Channel loss after FCC repack

Hi all,
My local PBS station is completing their repack assignment, and since they made (or started?) the transition, my tablo is unable to pick up the signal anymore, although other OTA devices I have work fine. The station in question is WPBT-DT in West Palm Beach. Antennaweb has the following to say:

Ch 2.1 PBS is part of the FCC TV spectrum repack. The below table highlights information regarding how the station is affected.

Phase: 2
Phase Completion Date : 4/12/2019
Channel Changing: Yes
Going Off Air: No
Current RF Channel: 18
New RF Channel: 29
Current Antenna Color: Blue
New Antenna Color: Blue

It’s going from a UHF to UHF (494MHz to 560MHz, if you believe wikipedia), so theoretically the problem shouldn’t be related to antenna type (though I have VHF as well and pick up plenty of other UHF and VHF stations), and if I simply pull the coax out of my tablo and plug it into my TV, I’m able to tune the station after a rescan.

My channel guide on the Tablo is up to date, and doesn’t offer much in the way of additional information. Is there some tool or debug mode I can enable to see what frequency the Tablo thinks it should be tuning, and what the relative signal strength is?


Have you done a rescan on the Table DVR?

I did. It shows up as a 1080i signal with 5 green dots, just as it did before.

What happens when you try to tune to that channel?

I get the “signal too weak” message. I’ve been expecting that at some point the guide data would get updated with the new channel, but so far that’s been a no-go.

I’d suggest you contact the Chief Engineer at WPBT. They may be running transmitters on both channels during the transition period, and the Tablo may be picking up a low-power signal. I see two STAs (Special Temporary Authority) for operation on channel 18 at 78.5 KW through March 28, and at 244 KW through May 13; normal power is 1000 KW for that station.

Their web page on repack says, “As part of this repack, in early January, we’ll be moving to temporary facilities to facilitate the installation of a new antenna and transmission system temporarily at reduced power… you might lose us during the installation process, but no worries because we will back.”

But all of that is just “maybes.” The Chief Engineer will know for sure. You might try Gene Talley, VP of Engineering/Operations. Click on his picture on their Executive Staff page, and there’s a “Contact” button that lets you send him an email.

Hi Jack,

Thanks for the insights. I ran another channel re-scan a few days ago after noticing that one of the local CW affiliates was having the same issue (and was also scheduled to finish their repack this coming week). Sure enough, after another rescan, my original PBS station and the new CW station were working, so I think when I did my original rescan they hadn’t yet finished moving equipment or something.

Anyway, all is now well. Thanks again for your help!