ODTV: Cleveland Switch: First Impression

The first wave of analog shutoffs in the Cleveland/Akron TV market happened, as planned, at 10 AM this morning.

And here at the OMW World Headquarters somewhere in western or northern Summit County, it’s mostly good. Mostly.

Analog signals for the following stations are no longer broadcasting: WEWS/5 (ABC), WJW/8 (Fox), WOIO/19 (CBS), WVPX/23 (ION), WUAB/43 (MyNetwork TV) and WBNX/55 (CW).

WKYC/3 analog (NBC) is airing the expected DTV information-only “nightlight” video loop, with video and text containing both English-language and Spanish-language instructions. That comes from the National Association of Broadcasters, and WKYC’s analog channel 3 will continue to air it through Juen 26th.

WVIZ/25 analog (PBS) is airing a one-day-only slide explaining the switch. Analog 25 won’t be continuing with this slide after it signs off later today.

WEAO/49 analog (PBS) has regular programming, which will go away when it signs off at 11:59 PM tonight.

WQHS/61 analog (Univision) is airing regular programming, which will go away when it signs off later tonight.

Low-power stations, such as Media-Com’s WAOH-LP 29 Akron/W35AX Cleveland, are unaffected and are broadcasting as usual.

This update is up a little later than we’d planned. For one, we’ve been spending much of the past half-hour trying to get indoor antenna placement that’ll pick up the new RF 8 signal of WJW/8 on the VHF band.

We finally gained success with an unamplified, modest indoor antenna spread out into a “V” in a second floor window. Well, mostly success, as it breaks up very infrequently, but is mostly locked.

The WJW move turns it into our second hardest-to-get OTA signal here – WOIO/19’s RF 10 facility is by far still the worst. We admit that the antenna situation here at the OMW World Headquarters is indoor-only, and we still need to do some adjusting.

But it’s odd coming from the pre-transition world, where we nearly needed a court order to get the signal of WKYC-DT on RF 2, to getting the WKYC-DT signal on RF 17 in our teeth…and struggling to get a decent lock on WJW-DT…which used to be in that “in our teeth” category on RF 31.

Elsewhere, Toledo has all but completed its switch, with NBC affiliate WNWO/24 the only station waiting until late tonight. (They’re waiting for the NHL Stanley Cup Finals Game 7, involving the nearby Detroit Red Wings.) We’ll have many more comments on VHF-based DTV later, as two Toledo stations made that switch.

And two of the three full-power Youngstown market commercial stations turn off analog just over an hour from now. The third, NBC affiliate WFMJ/21, is also waiting until just before midnight….maybe they’re also waiting for the Stanley Cup Finals to end, with the nearby Pittsburgh Penguins being the other team in the series.

More on these situations, and other comments, later…

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