No more analog Fox25 TV

Do you still have an old-fashioned analog TV that receives broadcasts from an antenna? If you want to watch Fox25 with that setup, you're out of luck. According to a LiveJournal correspondent:

I called FOX 25 a while ago and talked to a real live person, who confirmed that the antenna blew down in a storm last week. She went on to say that repairing the antenna would take as long as the countdown to the February conversion. In other words, analog folks can't expect a signal ever again.

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    shively labs antenna

    Something seems fishy here. I drive by that tower every day, seems to me that
    it hasn't blown down.

    And if its just the antenna, why don't they buy a new one? FCC docs say its a
    2200 SUPER-TURNSTILE. Shively labs is still in operation, and just down the
    street.

    Wild speculation here, but I bet they need to work the bugs out of a new antenna and link budget, and don't want their technicians ending up glowing in the dark.

    This is going to up the pressure on the competition.

    Are they publishizing it?

    I lost the signal a few days ago & looked around on their web site for info but couldn't find anything. Did they mention that they had gone all digital on their news broadcast?

    This happened another time recently when it was out for a day or so, then it came back.

    Agreed.

    That story sounds a little too convenient. What if that antenna was blown over 5 or 10 years ago? Would they be off the air for 2 months - doubtful. Not that I can blame them - the amount of people watching on analog air is probably so minimal it's not even worth the time/money to fix (if it is broken) and any compensation to advertisers would be minimal. Their target audience isn't exactly my 80 year old grandmother still using her rabbit ears.

    Not all 80 year-olds

    I agree, they probably aren't bothering because of the low number of people with over-the-air signals (I think the percentage of people in the Boston area without cable is only about 10%), but, just FYI, lots of people under 80 don't have cable. Some of us have good over-the-air reception and don't watch enough tv to care about the cable-only channels, and it's not an age related thing.

    I have rabbit ears, and I'm

    I have rabbit ears, and I'm in my 40s with 3 kids. Cable TV and Satellite are filled with so much garbage, and I don't want to be a TV monitor for my kids' safety, so it's easier to go without. Has nothing to do with cost. My kids hardly miss it, can watch many of their shows on internet. Can't see Sox and Celtics, but radio is fine. My 70yo mother has the entire Fios digital setup lol...so your stereotypes could be way off. Some people just don't live/die by the TV. And with my $1200/year savings, my kids get treated to bookstores instead.

    Sent FOX25 an email out of curiosity, we have one HDTV and 2 old ones and noticed it's out in analog, but didn't think to check my HDTV. Haven't heard back. Fox25 is not a 'real' station in my book - no HD over the air signal, only Boston station without, except maybe 38 or 56 (forget). They either don't care about us or don't have the funds.

    And if its just the antenna,

    And if its just the antenna, why don't they buy a new one? FCC docs say its a
    2200 SUPER-TURNSTILE. Shively labs is still in operation, and just down the
    street.

    If you bought a brand new 2009 car and planned on getting rid of your old 1987 Buick in 2 months (because you dont want to deal with it during the holidays) would you have the old clunker fixed if it were to get into an accident or would you just have it towed away?

    Mad Max hasn't a clue

    There are dozens of modes of wind damage that can
    put an antenna out of commission, chunks of radome
    may have been busted off letting water in for all
    we know. Stations know the public is very unprepared
    for this, and don't abandon analog earlier than
    absolutely necessary.

    Mad Max, you have no idea the cost, complexity, and
    outrageous expense involved in changing out or putting
    up an antenna of this sort. Just scheduling riggers
    on short notice and finding time when the weather, particularly winds are conducive is challenging.
    I've been thru projects like this and even in
    a technical emergency it can take many weeks.

    By the way, they don't do "Link" budgets for TV.
    It is called a Gain budget. The other end of the
    "Link" is grandma with a set of rabbit ears and a
    roll of tin foil:-)

    Rudy

    Arrr!?

    Where be the air pirates to swoop in on this seriously valuable feed? Fox25 is basically GIVING away their FCC license to that band for the next 2 months and you KNOW people tune their TVs to it.

    Serious opportunity here.

    it's the End of Television!

    I hardly watch tv -- on my old broken set, it's too difficult to change channels, so for years now I have been tuned only to FOX and only for watching The Simpsons (and occasionally Seinfeld or Family Guy). I've been anticipating the End of Television in February, but I was a little surprised when I couldn't get a signal at all earlier this week. There's no mention of it on the FOX page that I could find, which is odd. I finally found a note on wikipedia: As of December 8th, 2008, WFXT no longer broadcasts an analog signal over the air; now only broadcasting via cable, satellite, and it's new digital over the air signal. No mention of the antenna blowing down, a story which seems slightly unlikely to me.

