High Definition Television Information (HDTV)


July 11, 2011 – Regional Vice President and General Manager Don Ray announced that WSAZ NewsChannel 3 has completed the final conversion phase to High Definition broadcasting with the transition of all locally produced news programming to an HD format.

“This represents the end of multi-year, multi-million dollar project and the beginning of a new way for all television viewers in the Charleston – Huntington market to see their world. We’ll all be looking at the drama and excitement that happens every day in breathtaking color and clarity” said Ray. WSAZ is the only television station in the Charleston – Huntington TV market that is gathering and producing local news in full 1080i High Definition. What that means to the viewer is WSAZ local news, syndicated programming and NBC network programming can now be viewed in full screen, 16 x 9 High Definition on HDTV sets.

Ray added, “our owners, Gray Television, have made a tremendous investment in this area. Because of our commitment to both ends of the market we had to spend twice as much money as other stations would”. Mr. Ray is referring to the split news that allows both ends of the market to watch local news designed just for them.

WSAZ donated no longer needed news cameras, editors, video switchers, television audio consoles and studio cameras to West Virginia State University in Institute WV to support their Communications curriculum.

Viewers are able to receive WSAZ’s new High Definition signal either free, over the air or by cable or satellite subscription. Viewers who pay for their TV signal should check their system channel guide to be sure they are receiving and watching the HDTV feed of WSAZ. Viewers who do not have an HDTV set will not have to make any change in how they receive WSAZ.

WSAZ - TV in Charleston-Huntington, West Virginia ceased analog service on February 16, 2009 and turned off its analog transmitter June 12, 2009.

If you are experiencing difficulty receiving our digital signal, try these steps. Re-scan your DTV tuner or converter box to make sure it can find channel 3.1. Adjust your indoor UHF antenna or change its location to improve reception. You may need to upgrade to an outdoor UHF antenna even if you never needed an outdoor antenna before and make sure it's pointed toward Milton, West Virginia. For Information Call 304-697-4780.

To register comments, or for more information concerning the DTV transition, converter boxes, and how you can continue to receive DTV programming in the Charleston-Huntington television market, call the the FCC at 1-888-225-5322 or WSAZ at 304-697-4780. You may also write with your questions about WSAZ or NBC programming to dtv@wsaz.com or to WSAZ, 645 5th Ave, Huntington, WV 25701.

ANTENNA, ANTENNA, ANTENNA... the key to receiving the DTV and HDTV signal is your antenna. First, it must be a combination UHF/VHF antenna. Many homes have older antennas that are just VHF. The WSAZ DTV signal is actually broadcast on a UHF channel. Regardless of where you live your antenna should be pointed toward Milton, West Virginia. That's where the WSAZ TV transmitting tower is located.

Click here to find the best antenna for where you live. or Click here Antennapoint.com to find what direction to point your antenna.

Please remember, if you subscribe to cable or satellite service, those TV sets connected to the cable or satellite are OK. If you are not sure, or you have lost WSAZ service, call your cable or satellite provider to double check. If you have sets that are not connected to the cable or satellite service, those sets will either have to be connected to cable or satellite, or you will need to convert them to receive the UHF/VHF DTV signals. We have much more information below, including a direct link to the WSAZ Engineering Department where you can ask specific questions about your situation and links to find out more about antennas.

Click here for a reception flow chart

+ Click here to ask WSAZ questions about the DTV conversion.
+ Click here for a Spanish Consumer Guide.

Click the flashing DTV graphic below to ask WSAZ Engineers a DTV question abut your DTV readiness, any problems you are having with DTV reception or any DTV related question.

WSAZ offers two full time digital channels of programming. On channel 3.1, you will receive the WSAZ local and NBC High Definition programming. On channel 3.2, you will receive myZtv and the myNetworkTV programming.

With the proper UHF/VHF antenna, you can receive free, over-the-air digital TV with higher picture and sound quality and have more channels of free programming.


Q. What is digital television (DTV)?

A. Digital television (DTV) is a type of broadcasting technology that is transforming television as we know it. By transmitting information as "data bits" (like a computer) to create a TV set's picture and sound, a digital broadcaster can carry far more information than what analog broadcast technology currently allows. DTV makes crystal clear High Definition TV (HDTV) possible.

Digital TV and HDTV offers a better viewing experience with vastly improved picture and sound quality. DTV is also more efficient than analog TV technology, so broadcasters will be able to produce additional channels of programming using digital broadcasting technology.

