Thursday, April 27, 2006

WBNX-TV Receives Digital Construction Permit

It appears Cleveland market WB affiliate WBNX/55 Akron's long wait for approval of its digital TV facility is over.

An OMW tipster gave word of the FCC's OK of the station's digital construction permit, and sure enough, it shows on the FCC website as being approved a week ago. (It's the one labeled "BPCDT-19991029AFM", which was filed way back in 1999.)

WBNX had to resolve interference issues with a Canadian TV station on the same channel, the digital side of Global TV's Paris ON affiliate. Even though that station isn't anywhere near being on the air, the local station still had to consider its approved facilities in Canada in its own application.

In February, WBNX had filed an amendment to the CP request, specifying some details in their request to put up a directional antenna with a "beam tilt" to direct the signal away from interference with the Canadian station's planned facility. It appears this move is what nudged the FCC off dead center with the WBNX-DT application.

On its "trends" page, WBNX says they hope to get the facility on by the FCC deadline for such stations in July 2006. The page was put up before the approval, and we understand the station is basically ready to construct it, if they haven't already started in the past week. WBNX will become the Cleveland market's CW Network affiliate in September, and the move means it's likely that the CW's HDTV programming will be seen here when the network starts...


Anonymous said...

I've also heard that they were given FCC approval to operate their digital signal at a larger than normal amount of wattage, which would mean a quite powerful signal throughout N.E. Ohio. Does anyone know the exact wattage? I'm very happy about seeing Smallville and Supernatural in HD. Just got a 42" plasma and I'm ready!

Ohio Media Watch said...

The details are on the links above.

Basically, it's 1000KW, which is really high for a digital station, even on UHF. I don't know the hows/whys as to what power level stations get, but most locals on the UHF band are around 500KW or just north of that.

I believe 1000KW is the high power level for a DT station. WBNX's analog stick is 5000KW. If I had to guess, WBNX-DT can go as high as it does because the station maximized its analog stick.

Anonymous said...

Thanks OMW! Very informative!