    So the End of Television came unexpectedly a couple of months early! It feels a little weird, I must admit. But there's always Netflix, and Hulu does have some things...

    When it's good it's very good, but when it's bad....

    I have a converter box, and sometimes it works really well, but if there is any wind at all the signals get all pixelated & often it just goes to a blue screen. I bought a new antenna, one that's supposedly good for digital signals - something about being multi-directional, same problem.

    I don't know if it would be any better with a digital TV, instead of the converter box, or if digital television just isn't going to be very reliable.

    I have a friend with a dual

    I have a friend with a dual antenna, that gets both analog and digital signals and Ive noticed some concerning problems on the digital side (and something any comcast/dish customer will attest to as well.) Back in the day when reception was bad there were varying levels of badness. You had your horrible reception where all you got was hissing snow, your bad reception where you got lines and moving picture and some hissing, your ok reception where it would cut out of sound for a second or colors were off, your decent reception where you have good image quality but things would move on occasion, then your very good which was rare where nothing went wrong.

    Now look at your digital signals, when something is wrong with the reception its not fuzziness you get you either get nothing (blue screen of death!) or you get the entire image and sound cutting out then repixelating on the screen which is the most annoying thing Ive ever seen. So overall on average the average persons picture will be a much better quality, but for those times when reception is bad or for those in poor reception areas TV will become all but impossible to watch. I had a tv set for 4 years in college that got a bad signal but I was still able to watch a snowy image (luckily the sound was intact) and got along fine, I have a feeling that with the digital signal instead of snow I get blue...

    Yup, my dad in northern NH

    Yup, my dad in northern NH will lose all over-the-air TV. Cable's not available, and he's never shelled out for satellite for the very few shows (mostly news) he watches. DSL is supposed to reach him next July, so we're considering introducing him to podcasts and Hulu to supplement the Netflix he already has.

    Anne

    Fox 25

    The signal went out the day the tests were done on digital tv. I don't recall any storms that day. How can the FCC allow this? Sounds fishy to me.

    Fox25 lied

    They told me when I called it was "being fixed".

    Too bad they couldn't tell the truth; I could have bought a converter and watched the Sarah Connor Chronicles finale.

    and No, nothing is on their website or anywhere else I've looked.

    This is the first place I've found some info. (Thank you Universal Hub.)

    I and my neighbors are under 80; 25 just lost more viewers with this scam. I doubt we'll bother with Fox25 come Feb. We're already used to not having it. So long VB et al.

    FCC says fair ball

    When I called Fox25 a few days after analog went dark they forwarded me to the recording that said sorry for the inconvenience, that they were working on it, an dthat they encouraged people to make the switch to digital.

    Unsatisfied I called the FCC and they said that there is nothing that requires them to restore it. They already fulfill the requirements for broadcasting via digital.

    In fact the rep I spoke to admitted that there was nothing from preventing any of the stations from pulling the plug before February. They are REQUIRED to CEASE analog then.

    WGBX (Ch44) is already running an announcement they are running on the reduced-power transmitter from now til February so the further you are away from their tower the worse off you are.

    I delayed sending for my converter coupon till early December because of all the reports of bad signals and problem boxes. As a result my coupon won't even mail until Dec 26.

    I expect to purchase a digital set sometime between now and the holidays or just after. I'll use a converter box on the second set.

    So for now, NO FOX FOR YOU! (With apologies to the Soup Nazi).

    Per my undertanding, after analog is dead, the band will revert to the military.

    Very Interesting.

    FOX 25 Not the First to go....

    There is no rule about killing anlog early. In faxt, WZMY (formally WNDS) 50, in Derry, NH, ditched their analog signal on December 1'st, although the signal was still live (displaying they went digital), it went away around the ice storm, and never came back. Then again, it's no longer needed, because they've went digital.

    The problem with FOX25's digital signal is, it is nowhere near as strong as the analog counterpart. The analog signal is very strong, almost as good as analog cable, but digitally, it barely works at all (about 35% signal strength, and it takes 33% to get a digital signal to work). This was repeatable in several places I've tried. At times, I rely on FOX64, Providence, for a reliable signal (weak as well, but from Leominster, it's understandble).

    Feel free to E-mail me at [email protected], because I may never remember this page ever again. :)

    Fox 25 digital signal

    Every single imaginable station and "added" extra stations come in beautifully in Foxboro EXCEPT FOX 25 in Dedham. It's 12 stupid miles. For a station that always has "Breaking News" for a cat stuck in the tree or water main break I believe they are trying feverishly to rectify the situation to gain back the ratings they are losing from a once very strong analog signal. They may want to consult with FOX64 in Providence or this could just be another LLLOOOOOOOONGGGG project that contractors are trying to milk out like every simple road construction job in the state.

