A Message from the General Manager

Greetings from WVPT and Happy April ...and that's no fooling!

Over the last month I have received numerous inquiries regarding why our sister station, WVPY is no longer carried on Dish & Direct TV in the Hagerstown / Washington DC designated market area. After numerous discussions with both teams (ours and theirs) here is an update on what has occurred. The equipment and interconnection circuits that WVPY was using to feed Dish and Direct TV since 2005 is out of service due to its failure. This equipment and circuits were purchased in 2005 and are now more than ten years old. This equipment is no longer supported by the manufacturer and if we could afford to buy new, we’d have to also upgrade the circuits to the Dish and Direct TV head ends. In addition to the equipment failure, neither Dish nor Direct TV can currently pick up one of our seven broadcast transmitters at their respective head end sites for the northern Virginia market. This inability to pick up WVPY is due to the “cliff effect” where as you either have a perfect signal from DTV or you have none at all once you are outside of the specific transmitter’s coverage area.

Although both Dish and Direct TV have our “WVPT” program feed supplied to them by us (from our sister station, WVPT) it is a technicality that it's channel 51 (WVPT) & not channel 42 (WVPY) Even though the WVPT signal is the exact same programming as the WVPY signal, because Dish and Direct TV cannot pickup one of our seven broadcast transmitters, and are unable to service the locations in this designated market area with a unique spot beam, and we (WVPY) are unable to replace the now failed equipment, we are off Dish and Direct TV. I fully understand that the decision is based on the satellite rules and regulations from the government and refers to the station's responsibility for supplying a signal via an alternate method if a good over the air signal isn't received at the satellite head end. However, common sense would seem to dictate since they have our signal from our sister station that they would carry us. I even asked both Dish and Direct TV what harm it would do to carry our signal since it’s exactly the same on WVPT and WVPY. However, both Dish and Direct TV are standing by the ruling and are not carrying WVPY.

Please know that all seven of our digital transmission sites are fully operational at this time and we are available over the air with a small DTV antenna in most locations. You can visit: www.tvfool.com and by entering your street address you can determine if you can receive WVPT or WVPY for free over the air. Also, both Comcast and Shentel cable are still carrying our signal to their subscription services, our mobile friendly AP is available for smart phone, tablet, and laptops is fully functional and that Dish and Direct are carrying WVPT in the WVPT licensed market (Harrisonburg/Staunton.) Lastly, you might be asking, yes, I have reached out to our FCC lawyers and have been informed that Dish and Direct TV in the Hagerstown/DC designated (northern Virginia) market area… is no longer "required" to carry us since the broadcast signal isn’t received at their head ends. I have formally asked Dish and Direct TV to reconsider their decision and to use the WVPT signal as a "distant station" imported into the northern Virginia market. I hope this answers everyone’s questions and I thank you for your inquiry.

Since 1968 WVPT has long been a leader in the creation and distribution of television content. Now, something new and exciting is happening as the world has changed ...so has our viewers’ media consumption. WVPT, wvpt.net, and our mobile friendly site, video.wvpt.net are the new free on demand providers in our community. Over the last nine months WVPT has partnered with local like-minded nonprofits and corporate support businesses who believe working together makes our community a better place to live. Via the power of Public Media we are your mobile friendly AP for Education, Inspiration, and Entertainment and each member of the dedicated WVPT staff lives and works in the area right alongside you. We are proud to be part of the community as we strive to offer the greatest source of creative, intellectual and emotional inspiration in a single place. As “the boys of summer” step up to the plate again this season, we hope you will enjoy the next Ken Burns broadcast event presented on WVPT - April 11 and 12, Jackie Robinson and we trust you will feel we have created a multi-platform, sophisticated engine that is a natural progression for you to enjoy WVPT’s Public Media.

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