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Date Posted: 13:52:22 09/18/17 Mon
Author: Jay Thurber
Subject: Re: Channel 53 history
In reply to: Oldies Dave 's message, "Channel 53 history" on 06:29:58 09/16/17 Sat

As Garage Rocker points out, there wasn't much compelling to watch on Channel 53, and Pittsburgh's terrain made it difficult to receive the station.

It's really hard to over-stress how difficult it was to receive UHF TV stations back in the B.C. (Before Cable) era, and especially before TVs had digital tuning.

The higher you go on the UHF band, the shorter the wavelengths, and the reception gets more and more difficult.

So back in the B.C. era, you would have to sit there and try to aim the bow-tie part of the rabbit ears correctly. If you were just a fraction of an inch off, you could lose the station. And then with the old-style rotary tuners, you had to fiddle with the fine-tuning adjustments.

And the circuits in those old TV sets were prone to "drift" as they warmed up. So even if you got Channel 53 tuned in, the signal might fade out after a few minutes, and you would have to re-tune it again. Been there, done that!

They really don't make TVs like they used to, which is a good thing!

It seems to me that WPGH finally started to build an audience when they carried Penguins games, especially when the Pens started to finally get competitive, and then when they picked up the Fox affiliation. Digital phase-locked loop circuits meant you didn't have to use an analog dial to tune stations.

And once cable really became common in the Pittsburgh market, being on UHF wasn't the big disadvantage it was in the '60s and early '70s.

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