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Digital TV Answers: Still Not Getting THIRTEEN?

Monday, June 15th, 2009
  • comments (126)

UPDATE 7/1 11:47 a.m.: DTV reception issues are still unresolved

We are aware that some over-the-air viewers are having difficulty receiving the digital 13 signal. The problem seems to be focused on the high V’s (channels 7, 11 and 13) and indoor antenna reception. All three stations have followed up with the FCC. Thirteen is currently seeking FCC approval to increase our broadcast signal’s power. We will keep you posted and we are very sorry for the reception difficulties that viewers are experiencing. We are now broadcasting at the highest power level currently permitted by the FCC but hope we will have authorization from the FCC to increase power in the very near future.

UPDATE 6/30 3:45 p.m.: DTV reception issues are still unresolved

We are still trying to resolve the DTV reception problem that started on June 12, and we are communicating all our viewers’ issues to the FCC in the hopes of upgrading THIRTEEN’s power. Please stay tuned to this page for more updates as the situation progresses.

UPDATE 6/17 12:45 p.m.: THIRTEEN is at full power

Please be advised that Channels 13, 7 and 11 are broadcasting at full power from the same antenna atop the Empire State Building. Make sure you have a dual band antenna (VHF & UHF). You may need to perform several adjustments before receiving all channels. Each time you adjust your antenna you must also re-scan channels. For more advice about adjusting your antenna, visit www.antennaweb.com. For other details and information, including support centers in your neighborhood, visit www.dtv.gov.

UPDATE 6/15 1:20 p.m.: Possible solution — a “double rescan”

Following up on previous discussions regarding reception & signal problems with high VHF channels, the FCC is trying to determine if there is a pattern nationwide. They have identified one potential solution that has been successful in solving the majority of problems for some stations — a “double rescan” the converter boxes. Here are the steps:

  • Detach antenna
  • Rescan converter box (to clear memory)
  • Detach converter box power cord for 1 minute (to ensure that memory is clear)
  • Reattach both power cord and antenna
  • Rescan again

    On June 12th at 12:30pm, WNET, along with other New York broadcasters, made the long-awaited switch to Digital television in compliance with the federal mandate. The following is some important information you need to know in order to receive our signal.

    If you have already connected your converter box or have a television with a digital tuner and are unable to view Thirteen, please re-scan your box or television using the MENU button (look for a feature that says “Scan” or “Auto scan”) or SCAN button on your remote or by consulting the instructions. This is the same scanning process you conducted when you first installed your box or television. If you still have a problem after re-scanning channels, look for an UPDATE function and select that. Each converter box and television is different, so you may need to review the instruction manual.

    Also, make sure you are using an antenna that covers both the VHF and UHF bands and have connected it properly. You may also need to adjust the position of your antenna to receive our signal.

    If you do not yet have a converter box, you will need to purchase one to view Thirteen on your analog television. Alternatively, you can subscribe to cable or satellite service or purchase a television with a digital tuner.

    For more detailed information and instructions, please visit www.dtv.gov or call 1-888-225-5322.

    Thank you for your interest in Thirteen.

    • Diane

      I have a digial TV with a VHF and UHF antenna connected to it. I have moved the antenna into every position possible and there is not trace of channel 13 coming through. I live in the Northern NJ area about 20mins outside of New York City. Is this not a area that you transmit to anymore?

    • Eric

      My mother lives on riverside drive near grant’s tomb. She was receiving your signal using the digital converter box and rabbit ears before June 12. Now she is not although she has tried rescanning several times. She is receiving many signals but not 13, 7, and 31.

    • MET

      Count me as another one who can receive other NY digital broadcast stations, but not 13 (nor 11). Supposedly, pre-6/12, it was because digital 13 wasn’t broadcasting at full power, but now what’s the excuse? 13 said after 6/12, the digital (on the new frequency) would be up to full power and would cover the whole broadcast area. Garden City NY, here, also not very far.

    • Kristen

      Argh, me too (in Washington Heights)! I get every other NYC-based station except 13! I’ve rescanned, moved the antenna, rescanned again… nothing.

    • ALF

      I am experiencing the same difficulties as the 3 previous posters, have scanned and re-scanned but still am not receiving 13 or 7. We can get programs but it is via NJN and the programming schedule is different. Is NJN to be the PBS in NJ now?

    • sxydeeny

      no. I have not had any problems with any channels.

    • THIRTEEN Webmaster

      In response to your comments, here are answers from our THIRTEEN programming team:

      …I have re-scanned several times…the first time was “the required” re-scan after 12:30pm on Friday, the 12th…I keep hoping; but still no Channel 13. How sad to lose the one station that truly enhances…I just wish they would email us or let us know on this website if a solution is in the works.

      Answer: It would help us if we knew where you live and whether you are having difficulty receiving any of the other digital broadcast stations. Digital 13 is now at full power on back on 13 — digital VHF, not UHF. Your reception problem may be related to the kind of antenna you are using. This would be the case if you can now receive some digital broadcast stations (WNBC or WCBS, for example) but not Thirteen or WABC). WNBC and WCBS are on digital UHF frequencies while Thirteen and WABC are now on the digital VHF frequencies. A dual band (UHF/VHF) antenna is necessary to receive all the over the air digital broadcasters. There also appear to be some problems in some areas in our region with indoor reception, in general, for Thirteen and the other digital VHF stations. We’re looking into it to see what can be done at our end.

      I’ve had converter boxes installed for nearly a year. I -was- receiving 13.1, 13.2 & 13.3 until Friday – then they disappeared. Rescanned – nothing. Manually added the channels and searched for signal. It IS there, but so weak it is unusable. That seems unacceptable since I’m only in Central Queens! I can see the Empire State Building from here – isn’t that
      where the PBS signal is originating??

      Answer: Sounds as though your problem is an antenna issue — either the wrong kind (see above response) or perhaps not situated in the best reception location for the Thirteen signal that is now on the digital VHF frequency. You may want to try moving the antenna around and if possible closer to a window facing the Empire State Building.

      I added converter box in February, scanned and received channel 13 until now. I re-scanned on June 12, 13 and 14 and no longer pick up channel 13. What happened? Is there anything I can do?

      Again, it would be helpful to know where you are located. It sounds as though you have an antenna problem. (See responses above.)

      Have an HDTV set, an HDTV rabbit ear antenna in New Jersey. Got 13 just fine up til now. Now Nothing before and after scanning. I do love NJN but it lacks some things 13 has (had) that were convenient for me. Come back beloved station.

      Answer: Another possible antenna problem — please check to make sure that your rabbit ear antenna is a digital VHF antenna. Thirteen was on the UHF digital frequency up until last Friday, so it sounds as though your antenna is for digital UHF reception and not digital VHF reception. A dual band (UHF/VHF) antenna would be a good solution.

    • MIKE

      Brooklyn checking in. I am in the Sheepshead Bay area and I have done the suggested rescanning.

      Thirteen in nowhere to be found. I have a VHF/UHF antenna and it is an indoor one. I have not had the chance to hook up to the apartments master antenna. When I get to do it I will post here if that worked. All other channels are coming in fine and I now get a few new ones.

    • Snowbody

      In Teaneck, NJ, just west of the Palisades. Back in the analog days 13 was one of the strongest channels whether we used an indoor or outdoor antenna (5 was unwatchable due to static). We got two converter boxes and 13 and its subchannels came in fine (on the temporary frequency) after the initial scan, both on indoor and outdoor antenna, no adjustments necessary. After the changeover, no signal (as expected), so we rescanned. But now 13 (and 11) only come in when we use the outdoor antenna. We have rescanned several times on the indoor antenna, still no 11 or 13. Do I have to buy a new antenna? Can I get a subsidy for that?

    • Scott

      Your signal is “Weeeeeak as water!”

    • Kurt

      Why didn’t you guys, (along with 11 & 7)get a UHF assignment? The UHF’s come in great, but the VHF’s, even with an outside VHF antenna, come in pixelated or not at all.

    • Angela

      I work for a converter box company and i’ve had numerous calls about your station. Whats going on?
      I’ve tried everything with the customer and no success. Why?

