More power for 6abc DTV Transition

June 21, 2009 8:32:25 AM PDT
WPVI-TV was given special authority by the FCC to significantly increase its broadcasting power this weekend

We would like to hear from over the air antenna users via this email feedback form.

Please follow all of the connection and rescanning instructions listed here and let us know if you can receive 6abc's digital channel.

It is the station's ongoing effort to provide the 6abc signal to all viewers receiving it prior to the Digital TV transition.

Thank you for your correspondence and patience.

If you are still having trouble receiving 6ABC or other channels, here is some information to help you understand the changes and troubleshoot any problems.

6abc will continue to answer your DTV Inquiry emails and phone calls, however the large number of correspondences we've received may prevent an immediate personalized response.

VIDEO: DTV transition difficulties

6abc is now on the VHF band, a position assigned by the government. Before the conversion, it was on the UHF band.


  • The best reception is with an outdoor all-band antenna. Make sure the antenna is pointed towards our transmitter site. It is located in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia. If you point away from the transmitter, you will not receive a signal.
  • If you are using an indoor antenna, make sure you purchase an all-band indoor antenna, one that receives both VHF and UHF signals. These usually have two long rods known as "rabbit ears". To receive the strongest signal, make sure the "rabbit ears" are fully extended.
  • Place the antenna near a window or as close to an outer wall of a building as possible. VHF signals may not penetrate into an interior room or basement.
  • Rescan your converter box. Boxes are actually computers, and each one is different.
  • Remove the antenna
  • Rescan the converter box without the antenna attached (This will clear out any old channel information stored in the box)
  • Reattach the antenna to the converter box
  • Rescan again
  • If you still cannot receive 6ABC, try moving the antenna into a different location and then rescan.

You can follow this link for step-by-step instructions and pictures about installing a television antenna and DTV converter box.

VIDEO: How to Install a DTV Antenna
SCRIPT: How to Install a DTV Antenna

The Federal Communications Commission has also set up a Transition Help Line to answer your questions by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC.

Here are some tips for rescanning using most remote controls:

  • Push the "MENU" button.
  • Then select the option to "auto scan" or "digital channels only" or "rescan" depending on what your menu says
  • After you select that function, hit "ENTER" or "OK".
  • Your TV should then begin automatically scanning for available channels.

Some converter boxes allow you to do a manual scan. If your box supports manual scan, you might be able to more easily find any channels you are missing. You may also see a "signal strength" indication on some channels, which lets you know how strongly the signal is coming in.

You can follow this link for instructions and a video explaining the hook-up and rescan process for setting up your DTV reception. You can watch the video and follow along with the script.


Should you want help in person, there are several centers set up with advisors.

  • WHYY
    120 North 6th Street
    Philadelphia, PA (215) 351-1200
  • 4322 North 5th Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19140
  • Franklin Mills Mall
    1455 Franklin Mills Cir.
    Philadelphia, PA 19154
  • Cheltenham Sq Mall
    2385 Cheltenham Ave.
    Philadelphia, PA 19150
  • Roosevelt Mall
    2327 Cottman Ave.
    Philadelphia, PA 19149
  • The Gallery
    901 Market Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19107
  • Plymouth Meeting Mall
    500 W Germantown Pike
    Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

After the digital transition, 87.7FM will no longer carry 6abc's broadcast frequency. WPVI-TV does not operate a radio station - the 6abc signal heard on 87.7FM was a natural occurrence within the broadcast spectrum.


Should you wish to file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission, here is some infomation that will be helpful:

For all other methods, you'll need to print out and fill out this official FCC Complaint Form.

  • MAIL: You can send a letter to the FCC at the following address
    Federal Communications Commission
    Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau
    Consumer Complaints
    445 12th Street, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20554
  • FAX: The completed complaint form may be faxed toll-free to: 1-866-418-0232. Be sure to include all required information to prevent delay in the processing of your complaint.
  • EMAIL: You may email your completed complaint form and supporting documents to


An important benefit of the switch to all-digital broadcasting is that it will free up parts of the valuable broadcast spectrum for public safety communications (such as police, fire departments, and rescue squads). Also, some of the spectrum will be auctioned to companies that will be able to provide consumers with more advanced wireless services (such as wireless broadband).

Consumers also benefit because digital broadcasting allows stations to offer improved picture and sound quality, and digital is much more efficient than analog. For example, rather than being limited to providing one analog program, a broadcaster is able to offer a super sharp "high definition" (HD) digital program or multiple "standard definition" (SD) digital programs simultaneously through a process called "multicasting." Multicasting allows broadcast stations to offer several channels of digital programming at the same time, using the same amount of spectrum required for one analog program. So, for example, while a station broadcasting in analog on channel 7 is only able to offer viewers one program, a station broadcasting in digital on channel 7 can offer viewers one digital program on channel 7-1, a second digital program on channel 7-2, a third digital program on channel 7-3, and so on. This means more programming choices for viewers. Further, DTV can provide interactive video and data services that are not possible with analog technology.

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To 6abc viewers, we understand many viewers using over the air antennas are still having difficulty receiving 6abc. WPVI-TV is working with the public and the FCC to resolve all remaining reception issues with the broadcast signal. We urge you to refer to the information posted on this page for any updates. The information posted on this message board may be inaccurate. Please use the available email forms to continue to send us your comments. Your correspondence is very valuable to us in achieving a resolution.