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The WXXI DTV Webster area "Dead Zone"

How many people are still experiencing this? On june 12 I went from 60% to 0% signal strrength with no changes on my end. Anyone found a solution?


I Suspect an Intermodulation Distortion Issue

Did some more experiments with a DB4 antenna. Since the problem started when other stations moved from VHF to UHF (not WXXI), and WXXI claims nothing changed, on June 12 as far as their DTV signal, the issue must be an intermodulation distortion or some othet interference from other stations. I'm surprised WXXI hasn't sent a crew out here to measure the effect themselves. They should try it on Jackson road half way between State and Plank.

No signal in Webster: Any Updates?

Any updates on this problem or the tower mods?

Just moved there from

Just moved there from Penfield. Went from 3 channels, to nothing, I LOVE WXXI and miss it, Anyone try a different antenna? I use a powerd GE model, which isn't working well at all anymore in Webster.


Still dead in the water in Webster/Penfield

Re-scanned with no luck. Any news on the tower improvements?

Webster Site Survey for DTV Reception

WXXI is planning another set of measurements this week, weather permitting.   WXXI, working with the FCC did make several set of measurements in July in the north-east sector and found signal levels for WXXI to be somewhat the same abet a little lower than expected.
As noted by Nolan, WXXI is planning to relocate the DVT transmitting antenna to the top of the tower. This will increase the elevation by about 85 feet. This work is scheduled for late fall, pending FCC approval.
And to answer another viewer’s question, we have looked at inter-modulation products and have not seen any issues. This is not to say that there might be intermediation issues within the actual home receiver.
The most important action that can be taken to improve reception is the insure that the outdoor antenna is in good repair & correctly orientated, the antenna feed line is of good quality & not damaged, the matching transformers are watertight and there is no splitter or VCR’s in the antenna feed line between the antenna and the receiver.
(A splitter may be added once reception is verified.)

I Suspect an Intermodulation Distortion Issue

Nope, there is no IM issue. There is no signal in the Rochester / Webster are to cause the issues. In the Webster / Jackson road area, between Main & State road, we looked at a un-amplified antenna connected to a Rohde RFA. There is no carrier or intermod within more than 40 mHz. The WXXI carrier shoulders exceed the FCC specifications by more than 3db or about -44dbc pilot.

The primary issue for receiving WXXI was a line of sight issue. Some areas simply were below the radio horizon when WXXI-TV was side mounted about 75 feet below the current tower top location.

Give me a call @ 258-0223... We can run out and take a look!


TV Reception in Penfeld Webster

Are any of the problems associated with the high water tower on Harris Hill. This appears to be a "Shadow" for TV reception in the area. However the digital transfer has bee a disaster for those of us who refuse to pay Cable bills or cant afford it.

I think it may be a case of mind over matter. The TV stations don't mind and we don't matter.

Come on do something.


Are we being written off in Penfield/Webster?

Looks like this is not a priority for WXXI. Is there a Syracuse PBS station we can point our antenna towards, or perhaps a PBS "Hulu" that we can turn to?

Why & What You Can Do

Profuse apologies! I can assure you that no one at WXXI wishes to lose any viewers.

We are aware of DTV signal impairments to the north and east affecting, among others communities, Webster, Ontario, and Williamson where no such trouble existed with our analog signal.

Many are asking "why?"
DTV's technical parameters were developed in the mid-1990's when digital TV transmission was stilll experimental and even theoretical. Public interest in DTV lagged until digital tuners became mandatory and until analog transmission ended this year: as a result, weaknesses in the system were not revealed until recently.

Federal regulations required us to restrict our DTV signal toward Canada. It now appears that this reduction may be more than required, and that "real world" obstacles such as terrain (hills & valleys) or other stations' towers may be causing further unanticipated signal impairments.

We at WXXI are planning to reposition our DTV transmitting antenna on our tower in the near future now that analog TV21 is out of service, but we cannot promise a specific date except that we hope to complete the work in the next 6-12 months. There are both regulatory and logistical hurdles: it takes a considerable amount of planning and specialized equipment to modify TV transmitting stations.

What can you do now?
If you're still trying to use rabbit ears, they will probably not work very well anymore.
I recommend a new indoor antenna from Audiovox: the Terk HDTVi (or HDTVa amplified version).
(It should cost about $30-$50 for the non-amplified version and $40-$65 for the amplified model.)
Myself, and two other viewers in Webster whom I have helped, have found vast improvements by upgrading to this antenna. It is available at some local retailers and at out-of-town on-line suppliers.
Should you try this antenna, have the retailer guarantee a full refund if it does not improve your reception.

