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NextGen TV comes to San Diego (2 Viewers)

Mark Booth

Senior HTF Member
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Aug 25, 1999
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NexStar, the media company that owned the San Diego market FOX affiliate (KSWB), recently purchased a second TV station in San Diego, KUSI. On January 16, 2024, KSWB and KUSI became the first two stations in San Diego to broadcast in ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV). Since the FCC requires stations to continue to simulcast an ATSC 1.0 signal, switching to ATSC 3.0 requires a sharing arrangement. Since NexStar owned TWO TV channels in the market, it was easy for them. What isn't easy is the problem that popped up....

On January 13, 2024, ATSC 1.0 signal of KUSI (channel identifier 51and broadcasting on RF 18) was moved to the ATSC 1.0 KSWB (channel identifier 69) transmitter (RF 26) as a sub-channel on 69 (69.6, to be exact) but the channel identifier for KUSI remained 51.1. Thus, the ATSC 1.0 signals for both KSWB (FOX) and KUSI (Independent) were on the same transmitter.

On January 16, 2024, the ATSC 3.0 (NextGen TV) signals for both KUSI and KSWB were started up on the RF 18 transmitter (that formerly hosted just KUSI ATSC 1.0).

Of course, we had to rescan channels after those dates to find the correct RF locations for those stations. The image quality on the ATSC 1.0 signals took a hit, the bandwidth was lower and it was quite visible. I don't own an ATSC 3.0 tuner, I can't personally vouch for the signal over there.

Then, on the morning of January 23, we woke up to find that both KUSI and KSWB (ATSC 1.0 signals) were off the air. Gone! Attempting to rescan the channels resulted in NOTHING being found for 51 and 69.

It's been almost a week and the two ATSC 1.0 signals have not returned. None of my fellow over-the-air friends in San Diego can tune the channels either. Over on AVS Forum there is a guy in Rancho Bernardo who claims he is receiving the signals on ATSC 1.0. Ditto for a guy up in Moreno Valley (90 miles away). But I don't see how that is possible. A receptionist at KSWB confirmed to me that the ATSC 1.0 transmitter is off the air.

Supposedly, the transmitter is being repaired. But I'm getting rather impatient. We could not watch the Lions/49ers NFC Championship game yesterday because it was broadcast on FOX. Grrrr...

Regarding the guys in RB and Moreno Valley... Is it possible the transmitter has antennas for two different distances? One to broadcast to nearby households (say, under 20 miles) and one to reach farther? If so, perhaps the short range broadcast antenna is on the fritz?

At any rate, San Diego's first foray into NextGen TV has really SUCKED!

Mark
 

SD_Brian

Screenwriter
Joined
Nov 14, 2007
Messages
1,450
Real Name
Brian
I've always thought San Diego broadcasters should take lessons from Mexico: It's been several years since I've tried for over-the-air reception, but whenever I did, Telemundo would come in clear as day, but anything broadcasting out of San Diego was snow-city.
 

Mark Booth

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 25, 1999
Messages
3,579
We are just 4 miles from the top of the mountain where KUSI & KSWB are broadcast. Our antenna, on a mast, is in line-of-sight with the top of the mountain. The UHF antenna is a Channel Master bow-tie, sort of a top of the line for UHF antennas. We have a preamp/distribution amp for the signals. All other channels that are broadcast from that same mountain (including the local PBS affiliate) continue to be received with 100% signal strength and 100% signal quality. I did a channel rescan on two TVs today and neither KUSI or KSWB were found.

Meanwhile, since I posted my message above, a friend who lives about 20 miles from the top of the mountain reports that he is now receiving the channels. He tried rescanning channels on Saturday and again on Sunday and his Tablo ATSC 1.0 tuner did not find either station. Then, late this afternoon, he tried rescanning again and, bingo, the tuner found both of the channels and he's receiving them in good quality.

I again rescanned channels on two of our TVs and they did not find the channels. I don't know what the heck is going on, but it sure is driving me nuts.

It cannot be my equipment. Simply not possible. If it was my equipment than I'd be experiencing issues with other stations/channels. The same equipment was able to pull in both RF 18 and RF 26 before NexStar switched RF 18 to ATSC 3.0. I should still be able to receive RF 26. It makes no sense.

Mark
 

Mark Booth

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Aug 25, 1999
Messages
3,579
After being missing in action for a solid week, the ATSC 1.0 signals for both KUSI & KSWB are back. I rescanned channels this morning and they were still missing. About 3:30 pm this afternoon I tried again and, bingo, they were finally back. I'm getting 100% signal quality and 100% signal strength.

I am completely perplexed as to why someone 25 or 90 miles away were receiving the ATSC 1.0 signals when I could not. We have line-of-sight and it's only 4 miles from the top of the mountain to our house.

Earlier, I flew my drone and positioned it so it was sitting directly in front of our Channel Master UHF antenna. Right in the middle of the antenna. This is the "view" the antenna "sees".

i-x6PwMdm.jpg



That's Mt. San Miguel. Numerous TV stations broadcast from that mountain.

Why on earth could others get the signal when we could not (until this afternoon). It's an enigma wrapped in a riddle! Makes no sense!

Mark
 

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