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Philadelphia OTA channel designations

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Old 01-02-2007, 01:43 PM   #1
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Default Philadelphia OTA channel designations

Can anyone give me the most up-to-date information on all channel designations (HDTV/Digital) for OTA reception in the Philadelphia area?
I have an old listing (that only shows channels 3,6,10,17,29,35) but doesn't include the local PBS station and possibly others.
On this old listing, it's stated that the former channel number, e.g., of channel 6 is now channel 64, channel 10 is now 67, etc.
Being new to OTA reception, does this mean that, with an indoor/outdoor VHF/UHV antenna hooked up that I simply tune the TV to Channel 64 e.g., and I'll receive the digital signal and if the TV has an HDTV tuner, I'll receive the HDTV program when transmitted?
Sorry to sound like a doofus, but I am very interested in avoiding paying for cable when HDTV reception can be obtained OTA for "free."
Thanks for any replies.
dick
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Old 01-02-2007, 02:33 PM   #2
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The channel numbering scheme for digital stations seems to be designed to confuse. Suppose an analog station is transmitting on channel 10 (to use one of your examples). When the station started to transmit digital as well, it could not use channel 10 since this was the analog channel, so they chose to use a new frequency, in your case 67. But to make sure that everyone knew this was really channel 10 digital, the concept of channel mapping was introduced. Although the digital channel 10 is on channel 67, it appears everywhere as "virtual" channel 10-1 (and there can be other subchannels such as 10-2 also, they use pieces of the transmission on channel 67 to deliver other programming such as weather). So when you see the station on your digital receiver, TV tuner etc it appears as 10-1 even though it is actually being transmitted on channel 67.

Let's look at what that means to you. If you list the analog stations you want to receive (3,6,10 etc) each of them can have a digital equivalent (3-1, 6-1 etc). You don't need to know which channel the station is ACTUALLY using in order to receive it, you just select the
"virtual" channel number.
When it comes to selecting an antenna for local OTA, you DO need to know the actual channel number of the stations, because you need to know if any of your stations are transmitting in VHF, many antennas are just UHF.
Go to www.antennaweb.org and input your address. It will give you a list of stations it thinks you will be able to receive - select just "digital stations". You can copy/paste your results and post back here, and that will help us advise you on antenna selection.
And give us your zip code also...
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:47 PM   #3
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Default OTA digital channel designations in Philly area

Really appreciate the excellent suggestion re:www.antennaweb.org.
Here are the results which are just what I needed. The degree designation is the broadcast antenna location (clockwise) from true north. Thanks very much.
Dick

DTV Antenna
Type Call Sign Channel Network City State Live
Date Compass
Orientation Miles
From Frequency
Assignment
* yellow - uhf KYW-DT 3.1 CBS PHILADELPHIA PA 8 2.7 26
* yellow - uhf WGTW-DT 48.1 TBN BURLINGTON NJ 15 2.7 27
* yellow - uhf WCAU-DT 10.1 NBC PHILADELPHIA PA 15 2.7 67
* yellow - uhf WPPX-DT 61.1 i WILMINGTON DE 15 2.7 31
* yellow - uhf WPSG-DT 57.1 CW PHILADELPHIA PA 15 2.7 32
* yellow - uhf WPVI-DT 6.1 ABC PHILADELPHIA PA 8 2.7 64
* yellow - uhf WHYY-DT 12.1 PBS WILMINGTON DE 11 2.7 50
* yellow - uhf WPHL-DT 17.1 MNT PHILADELPHIA PA 15 2.7 54
* yellow - uhf WYBE-DT 34.1 PBS PHILADELPHIA PA 15 2.7 34
* lt green - uhf WNJT-DT 43.1 PBS TRENTON NJ 68 35.0 43
* red - uhf WTVE-DT 51.1 IND READING PA 324 33.2 25
* violet - uhf WTXF-DT 29.1 FOX PHILADELPHIA PA 12 3.9 42
* violet - uhf WWSI-DT 49.0 TEL ATLANTIC CITY NJ 130 53.6 49
Note:
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Old 01-03-2007, 12:50 PM   #4
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Default Zip code requested for OTA Philly

texasbrit
Forgot to add zip code. It's 19004. Location only about 2 miles from broadcast towers. I'm hoping the Terk HDTVi indoor antenna will do the job for me. Thanks again.
Dick
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Old 01-03-2007, 04:50 PM   #5
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Dick

