Monday, November 10, 2014

TV Weirdness

This is a random shot in the dark, but does anyone know how to work digital TV channels?

The TV in my house had normal channel numbers, like 2, 3, 4, and so on. But when it switched to wireless/digital TV, all the channels became 2.1, 3.1, 4.1, and so on.

I'm a little tired of having to put enter ".1" every single time I change channels. Is there some was to program a TV, so it automatically goes to "2.1" when I enter "2"? Because right now, if I enter "2", it takes me to the channel 2 that used to have stuff. Now all it has is static.


Stephanie said...

I don't think that there's anything that you can do, it just depends on the television.
On one of my televisions I have to put in 2.1 and on another just 2...

Anonymous said...

I think I can help. Since the U.S. ended analog broadcasting on full-powered stations (the big stations, if you will), a new broadcasting system was created, known as ATSC (Advanced Television Systems Committee, successor to NTSC), where you can put multiple channels on a single standard broadcast channel, known as multiplexing. This is why you (on some TVs) have to add ".1" for each station. x.1 refers to the main programming aired on the broadcasting station, with x.2 and above referring to other programming that you can watch as an alternative, known as sub-channels. Stations that are part of the Ion network (a minor network found on UHF stations) are known to utilize extensive multiplexing.
In some places, full-powered stations can act as re-transmitters of another station. In New York City, MyNetworkTV (a minor network owned by Fox) affiliate WWOR-TV (owned by Fox) simulcasts the feed of sister station WNYW-TV, affiliated to and owned by Fox, on a subchannel and vice versa.
Of course, if a station is in, say, a mountainous area or its signal does not cover the entire area they intend to serve, it needs to add transmitters to get the same coverage it would have if the station was on flat land, or to cover the entire area. In the analog era, these transmitters would be on a different channel from the main station the feed was coming from to prevent interference. Hence, they would have to show this on their logos and idents.
When ATSC was created, they committee that created it created a system called PSIP (Program and System Information Protocol), where a broadcaster sends a channel number (usually that of its former analog frequency) on its signal, which could usually be on the same frequency as before or not (to note a case of the latter, ABC-owned WLS-TV in Chicago broadcasts digitally on UHF channel 44, but with PSIP, it is recognized as "channel 7", its former analog frequency). Hence, re-transmitters can be identified with the "channel" of its parent station. An example is WBKI-TV in Louisville, Kentucky. The station's coverage area doesn't reach the northern part of Louisville, so it uses full-powered WMYO-TV's digital signal (which does) as a repeater. Through PSIP, WMYO-TV broadcasts WBKI-TV's two sub-channels as though it was in WBKI-TV's channel position.
Now back to the TV. You have two choices: buy a new TV, one that can let you enter just "2", or try to cope with putting ".1" every time you want to jump to another channel to watch that channel's main programming.

Stephanie said...

@Anonymous, respectfully, how does that help?
After reading 5000 words, you said the same thing that I said.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but I was explaining how the digital TV system works, and how it is used. It is rather technical, but it is simplified, and it gives a background to the system.