Welcome to TV Garth!

Ever since I was a kid, I loved antennas and TV reception. It was always a thrill to hook up an antenna and see what stations I could get, and see if I could pick up anything from a far distance. With the transition to digital broadcasting happening, my love for OTA (over the air) reception came back and this blog will focus on what channels I'm able to receive via antenna from my home just outside of Toronto, Canada. Plus there may be occasional commentaries on shows that I see while adjusting my reception.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Reception Reports: Utica and Syracuse from Downtown Toronto (May 23, 2009) – A CNY Explosion!

Greetings TV Garth viewers! Finally, after a long delay, is the second part of my Downtown Toronto report where I first received Syracuse and Utica digitally between May 22-23! This DXing took place in the apartment of my good friend Mr. A. His apartment is the “downtown office” of TV Garth!

Mr. A (also known as “Anks” to some, especially those who visit his awesome photo blog) lives on the 27th floor of a building that faces Southeast of Lake Ontario, so he gets amazing reception. I started bringing over my Zenith DTT901 digital converter box along with my CM4040 indoor antenna to his place to do OTA experiments. On May 22 I was amazed to get WSTM and WSYR from Syracuse. This day, on May 23, I was shocked to also pick up WKTV and WUTR from Utica, NY! I was staying over at Mr. A’s place for the weekend because I was seeing many films at the Inside Out festival that was happening at the time.

This day, Mr. A and I woke up early (approx 10:15am, which to me is early.) But I was glad to when I realized the Syracuse tropo was still happening!

Here we have WSTM with their Saturday morning programming on main channel 3-1 (NBC) and subchannel WSTQ on 3-2 (CW).

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This is the antenna I was using all weekend, a Channel Master CM4040 “Indoortenna” which works great from the 27th floor of Mr. A’s building.

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3-3, WSTM’s Weather channel, runs E/I programming to fulfill government requirements on Saturday morning. I feel so so about the show below.

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Veggie Tales was running on 3-1 WSTM.

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While 3-2 WSTQ was showing Chaotic M’arrillion Invasion. (Don’t ask me what it’s about, I feel really old when it comes to modern kids’ shows!)

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And 9-1 WSYR was also coming in this morning, with a dramatic promo for Oprah.

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Meanwhile, they had dinosaur bones ready to take a bite out of the Saturday morning landscape on 9-2 WSYR-2.

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9-1 WSYR was showing That’s So Raven, with special guest Kathie Lee Gifford! That’s a true “Giff” my friend Brian would appreciate. Just look at her go wild in the second pic!

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9-2 WSYR-2 was running Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures, which brings out the beast in all of us.

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This is what the trashtacular Beyonce/Ali Larter film Obsessed would look like if remade for the Disney crowd as a star vehicle for Raven-Symone. But then you’d have to add a moral to the story, have people break into song and dance, and somehow squeeze in a cameo by the Jonas Brothers. But seriously, look at Raven get ready to throw down with the blonde below. (Pics from That’s So Raven on 9-1 WSYR.)

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Instead of Beyonce's line "She was naked...in your bed!" you'd have Raven-Symone saying "She wore the same dress as me...at the prom!"

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Poor Eddie gets the short end of the plot stick, as witnessed in the program info for Raven.

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Here’s more of Jack Hanna on 9-2 WSYR-2.

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People are literally wigging out over on Hannah Montana, as seen on 9-1 WSYR! I wonder if Telma & Vylette were watching. (Inside joke for Mr. A!)

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I love the “After these messages” commercials, because it gives me that nostalgic glow for when I’d watch Saturday morning TV growing up as a kid in the 1980s!

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These animals are really showing their true stripes on Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures!

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Back over on WSTM’s 3-3 Weather channel they were showing something involving sewing? (Maybe this connects back to the “Learn How To Sew” cartoon that was featured on this channel earlier in the Reception Report.)

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Meanwhile these cartoon characters on 3-2 WSTQ are just as serious about snapping pictures as I am!

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And here are snaps from 3-1 WSTM and 3-2 WSTQ. Happy Saturday Morning!

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Jack Hanna was searching for boobies...the blue-footed boobies of the Galapagos Islands, that is!

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Raven-Symone looks almost as shocked as I soon would when Utica's WKTV suddenly rolled in just a few moments later.

