The following FAQ’s are provided to assist our viewers with the most common reception problems and are updated from time to time. In an effort to help you, the viewer, understand what we as the broadcaster do on a daily basis to insure you get the finest quality off air viewing experience possible, please read the following:
- The WJCT engineering department monitors the off-air signal 24/7/365. In addition, we monitor and record the daily operation of our transmitters in great detail. This insures that our signal is not only of the highest quality to the viewer but also meets or exceeds our technical requirements set by the FCC. That said, we are always transmitting at the maximum power allowed by our broadcast license and do not vary our power output or direction of our signal at any time during the broadcast day.
- On the extremely rare occasion we do experience an unforeseen problem with our broadcast, whether it be the signal or programming, WJCT will make every effort to inform the viewing public through messages displayed on the screen or via any number of social media paths available to us.
- Locate indoor antennas as near as possible to the television or radio receiver.
- Try to find a location near a window and/or near an outside wall.
- Make sure all connections are properly secured. These connections tend to loosen over time even if they are not disturbed.
- Locate attic mounted antennas close to an eave that faces or nearly faces the broadcast antennas located off Hogan Road in the Southside/Beach Blvd. area of Jacksonville.
- Locate outside antennas so they have a clear and generally unobstructed view of the broadcast antennas as shown above. Make sure the antennas “receive” side is facing this location. (Refer to your antennas installation instructions for proper orientation.)
- Locate indoor antennas near sources of interference such as microwave ovens, window air conditioners, etc. Avoid locating the antenna within cabinets such as those found in home entertainment furniture.
- Locate outdoor antennas under large trees or tree limbs, in particular, those that are prone to retaining large amounts of moisture on the leaves from rainfall and dew. Wet leaves act as a shield that can decrease the amount of signal that reaches the antenna. Certain species of trees such as Florida’s Live Oaks or Water Oaks are very dense with water in the trunks and limbs. These trees can limit or “attenuate” the signals if located in the path to your antenna.
- Install any amplifiers or signal boosters not specifically designed for use with today’s digital or HDTV signals. Older, “analog” amplifiers are not guaranteed to cleanly process the digital signals and actually do more harm than good.
Yet another factor in reception is the effect of heavy rainfall. Due to the characteristics of the digital signal, off air can experience a problem similar to the “rain fade” seen with home satellite providers as the signal to the dish antenna is disrupted by rain in the receive path.
Keep in mind that many of todays “HDTV” antennas are equipped with amplifiers. These amplifiers are especially susceptible to lightning strikes and/or power surges during storms. A sudden loss of the off air signal could likely be due to a failure of this amplifier. In this case, only a replacement of the antenna/amplifier will fix the problem.
Many times, following a power outage, a simple “re-scan” of the channels will restore lost programming. This procedure varies greatly so please consult your owner’s manual for the proper procedure.
WJCT can be found on local Cable TV systems as follows:
Comcast/Xfinity – WJCT (standard definition) – Cable channel 8
- WJCT Create (standard definition) – Cable channel 210
- WJCT PBS Kids (standard definition) – Cable channel 211
- WJCT More! (standard definition) – Cable channel 212
- WJCT (High Definition) – Cable channel 440
AT&T U-Verse – WJCT (standard definition) – Cable channel 7
- WJCT (High Definition) – Cable channel 1007
(Note: AT&T U-Verse does not carry Create, World or More! As part of their offered lineup)
WJCT is transmitting at full power using a Solid State transmitter, therefore there is no loss of power due to tube aging. If there was a loss of power due to our transmission path, our equipment would show high VSWR and alarm. Channel 7 is very difficult to receive due to the RF characteristics of the ATSC transmission and any problems your system my be experiencing will be apparent with Channel 7 first. Any loose or corroded connections leading from the antenna will cause signal degradation and eventually you will not receive WJCT. Check and clean all connections and inspect cables for any damage. There is the possibility that your receiver is aging and is not as sensitive as it was when new.
When all else fails, try moving the antenna. Sometimes the atmosphere is to blame. The cooling and heating of the atmosphere at sunup and shortly after sundown can cause what is known as a temperature inversion. This anomaly can greatly affect off air reception of television and radio signals, especially in the outlying or “fringe” reception areas. Unfortunately, this is not something that can be predicted or controlled by the broadcaster or the viewer and is simply a natural phenomenon.
While many programs are broadcast with the surround sound format, some are stereo only. Today’s high tech home theater systems do a wonderful job with both formats. However, those viewers with only 2 speakers may experience a problem when a surround sound program is aired. In this case, make sure that your receiver or audio amplifiers settings are set to “stereo” rather than “surround”. This setting, if incorrect, may assume you have a center speaker or “dialogue speaker channel” and you will likely miss all or most of the spoken audio.
WJCT distributes HD radios and if purchased through our website, support.wjct.org, some of the proceeds benefit the station. HD radios are also available at local Audio/Video/Home Entertainment retail stores or through online dealers.
Other antennas used for FM reception are the Curved, Turnstile, Yagi and Log Periodic. For more Information on which FM antenna is best for you, please use the following resources.
You can improve reception by using a properly installed VHF antenna. Look for a VHF antenna that is “V” or “T” configured, commonly referred to as Yagi antenna. The antenna you purchase should be rated for the distance from your furthest transmission.
UHF antennas, usually circular in shape, are not suitable for VHF high band reception, despite manufacturers’ claims. Some VHF antennas are also not suitable for VHF high band reception. Rabbit ears or indoor antenna are poor receptors for today’s demanding digital transmission.
For best reception, your antenna should be externally mounted. Because all VHF transmissions are line-of-sight, your antenna should be elevated above any nearby structures. Try to avoid mounting your antenna near trees. Water adversely affects DTV reception, and trees are buckets of water. It is common for spring to bring on poor DTV reception, due to tree leaf growth.