Over the Air Transimission FAQs

I watch digital TV over-the-air and sometimes I get "weak signal" or "no signal" on my screen. Why?

  • If you are able tune to one of our digital program services (e.g., 16.1, 16.2, 16.3 or 18.1, 18.2 or 18.3) but no picture appears, it usually means that your tuner locked in our station, but the signal isn’t strong enough to display an image.  Here are some steps you can take to help pull in WPBS-DT’s digital signal:
  • While tuned to one of our channels that isn’t displaying a picture, access the signal strength meter on your digital converter box or digital TV set to see how strong the signal is. The signal strength meter is usually accessed by a button on your converter box remote control labeled “signal” or “meter."  It can also sometimes be found by pressing the “display” or “info” button, or through the on-screen menu.
  • With the signal strength meter displayed, make very small adjustments to your antenna until the signal gets strong enough to maintain a clear, stable picture.
  • If you are unable to achieve a strong enough signal to watch us, you may need to consider a new antenna, and j perhaps one that is amplified.   Antennaweb.org and TVfool.com are good sites for determining the best type of antenna to use based on your location to our transmitter(s) in Copenhagen and South Colton, New York.

I watch digital TV over-the-air and I've scanned for my channels, but I'm still not getting WPBS-DT. Can you help?

  • If, at any time, you find that one or more of our channels is missing and you are not able to reacquire it from a normal rescan, try a double-rescan.
  • While tuned to a local station that you are currently able to receive, access the signal strength meter on your converter box or digital TV and make very small adjustments to your antenna until the signal gets as strong as possible (if the signal is already very strong, you may not need to make any adjustment).
  • With at least one local station locked in with a strong signal, disconnect the antenna from your converter box or digital TV set.
  • Perform a channel rescan without your antenna connected.
  • After the rescan is complete and 0 channels are found, unplug your box or digital TV for a couple of minutes.
  • Reattach the antenna, plug the box or TV back into the outlet and rescan a second time.
  • If channels you expect to receive are still not coming in after performing a double-rescan, you may need to consider a new antenna or other equipment like a signal amplifier. Antennaweb.org and tvfool.com are good sites for determining the best antenna type and proper orientation based on your location to our transmitter in Copenhagen and South Colton, New York.

Why has my over-the-air TV reception recently changed or become worse?

Over-the-air TV reception can be affected by many things: weather, leaves on the trees, local terrain, a building’s materials, distance to our transmitter, interference from other stations or local RF transmitters, and many others.

The type of antenna you’re using, where it’s placed and how it’s oriented to our transmission tower, are also very important. WPBS, like all broadcasters, is transmitting our digital signals in the UHF band, so it is important to have an antenna that is capable of UHF reception. The type of UHF antenna that is best (roof-top or set-top, directional or multidirectional, amplified or non-amplified, etc.) depends upon your location to our transmitter and topographical considerations, amongst other things.

Antennaweb.org, a website run by the Consumer Electronics Association, as well as tvfool.com, are good sites for determining appropriate antenna styles and orientation based on your location to our transmitters in Copenhagen and South Colton, New York.

How can I find a list of WPBS-DT's TV channels?

Why does the background music in some of your programs overpower the actors speaking?

  • Many home televisions have relatively low fidelity speakers that accentuate upper mid-range and high frequencies, and dampen the mid-audio range, which is where the human voice generally resides.
  • Most televisions do not provide a wide enough dynamic range to always maintain a distinct separation between music and voices. In contrast, program producers and editors work in studios outfitted with the best, high fidelity sound systems, and they balance the voices and music on their programs based on that high fidelity.
  • Many modern TV sets offer controls that may improve your listening experience if you find the music too loud. For example, switching from “stereo” to “mono,” or disabling the “surround sound” feature can often help dampen the low and high frequencies where the music is, which may then allow you to hear the voices more clearly.

Why do I hear an extra voice describing things that happen on the programs? How do I make it stop?

  • If you hear an extra voice describing scenes, then you have activated the SAP (Secondary Audio Program) function of your television or digital converter box. The SAP allows broadcaster to transmit additional audio services like DVS (Descriptive Video Service), which makes visual media accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired by providing descriptive narration of key visual elements in programs. On some programs, a Spanish language track is broadcast over the SAP.
  • To turn off the SAP and return to normal broadcast audio, look for a button on your remote control labeled “Audio,” “SAP,” or “MTS,” and cycle through by repeatedly pressing the button until normal audio is restored.
  • In some cases, the SAP is accessed through an on-screen menu. Because each television or digital converter box implements the SAP differently, we recommend referencing your owner’s manual by looking in the index under “SAP” or “Secondary Audio Program” for instructions on how to enable/disable its function.