The quality of indoor antennas varies widely, but we have found that the Terk (or equivalent) to be about the best indoor antenna available.

Also, make sure that you rescan your sets or converter box!

We have also found "dead spots" where indoor antennas have been inadequate. The FCC has visited Rochester to investigate poor coverage. Other Rochester stations, too, are finding gaps in their coverage. Our technical VP Kent Hatfield is documenting persistent problem areas. He may be reached at WXXI or via E-mail

Again, we are not "writing off" any viewers. Please understand that correcting gaps in our signal is an enormous and unplanned technical challenge.

So we're not written off, but...

I appreciate all that WXXI and others are doing, because I (in Webster area) miss PBS. However, one thing lost in both old and recent answers from Nolan above (and Kent Hatfield elsewhere on here) is why the digital signal worked before the deadline and then stopped. Does this mean that if WXXI were to resum it's analog broadcast things would be fine? But seriously, why is this question never directly or meaningfully addressed. How can this not be an important clue.

Excellent point! (No signal in Webster)

Yes - exactly! Why did the digital signal stop working after working fine for several months? You must have done something for some reason...

Further trouble?

Here's the crucial question: were you receiving 21-1, 21-2 and 21-3?
It's a terribly simple question but we received a plethora of calls from viewers who thought that they had tuned in the digital signal but in fact were watching the analog signal through a converter box (in pass mode) or were watching the analog signal on a digital set (sets are required to have both tuners).

Did WXXI change to a program the instructions on how to tune in digital programs on June 12? This was the analog signal.

If you were receiving 21-1, 21-2, or 21-3 I can offer only two ideas for the sudden loss:

There was a brief period in July when one of our transmitters lost some of its tuning information and was transmitting a slightly degraded signal but was corrected immediately: is it possible that you rescanned at this time and not since?
There has been no change in our transmitting station.

If the signal reaching your home was marginal during the winter, it is possible that a slight seasonal variation during the warm summer weather prevents reliable reception. Again, there should not be any marginal signals within Monroe County...usually seasonal variations only RARELY affect those in the stations licensed coverage area.
As stated, we are planning an upgrade to our digital antenna. (We would be interested to know if your reception improves again in the upcoming fall and winter months.)

There could be other reasons...a building suddenly constructed in the signal path, or even failure of a viewer's antenna or tuner. However, the signal should not be so fragile within Monroe County. Our antenna upgrade should improve reliability, but optimizing your antenna may restore our signal more reliably sooner than our upgrade will be completed.

I know its hard to believe but...

I fully understand your disbelief. I've been communication with Kent, who happens to live a mile away from me..and everyone is puzzled.

I had all three digital channels for several months before June 12 (21-1, 21-2, or 21-3). The signal strength was in the 50% range, while all other rochester stations were pegged at 100%. I was using a typicall roof mount UHF/VHF antenna in my attic , pointed at the cobbs hill GPS co-ordinates.
All of my receivers found the stations at this time. (Sharp HDTV, ChannelMaster DTV Converter, one other converter box and a Hauppauge HDTV tuner PC card).
Around June 12, I mysteriously lost all of the WXXI DTV signals. 0%. I rescanned on each box (about every week since).
I first tried line amplification with no improvement.
I purchased a DB4 UHF HDTV antenna. ( Mounted it temporarily out a second story window where I could rotate it through a wide angle. I swept it through about 90 degrees of angle in the general direction of WXXI, in 5 degree increments. Believe it or not, I could not get any signal above 0%. I basically stopped at this point.
I have re-scanned a few times since then - same result.

Can you see any flaws in my approach?

DTV Status

WXXI-DT (on channel 16) has been operating at full licenced power since August 2003. We plan to move the digital antenna to the top of our tower this fall, a process that could not move forward until our analog antenna has been removed to make room for the WXXI-DT antenna. This is simply a matter of space. Also pending in this process, approval by the FCC, this should be forth coming.

Thank you!

Thank you all for commenting on this. I do find it helpful.

Yes, I was receiving the digital channels: 21-1, 21-2, & 21-3. I noticed the loss the very next day after the switch (June 12 was it? Seems so far back now.) It's been persistent and I don't think I ever saw even a brief return, though I was not checking constantly. I have a DB-4 antenna in my crawl space that's been working before and after the changeover date.