    • RJ

      I need more signal from Thirteen so I can view it without drop off. rj

    • sue

      Hello, same with me no channel 7 or 13. I have a very good European antenna and booster. I can pickup NYC, Philly and Allentown. I slowly rotated my antenna 360 degrees and no trace of 7 or 13. My signal indicator is graduated and shows even the weak signals. There is no trace of 7 and 13 anywhere. On June 11th I was able to get ABC out of Philly also, not now. By the way there is a good new channel out of Philly 17 called “THIS” – it has movies at night and oldies during the day.

    • RJ

      I love World Focus but have been unable to view it because of the weak signal.. JACK IT UP!!!

    • Jim Davis

      Are you going to fix the problem? Can you switch to UHF? In Far Rockaway I don’t get 7 or 13. Nada. Zilch. Bummer.

    • Allen Crowley

      Only 6 miles from Empire State in South Queens. A few blocks away I can see the Empire State. Converter box states a weak signal. New hdtv also no signal. Parents too cheap for cable.

    • Dawn Haywood

      Same problem as everyone else. I have the antenna (UHF/VHF) hooked to a Digital TV and no 7 (or the digitals channels), 11, 13, 41, 47 (or the digitals) and they came in before the switch. I have tried switiching and positioning the antenna every which way as well as rescanning the TV and nothing. On the one hand, I’m glad I’m nothe only one with this problem because I thought I was crazy. The bad part about it I can’t see 13 or some of the other channels I watch and the frustration is building. Will there be a stronger signal soon. Please, any help is appricated.

    • LS

      In Cliffside Park, NJ- we were getting really weak, pixelated, choppy 7, 11, and 13 before the “double rescan”. Now we’re getting nothing at all on 13 or 11 but the rescan seems to have fixed the problems with 7. We have a dual VHF/UHF antenna and have tried every possible position. Nothing’s helped with 13 (or 11) yet.

    • Isabel

      This is ridiculous. There is no way that I can get channel 13 in Jamaica! The idea of digittal tv has become a headache.

    • Luz Almonte

      I have tried all of the suggestions, but cannot receive channels 11, 13, and 47. I am retired on Social Security and cannot afford cable. Moving to another location is out of the question. I am in the Bronx, (Boston Road) near 176th Street.

    • Peter Konopka

      I have a new Digital TV with a special antenna, I scanned as Channel 13 suggested on the phone BUT no channel 13….! I pick up 32 other stations loud and clear. I’m just 9 miles away from New York City. Bergen County…What went wrong with 13.

    • R. E. Young

      On June 12th, after rescan and spending hours with
      antenna posistions we found that 2,4,5,9 were oscillating between 25% and 75% signal. 13 adn 25 were rock solid at 75% signal. 21,11,49 were off the air totall.

      We have had not problems with 13 since the 1st rescan until today. The power signal on the digital stream converter box has gone from a rock solid 75% down to oscillating between 40% and 50% which means
      very choppy reception. We have an indoor antenna
      so this is not a local weather issue at our house.

      This also happened to channel 2, but 4,5,9 and 25
      come in clearly at the 75%. it came in clearly at
      75% until yesterday as well.

      We lost 49 in Feb transistion and 11, 21 on the June
      transition. Not even enough signal for the scanner
      to know there is a station there.

      We are in Harrison NY 2 blocks from the Metro North
      train station.

      We used to get all these stations crystal clear with our indoor antenna before Feb transistions
      started. The problem gets worse as we go from
      1st floor to 2nd floor to 3rd floor so I don’t see how getting an outdoor antenna is going to help.
      Plus we are on a fixed income and an outdoor antenna is about $500. Cable is about $60/month
      when I asked about it. FIOS isn’t in our town for
      TV yet.

      Can you get information out to the consumers on the News Hour to tell us what is going wrong and what we should be doing about this?

      Thank you!

    • Dave

      Rockaway Beach checking in with similar problems. Bought an LCD HD TV and powered Radio Shack antenna, which sits in the window, no tall buildings blocking.
      Prior to changeover, received all analog/digital local channels just fine. As instructed, re-scanned after the changeover and–poof–Channel 13 is gone. 2,4,7,9,11,21, and other spanish and NJ channels all crystal clear. Have tried to manually lock in 13.1 but still no dice. Help, please–no reception, no donation…

    • Francis Rodriguez

      I’m in zip code 07432. Can’t now get chn 13. Have seen the comments and will try them but advise if you are planning increasing power, before I buy a more expensive ant sys.

    • Craig

      Way down soutn in Long Branch (30 miles). Indoor powered UHF with rabbit ears VHF (green) at 17′ agl. Only three channels from NY area: 4 on 28, 25 (weak), and 68 (weak). Rescanned per above. A few brick buildings and trees. Still no 13, 7, 11 etc. Bad show.

    • John Welch

      I’m live in New York City, Harlem, 143rd Street. I could not see channel (13), in June 2009 before June 12, 2009 at 12:00p.m. noon. But now I can see channel (13) clear. But I’m still having problems with reception from channel (21)- NO RECEPTION. Channel (47)- NO RECEPTION. Channel (31)- Have Moderate,WEAK Signal, and also channel (50)- in N.J. has a WEAK signal. I Need some Help with my reception can anybody HELP? Please!

    • susan knox

      Help! I’ve done the double scan you recommend plus countless other “single” scans. Still no Channel l3. What should I do next?

    • Alejandro Mardones

      I live in Piscataway, NJ.
      Before June 12 I could get 13 without a problem. After June 12 I get most channels but not 13 (or 11) anymore.
      The signal is definitively weaker.
      13 is the one channel we care about. Now it’s gone!
      Can you please do something about this?

    • Frank Guros

      No reception.We live in yorktown,ny and have received ch13 before 6/12. We have the largest vhf/uhf outdoor antenna, an antenna amp. We do not get chs.4 and 13.This is fyi hoping the digital power will be compatible soon.

    • Kristen

      Dang. I was really hoping the answer was not going to be “go get a new antenna.” Thanks for explaining this, THIRTEEN – this is the first explanation I’ve seen that makes sense.

    • Stephen Casey

      I am a member of 13. I live in Ossining (10 minutes north of Tarrytown). I had no problems receiving your analog signal but I can not get any 13 reception now at all. 13 is the only station that I am not receiving. Also, 13 is the ONLY station that I watch on TV so cable is not worth it for me. What can I do? Is this a problem at your end or do I need to get a more powerful antenna? Please try to get this resolved soon!

    • Jere

      What’s most disturbing for me, writing from Bronxville, NY, is that after the conversion on the 12th I received ALL the digital iterations of 7, 11, and 13 in addition to 2, 4, 5, and 9 for the past 4 days, and all were crystal clear.

      As of today, though, all iterations of 7, 11, or 13 have disappeared. How could this happen? I have a brand-new LCD Digital TV hooked up to a large outdoor antenna, and nothing has changed on that front over the past four days, so it’s not the antenna. 2, 4, 5, and 9 are all still perfect.

      All I can assume is that there is something wrong on the FCC front with the high VHF stations. VERY frustrating given that all looked completely fine up until today. Something has to be done to recitfy this for all of us that rely on “free” digital TV. I would hate to lose any of these station, but losing 13 is most distressing. FCC, clear this up! Thirteen, help them to do so!

    • karen

      ok here it goes, I have an analog tv with an outdoor antenna and have always received chanels 2-13. After 6-12 i barely received anything now I can get 7 sometimes 11 and rarely 13. 7 was never clear, always cutting out till I put some weight on the converter box and a rubber band from the back to the front holding the coaxial in place and they tell me I bought one of the best converter boxes.I don’t think so.Anyway I called cbs and they told me I will never get 2,4,5,9 ll and 13 and that I am lucky that I am getting 7. Go Figure????????? Please help us all out.We were told that if we bought the converter box with an analog tv and outdoor antenna we would be fine.Well were not. CBS told me to buy a combo antenna with amplifier.I live in Ulster County and neither the fcc or cbs could find me.They said I was not in the range. Please help.

    • Ted

      Something still is awry with 13.

      I live in zip code 10590 and have two high power antennas (one UHF, one VHR) with a 30db amplifier on each leading to a combiner (reverse splitter) and into the converter box. I get all the channels and subchannels od 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 25 and some highers ones perfectly, but no 13!

