Winds Delay Early Analog Shutdown

WMDT-TV, the ABC and CW affiliate in Salisbury, Md., was unable to make a planned early DTV transition when high winds prevented the necessary antenna swap, according to the general manager, Kathleen McLain, quoted in Delmarva Now. The station had originally planned to go all digital Sept. 22, when the analog transmitter was powered down so the existing antenna could be pulled off the station’s 1,000-foot tower and replaced with a digital stick in a flash-cut scenario. Ensuing winds began to sway the tower, preventing the swap. The operation was finally completed Oct. 1 The station, owned by Delmarva Broadcast Service, had been transmitting its primary signal on Channel 47, with a reduced-power digital signal on Channel 53. McLain said the new digital signal is 10 time stronger than the interim one on Channel 53. She recommended the use of multidirectional aerials with at least 45 dB reception capability, and reminded viewers to retune converters after the station’s antenna swap. The digital signal was moved to Channel 47 once the new 30-foot digital antenna was installed. ABC is being transmitted on 47, CW on 47.2.