Without an ATSC digital tuner you cannot receive any OTA digital broadcasts at all.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:02 PM   #6
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Granted. The TV I'm using with the Terk HDTVi is the Sharp Aquos
LC32S40U which incorporates an ATSC tuner.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:05 PM   #7
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Default HDTV i indoor antenna

Correction: The Sharp Aquos model is LC32D40U.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickkaluza
texasbrit
Forgot to add zip code. It's 19004. Location only about 2 miles from broadcast towers. I'm hoping the Terk HDTVi indoor antenna will do the job for me. Thanks again.
Dick
The Terk HDTVi is a "clone" of the Silver Sensor which is generally thought to be the best indoor UHF antenna; the Terk has added "rabbit ears" for VHF. Looking at your antennaweb results, it should be OK although Fox is showing as "violet" which is normally outside the range of an indoor antenna. The Fox station might still be at low power, or the antennaweb database might have it at low power even though it has gone full power in late 2006, I don't know which it is. You will have to try it and see.
A few of your stations are probably going back to VHF-hi from UHF in 2009 when analog goes away - the rabbit ears on the HDTVi might be enough to get those VHF stations even then. Wait until 2009 to find out!!
Whatever you do, don't use an amplified indoor antenna (the HDTVi is unamplified). You are so close to the stations that any amplifier will probably be overloaded by the signals and your reception will be worse than without an amp.
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickkaluza
Really appreciate the excellent suggestion re:www.antennaweb.org.
Here are the results which are just what I needed. The degree designation is the broadcast antenna location (clockwise) from true north. Thanks very much.
Dick

DTV Antenna
Type Call Sign Channel Network City State Live
Date Compass
Orientation Miles
From Frequency
Assignment
* yellow - uhf KYW-DT 3.1 CBS PHILADELPHIA PA 8° 2.7 26
* yellow - uhf WGTW-DT 48.1 TBN BURLINGTON NJ 15° 2.7 27
* yellow - uhf WCAU-DT 10.1 NBC PHILADELPHIA PA 15° 2.7 67
* yellow - uhf WPPX-DT 61.1 i WILMINGTON DE 15° 2.7 31
* yellow - uhf WPSG-DT 57.1 CW PHILADELPHIA PA 15° 2.7 32
* yellow - uhf WPVI-DT 6.1 ABC PHILADELPHIA PA 8° 2.7 64
* yellow - uhf WHYY-DT 12.1 PBS WILMINGTON DE 11° 2.7 50
* yellow - uhf WPHL-DT 17.1 MNT PHILADELPHIA PA 15° 2.7 54
* yellow - uhf WYBE-DT 34.1 PBS PHILADELPHIA PA 15° 2.7 34
* lt green - uhf WNJT-DT 43.1 PBS TRENTON NJ 68° 35.0 43
* red - uhf WTVE-DT 51.1 IND READING PA 324° 33.2 25
* violet - uhf WTXF-DT 29.1 FOX PHILADELPHIA PA 12° 3.9 42
* violet - uhf WWSI-DT 49.0 TEL ATLANTIC CITY NJ 130° 53.6 49
Note:
All of the digital stations in that list are UHF, but that will change in February 2009, if not before.

WPVI will move from channel 64 back to VHF channel 6 once they turn off their analogue transmitters. WHYY will move back to VHF channel 12.

Other stations reverting to their original channels are: WPHL (channel 17) and WYBE (Channel 35).

WCAU has to vacate channel 67 but will switch to channel 34 rather than move back to channel 10. However, they will have to wait until WYBE vacates channel 34.

All of the other stations in the list will remain on the current digital channels.

Last edited by BrianO; 01-03-2007 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:13 AM   #10
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Default OTA digital channel designations in Philly area

BrianO
Thanks for updating me on these factors. Appreciate it!
Dick
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:14 AM   #11
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texasbrit
That's a big help - appreciate your replys.
Dick
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:15 AM   #12
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texasbrit
That's a big help - appreciate your replies.
Dick
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:47 AM   #13
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texasbrit
That's a big help - appreciate your replies.
Dick
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Old 01-04-2007, 10:23 AM   #14
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Thanks for the info - it's a big help.
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Old 02-12-2007, 01:51 PM   #15
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I am using the Terk indoor antenna and the Sharp Aquos 32 -inch with very good results. I know I am receiving digital signals, but will the digital signal for each station get received in HD when the show is broadcast in HD? I am making that assumption, but thought I should ask.
Thanks.
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