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WTVH Transmitter Returns to Service

Updated 11:15pm — The WTVH transmitter has been fixed.  The transmitter of the CBS affiliate had a problem which forced the station to go off-air for several hours today.

Original Coverage Earlier Today

Transmitter Troubles Plague WTVH… Again

SYRACUSE — Engineers at CBS affiliate WTVH just don’t seem to be having much luck with their transmitter lately… the station is off-the-air, for the second time in a month.  Cable customers aren’t affected, but satellite and over-the-air viewers could have some trouble getting the signal.

According to assignment manager Lou Gulino, in a post on CNYCentral.com, “we do not yet have an estimated time of repair.  However, we do not expect repairs to be complete right away.”

In the post, Gulino didn’t say what caused the outage or whether it’s related to problems that took WTVH off the air about a month ago.

Just like last time, subscribers to most local cable systems won’t notice anything’s different because WTVH provides a direct fiber-optic feed to companies like Time Warner Cable and Verizon.  But over-the-air viewers will notice channel 5 is completely gone.  For the time being, over-the-air viewers can get WTVH programming (in standard-definition only) via WSTM digital subchannel 3.3.

Satellite providers Dish Network and DirecTV use over-the-air signals to bring local channels into their lineups.  Gulino says both companies have been notified of the problem.  In the past, both companies adjusted their tuners so satellite subscribers would get the alternate WTVH feed from channel 3.3, but the change was not immediate.

This time around, DirecTV said it will not make the switch, so DirecTV subscribers will be without WTVH until the transmitter is back in service.  No word yet on whether Dish Network has or will be making the necessary adjustment.

NBC affiliate WSTM is owned by Barrington Broadcasting.  WTVH is owned by Granite Broadcasting, but is controlled by Barrington through a shared services agreement.  The two stations, along with Barrington-owned CW affiliate WSTQ-LP, are collectively branded as CNY Central.

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