FastPipe Media » HDTV in Oklahoma

KWTV to shut down VHF channel 9 permanently

KWTV has received FCC approval to shut down channel 9 over-the-air transmissions and use UHF channel 39 as their exclusive transmitter. The shutdown will occur Monday, August 30 at 12:30 PM following the noon newscast.

Short service interruptions will begin July 29 to induce viewers to re-scan their tuners for the UHF signal. The PSIP 9.1 designation till be added to the UHF channel 39 beginning August 16. RF 39 will then be identified as both 9.1 and 9.2 and RF 9 will become 9.3.

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  1. trueview
    Posted July 6, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    what happens to the quality of KWTV’s HD signal. they are joining “62” in having two SD channels. i know of no other oklahoma city station having two SD channels.

  2. ggore
    Posted July 7, 2010 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    They will only have one signal, they are just combining the labeling to ease the transition for those who are only watching the VHF or UHF channel exclusively.

  3. Posted July 10, 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Someone educate me, please: Why would KWTV do this?

    I thought the amount of broadcast power needed to send out a strong enough signal to reach a given area was less with a VHF transmitter than with a UHF transmitter, thus allowing a lower electric bill.

    I realize there are weather interference issues with VHF but I thought that was primarily a problem for the “low” VHF stations, but 9 is considered “high” VHF.

    I am, by no means, an expert on this stuff so I could be all wet but that (the above) is what I thought. So . . . would someone explain the logic of this to me, please? Thanks much.

  4. rickster
    Posted July 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    WELL, I’ll try. The “thought” that VHF is better than UHF is an old tale. It was true 30 years ago. But technological improvements have actually flip flopped that tale. UHF receiver noise figure improvements(sensitivity & gain) are now comparable to VHF. Both TX & RCV UHF feedline loss has been reduced. AND, UHF antenna gain is far superior to VHF simply because of the small physical size require at UHF wavelengths. Coupling those improvements with reduced interference issues from weather and other sources, now show that UHF is a better bet.
    That is one reason why the majority of stations now occupy and use UHF. Another simple reason, I prefer it, is that in far South East Norman, I have a 25 cent 5″x5″ home brew antenna sitting on the bar in my kitchen that flawlessly picks up all the OKC UHF stations…I can’t do that for VHF stations—period end of subject.

  5. quanah
    Posted July 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink


    I don’t think you’re all wet.

    There are ch 9’s all over the country who have no desire to move to UHF. There are quite a few high VHF stations that are petitioning the FCC for more power. Many believe that the FCC just didn’t plan so well in this area.
    Some VHF stations are giving up and moving to UHF.

    KCEN-DT 9 in Waco broadcasts with 25,000 watts. They believe that simply isn’t enough. KCEN-TV analog 6 was 100,000 watts.

    KWTX TV 10 broadcast with 316,000 watts analog. Now still using 10 with 39,000 watts.
    KXXV 25 broadcast with 5,000,000 watts analog. Now 1,000,000 watts on 26 DT.
    Both stations report similar coverage areas DT and analog.

    You OKC guys have some problems, no doubt. The last I checked, 12, 7 (11) and 10 in Ardmore, Lawton, and Ada have no plans to move. Please let us know if something has changed.

  6. Cowboy
    Posted July 11, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Actually KTEN in Ada broadcasts at 1,000,000 wats on channel 26.

  7. quanah
    Posted July 12, 2010 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Cowboy. I didn’t know about KTEN. Did they just keep the 26 assignment from the beginning? Many high VHF stations around the country returned to thir old frequencies. Only a handful of low VHF stations did.

    I read that 11 in Fort Worth moved to UHF because FCC denied increase in power. Interference to 10 in Waco and 12 in Ardmore was cited.

    The last time I looked at the FCC, there’s a bunch of high VHF stations seeking power increases. I’ll look into it again.

  8. quanah
    Posted July 12, 2010 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Try this. Interesting?

    There are currently 128 full power TV stations in Texas.
    Since the transition: 3 TV stations have moved from high VHF to UHF. These three simply chose to keep their FCC DT assignments.
    8 have moved from low VHF or UHF to high VHF.
    17 have moved from assigned UHF to their original high VHF.

    My source tells me 11 in Fort Worth is still broadcasting with “inadequate” power and is simulcasting on Ch 19.

    I’ve read about ch 7 in Chicago and ch 9 in Souix Falls, SD, et al begging the FCC for more power.

    This might give us an idea about what’s going on nationally.

    I must admit, it seems I read most about problems in the OKC market. Good luck, to you OKC guys.

  9. SeaJohn
    Posted September 1, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks a lot, channel 9. Now I can’t get your programming any more. I still get 9.3, telling me to rescan, but that’s it. Until now, I’ve had almost no trouble with channel 9 – it’s probably been watchable 99% of the time.

    I have an antenna in SW Norman, 1 mile south of Sooner mall and 1 mile west of I-35.

  10. rickster
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Just a guess, BUT I don’t think your rescan worked. I am in SE Norman 4 miles East of OU near RT9. I am using a homemade 25 cent UHF antenna sitting on the bar in the kitchen. 9.1 & 9.2 are great. I am not getting 9.3 since it might be on VHF which my small UHF antenna won’t pick-up. You might be getting 9.3 from VHF. 9.1 & 9.2 are UHF.

