That site is close to the analog transmitters for WRGB, WTEN, WMHT, and WXXA.

Is a preamp necessary?
The Albany stations have erected maximum power digital transmitters. A preamp is needed only for fringe reception, when a near-fringe antenna will be split to multiple TV sets, and/or when the lead-in is extremely long. If you live less than 5 miles from the transmitters, an amplified antenna can actually prevent you from receiving digital transmissions.

I'd like to get a $40 off coupon for a converter box. How do I do that?
Sorry, they are no longer available.

I bought a converter box, connected it to my antenna, and didn't get anything, why?
You probably live behind a mountain or in a valley where UHF signals are difficult to receive. That's why WRGB returned to channel 6.

How do I use my analog VCR?
Get two converter boxes, one for the TV and one for the VCR. Use these instructions: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/consumerfacts/converterbox_vcr.html

Can I connect a digital convert box to more than one TV set?
Yes, but the box can only tune one channel at a time. Both TVs would have to be viewing the same program.

I have cable TV connected to my analog TV sets. Must I buy digital cable?
With the exception of Time Warner in Kingston, the cable systems will convert our digital signal to analog for you until at least 2012.

I have satellite TV. Will I need Hi-Def receivers from my provider?
No. The satellite companies will continue to deliver standard definition programming until at least 2012

.

I have looked on the Internet and discovered that WRGB will be running lower power than the UHF stations. Why is that?
Channel 6 works so much better than other channels that we don't need as much power.

I have heard that Low Band is bad for DTV. Is that right?
Sometimes it is. Low band TV is more prone to electrical interference caused by electric mixers or similar products with motors that use brushes. The best way to avoid electrical interference is to mount your antenna on the roof, far away from any possible source of interference. Primarily in June, sporadic-E skip will cause distant channel 6 stations to interfere with WRGB. There are not many DTV stations on channel 6 and they will run less power than existing analog stations, so we expect the problem to be extremely small.

How do I find out if interference is caused by the power company?
Use your AM car radio to listen for loud buzzing. Tune to an unused frequency near the bottom of the dial such as 570 or 610. This is best done during the day when the distant stations cannot be heard. Drive up and down the street near your house. If you hear loud buzzing when you are close to a power pole, you have discovered power line interference.

What if the interference is caused by the power company?
The power company is required to repair lines when they interfere with TV or radio reception. You must call them directly. It may take several phone calls to get full attention. Here is a list of cases where the FCC responded after the local utility did not fix an electrical interference problem.

http://www.arrl.org/tis/info/HTML/plc/FCC_enforcement/FCC_Enforcement_Letters.html

If I wanted to drop cable how many digital stations can I get?
There are at least fifteen unique channels. Most digital stations have one or more "subchannels". There are twenty channels if you add MyNet and ION. Add several more if you count low-power stations.

6-1CBS
6-2this TV
10-1ABC
10-2Weather
10-3Retro TV
13-1NBC
13-2Weather
13-3radar
17-1PBS
17-2PBS Create
17-3PBS World
23-1FOX
23-2The Cool TV
45-1CW
45-2Universal Sports Network
45-3CBS6 in 14X9 downconverted SD
51-1MyNet
51-2Antenna TV
55-1ION
55-2Qubo
55-3Ion Life
55-4Worship

Is there any other nearby digital stations that can be received?
WKTV in Utica is on DTV channel 29. WVER in Rutland is on DTV channel 9. WRNN in Kingston is on DTV channel 48, WTBY in Poughkeepsie is on DTV channel 27.

How do I find a program schedule for the digital subchannels?
www.titantv.com

Please tell me about Low Power TV stations
WRGB has licenses to install digital LPTV stations on channel 24 in Kingston, NY and channel 19 in Pittsfield, MA. The antenna necessary to receive these stations will depend on your location.

You can see the coverage of Kingston NY here:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=80&q=call%3dWRGB%26type%3dD%26sitenum%3d2

The coverage of the Pittsfield, MA station is shown here:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=80&q=call%3dWRGB%26type%3dD%26sitenum%3d3

An indoor antenna is likely to work in orange and yellow tinted sections of the maps.

Appropriate indoor antennas include a Channel Master 4040 or Terk HDTVi available from multiple on-line retailers, or a UHF Bow tie available from Radio Shack.

Green areas would be better off with an attic antenna. An attic style antenna can be the Eagle Aspen DB-2 or Channel Master 4220. These will also work in some blue areas.

Blue and violet areas should use a rooftop antenna.

In most cases a roof mounted a four bay UHF is suggested. These could be a Winegard HD-4400, Antennacraft U-4000, Antennas Direct C-2, or Channel Master 4221HD.

The most distant or shadowed locations will need the largest antenna. Appropriate models include Channel Master 4228HD, Antennacraft U-8000, Winegard HD8800 or HD-9032, Antennas Direct C-4 or 91-XG.

I lost power during the ice storm and used my battery powered TV to keep informed. My battery powered TV is analog only. What should I do to be prepared for the analog shutdown?
Obviously, your battery powered analog TV won't receive WRGB after June 12, 2009. The easiest solution is to get a DTV tuner stick for your laptop computer. The tuner plugs into the USB port. You will also need an appropriate antenna. You may want to consider buying a car adapter for your laptop. There are several battery operated portable TVs available. In order to work properly they must be connected to an antenna. Digital antennas are harder to tweak than analog antennas, so it's best to have an antenna set up before a storm hits. An antenna mounted in the attic is ideal if you are located in a favorable location. Another option is to get a converter box that runs on batteries. Artec makes a converter box that runs on 12 volts. http://www.ezdigitaltv.com/Artec_T3A_Pro.html

You will need to buy or make a cigarette lighter adapter to plug it into your car. Winegard makes a battery adapter for their converter box. http://www.winegarddirect.com/viewitem.asp?p=WD-RC-BP9V

I lost my cable during the ice storm, but I still had power. How do I prepare for an ice storm after February?
If you have a Hi-Def TV with a digital tuner, you will need an antenna. The lead-in can be left behind the TV ready to be connected. Determine which antenna is appropriate for your location by using www.antennaweb.org.

If you have an analog only TV you will need a converter box to connect to an antenna. If your TV has separate video and audio inputs, it may be handy to connect the converter box to these jacks on your TV set.

Where can I learn more about the DTV transition?
www.dtvanswers.com

 
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