      Are you broadcasting from the same tower as the other channels? Are you at the same power as the other channels? With all the comments I’ve been reading, I’ve got to suspect the issue is with 13. How are you addressing this?

    • Peter S. Konopka

      SOLUTION !!!  Now I can get Channel 13 very well.
      Take a section of aluminum foil about 16 inches long
      and connect the two antenna rods that are a “V” shape
      and you will get Channel 13 sharp as ever besides other
      stations 7 & 11. Unplugging and rescanning did not help. Tell the other folks as well.  All the channel listings are seen in the Directory of my digital television screen as well.

    • karen

      to Peter S Konopka: what type of new digital tv did you buy and what special antenna did it come with? Do you have an outdoor antenna? Where did you put the alum.foil on the outdoor antenna? Please explain I still need help.Thanks

    • Ted

      In case Peter doesn’t answer, it sounds like he is using an indoor “rabbit ears” antenna. Don’t think his solution would work for you….

    • karen

      Thank you Ted.That’s what I thought.So obviously no answer to any of our problems and it looks like there washing there hands of the whole situation.That’s really nice.Let me ask you a question did you have to buy 2 seperate antenna’s leading to a combiner.What do you mean by a reverse splitter? Cbs told me my splitter might be blocked.Thanks

    • Jere

      Thanks, Thirteen, for the update above. Again, though, my question is, if I was receiving reception for 13, 7, and 11, and nothing has changed with my outside VHF/UHF antenna, why is it that I have lost reception for these three stations (I still have 2, 4, 5, and 9) when I had it for the four days after the transition on the 12th?

    • Edith

      Sunset Park, Brooklyn: Get 13 very sporadically with lots of interference. Tried everything suggested by everyone. Help! What’s going on??

    • Kirsten

      We are on the north end of Staten island and lost 13 on the 12th. I can see the Empire state building from my driveway and am up on a hill. I will try the rescan and foil techniques. Is anyone else on Staten island having this problem? We are just West of the Ferry terminal near the water.

    • vkp

      I have tried double scanning but still no VHF channels 7, 11 or 13. My indoor antenna with signal amplifier is capable of receiving VHF and UHF, and all UHF channels are working fine. Not sure why FCC kept VHF frequencies after DTV conversion, now we need two separate antennas for UHF and VHF.

    • Marc

      I’m in New Rochelle. I have 2 analog TVs, a 32-inch and a 13-inch, each connected to its own converter box, and 1 HDTV. All 3 TVs are also connected to a UHF outdoor antenna. Everything was fine until June 12. Now I don’t get channels 7, 11 or 13. Surprisingly, despite the statement that I need to install a VHF antenna, I do receive channel 13 on the 13-inch analog TV connected to a converter box and connected to a UHF antenna! Can anyone explain why only 1 TV gets channel 13 now? The converter boxes are the same brand and model. In this case it appears that the stated requirement for a UHF antenna is not accurate.

    • Marc

      Whoops! Please change my last sentence to read VHF antenna.

    • Tracy C.

      Well…before the channels converted I was getting all the stations and now no matter in what position I move the antenna I have, I cannot receive any of the channels very well. I live in the area code 92706 in Santa Ana, Ca. If you could give any advice please do, because I have to constantly get up and down in order to try to receive the channels and even then when I move my hand away from the antenna, the channel will not come in. Please I need advice. Thanks!

    • Tracy C.

      Could you please send me some tips about getting the channels! Thanks again!

    • Ted

      Reply to Karen -

      I live in a remore area where the “old” analog signal was very weak. You can certainly buy a good combination VHF/UHF antenna, but I needed (and still need) the best one – when I started looking, it appeared that it’s best in my situation to get the best VHF and the best UHF antennas vs a combo….

    • Jere

      I just spoke with the FCC and the representative indicated that there are problems nationwide with channels 7-13, and that many of these problems occurred AFTER the transition on the 12th. She seems to think that it was something happening with the digital network. Since all my digital equipment seems to be okay (digital tv, large rooftop VHF/UHF antenna) and signals in my area strong, she recommended that I sit tight and continue to try to add digital channels over the next few days, hoping the issues get resolved and the missing channels reappear with good reception.

      I would urge everyone having a problem to contact the FCC at 1-888-CALL-FCC (toll free) to let them know you’ve been affected. If they know that this is a MAJOR problem for many of us, they may work more quickly to resolve it.

      Hope this helps.

    • RJ

      The 13 signal is weak(nothing).I get 7,11,2,4,5,9 and more.I would suggest that there is a problem at 13.I have a roof antenna and am in northen N.J.I am disappointed that I can not get programs that I enjoy.

    • Max Power

      I am not getting Thirteen at all, 7 and 11 come in clear but nothing on 13. Before the transition it was really weak and choppy and I was looking forward to the switchover so I could get Thirteen again but now I get no signal at all. What is going on???

    • Eric Scott

      I purchased a new Sony Bravia 19″ TV–to replace my old 9″ Sony. I like to view TV from different locations in my apartment, so I am happy that I have always been able to receive over the air signals. And when I am not watching, I can store my TV in a closet. I live in Washington Heights, NYC 10033. I purchased a Sima indoor digital amplified antenna (UHF 470-870Mhz; VHF 47-230MHz) I tested this new TV in all locations in my apartment to make sure I could indeed receive all of the digital stations. ALL STATIONS COULD EASILY BE VIEWED for the 3 1/2 weeks prior to the conversion. I have the old analog televsion in my bedroom hooked up to a converter box, and have been easily receiving all digital signals prior to the conversion date. (I didn’t even have to open my telescoping rabbit ears antenna to receive the signal.)

      Now, after the conversion, I rescanned my old analog TV with the converter box, and after a few scans I am indeed receiving ALL CHANNELS.

      My NEW TELEVSION that I tested for three weeks to make sure that it would indeed receive all of the digital stations will not receive any of the 7.1, 11.1, 13.1 stations. Now it is past the date that I could return it to B & H Photo.

      Clearly, I am receiving the signal since my old analog TV with the converter box is working fine. I have rescanned the new digital TV probably 75 times. Many times I have started over by resetting it back to the original factory settings and doing an Initial Install–and still it doesn’t work. If I move the TV to the window, hold the antenna outside the window and rescan, the stations are picked up, but I still have no reception.

      Why would this be?!! Clearly, the digital TV and the new Digital indoor Antenna work properly since they were picking up all digital stations prior to the conversion. Now with the signals at FULL strength-no 7.1, 11.1, 13.1. The manufacturer of the antenna rightly states that the antenna must be working properly because it is picking up the other stations.

      When the FCC and others keep telling me to rescan-unplug and rescan-move the antenna and rescan. They say that over time you will finely pick up the stations. That makes me feel like I truely do not understand the technology of the new signal. What, does it need to create some sort of critical mass “over time”, and then mysteriously the signal will be read by my new TV?

      Engineers…please explain.

    • Jere

      Not that it’s really going to help anyone further since all we’re really being told is “spend more money (converter box), spend more money (new antennas), spend more money (new DTV)” (I guess this is where any donation money is going this year) rather than having any real answers provided as to what is being done to address such pervasive, nationwide problems, but a much better sight for antenna information is http://www.antennaweb.org rather than what listed at the top.

      I still cannot receive any of the stations that I lost four days after the transition. And others that I can see seem to go in and out all the time.

      Leave it to the government and its partners to take a system that was working fairly well and turn it into a nightmare for so many across the country.

    • Stacey

      I live in zip code 10011 and like so many others cannot get reception for 7,11,13. I was getting 7 before the switchover but not 11 and 13. I have a tv with a built in digital tuner and an rca antenna. I’ve scanned,rescanned, and double rescanned. I’ve spoken with tech help from channel 13 and 7 and the FCC and didn’t get any real help though they were all really polite. I haven’t yet purchased a stronger amplified antenna because the consensus from other people who have is that it won’t help with these 3 channels thought I will probably get one since NBC is not very strong. If anyone who lives in Manhattan or the surrounding area finds a solution please post it because the FCC response was that it was up to the local broadcasters to fix the problem and she told me I could watch tv on my computer. Gee, thanks for that great tip. If I find a solution I’ll post it myself since the most useful help seems to come from comment pages like these.

