Monday, October 11, 2010

That WCPO Digital Transition

We'd been waiting for THIS one for a good, long while now...and it finally happens soon! Ironically, this word came on the heels of an email we got from Karen in Colerain Township (northwestern Hamilton County), asking about this very subject.

WCPO-TV 9/Cincinnati will finally begin the process of switching over to UHF broadcasting, going from digital TV channel 10 to DTV 22. (You'll still see it as channel 9; this is because of a process called PSIP encoding that will display the new signal as channel 9 on your TV, just as the current channel 10 signal is.)

This article from John Kiesewetter Sunday explains the details of how the transition will progress over the next six weeks or so. It all begins this week, with the installation of a temporary, side-mounted antenna from which WCPO will temporarily transmit, and a new UHF transmitter.

Following this, the most critical phase begins. That's when WCPO will install their new antenna on top of their 900 foot tower in Walnut Hills. That work begins October 25, and Over-The-Air (OTA) viewers who currently can receive WCPO without issues may temporarily lose that signal, as WCPO must reduce the power on that side-mounted antenna so that workers can safely operate atop the tower.

Once that work is done, testing is expected to commence Veterans' Day, running for four days, and on or around November 15, WCPO will turn on the new digital 22 signal for good. OTA viewers will have to rescan their TV's.

For those with Cable or Satellite service, NONE OF THE WORK will impact you. You'll still have WCPO programming. And if you're close enough to the tower in Walnut Hills, you shouldn't have problems either.

WCPO has had a construction permit for three months to make the switch from channel 10 to channel 22. They've installed the new generator and wiring needed for the new transmitter, and we'd wondered how this was coming along...until the article above fell into our laps...


Rick from Milford said...

Hey when WCPO flips to dtv 22 will we still be able to pick up WKEF abc22 from Dayton, ohio? I dont have cable and rely on my antenna. No one has been able to answer this question for me.

J. Moses said...

Rick, WKEF is not impacted by WCPO getting DTV channel 22. WKEF has DTV RF channel 51. Through the use of PSIP, that station shows up as 22 on your TV. Likewise, WCPO will use DTV RF channel 22, however PSIP will be used to display it as channel 9 on your TV. Anything below RF 52 can still be used for DTV -- but above that those frequencies have been given to telecom companies among others.

Tim B. said...

However, channek 22 also broadcast the ThisTV network on analog ch. 22. I assume that one will be gone when WCPO moves to 22.

J. Moses said...

Tim B., I had no idea about that...but as far as I knew, 22 isn't impacted. I looked at the FCC filing, and they don't mention any analog 22 in Dayton. Channel 45 has the ThisTV subchannel in Dayton; it's on 45.2, which is also Dayton's default My Network TV affiliation.