This is just wierd – why doesn’t KOMO TV’s hidef signal reliably work?

I don't have a HD setup (my AV setup is still living in dinosaur land), but I just received this piece of mail on an internal mailing list that I found just fascinating:


KOMO Status

Most of you are aware of the occassional breakup of the KOMO-DT HDTV video. After doing some research, I have speculated that it was a result of interference from an airborne picket radar that is flying over the Puget Sound 24/7. These radars operate at very high power about 3.9 GHz, just below the ABC network's 4 GHz satellite receive frequency. The radar antenna takes about six seconds to revolve, and the racetrack circuit the plane is flying take about 30 minutes to complete. All this fits that pattern.

This morning, Fisher's Director of Engineering, Kelly Alford, confirmed that others are having similar problems with the follow message:

"We had a telephone conversation with ABC about this issue just this morning. Apparently the Seattle area isn't the only city effected by the Air Force radar planes flying around causing interference to satellite reception. In our conversation this morning, ABC indicated that they will be supplying us with custom made notch filters for installation on our LNB's to alleviate the problem. We will have more information next week as to when the filters will be available.

Don, feel free to pass this information along to the AVS discussion board if you think it would be beneficial.

Best Regards,

Kelly D. Alford
Director of Engineering
KOMO-TV4 Seattle"

So the reason that KOMO's HD broadcast isn't working is because the USAF is interrupting their satellite signals.  Wow.

Comments (2)

  1. foxyshadis says:

    Anyone living near a military base knows this effect. ^_~ Every few minutes the radar would sweep over you and radio and TV (broadcast, cable, whatever) faded to static for a second. It’s so strong it’ll even disrupt signals in wires that aren’t shielded enough, if you’re close enough to the radar installation.

  2. Paul says:

    Not just military bases; my building at work is close enough to an airport that you get interference on the digital terrestrial stuff every time the radar thing sweeps over.

    This is kind of a problem when you’re trying to debug the box…

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