    • Dawn Haywood

      This is my second post. I also have a SONY Digital TV and initially wasn’t receiving the 7,11,13, 31, 41 and 47 channels. I did the rescan that was given to us by the Thirteen and it worked – somewhat. I am now able to receive the the channel 7 digital stations but still nothing from 11 and 13 as well as all the others. How many more rescans do I have to do before I can receive them. 13 and 11 swear that they are at full power but why then do peoplpe continue to have these problems. The stations and the FCC need to work in concert with one another to bring about some sort of resolution because this is most discoraging. I slso will continue to watch this post because all of your comments are helpful. Thanks.

    • jen

      I tried the rescan mentioned above and I still don’t get 13 or 11. 7 comes in fine, so it’s not a UHF/VHF antenna issue. I’m in Park Slope, top floor apartment with clear views of the empire state building. Please help! I would hate to lose 13.

    • mno

      can’t get 13, 11, or 7 at all anymore. All these stations started dropping out last Thursday or Friday.
      Had a decent signal until then.
      What happened?

    • arline pollinger

      channel 13, 7 and 11 coming in but unless something has happend very fast, difficult HEARING on channel 13, other channels OK. Will call TV mfr. but thought the problem might be at your station. It’s either that or a hearng aid. Thanks. A

    • Evelyn

      I have two old analog TVs, and the oldest (Sony 1981) works well with an Insignia converter box and the rabbit ears the TV came with–it gets all the channels including several each of 7, 9, 11,and 13. The newer TV (1998) is attached to a DVD/VCR with a digital receiver, and it was getting 7, 9 & 11 but never got 13. Now I don’t get any of those channels on that TV, and have now lost 5 as well. The only antenna I used was our analog building antenna (I live in a high rise in Northern NJ, 12 miles from NYC). It’s probably not an antenna issue because all the channels worked (except 13) well with the digital tuner/DVD…that is, until June 12! Not sure what to try on that TV, but I may try rabbit ears next.

    • Ted

      It seems like a LOT of us are having trouble with 13. Are your engineers going to post something here that might tell us how to get Thirteen – or just continue to ignore us!

    • louis

      Yes, and please explain why the signal goes COMPLETELY dead around midnight/1am. This is happening regularly. Please inform the viewers as to what is going on.

    • RJ

      I get the other channels 7,11 but no 13.I found World Focus on 25 with a strong signal at 5:00 pm.I miss the Charlie Rose show,which is one of the best talk shows available. I have been an economic supporter for many years but if there continues to be no signal,I will change my economic support.Get it done!!!!

    • nathan

      The FCC hot line says for zip 11219,too close to the tower of transmission and need an attenuator because the powerful signals are crowding out the weak signals. Pass this on to the engineers.I do not know how much attenuator costs

    • nathan

      Rescanned with a flat antenna did not pick up 13. Rescanned with rabbit ears and 13 was picked up. Problem,break up picture with rabbit ears and no pickup with flat anteenna.I am not sure flat antenna any good(in spite of box) on vhf frequencies.Engineers go and study this.It is the VHF that is the problem.Is it the same strength as before.

    • nathan

      By the way,on one scan with flat antenna wnye s,25 showed up.But on subsequent rescan with rabbit ears it disappeared.

    • kim sawyer

      I get great reception on every single channel EXCEPT abc 7, pix 11, and 13 The antenna has been everywhere in the room and not a trace of 13, 11 or 7. I live in central Nj. I guess 13 7 and 11 dont care because they dont seem to be doing anything about it.

    • Nathan

      For years, we have been warning about the problems with DTV broadcasting on VHF; lower fractional bandwidth, increased interference from noise, & adjacent markets and the reluctance of customers to install significantly larger, performance compromised combo UHF/VHF antennas. Making matters even worse, some VHF stations have cut their ERP by 95% making a difficult situation impossible. Our predictions were that a huge percentage of the country will lose VHF DTV reception. Turns out the mess is far, far worse than anyone could have predicted. Nothing like launching an exciting new form of broadcasting on interference riddled, bandwidth challenged frequency assignments with tiny transmitters, right?

      Much love to the station engineer who alerted us to this gem which lays it out bare. Its amazing stuff, and in case you don’t what to read the whole thing, here are the essential parts from the VHF broadcaster who has given up on a losing effort:

      “Viewers report that they formerly received WVUE’s digital signal on channel 29 but have not been able to receive the Station’s digital signal on channel 8. The complaints that the Station has received are from viewers residing in all parts of the New Orleans market and are not limited to particular geographic areas or neighborhoods. In fact, several complaints are from viewers residing within a few miles of WVUE’s transmitter site. Station personnel have visited the homes of several disenfranchised viewers in an attempt to resolve the reception quality issues but were unable to receive the Station’s signal on the viewers’ digital tuners.

      Louisiana Media respectfully submits that the current limitations on WVUE’s operations, and the concomitant loss of service to former viewers, are untenable from both a public service and a competitive perspective. Therefore, Louisiana Media proposes to restore digital service on WVUE’s pre-transition digital facilities on channel 29 at its previously authorized ERP of 660 kW. The higher-power channel 29 facilities will enable WVUE to reach viewers who received the Station’s digital signal prior to the Station’s early transition and who currently are unable to receive service on digital channel 8 due to the poor propagation characteristics of the assigned facilities.

      Prompted by the many complaints WVUE has received, Louisiana Media performed a study comparing the signal strength of its assigned digital channel 8 facility to the signal strength of the higher power digital facilities of other stations in the market. Based on the study and the significant number and distribution of viewer complaints, Louisiana Media has determined that the effective radiated power of WVUE’s channel 8 digital facilities is not sufficient for the signal to be received by a material number of viewers located within its {viewing area}”

      The assumption was that ATSC (digital) broadcasting was up to 10X more efficient than analog, that transmitter power could be cut, electric bills would be slashed, all while maintaining the same coverage area. Yes, ATSC does offer some efficiencies, but not nearly enough to make up for the dramatic reduction in transmitting power that we’re seeing across the country. Finally, we have the FCC, the NAB and the broadcasting community beginning to acknowledge, just because its digital doesn’t mean you can reduce power 90% and have the same coverage area.

      The good news is while we are waiting for the remaining 400 or so VHF DTV broadcasters to increase power and/or move to the UHF band, we will soon be shipping the Clearstream 5 high band VHF antenna. The C5 will be the most powerful compact VHF antenna ever offered, and can makeup on the receive side much of what is being lost on the broadcast side. The C5 will ship late June and retail for $119. – Thank me later

      There is an article about a station in New Orleans,fox channel 8 that is going back to UHF because vhf dtv is not cutting it. Talk to the engineers. VHF-DTV does not work. The FCC limits what you can transmit and digital does not carry as well as analog.

    • Nathan

      I put a metal hanger between the two rabbit ears (it is resting on the base)and rescanned. Channel7 returned,channel 13 remaines;still no 11. In terms of reception,channel 13 now works with weak 7. The uhfs are not great with rabbit ears and the round uhf. The flat antenna is great for uhf but crummy for 7 and 13. So I guess dual antenna system and no channel switching.Everyone should try the metal hanger between the rabbit ears. It may help. The FCC can come visit me with the sensors and try to figure out the different reception problems. I hope I helped somebody

    • Hans

      We lived in CT and got 13 on rabbit ears. We moved to Franklin Square, LI, a few miles from Queens and after the conversion lost 7, 11 and 13 – NADA, Gar Nichts – nothing. Have outside and inside antennas and converter box – something is wrong with your signal and we will NEVER, EVER donate to Channel 13 again – your mission is to serve the viewing public and you have failed.

    • Ben Calvo

      I see there are dozens of viewers who having trouble getting 13 7 and 11. All were perfect before the change over. I have a new beautiful set and a expenive antenna. Money is not the answer. Shame on you 13.