I read with interest another post on here about a converter box brand called Apex that shows both signal strength and signal quality for a channel. I bought one from Target to try, even though my main TV has a built-in tuner. It is interesting that the converter shows 70%-80% strength but 0% quality for 21. The converter shows 100% strength and quality for the other local channels. It would be neat to peek inside this box somehow and find out what it sees for 21 as it sees something.

Thanks again.


Has anything been done yet? I still have no WXXI and an update would be nice.
Thank you.

TV Reception in Penfield Webster

RB, Give me a call @ 258-0223... We'll take a look!


It's been awhile - anyone find a fix?

The thread has been dead since the end of 2009, but I'm still having the problem. Anyone figured it out?

As was mentioned by others, I think there's a very good chance that interference from Watertown RF channel 16 is the problem. I played around on Google maps, and if you draw a line between Pinnacle Hill in Brighton and Watertown it passes right through Webster. Antennas tend to receive nearly as strongly from directly behind them as they do from directly ahead, so we're getting hit from both sides and confusing the tuner. Maybe the FCC figured Watertown was far enough away not to interfere, but maybe the problem is that most of the path is over unobstructed Lake Ontario?

One possible approach would be to block the Watertown signal, but putting a car hood up on the side of the house would probably anger my neighbors (and wife).

We have a DB4 antenna mounted up high, and it gets all the other channels great. I get occasional blips of 21-X, but never more than 1 bar out of 10 (the others are all 6 bars).

I'd appreciate any advice that folks might have.

Giving up in Webster

The Watertown theory sounds good at first, but why wasn't it an issue with the digital broadcast before the switch, unless that station switched to the same frequency. Before I switched to digital I remember analog WXXI having serious image ghosting that other channels did not have, maybe indicating multipath interference. If anyone knows the answer they aren't talking. This will remain a mystery to the few of us who don't want cable/satellite and who don't want to constantly make miniscule antenna adjustments to barely get PBS 5% of the time. At least there's ION.

No signal in webster

I have a DB8 (a top of line antenna from antenna direct) mounted high on our roof, the shortest and best coax cable available and a PA18 UHF/VHF Antenna Pre-Amp Kit (PA18 only very slightly improves the reception) . For just 21-1, 21-2 and 21-3, we went from perfect reception to no reception about a month ago. I have tried everything including an old DB2. Nothing works. All the other stations are fine.

For some strange reason simply plugging in TWC's ?dead? cable into the TV and scanning on the cable frequency picks up all the local stations including 21-2 and 21-3, but it does not bring in 21-1.

I really wish wxxi would hurry and fix this problem. The only station I like is 21-1 and the only station I will allow are kids to watch is 21-3.

On the bright side it is kind of nice not watching TV.

Started getting WXXI

Joyster50's picture

For some reason all my channels jumped ship and I had to rescan them. I rescanned with the antena option and did it twice and lo and behold, WXXI can up. It has been holding on for a week now. As soon as I am sure it is there for good, I will suppost it with my money. Soooo happy to get create and all the news.

Still no PBS over the air in Webster

If it's back for you, great. Still no reception in Webster for me. Still can't believe that OK before the digital switch and gone right after the switch in Webster, Ontario, etc. was not a specific enough clue for WXXI to at least explain why if not fix it. Guess I could be a lemming like so many and get cable, but if I was that dumb I probably wouldn't appreciate the better PBS shows anyhow. If they're still on, that is. It's been a while.

Yeah, nothing here either. I

Yeah, nothing here either. I gave up a long time ago...(obviously not - I still check this forum once in awhile!)
Truth is, I miss watching WXXI and can't believe that instead of fixing the problem, they have lost tens of thousands of viewers, not to mention the missed revenue from said viewers in terms of contributions.

Webster Dead Zone

I so wish I would have thought to read this before wasting my time and money trying to fix my loss of WXXI 21-1, 21-2 and 21-3. Since loosing them over the summer I added a preamp with no effect. Tried a distribution amp with no effect. If WXXI thinks that it is user error I invite you to email me and come to my house. My antenna is pointed correctly, all other Rochester Channels are fine at my house. WXXI was weak before it totally died in the summer like others and like others all other Rochester channels are fine. I live near State Rd School in Webster.

Webster still not getting WXXI

It's weird, 3 years later and Webster still isn't getting WXXI from my house. I thought it might just be the antenna but I just installed a nice antenna on my roof. Everything else comes in great, except WXXI which doesn't even show up on the meter.

dead zone

is this just a dead issue? so sad that we still can not pick up WXXI in a small zone in Webster