A little about the WJCT broadcast signal…
The following FAQ’s are provided to assist our viewers with the most common reception problems and are updated from time to time. In an effort to help you, the viewer, understand what we as the broadcaster do on a daily basis to insure you get the finest quality off air viewing experience possible, please read the following:
- The WJCT engineering department monitors the off-air signal 24/7/365. In addition, we monitor and record the daily operation of our transmitters in great detail. This insures that our signal is not only of the highest quality to the viewer but also meets or exceeds our technical requirements set by the FCC. That said, we are always transmitting at the maximum power allowed by our broadcast license and do not vary our power output or direction of our signal at any time during the broadcast day.
- On the extremely rare occasion we do experience an unforeseen problem with our broadcast, whether it be the signal or programming, WJCT will make every effort to inform the viewing public through messages displayed on the screen or via any number of social media paths available to us.
General antenna do’s and don’ts.
- Locate indoor antennas as near as possible to the television or radio receiver.
- Try to find a location near a window and/or near an outside wall.
- Make sure all connections are properly secured. These connections tend to loosen over time even if they are not disturbed.
- Locate attic mounted antennas close to an eave that faces or nearly faces the broadcast antennas located off Hogan Road in the Southside/Beach Blvd. area of Jacksonville.
- Locate outside antennas so they have a clear and generally unobstructed view of the broadcast antennas as shown above. Make sure the antennas “receive” side is facing this location. (Refer to your antennas installation instructions for proper orientation.)
- Locate indoor antennas near sources of interference such as microwave ovens, window air conditioners, etc. Avoid locating the antenna within cabinets such as those found in home entertainment furniture.
- Locate outdoor antennas under large trees or tree limbs, in particular, those that are prone to retaining large amounts of moisture on the leaves from rainfall and dew. Wet leaves act as a shield that can decrease the amount of signal that reaches the antenna. Certain species of trees such as Florida’s Live Oaks or Water Oaks are very dense with water in the trunks and limbs. These trees can limit or “attenuate” the signals if located in the path to your antenna.
- Install any amplifiers or signal boosters not specifically designed for use with today’s digital or HDTV signals. Older, “analog” amplifiers are not guaranteed to cleanly process the digital signals and actually do more harm than good.
I am unable to receive a signal during and/or following storms in my area. What’s going on?
Yet another factor in reception is the effect of heavy rainfall. Due to the characteristics of the digital signal, off air can experience a problem similar to the “rain fade” seen with home satellite providers as the signal to the dish antenna is disrupted by rain in the receive path.
Keep in mind that many of todays “HDTV” antennas are equipped with amplifiers. These amplifiers are especially susceptible to lightning strikes and/or power surges during storms. A sudden loss of the off air signal could likely be due to a failure of this amplifier. In this case, only a replacement of the antenna/amplifier will fix the problem.
Many times, following a power outage, a simple “re-scan” of the channels will restore lost programming. This procedure varies greatly so please consult your owner’s manual for the proper procedure.
Why does my antenna signal break up or disappear around the same time every night?
WJCT is transmitting at full power using a Solid State transmitter, therefore there is no loss of power due to tube aging. If there was a loss of power due to our transmission path, our equipment would show high VSWR and alarm. Channel 7 is very difficult to receive due to the RF characteristics of the ATSC transmission and any problems your system my be experiencing will be apparent with Channel 7 first. Any loose or corroded connections leading from the antenna will cause signal degradation and eventually you will not receive WJCT. Check and clean all connections and inspect cables for any damage. There is the possibility that your receiver is aging and is not as sensitive as it was when new.
When all else fails, try moving the antenna. Sometimes the atmosphere is to blame. The cooling and heating of the atmosphere at sunup and shortly after sundown can cause what is known as a temperature inversion. This anomaly can greatly affect off air reception of television and radio signals, especially in the outlying or “fringe” reception areas. Unfortunately, this is not something that can be predicted or controlled by the broadcaster or the viewer and is simply a natural phenomenon.
Why do I have no audio for WJCT7-1 but audio for both WJCT7-2 and WJCT7-3?
WJCT is currently switching over to a new Network Operations Center (NOC), and we are experiencing some technical difficulties. You can try re-scanning. Also check and see if your TV is set to receive Second Audio Program (SAP). Most TVs should revert to main channel audio when there isn’t any audio on the SAP channel.
I’m hearing the wrong audio or no audio at all.
WJCT transmits with four possible audio formats. There is Stereo audio, Surround Sound, Second Audio Program (SAP) and Descriptive Audio, and not all programs contain all four audio streams. If a TV is set to “decode” SAP then Stereo audio will not be heard. Likewise if Descriptive audio is selected then normal Stereo audio will not be heard. Make sure your TV audio is configured to decode the proper audio. Every TV is different so you may need to consult your operator’s manual.
While many programs are broadcast with the surround sound format, some are stereo only. Today’s high tech home theater systems do a wonderful job with both formats. However, those viewers with only 2 speakers may experience a problem when a surround sound program is aired. In this case, make sure that your receiver or audio amplifiers settings are set to “stereo” rather than “surround”. This setting, if incorrect, may assume you have a center speaker or “dialogue speaker channel” and you will likely miss all or most of the spoken audio.
How can I improve my radio reception?
WJCT FM/HD 89.9MHz transmits with an effective radiated power (ERP) of 98kW. Typical antenna for FM reception is the Dipole antenna.
Other antennas used for FM reception are the Curved, Turnstile, Yagi and Log Periodic. For more Information on which FM antenna is best for you, please use the following resources.
What if my transmission is intermittent?
DTV transmission can suffer from the “Cliff Effect,” where the signal is suddenly lost and the picture begins to tile or simply goes black or blue, depending on your TV. To improve, make sure that all connections are secure and free from corrosion. Weather seal all cable connectors if possible. Try not to kink the coax cable, and avoid using twin lead. Use black or UV-rated tie straps when securing cables. Power lines can not only interfere with reception, but can also kill. Be sure to exercise extreme caution when working near power lines.
How can I improve my TV reception?
You can improve reception by using a properly installed VHF antenna. Look for a VHF antenna that is “V” or “T” configured, commonly referred to as Yagi antenna. The antenna you purchase should be rated for the distance from your furthest transmission.
UHF antennas, usually circular in shape, are not suitable for VHF high band reception, despite manufacturers’ claims. Some VHF antennas are also not suitable for VHF high band reception. Rabbit ears or indoor antenna are poor receptors for today’s demanding digital transmission.
For best reception, your antenna should be externally mounted. Because all VHF transmissions are line-of-sight, your antenna should be elevated above any nearby structures. Try to avoid mounting your antenna near trees. Water adversely affects DTV reception, and trees are buckets of water. It is common for spring to bring on poor DTV reception, due to tree leaf growth.
Why is my TV reception poor?
WJCT DTV is one of the most difficult broadcast signals to receive. As VHF Channel 7, it is the lowest high band VHF transmission in the broadcast spectrum. (VHF Channels 2 through 6, which are low band, were removed from TV broadcast due to poor RF characteristics.) Thus, some customers might have difficulty receiving WJCT DTV, even though its signal transmits from the tower at 8675 Hogan Road at 174 MHz with an Effective Radiated Power (ERP) of 18kW.