    • marianne l. salinger

      I have a new TV LG30 and dual antenna and do NOT get 13, 7, or 11. If you cannot fix this problem in the very near future please refund my subscription money, (March 2009)and remove my name from your membership list. This is a disgrace

    • Nathan

      Upper management at Channel 13 ,please read article in TVNewsday 9 aprofessional publication) that states VHF and digital will not work with the next wave of transmission. Discuss possibility of requesting FCC to give you a UHF number( you can keep 13,the converter lists it as such even though the number is higher). There are stations that have requested a UHF number.The FCC is aware of these problems and your engineers are probably also aware. I do not know the economic effects of broadcating in VHF vs. UHF.There are alot of angry viewers out there.They don’t like tv like transmitting from the moon that they are on the side now where there is no transmission.

    • Judy

      Hello, hello, to anyone at channel 13. Is anyone there? Why don’t you respond? You’re giving the (very strong) impression of not caring that so many people lost reception. Or… is Time Warner now a major contributor?

    • MSS

      Judy, you are right on the money. I expressed similar sentiments to my husband last night, i.e., why hasn’t 13 posted a response since June 17th, especially since there have been many comments since then with people still having problems? I really don’t understand.

    • Alejandro

      It would be nice if somebody at Channel 13 told us whether they are looking into trying to resolve the reception problem that started on June 12.
      Even admitting they have no plans to address the issue would be better than ignoring our comments. We might then try to get our contributions back as supporting a TV station we can’t even watch makes no sense.

    • Nathan

      I believe the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB0 is taxpayer funded in part (correct if wrong).You are funding this station anyway.It would be funny if one of the big donors whose names appear after programs would blog and say they can’t get the program they funded. There has been complete silence by the FCC,Channel 7 ( ABC ),Channel 11 ( tribune), and channel 13 about this problem. I am not sure if it has even been covered on the McNeil Lehrer Newshour. It would be a great topic for a combined Nova-Frontline 2 hour documentary on the how and why of DTV,rise of cable and inaction after transition date of June 12

    • Nathan

      DTV transition not so smooth in some markets
      Jun 22, 2009 11:47 AM, By Michael Grotticelli

      Join us on Facebook
      Michael Copps, the FCC’s acting chairman, said, “There will be a period of adjustment as we all figure out how to make this new technology work in the real world.”

      The DTV transition continues into its third week, with antenna and reception glitches plaguing viewers and stations with low VHF channel numbers mainly located in large Northeastern cities.

      When the remaining 971 full-power television stations went digital on June 12, it was expected there would be sporadic problems throughout the country. That prediction turned out to be true. Only the locations were wrong. Rather than Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Dallas and Austin — the least prepared DTV cities — the most significant problems turned out to be in Northeastern urban areas.

      In Philadelphia, for example, thousands of over-the-air viewers could not receive the signal of WPVI-TV, channel 6, an ABC O&O and the leading station in the market. There were also reception problems with WHYY-TV, channel 12, the public television station in Philadelphia. Similar problems occurred with stations in New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

      In Chicago, WLS-TV, channel 7, another ABC O&O, and WBBM-TV, channel 2, had significant complaints of reception problems. In Washington, D.C., WUSA-TV, channel 9, and WJLA-TV, channel 7, disappeared from many viewers’ screens. In New York City, where nearly 11,000 viewers called with problems, many apartment dwellers lost reception due to improper master antennas on the roofs of their buildings.

      FCC officials have held meetings to discuss a potential solution to the reception problems. In some cases, stations may have to increase power levels or add translators to extend the signal to more viewers. However, in cities like Philadelphia, the FCC is afraid to boost the signal of WPVI because it could lead to interference with FM radio stations in Philadelphia, or TV stations in other markets.

      A key part of the problem is focused on the lower channel numbers in the VHF frequency band. More than 480 stations across the country are now airing broadcasts on VHF frequencies. Only 216 stations were operating on those frequencies before the transition.

      This is the case in Philadelphia, where WPVI broadcasts on channel 6 in the VHF band, adjacent to many FM radio stations. WHYY broadcasts on channel 12. Other Philadelphia TV stations — the ones without trouble — broadcast in upper VHF or in the UHF band.

      Similar reception problems were reported in the VHF bands in New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. It is now believed that the FCC inaccurately forecast the necessary signal strength for VHF in the lower channel range.

      “We are looking at all available options to resolve these issues,” said Michael Copps, the FCC’s acting chairman. He said the commission is discussing issues with individual stations and has bolstered its staff in the problem areas.

      Copps noted that transition continues and will go on for a long time. “The DTV transition is not a one-day affair,” he noted. “There will be a period of adjustment as we all figure out how to make this new technology work in the real world. Some consumers still need to get converter boxes. Others will have to move or adjust their antennas or perhaps even buy more powerful ones in order to receive the channels they should be receiving.”

      On June 12, the day the analog shutdown occurred, New York City led with 11,000 callers, the largest number at the FCC call center. Number two was Chicago at 6526, followed by Los Angeles with 5473, Dallas-Fort Worth at 4329, and Philadelphia with 3749. The total number of calls last week was nearly 900,000. About 4000 staffers handled the calls, the FCC said.

      About 28 percent of the calls concerned the operation of digital converter boxes that many viewers of over-the-air broadcasts needed to connect to their TV sets, while 26 percent reported not being able to receive specific stations and 23 percent with broader reception issues.

      A key issue involved antennas. Viewers need combination UHF/VHF antennas to get all digital stations. Wally Grotophorst of Hamilton, VA, was a good example of the problem. On Friday, he lost the Washington-based ABC and CBS stations, channels 7 and 9, which he could pick up digitally before the transition.

      That’s because those stations, like dozens of others, switched their digital signals from the UHF frequency band to the VHF band as they cut their analog signals. However, Grotophorst’s antenna, like many others branded as “digital” and sold over the past few years, was designed only for UHF reception. Grotophorst said the move to VHF spectrum was news to him, and the stations didn’t mention it in their educational materials.

      In New York City, where many apartment buildings share a common master antenna on the roof, viewers discovered that only VHF antennas could receive channels 2 through 13. Before the transition, this didn’t mean much. On June 12, however, that changed when tenants could not pick up UHF stations.

      The problem was compounded when most stores in New York City sold out of antennas quickly, leaving the city’s first shortage of TV antennas in decades.

      A Time Warner cable technician, several hours late for an appointment last week, told one New York City apartment dweller that the cable provider has been swamped with new subscribers in the days since June 12. He said cable installers were working overtime to accommodate the influx of new cable subscribers.

      Some DTV reception problems were resolved by having viewers “double rescan” their converter boxes in order to find the new digital TV channels, the FCC said. Volunteers discovered that simple scanning was sometimes not enough. Double rescanning can clear the box’s memory of saved channels. These earlier scans may have saved channel information that is now incorrect.

      The FCC last week posted five steps to do a double rescan for a converter box or digital TV. First, the box must be disconnected from the antenna. Then the owner rescans the tuner without the antenna connected. After that, unplug the tuner from the electrical outlet for at least one minute. Finally, reconnect the antenna and power, and rescan again.

      The FCC also warned that in addition to making sure one uses a VHF/UHF antenna, that the antenna must be located properly. Usually, that means it should not sit on top of the TV set, but by a window. If that doesn’t work, a rooftop antenna may be needed, the FCC said.

      The commission also announced that 121 stations are providing analog nightlight service in 87 markets. The service, which provides DTV transition information and emergency news and weather, will remain in effect for 30 days after the transition.

      The Nielsen Company said last week that 2.5 million households had no over-the-air television signal two days after the transition was complete. Though there were slight ratings declines during that time, Nielsen was reluctant to blame the DTV transition. It could be, the company said, the result of warmer weather or fewer major sports events on the air.

