Some of our viewers may be experiencing difficulty receiving our digital signal. That's because digital transmissions are more sensitive than the old analog signal and can be affected or even impeded by geographic location, obstructions such as tall buildings or trees, and other factors.
Additionally, digital reception is "all or nothing;" either you get a picture or you don't. When the digital signal is disrupted there is a "cliff effect," which essentially means that the signal has been disrupted or weakened and has dropped off completely. This characteristic is unlike the analog signal which would gradually deteriorate in picture quality over distances that moved beyond the intended viewing area.
Maryland Public Television's three channels (MPT-HD, MPT-2 & V-me) are broadcast from six transmitters around the state: Salisbury (28.1, 28.2, and 28.3), Annapolis (22.1, 22.2, and 22.3), Owings Mills (67.1, 67.2, and 67.3), Frederick (62.1, 62.2, and 62.3), Hagerstown (31.1, 31.2, and 31.3) and Oakland (36.1, 36.2, and 36.3).
Since digital TV is a directional signal, TV viewers typically need to aim their antenna in the direction of the transmitter to get a picture. Since most residents live in areas served by at least two MPT transmitters, the likelihood of finding a signal is increased.
Your antenna and its ability to receive a signal are paramount for adequate reception. The digital signal is designed to be used in conjunction with an outdoor antenna at least 20-30 ft. off of the ground. Although indoor TV top antennas and other similar setups worked very well for the analog signal in the past, this is simply not the case for all digital viewers. We realize this upgrade is not an option for everyone, but we would encourage you to upgrade your set-up as much as your budget and space configurations will allow.
MPT broadcasts all of its channels at the maximum signal strength allowable. If you are unable to receive an MPT channel using a digital converter box hooked to a TV or a digital TV, there may be a solution for you. The FCC recommends that you perform what is called a "Double Re-scan:"
- Disconnect your antenna from the converter box or digital TV.
- Perform a channel scan.
- Turn off the box or digital TV for several minutes.
- Re-attach your antenna.
- Turn on the digital converter box or digital TV.
This process clears the memory of your digital converter or digital TV, and may help pick up channels that you were unable to receive before. If this is unsuccessful, you may have to investigate other options, such as upgrading your antenna. Barring that, viewers may need to investigate a pay television provider such as cable or satellite. If you do so, please be sure to let them know you want MPT in your line-up.