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At this point I decided to scan around and see if any other stations were coming in. I remembered that I saw a flicker on RF 29 the previous night, and when I tuned in, it finally came through as Utica, NY’s WKTV!

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The WKTV signal wasn’t holding so well, so I flipped back to 9-2 WSYR-2 just in time for some environmental ads about preserving trees and preserving food.

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More Saturday Morning montage, this time taken from Utica’s WKTVDT2 (WKTV’s CW subchannel on 2-2) along with pics from the main station on 2-1.

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Here’s the sewing show again, as seen on WSTM’s Weather channel. “You’’ll look great in that top,” says the merry seamstress on the left to the girl in the middle who looks as excited as a mannequin. Maybe that could be a new sitcom called Mannequin In The Middle, where the girl only comes to life when she gets a new outfit sewn for her. The seamstress will have to keep sewing new outfits to keep the girl from returning to mannequin form, and in the process she’ll become a world famous designer!

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WSTM and WKTV were airing identical programming this morning on both their main channels and the subchannels. The only difference was the program details provided in the PSIP information varied on each station.

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But here we have the most exciting part of the day. LOCAL ADS! Wheeee! Here I stumbled into an ad for the Jackie Wolber-Lawler Memorial Golf Tournament sponsored by WKTV.

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And here I did a backflip capturing a commercial that shows the history of WKTV and shows great logos, and a montage of news anchors! Trivia – Dick Clark got his start as a TV reporter on WKTV well before American Bandstand! (Learned from Wikipedia.)

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The closing of the WKTV promo looks like a tiger slashed his claw through the TV screen! Maybe it was one of Jack Hanna’s animals that got loose and was causing havoc for the poor WKTV news crew!

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And we’re back to the Saturday Morning shows! Compare the WKTV info on Turbo Dogs with the WSTM version. WKTV’s is episode specific, where WSTM’s is a generic overview of the whole series.

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Meanwhile, over on 3-3 WSTM’s Weather channel, they’re advertising a deal to get a new cell phone. Things are still Chaotic on 3-2 WSTQ. And 9-1 WSYR is serving up plenty of Hanna Montana with for the tween crowd, with Miley looking at a faux Billy Ray Cyrus record.

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Missing seems like a real downer of a show to schedule during the Saturday morning lineup on 9-2 WSYR-2. Like, “Hey kids, after watching these great cartoons, make sure nobody walks away with you!”

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It looks like she’s saying “Come on girls, if I can learn to sew, sew can you!” I also love the name of the city, because I would be making puns all day about the Geneva Convention.

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Billy Ray Cyrus and daughter Miley share a warm hug on Hannah Montana.

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And as Mr. A began to push me towards the door so we could be on time for out Inside Out movies, I inisted on snapping a couple of shots of Babar on WSTM before leaving.

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We saw two movies at Inside Out that day, and came back to Mr. A’s apartment afterwards for a rousing game of Mario Party on GameCube. But when I saw that Utica’s WKTV was still coming in, and it was their newscast, I begged all my friends to wait a bit so I could capture it! I came in right as they were showing their weather.

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On 2-2 WKTVDT2 they were showing the trashtacular “reality” show Cheaters. This actually caught my friends’ attention, so we kept it on during commercial breaks from the WKTV news. (They were thinking “We’re watching Cheaters.” But I was thinking “We’re watching Cheaters on a station from Utica!!!”)

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Back on WKTV the news featured lots of great logos! I was even excited about random stories about Syracuse residents camping out!

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Meanwhile, Cheaters was staking out the “bad boy” of the episode to see him cheat. Sigh.

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WKTV shows a segment called “Around America” and in the second pic, check out the classic headline “Mistaken Identity Girl Graduates.” I was like “Whaaa?”

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And here’s a montage of news and sports shots from WKTV, starting with a guy who looks ready for action!

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When looking at some of the pics, I noticed that anchor Nicole Estaphan bears a slight resemblance to Canadian singer Bif Naked.

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I imagined a whole fictional drama that could be a Lifetime TV movie called The Naked News. Nicole and Bif are sisters, divided by a border and personal goals. The sweet, more conservative Nicole heads over to WKTV in Utica to become a reporter, disapproving of Bif’s wild ways. Meanwhile, Bif heads off to Canada to put together the band Bif Naked. The sisters rarely see each other until Bif Naked becomes the hottest new act in North America, and eventually Nicole gets assigned to interview her estranged sister’s band. Will their strained bond be renewed and rejuvenated? Find out on The Naked News! [End of fictional movie rant.]