    • Nathan

      How about posting the power before,after,revised as below indicates:
      WHDH … found that the Channel 7 transmitter isn’t powerful enough to deliver a clear picture throughout the Boston area. ” Check the facts. More likely, their transmitter is “powerful enough,” but is being operated at significantly reduced power due to limitations imposed by the FCC. The FCC seems to have widely miscalculated the power levels required on VHF for digital to duplicate analog coverage on the same channel. This problem is affecting stations nationwide. Stations switch from their temporary UHF channels back to their original VHF channels because the power required to actually achieve the same coverage may easily be 90% less. Using 1/10th as much power is better for the environment. It saves the station money that may help it to better maintain staffing and program quality in today’s economy. It often means being able to use a solid-state VHF transmitter, while the higher power and higher frequency of the UHF transmitter required a tube-based transmitter–that translates to more reliable service to the viewer, with fewer outages or instances of reduced-power operation, and with quicker recovery from power disruptions, lightning hits, etc.
      What is the real story in terms of transmission pre june 12;after june 12 on original fcc limit and revised FCC limits. Also the cost differential.There has not yet been full disclosure

    • Mark

      I am having the same problems as the many other previous 13 viewers commenting here. Location: West Orange, NJ, relatively high elevation (almost line-of-sight to the Empire State Building).

      What I don’t understand is why we could received 13 fine before the switch to “full power” DTV and virtually no signal afterwards. Prior to “the switch”, reception of 13 via digibox was pretty much fine and we anticipated signal strength improving afterwards as the analog service was dropped. However ever since the switch on June 12 we have not been able to receive 13 (or 7, or 11, or 21, for that matter). The signal strength is practically zero — re-scanning actually eliminated 13 from the list.

      The only PBS channel I can now receive is 25 (with an audio sibilance problem), 21 disappeared, and NJN (50) is just as bad as ever. I rescanned many times: there’s just no signal, or a very, very weak one. I really hope that this can be fixed. I have been a member of 13 since 2003.

    • melvin berry

      You state that you are working with the FCC to increase the power of your signal. Can you give us some idea WHEN the poor signal problem will be resolved? I have filed a complaint with the FCC. I should not be forced to purchase expensive Cable Services to view channel 13. Except for 7,11,&13 my reception is excellent for all other channels. Waiting to hear ffrom you.

    • Mark

      OK I am just about getting Thirteen now — with double rescanning (clearing memory by unplugging the antenna and scanning; reconnecting and then scanning again) — but I have to have my indoor antenna moved to really weird orientation (horizontal and pointed at the Empire State Building). ABC 7 is still completely missing. The signal strength is still very low — less than 40% according to my digibox — but hopefully the FCC will allow Thirteen to increase it so we get the promised increase in image and sound quality.

    • Fred

      YES, I got 13 BACK and LESS importantly ABC 7 and CW 11.

      I run both LARGE conventional boom and small flat panel amplified outdoor antenna on the same mast. Prior to 6/12, I was able to view all NYC Metro channels using a combination of both antenna. However, from 6/12—>7/4, I LOST 7.1-3, 11.1&2, 13.1 & 21.2-4 and couldn’t understand why.

      Thanks to 13 WEBMASTER, I now understand why. DTV and Antenna Web are a dis-service to those who have some knowledge of broadcast TV and signal bandwidth.

      Until I read your post, I was not aware that portions of the VHS bandwidth were still going to be utilized and not all frequencies migrated to the UHF bandwidth. This is NOT CLEAR on any of the digital TV sites.

      Consequently, after reading your post I took my small flat panel amplified antenna out of the mix and straight connected my boom antenna. Then updated / rescanned and now have 7, 11, 13 back. Unfortunately I lost 21.

      I have noticed that ALL of the channels found prior to June 12 excluding 7, 11 and 13 are also AT HIGHER SIGNAL STRENGTH.

      For reference I am located in Stamford, CT area, 2-3 miles from shore and have the boom & panel antenna pointed 240 Deg from N. I plan on retiring the small flat panel antenna as it really didn’t help with reception except to help receive signal prior to June 12.

      Count on me being a 13 member.

      Good luck to those with signal problems, I hope this post helps.

    • Dawn Haywood

      Hello Everyone,
      I’m back with some good news. Last night I decided to rescan my television once again. The first attempt brought back Channel 11 but lost Channel 7. That was unacceptable to me so I rescanned three more times. On the last attempt I am happy to reprort that ALL THE CHANNELS CAME BACK INCLUDING 13. I was suprised and elated all at the same time. This method will require patience and determination but try it, as well as adjusting the antenna and you may achive success. It’s good to know that 13 is doing its part by communicating with the FCC, but see what a little rescanning can do and you may get back all the channels. Thanks to 13 and everyone who posted for the tips and the information – it was all helpful. Have a wonderful day everyone.

    • Franklin Mint

      “Yes, and please explain why the signal goes COMPLETELY dead around midnight/1am. This is happening regularly. Please inform the viewers as to what is going on.” – Louis

      I’ve been wondering the same thing, Louis. This seems to happen every year and it’s very annoying. What is going on? Please make it stop.

    • Michelle

      I live in zip 11364. Although I do am able to get 13 certain programs (Tavis Smiley) have a big black box going across the screen. Sometimes it also happens on 7. Anyone else getting those? Any suggestions?

    • Michael

      CH 13 should ask FCC for UHF Ch. 25, which is available on the Empire State Building since old Ch. 25 is broadcasting on Ch. 24.

      CH 11 should ask FCC to use Ch. 50.

      CH 7 should go to Ch. 45.

      UHF rules DTV!!!

      VHF should be abandoned like a hot potato!!!

    • Lydia & Dori — Konopka method WORKS!

      Thank you, Peter Konopka. We just connected the tin foil to our antenna and now also get Channel 13 very well! Even a little bit of 11.

    • Michael

      I emailed Dr. Bill Baker in 2007 and urged him to take Ch. 45 frequency and not go back to VHF Ch. 13.

      I received no response in 2007.

      Seems I was right, and 13 was wrong to go back to VHF 13 to save a few dollars on their electric bill.

      13 will lose millions in dollars in pledges on VHF, which does not work with DTV on indoor antennas!!!

      Go to Ch. 25 or 45 immediately on UHF!!

      Abandon VHF TV!!!

    • Nathan

      Still no disclosure from management as to vhf decision. At present 2 antenna system. rabbit ears picks up 13 but the uhf part of rabbit ears is weak so the other stations are hit and miss.7 and 11 are still a disaster. New flat type vhf/uhf antenna with amplifier is brilliant on uhf stations but a disaster on 7,11 and 13. So the era of ahannel switching is over and plug in antenna for what range of station to watch. I have not seen one place cite the difference in cost between vhf and uhf. The FCC is silent

    • Nathan

      VHF Throws Wrench In DTV Transition
      By Jim Barthold
      TVNEWSDAY, Jun 18 2009, 12:16 PM ET
      “What about all of us that spent hundreds of dollars buying and installing the antenna during the testing period and now we see that it was wasted money because 6ABC switched to VHF,” wrote Nanopardo on the Web site of ABC-owed WPVI Philadelphia. “Did you say that we were all set if we got reception during the testing period? Now we are not??? PATHETIC!! And CRIMINAL!!”

      WPVI was not alone in drawing such ire. Other TV stations that had moved their digital channels from the UHF to VHF bands as part of last Friday’s final switch to DTV were being swamped with such messages from unhappy viewers via the Web or by phone.

      The VHF problem quickly became the DTV transition story this week, causing not only affected stations to scramble, but also the FCC.

      While stations appealed to the FCC for more power or new channel assignments, the FCC and broadcast engineers tried to figure out why the VHF channels were not doing the job and come up with solutions.

      The VHF problem is contributing to the FCC’s difficulties in getting the last of the over-the-air-only homes equipped for digital with a new TV sets or a converter box.

      Nielsen said yesterday that as many as 2.3 million homes are now without service, although others believe that number is vastly inflated.

      With its popular programming, ABC was at the center of the storm. Eight of its 10 station made the troublesome UHF to VHF shift, and six of them are in Top 10 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Houston.

      Like WPVI, ABC’s Chicago station, WLS, was a hot spot, drawing thousands of complaints from viewers who were receiving the station on its temporary DTV channel 52, but lost it when it switched to its permanent DTV assignment, channel 7, last Friday. (WPVI had moved from channel 64 to channel 6.)

      Another problem market was the FCC hometown of Washington. There, two stations, were trying to cope with incessant complaints after making U to V switches: Allbritton’s WJLA, which went from channel 39 to channel 7, and Gannett’s WUSA, which went from channel 34 to channel 9.

