Friday, August 07, 2009

WOIO Gets Clearance For Power Boost

Trip Ericson, creator of the RabbitEars.info website, passes along word that the alleged Cleveland market CBS affiliate has been a construction permit by the FCC for a power increase.

It's the 10.3 kW facility Raycom Media's WOIO/19 Shaker Heights (RF channel 10) applied for in mid-2008, which would be a slight bump up from the current 3.5 kW facility being used by the station. It'd also be slightly higher up on the station's tower - 361 meters height above average terrain, vs. 304 for the current DT 10 facility.

Trip and others have told us in the past that you "shouldn't expect much" whenever that new facility makes it to the air.

It's still rather low in power level, and does virtually nothing to solve reception problems north of the Parma antenna farm...for very good reason, as Canadian-cross-Lake-Erie powerhouse CFPL/10 London ON is still on the air, and needs signal protection.

And it'll need that protection from Cleveland even after Canadian TV goes all digital in a couple of years, as CFPL has filed to remain on channel 10 in the digital age.

But...it's at least slight movement, and maybe some people will have a better shot at the signal.

8 comments:

emery_r said...

Why on earth hasn't WOIO apparently tried to move to another channel, whether it's VHF or UHF? Seems very odd to be tied to a frequency that (a) isn't performing for them now, and (b) isn't likely to improve significantly, even when these latest changes take effect.

Wayne In Akron said...

@EmeryR...

As much as I'd like to jump on the WOIO basher bandwagon on this one, a few words in OMW's story is very telling...

-------------------------------
It's the 10.3 kW facility (WOIO) applied for in MID-2008.
-------------------------------

The bigger question is:

WHY HAS IT TAKEN THE FCC OVER 1 YEAR TO APPROVE THIS?

With this as an example of the expediency of the FCC, it is a bit understandable that WOIO wouldn't be too willing to rely on the FCC to fix the issue for Cleveland area TV viewers.

Mike Golch said...

my question is this when the boost in power is applies will their signal strenght be that where you can reliably recieve their channel?

emery_r said...

I still think my question is a good one, especially since "those in the know" doubt that the approved changes will cure the problem for WOIO. Something tells me they really didn't recognize the severity of their future reception issues when this was filed, if it was indeed a year ago.

A different VHF channel, or a switch to UHF, sure seems like a better global solution for their current problems.

One of our local Cincinnati VHF stations (WCPO/9, on RF 10)) has also asked for a further power boost, believing it will cure THEIR reception problems. Time will tell, I suppose, but I do hope it won't take a year to gain approval. Something tells me it will NOT.

Trip said...

Wayne:

Canadian coordination. The FCC approved most routine power boosts very quickly during the transition, but when dealing with Canada or Mexico, it can drag on forever.

TheWgp said...

Emery:
Many people blame Raycom, the notoriously penny-pinching and penny-wise-pound-foolish owners of WOIO. VHF does lower the electric bill (speaking in general terms)...

Wayne: My understanding has been that the holdup has been on the Canadian side - the Canadian bureaucracy has little to no interest in caring about American stations and their reception.

Mike:
Sadly, this boost in signal strength will not be likely to help most people. The biggest improvement, in all honesty, is likely the height - improved sightlines are going to be available as the antenna is just a bit higher to make it over distant obstacles.

It's worth noting that nobody much north of Parma is going to see much improvement from this - if you want to see WOIO in Cleveland (or much of anywhere north of 480, including Shaker Heights, you'd best figure out which pay TV provider will screw you the least...

emery_r said...

And a lack of viewers lowers the ad revenue, so a reasonable person would reasonably conclude that WOIO needs to do what it can to get more eyes on their channel.

As was said, they appear to be "penny wise, pound foolish" -- or put another way, focused only on the short term, ignoring the long term. Does the short term even MATTER if you're mortgaging your long-term health?

Jeffrey said...

I live in Mentor, Ohio and I could not receive the digital signal at all. The WOIO analog signal was the strongest before the conversion, so there was nothing wrong with my antenna. I finally broke down and paid $10/month to get DISH HD package which provides WOIO in HD.

I think that since most people get their stations through satellite or cable, stations like WOIO do not want to put much money into OTA broadcasts.