Then we have promos for the anchors below. I wish that Jill Reale had a rival meteorologist named something like Renee Phonee to add that Dynasty-like drama to the news. Or she could just cover the Jennifer Lopez song and rename it “I’m Reale.”

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Rochester, NY was also coming in strong at Mr. A’s apartment, so here is a montage of their digital channels.

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Back in Utica, WKTV broke for commercials and I caught this ad for the Utica Painting Company.

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Some of the movies we saw at Inside Out were so horrifying that I half expected that rag doll at the bottom left to start chasing the girl around, cackling “Now I’ve got you painted into a corner!”

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Meanwhile, Cheaters was soldiering on as host Joey Greco gets ready to make the reveal to the poor woman who asked them to stalk….er..”investigate” her cheating man.

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WKTV is on Facebook!

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Here’s a nighttime shot of Utica!

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More news montage from WKTV!

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Things aren’t going so well for the woman on Cheaters as Joey goes to the tapes to show her the cheating boyfriend.

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Jill Reale looks just as unimpressed with that louse on Cheaters as she prepares to deliver the weather on WKTV! This was just before the Memorial Day Weekend!

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And there we have it! WKTV’s newscast closes out with Jill Reale and Nicole Estaphan signing off before the sports report!

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But on Cheaters (on 2-2 WKTVDT2) the action has just begun with the confronted cheating boyfriend running around, smashing in car windows, knocking down his girlfriend and giving her a nosebleed!!! Then he tries to run away again!

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The sports fans were cheering him on! This was followed by more sports coverage on WKTV.

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WKTV is on Twitter too! I honestly felt like Twittering to them that I received their station from Toronto.

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I don’t think I could take another Cheaters styled brand of justice.

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At this point my friends finally forced me to turn over the TV so that we could play the Mario Party on GameCube. But when the Mario Party was done (approx 1:28 am) I clicked over to Syracuse’s WSTM, and their signal was coming in again as well! They promoted their website, before going into Poker After Dark.

Right about now, Mr. A was slightly impressed when I told him he was picking up FOUR NBC affiliates at the same time. (Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Utica.)

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Most lawyers promise a lot of things, but Alexander & Catalano get a giant CGI robot to back them up! That’s why they’re the heavy hitters!

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The Tomato Plant hanger thing looks like a gimmick. Just saying…

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Poker After Dark aired on 3-1 WSTM, while 3-2 WSTQ was finally airing something other than the Sun car infomercials! They ran promos for their Action News before showing Frasier!

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My friends started taking pics of me taking pics of the reception! Here’s the pic of me, followed by the pic I was taking.

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Frasier and Poker After Dark continued on, as my friends got progressively bored. Heh.

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Here’s a great commercial on WSTQ for a Central New York car dealership!

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The city of Baldwinsville must be where the Baldwin brothers were born. Just ask Alec!

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Below you can see a great CW6 logo for WSTQ in the bottom corner of the screen! Many of the CW subchannels in the US brand themselves after their cable positions.

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It looks like I’m saying “Just a few more pics guys!” to my friends, who at this point are trying to drag me away from the TV!

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My friend Brian was literally wigging out like Hannah Montana did earlier that morning! My friend Chris was just passing out on the couch. Meanwhile I was still playing with the antenna aimed out the window trying to pick up the last channel of the night……RF 30 was flickering and I was determined to find out what it was!

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And BAM it came through! At first I was so excited I was trying to read the call letters off the screen and mistakenly said “It’s WUTB!” to which Brian said “That’s just Buffalo.” I was all “No! It’s different!” When I finally saw it was WUTR, Mr. A looked it up on Wikipedia and found out that it was also from Utica, NY! The following is a montage of pics of 20-1 WUTR, which was airing Cold Case.

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Then I clicked over to WUTR’s subchannel which is 20-2 WPNY-LP. WPNY-LP is a My Network TV affiliate, which was airing George Lopez at the time.

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And with that, my super tropo weekend was over as the guys were all worn out by my DXing! But it was a legendary weekend, and I have to give a big thanks again to Mr. A for allowing me use of his place as the “Downtown Office” of TV Garth (and for helping take a lot of the pics.) Thanks also to Brian and Chris for putting up with my TV reception addictions!

Stay tuned to TV Garth for much more to come!

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