      All told, 483 of the nearly 1,800 full-power TV stations now dwell in the VHF band. Of those, 40 are assigned to the low VHF band (channels 2 through 6) and 443 to the high VHF band (channels 7 to 13).

      Prior to the analog cut offs on Feb. 17 and June 20, only 215 were operating in the VHF band with their “pre-transition” digital assignments.

      Broadcast engineers cite several reasons for why viewers might be having trouble with the digital VHF stations.

      Because most DTV stations are now UHF, they say, many consumers may have purchased UHF-only antennas or antennas with poor VHF elements. Some of the most popular antennas on the market perform poorly at VHF, they say.

      Other stations whose permanent digital channel is the same as their old analog channels are now using their old analog transmission plant for digital and that plant may not have been adequately retrofitted for digital, they say.

      Finally, they say, some of the new VHF stations are simply underpowered.

      VHF stations, particularly in the low VHF band, are susceptible to made-man interference emanating from everything from taxi cab radios to power lines to vacuum cleaners. The so-called impulse interference can only be overcome with more power that lifts the broadcast signal out of the noise.

      Recognizing the impulse-noise problem, some broadcasters had applications at the FCC to maximize power long before the June 12 analog deadline. Others are rushing to the agency with requests this week.

      Of course, power increases will be limited by the co-channel and adjacent channel interference they would cause. WLS may need more power, but it shares channel 7 with KJCT Grand Rapids, Mich. “Those two eventually start to collide with one another,” said one source.

      What perplexes the engineers is that VHF reception seems to be more of a problem in some places than it does in others. For ABC, for instance, it seems to be more of a problem in Chicago and Philadelphia than it does in New York and Los Angeles.

      “There are multiple variables here,” said a broadcast engineer. “There are more variables than we have equations to solve them right now. You have to look at the situation analytically and avoid panicking and assuming VHF is simply bad.”

      The problem with taking that analytic approach is that thousands of viewers are complaining about the loss of service and demanding answers fast.

      Stations caught in the maelstrom were hunkering down.

      ABC engineers declined to be interview, deferring calls to the PR department which limited its comment to a terse statement: “The FCC is well aware of the issues surrounding DTV and VHF reception and is working on potential solutions. Viewers also need to know that they need to buy a good quality VHF antenna to make sure that they are able to receive all VHF stations.”

      Perhaps embarrassed by the unexpected fallout, FCC spokespersons and engineers also did not return multiple phone calls seeking comment on the situation.

      Some broadcast engineer say the VHF problem was years in the making.

      “Engineers in the business were saying 10 years ago that the way the FCC is going about it has nothing to do with the real world,” says Oded Bendov, president of TV Transmission Antenna Group and winner of the NAB TV engineer achievement award winner of 2005.

      In making its channel and power allocations, the FCC used “an ideal [digital] receiver that doesn’t exist connected to an antenna that doesn’t exist and software to way over-predict service that was never validated in the field.

      Bendov says the FCC also did not adequately test DTV with indoor antennas.

      “There’s a special problem for VHF stations. If you connect [indoor antennas] to a DTV converter box, they actually degrade the performance of the receiver quite considerably. The receiver suffers a punch in the stomach when it’s connected to these antennas.

      “All TV stations, UHF and VHF, are not getting the service the FCC said they would, but when it comes to indoor reception there’s a special problem for VHF stations,” Bendov says.

      Erik Swanson, a consulting engineer at Hatfield and Dawson, agrees.

      “One of the DTV report and orders in 1997 acknowledged that operations, particularly in the low VHF channels are ‘subject to a number of technical penalties,’ he says. “The FCC knew in ‘97 that these channels were problematic.”

      But Bendov also offers some hope to stations now saddled with VHF channels, saying that the FCC made its digital channel assignments with extremely conservative interference assumptions. He estimated that low VHF channels should have been given 16 times more power and high VHF 6.3 times more to adequately serve indoor antennas.

      Because ABC is not talking, it’s not clear why it ended up with VHF channels at most of its stations. “Why ‘PVI chose to go to channel 6 is beyond my wildest imagination. It makes no sense whatsoever,” says Bendov, who says that he designed WPVI’s antenna.

      Some speculate that it was primarily a marketing decision. The stations wanted the same digital channels as analog channels, even though the DTV standard’s PSIP feature can mask the real digital channel numbers and allow station to continue branding with their old analog numbers.

      While the broadcast engineers at ABC and elsewhere continue to work the problem, their viewers will continue to grumble.

      “It’s the height of arrogance that we buy a new antenna when we are receiving all the digital channels EXCEPT yours,” said kavana914, another of dozens of complaints piling up on the WPVI Web site.


      Copyright 2009 TV Newsday, Inc. All rights reserved.

    • Pat

      I get channel 13 part of the time, most often late at night after midnight. When it breaks up I do the double rescan and the update to my channels and sometimes it helps, sometimes not. Last night I moved the antenna up high and to the window and did the double rescan and I lost 13. Did the update to the channels, did not help. I get 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, not 11 and not 13. I live in Manhattan at 24th St. & 2nd avenue on the ground floor. If this is an issue where 13 has to be transmitted at greater power I hope you can do it soon. 13 is my favorite channel, I miss it.

    • Grace

      I can receive channel 13, but the “No signal” message constantly keeps flashing across the screen while watching! Very annoying. Now and then, such as when a plane goes over (which is quite often in this area!) I do lose the channel.

    • Larissa

      I am an Editorial Coordinator for Children’s PressLine. We are a youth media organization affiliated with The New York Daily News. Publishing weekly articles in the Daily News on issues that affect kids, the program is meant to hone skills in young journalists from ages 8-18.

      Currently we are working on an article regarding the switch to DTV in Queens, New York and the loss of access to educational programing in some areas, including Thirteen.

      If anyone is interested in speaking with us… particularly people with children affected by this problem. We would love to hear from you. Our deadline for reporting on this issue is Thursday, August 6.

      You can contact me at queensnycpl@gmail.com.

    • Corwin Frost

      Last spring, in preparation for the analog to digital transmission, we bought a new 15″ Toshiba digital TV to replace the portable analog set we had used at various locations around the house and outside. Using a simple antenna, we are able to receive excellent digital HD signals over the air for several of the NY stations but not Channel 13. On the recommendation of Radio Shack, we bought the most powerful amplified HDTV antenna they sell but still no success with Channel 13. We live in Bronxville NY, 15 miles from mid-town Manhattan, high on a hill, with line-of-sight view of the Empire State Building. It seems very strange we can pick up digital signals for most of the other stations but, for Channel 13, the TV says “Digital channel signal strength is low”. Any suggestions?

    • Carrie

      I live in East Harlem, NYC, and it’s September 1st and I am still having problems recieving a few important channels for me. I cannot get channel 13, 7, 11 and 41. I purchased a new antenna a couple of weeks ago, however, I still experience problems and I just give up.

      Last night I was watching Nightline and the signal was gone, I checked 11, 13 and 41 and those signals were gone also. This happened most of last week as well and I do not know why? I scan, rescan and adjust the antenna for hours and it just does not work.

      Then early morning I rescan and channels 7, 11, 13 and 41 now reappeared. I do not know what is happening now, but it is increasingly frustrating? There are many programs on Thirteen that I enjoy but I cannot get to watch them regularly.

      Are you still looking for solutions to this problem?

    • NRG

      Really disappointed that DTV conversion has resulted in no more Ch. 13. Especially in this economy many of us cannot afford cable and need information.

    • Gerry

      Maybe there’s a hint of explanation (which I can’t decipher) in this story. In Bayside, Queens I hooked up my mil’s old analog TV to the digital converter box and that received the signal from an old roof top antenna through that old dipole wire (which I screwed into one of those converters that makes it a coaxial cable connector). With that set up I got all the possible channels. The same day when switching the same coaxial cable input into a brand new Toshiba HDTV, I scanned, and although it “saw” channels 7, 11 and 13, it said the signal was too weak to display. How could the signal be there for the contorted analog set up, but not strong enough for the straightforward digital set up? I think these new digital TV’s are cranky. If the signal’s not strong enough for them they just digitally, all or nothing at all, refuse to display the station. Somehow the analog situation has more “give”. Or is it a matter of the separate digital to analog signal converter box just having more powerful electronics or smarter software?