Q. Does WSAZ broadcast in HDTV?

A. Yes, WSAZ transmits all local news, NBC and most of our syndicated programming in HDTV.

Q. What do I need to do to now to receive the digital TV signal?

A. You need to take one of two steps.
1. Purchase a new television set with a built-in digital tuner, install a UHF/VHF outdoor antenna.
2. Subscribe to cable, satellite or other pay TV service that carries the local broadcast stations you want. NOTE: at this time satellite service in the Charleston Huntington market does not offer myZtv, WSAZ’s channel 3.2.

Taking one of these steps ensures that "over-the-air" television consumers will continue to receive programming.

Q. For what types of situations do I need to rescan?

A. You should rescan your converter box or TV set for channels when installing equipment for the first time, after repositioning or moving an antenna around. Since some digital stations are still coming on air, you may want to consider rescanning on a periodic basis to get all of the digital programming available.

Q. I'm a cable customer. Will I be affected by the transition?

A. Television sets connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service generally will not require a converter box. Cable subscribers should check with their providers to answer questions about their service.

Q. Do cable customers with analog TV sets have to buy or rent a set-top box (converter box) from their cable company? If so, how much will it cost?

A. The government does not require cable companies to transition their systems to digital. They can continue to deliver channels to their customers using analog signals. Actually, cable companies are required under FCC rules to offer local broadcast stations to their customers in analog, as long as they offer any analog service. This requirement will continue for at least three years after June 12, 2009. The FCC will decide in 2011 whether the requirement should be extended beyond June 12, 2012. (This date has been extended) This means that customers who receive analog cable service (without a cable set-top box) will be able to continue doing so.

Q. Can I keep my older analog TV set?

A. Yes. If your analog set is hooked up to a subscription service, such as cable or satellite TV, it should continue to function as before. Analog sets should also continue working with gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players and similar products that you use now.

Q. How do I know whether my TV set is analog or digital?

A. All television sets manufactured after March 1, 2007 contain a digital tuner. That’s everything from small 12” standard definition sets for your kitchen or work bench all the way up to the big 50+” high definition sets. Look for the ATSC label on the box or back of the television set.

Q. I live in the Kanawha Valley and receive WSAZ on channel 16. What do I need to do to continue to receive WSAZ Charleston on channel 16?

A. WSAZ-Charleston will continue to broadcast our low power UHF signal on analog channel 16. This is not a High Definition signal. If you live in Kanawha or eastern Putnam County, West Virginia, and receive WSAZ on UHF analog Channel 16. Q. How do I know if I am watching WSAZ on UHF analog channel 16?

A. If you are watching a WSAZ NewsChannel 3 but tune your analog TV to Channel 16 to receive it.

Q. Will this analog channel 16 convert to digital?

A. Currently WSAZ has no plan to convert analog channel 16 to digital. We will continue to broadcast in analog until required to change by the FCC.

Q. How can I continue to watch WSAZ analog Channel 16 in Kanawha County?

• Review the following options and determine which is best for your household: Keep an analog TV connected to an UHF antenna to view channel 16.

• Purchase a digital-to-analog converter box which has analog pass-through capability; Analog pass-through allows you to watch analog television stations as well as digital television through the converter box.

• Purchase a digital television set; all new television sets on the market can receive both analog and digital stations.

• Subscribe to local cable television from Suddenlink or other pay service which carries the WSAZ Charleston station.

Q. Which converter boxes have analog pass-through?

Many converter boxes offer analog pass-through. Look for “Analog Pass-Through” on the converter box package or ask a clerk in the store.

Q. How do I use a converter box with analog pass-though?

A. You should consult your converter box’s instruction manual to determine how to connect the box for viewing WSAZ Charleston’s analog channel 16 signal.

Q. Will I need a special antenna to receive channel 16's analog signal?

A. You need a UHF antenna, the same type of antenna needed to receive the DTV signals. If you need a new UHF antenna, the following Consumer Electronics Association website provides information to help you choose a UHF antenna to receive the stations you want: www.antennaweb.org.

Q. Many blind and visually impaired people rely on radios that receive TV audio bands. After the transition, those radios won't be able to receive TV broadcasts. How is this being addressed?

A. We're not aware of anyone working on an adapter for this. One option is you could buy a digital converter box and connect just the audio output to an auxiliary input on a radio that has such an input. However, this is a rather cumbersome arrangement, at least for the non-visually impaired, since most converter boxes don't have a display that shows what channel you are tuned to, and navigation would be limited solely to channel up and down keys.

WSAZ NewsChannel 3 645 Fifth Avenue Huntington, WV 25701 304-697-4780 WSAZ Charleston 111 Columbia Avenue Charleston, WV 25302 304-344-3521
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