Category Archives: News

Local TV Stations to Participate in “Soft Shutdown”

Local stations will join a national voluntary “soft shutdown” of over-the-air service during fringe primetime December 17 to demonstrate the upcoming loss of analog service. In reality, local TV broadcasters decided to playback at 6:58 PM a two-minute announcement regarding shutdown of analog broadcasting February 17.

Local channels 8, 10, 15, 39, 51, and 69 are due to sign-off permanently in February. Channel 6, XETV Tijuana, will participate in the demonstration to help promote viewership on the digital channel, but will not be shutting down permanently in February.

Those stations are expected to make the announcement on their analog service only, saying that viewers may be ill-prepared for the February service shutdown.The announcement, prepared locally and shared among the stations, will explain the availability of cable and satellite as well as low-cost digital converters and about where they can find information about the transition on the internet.

Of course, with Congress still considering bills to extend analog TV over-the-air service both in general and along the Mexican border, the entire exercise and recent on-air announcement series may serve only to further confuse the public.

Bill Zears at the San Diego FCC office had said that most full power analog TV stations would sign-off for five minutes on December 17, but that was rejected by local broadcast managers.

Brawley FM Moving Closer to San Diego

Imperial Valley big gun KSIQ (FM) 96.1 MHz in Brawley has an FCC construction permit to move its city of license and transmission facilities to Campo, and has applied to install an on-frequency booster atop Mt. San Miguel southeast of downtown San Diego. According to the technical filing, the station is planning an ERP of 125 watts using log-periodic antennas beamed west and northeast toward Chula Vista and El Cajon from Mt. San Miguel. Its city of license is given as Santee. While San Diego is not in a major lobe, it should be covered sufficiently for decent line-of-sight car reception on area mesas.

The FCC construction permit to move its city of license to Campo includes a reduction in power to 25kW with a transmitter site at water tanks overlooking Lake Morena Village.

October 2008 Member News

SBE recently bestowed Certified Television Operator (CTO) status to Chapter 36 members Randy Borgwardt and Carl Reis. Tim Toole earned Life Certification as Certified Broadcast Television Engineer (CBTE). Also, Gail Pineda of TV Magic recently joined the chapter. Thanks and congratulations to you all!

Have a Peek at Your PSIP

California Broadcasters Association President Mark Powers sent out a puzzling missive Friday afternoon: “The FCC has advised us that they have received complaints that the digital signals of many California stations have incorrect time codes (PSIP).  This is a FCC violation and they have asked our assistance in correcting this problem immediately.  Please check your signal as soon as possible.”

Turns out that a technically savvy San Francisco Bay area viewer complained to the FCC because several TV stations had switched to Daylight Saving Time October 2. Gary Lingren found that the PSIP parameter “DS_day_of_month” was set to “2” on the errant stations before October 2. It should have been set on October 3. This parameter, within the STT, sets the day of the current month that auto time setting devices change to DST. Apparently, one of the major PSIP suppliers set this parameter one month early. DST actually switches on November 2 this year. Your DS_day_of_the_month param should now read “2”, and your DS Status should read “In daylight savings time.” (Actually, it should read Daylight Saving Time, but that’s another conversation.) If it isn’t, you should edit it or notify your PSIP provider, depending on overwriting policies.

It’s not known yet which PSIP contractor set the errant parameter. If you find out, let us know.

Schecter Leaves Lincoln Financial Group

In another sign of tough economic times, Lincoln Financial Media and Eric Schecter, the San Diego Market Director of Engineering have agreed to part company. Eric had come to San Diego from Phoenix in 2005 where he had worked in technical management at CBS radio. He’s served as Chapter 36 Chairman for the past two years.

Schecter oversaw a number of projects at Lincoln, including new HD Radio facilities for KSON-FM, and preparation for rebuilding the KSON-AM tower downtown. “Walking out of City Development Services with an approved Building Permit was a great accomplishment. Thanks to the many companies and individuals whose efforts will not be forgotten”.

Eric says that for the time being, he will be doing work as an independent contractor. You can contact him via email at or by calling him at 619-517-1974. That number will be good through the end of October.

Broadcasting groups have released a number of well-known broadcast engineering managers and on-air personalities lately, most notably Ira Goldstone from Tribune Television in Los Angeles. Presumably, cost is a factor.