    • Rg

      Still dont get ch 7(abc), 11(wpix/cw11) and 13(pbs). get all others…just got a new dual band antenna (VHF & UHF) and a brand new digi tv…no luck getting 7,11 and 13….you guys need to move to the UHF frequency…everyone seems to get all the channels on that….and oh we are in central NJ 08873

    • MSS

      Channel 13, what gives? You have not posted any responses since July 1st about what you are doing to improve reception. I live in Brooklyn and still cannot get reception even with my UHF/VHF antenna. I get it for about five minutes and then it breaks up. Very frustrating.

    • Don Jenner

      OK, let’s be really clear: 13.1 is supposed to be “Channel 13″ with Masterpiece Theatre and so on. 13.2 is supposed to be kiddie-TV. 13.3 is supposed to be Spanish-language programming. So why, as of Sunday when you last had something I wanted to watch (…), was .1 the kiddie crap, and .3 the real Channel 13? And that, BTW, is after a rescan. And if you signal still comes from the Empire State Building, it’s being line-of-sight. And all the other stations I’m supposed to get (except, of course, your companion station, Channel 21…) come through just fine — both before and after the rescan,

      I think it’s a failure of basic professional competence, and I am pretty sure that’s a sustainable argument.

    • nathan

      what is the progress on application to increase power?some days you are here;other days not.This is still very perplexing.You know the problem is being VHF when you should be UHF

    • TTM

      I live in South Brooklyn (Bensonhurst). I was able to receive 13 and all others after the digital conversion. However, about two months ago, 13 was suddenly gone and so was 11. I still cannot receive anything. 7 is still OK but occasionally the reception is poor. Channel 13 should really work on improving the signal. No audience can support or sponsor a station WITHOUT receiving it, can they?

    • Kristen

      Anything? Any news at all?

    • Richard Wojtyna


      This is a very good DTV tool. Enter your zip or full street address. You can place it right on your house if you zoom in ‘map’ mode. It tells what stations are expected to be strong and weak. Click on the station to get more info and tower location.

    • Patty

      Getting all channels, including 7, 11 and 31–but not 13. At all. Garden City, Long Island.

      Please get a UHF band!

    • nathan

      Reception has deteriorated. The rabbit ears and silver foil connecting the 2 ears does not work anymore. Funny,channel 7 seems to have improved. 11 and 13 still miserable or non existent. FCC where are you or if you don’t have cable,I don’t care about you.

    • Luis A Cruz

      I’m still getting bad reception even with the clear stream micron antenna, the funny thing is
      when i had my analog tv with converter this did not occur, i’ve been a THIRTEEN member for
      a few years and a devoted watcher since i was old enough to watch TV, this issue is really getting to me, to the point where i’m considering the unthinkable…. CABLE..

      FCC ETA please ?


    • Chas Chasleton

      How horrible that the one “public” TV station gets such a crappy slot, especially in one of the country’s top markets. I can get NJN, but that is some of the worst public TV I’ve ever seen. They don’t bother with things like “American Masters” half the time. I’m less than 30 miles from NYC, but can’t even get a hint of signal for WNET.

      No interest in cable here. Such a shame that OTA viewers that don’t want to pay for $50/month of garbage TV get the shaft in the digital transition.

      At the very least I now have a valid answer when I get telemarketed: “I’d give if I could receive”

    • Chas Chasleton

      An update – bought an $80 VHF-hi/UHF monster of an antenna at Radio Shack. Attic mount (only option here) and I get almost watchable WNET. 7 and 11 are fine, as are all the UHF stations. I even get WNYE.

      Maybe the folks at tvfool.com can help.

    • nathan

      It is over a year and no improvement. Complete silence from everybody. What is going on?

    • chacha

      hi. well this must be a problem everywhere. i live oak lawn illinois and have digital box. each night like clock work at 1am i loose channels 26 1.2,3,4 and 38 1,2,3, all day i have no problems. only at 1 am.

    • Chris

      Not getting 7,11 and 13 is still a problem after all this time. I’m trying to get rid of cable, but can’t do that without at least getting these broadcast channels. All the others channels come in fine using my amped indoor antenna.

    • Glenn

      I’m in Massapaequa and have been having more problems with WNET 13 signal strength in the past 6 months than a year ago. It seems the signal strength varies from moment to moment. I’ve upgraded my antenna to include Hi-VHF and I’m pulling in about 70 channels, strenght is excellent, except channel 13. No problem with channel 7.1 or channel 11.1. Any suggestions?

    • Adam

      I have an digital aerial antennae and, and I still can’t tune it in on my TV. this is absurd. Two years and no resolution to this issue. I’d be a member still, but I can’t receive the signal!

    • April

      Apparently the problem is linked to the station transmitter power. WCBS-2HD transmits at 349kw, WNBC-4 at 200.2kw of power. These stations come in great, no problem with hundreds of kw power.

      However, WCBS-7 transmits at 26.9kw. WNET-13 is transmitting at only 9.3kw!, and WPIX-11 a paltry 7.5kw. I suggest calling the station and questioning why they have not raised their transmitting power. If the FCC has restricted these channels from boosting their power, I would really like to know why. Bottom line, we won’t get these channels with an indoor amplified antenna.

    • April

      Since we can’t get 13, you might want to watch WNJN-50, which is a sister station of WNET-13 and WLIW-21. It is also called NJTV and transmits at 200kw. NJTV is a public television network, and is operated by WNET.org, the parent company of New York City’s flagship public television stations, WNET and WLIW, through a subsidiary nonprofit organization. Although it highlights New Jersey affairs, there are probably some of the same PBS programs you see on 13.

    • Lloyd Kuhnle

      Please tell me why channels 7, 11, & 13 transmit at such a low level. I want to ditch cable totally, but can,t without them. Please tell me what is the problem! I live in NJ and get the other over the air channels fine.

    • asg

      i dont have cable but have a digital television. its 2012 and i still can’t get wnet-13 in clearly! what can i do?

    • Paul

      Same problem here. Had it for 2 days, lost it for days, got it back for half a day, etc… Very frustrating, to say the least. Makes me wish for the old analog days.

    • Michael

      This is crazy! all my other channels come in clear as day but 7, 11, and 13? it’s as if they don’t exist. Wake up FCC!

    • zb3xn

      I wish they would just switch 11 and 13 back to UHF. Ironically when all the NYC stations were running on their temporary digital channels before the switch to digital broadcast only the OTA HDTV digital channels were all a breeze! Then after they got rid of analog they went and changed almost all of the digital channels and pretty much all of them became much trickier to bring in. Most of doable easily enough all the same, although 7 tends to be a bit touchy but 11 and 13 are really rough, you need just the exact spot for the antenna, cables and to use the right tuner, with my new HDHomeRun 11 and 13 have gone from tricky to impossible. Why can’t they just put them back to some UHF instead! It would solve it for everyone!

    • twistedboots

      I just made the switch to dtv from an analog and rabbit ears antenna. Same issue. get every other network clear along with their subsequent channels. I miss my PBS!

    • bigbaballoo

      I am an air receiver & can not receive PBS 13, nor 8 NJ or 21 WLIW I receive all 2,4,5,7,9,11 I also receive 25 NY 31 etc. I see that thirteen stated they are transmitting at the highest signal power but question if that’s true. I am a subscriber to 13 & considering its public TV & I want to receive it free & clear I am interested in a prompt resolution.

    • Jodi

      Any hope of getting this channel if the antenna is more powerful? I have rabbit ears and a digital convertor box at this moment. Thanks.

    • oscarina

      What is the deal with PBS not using the same protocol as nearly all the other channels? This is public TV I can’t get it with an antenna? I’m an apartment dweller, not a house dweller, I can’t hook up a giant VHF antenna. Well, no wonder they’re having trouble keeping afloat! Why should I donate to a station I can’t even receive??? Good luck, PBS! Good luck and so long!

    • Elizabeth Aiken

      Hi im digital and im still having problems basically with 11 and 13. Will the problem eever b solved cause I don’t want cable