  11. Sooner Al
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I did a rescan around 3 PM or so on the 1st and was seeing, the last time I checked, 9.1, 9.2. and 9.3. 9.3 had a message (probably about the switch off) which I did not read while I was manually deleting it from the stations from my station list. 9.1 and 9.2 both were coming in just fine. FWIW I am in SE Norman south of OK-9 just to the west of the Cobblestone Creek Golf course. I have an attic mounted antenna although I normally use Cox cable. I have no issues at all receiving either 9.1 and 9.2 or the quality of the broadcast the last time I checked.

  12. rickster
    Posted September 2, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Sooner AL
    Know exactly where your at.
    Almost bought a house by you last May.
    Still may do it !! I like the Cobblestone Creek Golf Course across the street.
    Glad to see that your attic antenna does the job there.
    I was concerned about that. Thanks for the good report.
    BTW– I use DirecTV, but not for locals.

  13. Posted September 2, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    @ SeaJohn – Sorry you’re having difficulty with the rescan. It might be that you’ll need to do an autoscan WITHOUT the antenna to flush the table of channel assignments, and then do an autoscan WITH the antenna attached to repopulate the list.

    I’d also like to know more about your antenna and system. Rabbit ears (Metro yes, otherwise nope!)? Attic (Very good!)? Rooftop (Very good, but our weather can age an antenna quickly! Can you say “dent-tuned by hail?”)? VHF-UHF (Got to be!)? Coaxial interconnect cable (YES!)? 300 ohm flat lead (NOOOOOO!!!)? Splitter (Sometimes can be a problem!)? Amplifier (Metro, NO – Fringe, maybe)?

    Call my offfice and I’ll lend you a hand.

    John R. Schilberg
    VP of Technology
    Griffin Communications

  14. Posted September 2, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    @Rickster – nice list of VHF DTV vs UHF DTV.

    Another critical factor in the debate is what we used to call “ghosting”. In analog days a reflection would cause the receiver to try and receive the main transmitted channel AND the reflected signal. If you’re old enough to recall those days you’ll remember the “ghosts” and the havoc aircraft used to play with reception.

    Well, in these days of digital reflections only confuse the receiver and can cause it to go bonkers. Minor interruptions are sometimes audible and can be seen as loss of a portion of the picture. Higher (stronger) levels of reflected signals can cause a complete loss of signal!

    At VHF the reflections are HORRIBLE!!! At UHF, not so much. as a result, the V’s are bad in the metro but fine in the boonies. On the other hand, U’s are generally fine in the metro and fine in the boonies, too, provided you pack the cannon with enough gunpowder! In other words, provide lots of power! In our case, we’re 1MW effective radiated power (ERP). NICE CANNON!

    On top of that, the standard of transmission we chose isn’t a tough-guy when it comes to standing out in a crowd of reflections. In fact, if I remember correctly, back in the late 80’s or early 90’s one of the reasons the CATV folks chose quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) was because of the reflections they noted at mechanical connections when using ATSC 8VSB. It would have created a maintenance nightmare for them across a whole system! LOTS of F-Type fittings!!! On the other hand, QAM was more robust and made the trip.

    I hope that helps round out the picture on V vs U.

    Warmest regards,

    John R. Schilberg
    VP of Technology
    Griffin Communications

  15. ggore
    Posted September 3, 2010 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Out here in the boonies of NW OK, 78 mi from OKC, we are receiving a perfectly stable UHF-39 signal from KWTV at our tower, so all is well.

  16. Posted September 3, 2010 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    None of us around here are old enough to remember ghosting… 🙂


  17. Sooner Al
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 4:30 am | Permalink

    Oh there are a few of us that are old enough…:-)

  18. rickster
    Posted September 4, 2010 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    I started repairing TVs in the late 50s, so yes I remember ghosts. Hate em. Interesting that V is worse in that respect. If your running 1M ERP, is your antenna gain is around 10 Db ?? What tube(s) you running in the final. I doubt it’s solid state to get 100,000 watts out of the TX. Regards Rick

  19. quanah
    Posted September 5, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Permalink


    WFAA ch 8 Dallas asked the FCC for 55,000 watt directional. They were at 45,000 watt omnidirectional. The FCC approved.

    WFAA is the ABC provider for Ardmore, Hugo, and Durant.

    That left Grande in Waco to the south with blocking every few seconds or sometimes minutes. Overbuilder Grande headend in Dallas has a fiberlink to WFAA. Grande Waco now gets WFAA through C-3 Communications fiber which Grande owns from the Dallas headend. The old ch 8 yagi array is now in a warehouse.

    Waco Time Warner did pay a common carrier (don’t know who) to get WFAA ch 9 before the digital transition. Waco has a DT 9, so of course off air WFAA was out. Time Warner owns no fiber to Time Warner Dallas headend. Time Warner Waco has since dumped WFAA.

    Is there a common fiber carrier you could use to get difficult OKC stations? I think you’ve told me before there isn’t.

    Pioneer Telephone IPTV in Kingfisher carries 3, 6, and 7 from Lawton-Wichita Falls. Suddenlink Kingfisher does not. It’s a long way.

    I’ve looked at WFAA on Durant’s Comunicom. Always rock solid. Off air in Waco was rock solid till FCC approved the directional transmitter.

    KWTV guy, I am amazed how well Fidelity in Lawton recieves KFOR, KWTV, KOTA DT. The old analog was not so good. Analog Ch 9 was always better than ch 4 and 13. Ch 5, the worst, was dumped years ago. Wayne of Fidelity told me KWTV and KFOR is now recieved off air, as was the analog. KOTA is recieved off air, but it might be a nearby translator. Lawton cable tower is a long way from Edmond.

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