    Globe article on Fox25 analog signal problems

    Three days after this LJ and UHub post, the Globe catches up with the story:

    Fox outlet may be forced to drop analog early

    The station has been having problems with its analog antenna since November, and a "power surge" on December 9 damaged it further. They've cut their power to the point where a Needham resident complained that he couldn't pick up the signal, even though the antenna is located in Needham.

    I Can't Get FOX Signal Even with Converter Box!

    As a lot of people did, I lost my FOX analog signal several weeks ago. I didn't find any mention of it on the FOX web site, nor could I find anything about it in the news. I was very disappointed to lose some of my favorite shows, such as "House", "Fringe", "The Simpsons", "Seinfeld", and others. So I decided to buy a converter box since I would eventually need one in February. I gave up cable years ago as I just didn't watch it and it was a waste of money for me.

    I checked Consumer Reports.org for the best converter boxes, and bought their number two recommendation: Tivax STB-T8. I hooked it up as directed and got some DTV channels, including UHF channel 56 (WLVI). However, I now lost channel 38 (WSBK) and still can't get channel 25! I'm particularly angry that I'll miss the premiere of "24" and other FOX shows.

    I wonder if FOX Universal knows how many viewers can no longer watch its programs or if they care. I think I'll let them know.

    What are you a neanderthal?

    No, I'm not a Neanderthal. I'm just somebody who lost her job almost two years ago and can't afford the exorbitant price of cable TV. You're very lucky to be able to afford it.

    Cable is expensive, if I

    Cable is expensive, if I didnt have two roommates I wouldnt have it. Between 3 people who work full time (two of us part time as well) its no big deal... To be honest its one of the reasons why I dont have my own place. I would rather have a nice warm apartment that gets an awesome wifi signal and has cable then to be stuck in my own place where I have to turn the heat way down, go to a cafe to check email, and look out my window with binaoculars at my neighbors house to watch tv.

    I fully understand why cable isnt on everyones must have list at 50 bucks a month for basic...

    How far away?

    I get Fox 25 digital OK in W. Roxbury. It's actually gotten better - I had tried the DTV box a few months ago & Fox didn't come in, but now it does. Have you tried a different antenna?

    Just found Fox25...

    ...after checking out another blog. They said to tune in 31.1, which I did, and there was a signal. A weak one, too weak to get a picture, but a signal nevertheless. With a little playing around with the antenna, I was able to get a picture. Once the picture came in, the display changed to 25.1 as WFXT.DT. After I entered this into my "Favorites', the position changed to 25.1 and is slotted between '7' and '26'. I don't know what's up with that, but I don't really care as long as I can watch Fox. I really thought I was going to miss the premiere of '24'.

    I don't understand why Fox25 doesn't have this info on their website. It would save a lot of aggravation for their viewers, don't you think?

    No Fox25 digital in East Boston

    I just hooked up my converter box (ZenithDTT901) yesterday and was expecting to finally get Fox25 back, but I'm still getting nothing from them. I have a Terk HDTVa antenna and all of the other Boston stations are coming in just fine. All I get from Fox25 is "No Signal" floating around my screen. It doesn't matter how much I move the antenna, either. The signal strength screen reads nothing at all. Can it be that Fox25 isn't broadcasting any digital signal at all? Unlikely since some people seem to be getting the station. I wonder whassup?

    I'm very inpressed with the great reception from digital, otherwise.

    Why so hard to get info?

    I don't understand why Fox 25 doesn't provide good information about all this - it should be on their website. I did send an e-mail via their "Contact Us" link but never received even an automated reply.

    They are still running those ads telling people the DTV switch is coming - too bad only people who are already viewing DTV (or cable, etc.) can see them.

    Like some people have

    Like some people have reported, I have a converter box which is working well for other stations, but I still can't get a Fox 25 signal. I live on the North Shore.

    Fox 25.1 Digital

    The Fox 25.1 signal varies wildly day to day. I'm out in Mansfield and get all the other networks with signal strengths from the low 80's to mid-90's. FOX runs between 15 and 65 - where my TV needs somewhere in the mid-30's to have a stable picture. It's not a weather thing either. I generally just watch FOX 64.1 in Providence, but prefer Boston stations. Can't watch the 25 analog signal either since "the tower blew down". The station has been in a free-fall since Jody Applegate left :)

    Latest PSA from Fox25

    I was watching Fox25 last night and they explained that they are running on a reduced analog signal (so I guess they did turn it back on to some degree) and that their digital signal is underpowered currently and they are doing construction to improve their digital over-the-air signal. The PSA said that the construction would be finished no later than July 2009 (but made it sound like it might be done in advance of that date) at which point I assume a lot of the signal variability and lack of good digital signal will be a thing of the past.