Central PA (Hbg-Lanc-York) Channel Sharing

Discussion in 'Over the Air TV By RabbitEars.Info' started by LarryFischel, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Saw a public notice the other night on WGCB that they will be moving from UHF 30 to VHF 10 (channel sharing with WITF, Harrisburg's ABC affiliate) beginning in October. Unfortunately, I did not catch the date.
    There have been no announcements that I could find to indicate if WGCB's sub channels will make the cut or not.

    Have also heard that WPMT (FOX affiliate) will share UHF 36 with WITF (local PBS).

    It could be good news for me as I am very close to both of these transmitter locations. However, have to wonder a bit about what reception will look like in the future for those that live in York county (where both WPMT & WGCB were licensed).
     
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  3. I am in Harford County MD. I could get WGCB without problems; the highlight of their line up was STTNG for a while. I have never received VHF 10 from Harrisburg, the terrain between me and their transmitter is not going to let that happen.

    I could get WPMT; it was a challenge with WBFF being a much stronger adjacent channel. Getting out of market football was nice.

    I get WTTG from DC. WITF and WTTG are co channel, so fox from the north will be gone for me.

    My take on the Harrisburg/Lancaster/York market:
    Winners: wireless providers get spectrum, WITF gets reoccurring cash from WPMT, WGCB gets up front cash and keeps must carry with no electric bill, WPMT no longer has an electric bill and gets up front cash.
    Losers: viewers; WITF has less coverage than WPMT had, WGCB is probably heading the way of a religious/infomercial station that relies on must carry to get into cable and satellite systems, collapsing 7 full power stations into 4 full power stations will put the squeeze on sub channels so viewers will get less variety over the air.

    I think WGAL will come out ahead in this. They only have 1 main signal in their 6MHz so they can do a lot with sub channels. Right now their UHF translators are a mess when scanning channels. I they will be in a position to enhance their coverage within their service area with the new on channel boosters. Depending on how much the market depends on OTA I could see network affiliations shake up when WGAL becomes the crown jewel of coverage if they aggressively use on channel boosters to maximize their audience reach.
     
  4. Channels that move in with existing channels can't reasonably keep their subchannels. In this case, WITF is 1080i and WGCB is 720p so they'll almost certainly have to jettison COZI and Escape and think seriously about PBS Kids.

    I haven't seen any examples yet of a station offering both 1080i and 720p signals and two 1080i signals is tight for one RF channel. It was thought that they were sending two 1080i and two 480i feeds off with the PBS station in my market (KOPB) but it appears that they may be using multiple RF channels to do it.

    Congress and the FCC seem to have restricted their consideration to RF channels and as as a result DTV subchannels would appear take be taking a serious beating in many of the more densely populated regions.

    Maybe the new multiplexers are better but I can't imagine that they are anywhere near twice as efficient.
     
  5. We do not know the details of the channel sharing agreements, but I think the terms of WITF (PBS) hosting WPMT (Fox) will be very different from WHTM (ABC) hosting WGCB (independent).

    WITF want's money from WPMT. People who watch Fox, especially football on fox, expect HD picture. The WITF pres release makes it sound like they don't expect to loose quality or their ability to serve the community sharing spectrum, so they will probably keep 33.1 1080i and keep 33.2 (PBS kids). That will probably mean 43.1 hangs around as a 720p Fox and Antenna and This will either leave the market or find new stations; they could also use bit rates and accept low quality with compression artifacts for the WPMT sub channels.

    It is hard for me to view WGCB as much more than a religious broadcaster wanting to get into cable head ends and satellite up links. They probably want to pay the least money they can to keep their must carry status. I would guess WGCB went to WHTM and WGAL and shopped for the cheapest channel share agreement. WHTM has less coverage so they were probably cheaper to get a share with so WGCB went with them. I would not be surprised to see 49.1 turn into a 480i channel with the lowest variable bit rate they can get away with. WGCB's money may come from padding the audience they say they reach by counting cable and satellite subscribers reached by must carry and selling air time for paid programs. They would have no incentive to pay in their channel sharing agreement to keep their sub channels on the air. It would be on WHTM to decide if they wanted pick up extra sub channels with the potential associated ad revenue and ratings.
     
  6. WHP broadcasts in 1080i on their primary (CBS affiliate) and in 720p on one of their sub channels (CW affiliate). In addition, they have a 480i sub channel. Using that model, it appears that the WPMT & WITF HD channels will follow a similar setup (WPMT currently broadcasts in 720p). I guess the question will be what subnets will make the cut. Interesting to note that WITF did not add their PBS Kids sub channel until AFTER they announced the infusion of $$$ as a result of the spectrum auction.

    We may have a little bit of a clue what to expect from WHTM/WGCB as it appears that WGCB has already jettisoned their ESCAPE subchannel, leaving them with their 49-1 720p primary (combo Religious & Cozi) and their 49-2 480i sub channel (Cozi).
     
  7. Nope, one channel. SI Parsing by TSReader 2.8.48b

    In any case, there are already a large number of stations running 2x1080i and 2x480i (see most Univision O&O stations, for example) and other interesting combinations. I expect WITF to end up running all five channels (1x1080i, 1x720p, 3x480i).

    WGCB is owned by a spectrum speculator, so no surprise programming will likely disappear from that station. In Connecticut, they are sharing on a PBS that has 1x1080i and 1x480i, and running 3x480i. I won't be surprised to see WGCB downgraded to SD.

    - Trip
     
  8. The KOPB subchannel bitrates add up to around 80MBps so they must be doing something pretty extraordinary or cheating.
     
  9. Or you're just reading the file wrong. The average bitrates are at the bottom of the file in the bar chart. The labels you're looking at are descriptive, and are the rates before the final encoding/multiplexing steps.

    - Trip
     
  10. Hello. I live in Lewisburg, PA and I have an antenna that will receive stations 70 miles away with a preamp. I am able to pick up WGAL and WITF, but can’t pick up WPMT. I saw the new coverage map when they join with WITF and it looks much better for my chances. Does anybody know when the go live date is for the broadcast range change?
     
  11. You could call or e-mail WPMT and ask them. Otherwise, it is kind of a complicated process of hit and miss using a repack map on rabbitears.tv. There's probably a spreadsheet or database file somewhere but finding the right one isn't trivial.

    The first transitions will likely be around 10-11 months away according to the schedule and transitions will happen every month for about seven months (the latter ones will represent small numbers of stations).
     
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