Out-of-market channels

FoxCitiesTV's picture
Green Bay

Is there any word out there about how TimeWarner (or Charter) is going to handle their basic-cable channel lineup after the digital transition next year? My guess is that out-of-market channels will be dropped at that time on the grounds that they can't receive enough of a digital signal up here (which may or may not be true). This might be why WWAZ hasn't been replaced with another broadcast channel. The last time the Milwaukee channels were removed from the Oshkosh lineup, there was a public hearing on the issue and a lynch mob showed up to protest. The channels were put back on the following week. Any thoughts?

Posted March 22, 2008 11:55am in
FoxCitiesTV's picture

Why do you think they'll do

Why do you think they'll do anything different after the switch? Far as I know, Time Warner doesn't use an antenna to pick local channels out of the air. When WFRV went down, Time Warner wasn't affected because they said they feed TWC directly (not sure how). WVTV from Milwaukee may have been an exception (the channel always looked lousy on my cable).

I doubt anything will change drastically if at all, because cable is required to service analog TVs for a few years more unless they go 100% digital.

Andy's picture

For Oshkosh, TW picks up

For Oshkosh, TW picks up Milwaukee channels WTMJ & WISN out of the air from their tower in Neenah. You can tell the signals aren't very good, since there's usually a lot of static- especially on WTMJ. WVTV used to be received that way, too, as I understand it. I think the only thing keeping the channels on TW was the subscribers' interest in them- despite the poor signal quality. Once those analog broadcast signals disappear from the air next year, TW will have to find a new delivery method for carrying those channels... either by receiving the new digital broadcasts from the air in Neenah (with occasional signal dropouts) or over a fiber cable from Milwaukee the way they send TimeWarner Sports channel. I'm not sure how interested TW is in keeping those channels on the lineup, at least in Oshkosh. I guess we will see if they announce any changes later this year. I hope the management remembers subscribers' reactions the last time the channels were pulled!

Another thing I heard is that TW is closing their public access facilities in Green Bay and Appleton and consolidating operations in Milwaukee. Not sure when, but apparently sometime this year. It's another example of why the "Video Competition Bill" was poor legislation that hurts local communities.

Anonymous's picture

first off, time warner gets

first off, time warner gets wfrv from a fiber feed right from greenbay.
Also time waner does not have a fiber feed from mil to appleton. The headend for greenbay,appleton, nennah, menasha,oskosh, and the fox cities all come appleton and none of the channels come from just "over the air" most mil stations are brought in by satiliette to the headend. when the digital transition happens in 09 they will recive all signals in digital. Then down convert them. also as far as relocating the public access station to mil is false as well. twc is building a state of the art facilty in the new building (right off kk and 441 in appleton) the new studio will also have brand new equip. which will inculed hd. support.

questions or comments call them at 1-800-236-1704

Andy's picture

WWAZ seems to have been

WWAZ seems to have been replaced with a channel that airs only infomercials (cable 11 in Oshkosh, cable 9 in Fox Cities?). Unfortunately they didn't put WVTV (or another out-of-market station) back on the channel (yet?).

I confirmed with a tech from TWC that they receive their Milwaukee signals off-air at their Neenah tower, and used to receive WVTV there until channel 17 (Trinity Broadcasting) went on the air in Oshkosh a few years back and caused too much interference. At that point, they switched to their facility in Appleton for reception of channel 18. It's not easy for them to receive those stations, but they're still more of a value to customers than a 24/7 infomercial channel I would say.

FoxCitiesTV's picture

I'd be curious if WWAZ's

I'd be curious if WWAZ's digital-only switch invalidated their must-carry petition with the FCC. I'd assume if they're still broadcasting in Fond Du Lac that they *could* still be on Time Warner. Perhaps the infomercials is a sign that it ain't coming back. Maybe they're looking for something to put in there.

Who knows? (Certainly, no I)

Dick McDonald's picture

I don't know what others

I don't know what others have experienced but I put up a digital receiving antenna some months ago. The stations doing digital so far have been up and down with how much power they have been using to send their signal, so the number of stations I have been receiving has been up and down. One particular night I was using my converter box on the upstairs TV and did a search for channels. I was receiving Milwaukee and Madison stations as well as others I normally do not get. It only lasted one night. I don't knowif those extra stations were on and off briefly or I was experiencing a fluke in atmospheric conditions that affected reception.

Andy's picture

I experience the same

I experience the same phenomenon, it's called "tropospheric ducting". Inversions of temperature in the atmosphere reflect broadcast signals back down to the ground. This sometimes allows signals to travel unusual distances. A forecast of when we can experience these conditions (which is usually more in the summer) can be found at: http://www.dxinfocentre.com/tropo.html

Back to the thread of out-of-market stations, I see that Time Warner did not pull WISN yet. I wonder if they're going to pull it later, or just leave it?

SeanM402's picture

Time Warner's head end is

Time Warner's head end is located in Appleton off of S Telulah Ave behind Janet Berry Elementary School. As far as I am aware they mostly receive signals via satellite and Fiber Optic but they do have a microwave antenna on site too (you can see the antenna from 441 on the south side).


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