FCC sides with stations on strength test


A number of television stations which had to take a compromised approach to the DTV transition have been granted waivers to maintain that approach up until the deadline day. In most cases, they have been running their digital versions at reduced power due to side-mounted antennae. The actions “prohibit satellite subscribers from receiving or conducting a digital signal strength test.” In most cases, hen the analog signal is turned off 2/17/09, the digital antenna will assume the analog version’s superior tower location, rendering need for the waiver moot.

Among the stations so waived are ABC/Disney’s WTVG Toledo; Hoak’s KAUZ Wichita Falls and KNOP North Platte NE; Fisher Broadcasting’s KCBY and KVAL, both serving Eugene OR; and West Virginia Media Holdings’s WTRF Wheeling and WBOY Clarksburg-Weston WV.

Two others go beyond the DTV deadline, ABC/Disney’s WABC New York, with is still dealing with tower location difficulties resulting from the 9/11 attacks; and Max Media’s WNKT in Bowling Green KY, which is not carried locally by any satellite service and thus has no need for a test.