Whether or not the Weather will Mess With Our Signal...........

By: Michael Riddle
By: Michael Riddle

A couple a viewers asked if the weather has a negative impact upon our digital signal....

You’re hearing a lot about digital television these days.


Last month, the F.C.C. began requiring TV stations to run a minimum of 16 public service announcements a week regarding the digital transition.


Some of you have taken notice!


Sam wrote ‘Just Ask Mike’ from Plymouth to ask, “When you switch to total digital broadcast in 2009, will your digital signal be lost to weather conditions as it is currently on Dish Network?”


Sam, this switch should not impact local reception through satellite. The Dish Network picks up our signal in New Bern. DirecTV has antennas in Greenville. They send all of the local market TV station signals out West to a satellite uplink facility where it is beamed to a satellite and then sent back to the dish at your house.


Severe weather with heavy rain causes satellite rain fade… and that’s going to affect not just WITN-DT, but all satellite signals.


Meanwhile, Jim wrote “I receive WITN both digital & analog but sometimes on digital the picture freezes up or goes into small boxes... My antenna is plenty strong enough & amplified, Does the weather sometimes play a role or are they still experimenting with how far to broadcast?”


Yes sometimes weather conditions effect radio and TV signals. Maybe you’ve had days when you picked up radio stations from far away. I remember one time that I tried to check and see if a local FM radio station was back on the air. I tuned in the spot on the dial and sure enough I picked up a radio station loud and clear. The only problem was that I was in New Bern and the station was coming from somewhere in Texas! These weather conditions can make radio and TV signals travel far. It can also cause them to skip over some areas.


Jim also noticed that when a digital signal gets weak, it pixilates, freezes, or just goes to black.


Our digital signal is actually transmitted on Channel 32 on the UHF band. If you live a long distance from our transmitter, you may need a strong directional UHF antenna pointed towards Grifton for the best reception.


Change is coming, but it doesn’t need to be confusing. In addition to on-air announcements and half-hour programs on the subject, you’ll find a wealth of information on witntv.com.  Go to the top of the homepage of witntv.com and click on “HD”… that will take you to our page with everything that you need to know about digital television.

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