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Date Posted: 08:48:26 09/19/17 Tue
Author: FreddyE1977
Subject: Re: Channel 53 history
In reply to: Garage Rocker 's message, "Re: Channel 53 history" on 05:39:19 09/17/17 Sun

The original Channel 53 was WKJF-TV, which was co-owned with the radio station that is now KDKA-FM. The studio and tower were the same ones on the Duquesne Heights end of Grandview Ave. where B-94 existed for all those years. They were only on the air for a short time in the 1950's, though the FM station survived.

In the 50's as well as in '69 the problem was technical shortcomings of the UHF band. The FCC did not require television sets to be equipped with UHF tuners until '63 or '64, I think. That meant that at both times a whole lot of TV sets in use did not even have a UHF tuner. You could buy add-on converters but they did not work well. And yes, Pittsburgh's hilly terrain wreaked havoc with the signal.

I remember at that time WPGH would run promos showing you UHF tuners and antennas, where to purchase them and how to install them to watch the station. By '74 enough of suburban Pittsburgh was wiring up with cable that some of the technical challenges began to abate. (that and there were new transmission antenna designs that reduced ghosting).

They did not affiliate with Fox until 1986. They had actually established a solid track record as an independent well before that time.

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