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Helicopter removes old antenna as Nashua’s Channel 13 moves closer to digital broadcasting

By Staff | May 10, 2014

Nashua’s Channel 13 is moving closer to a digital future, following the work last weekend by a helicopter that removed the former WNDS antenna from the 500-foot TV tower on Merrill Hill in Hudson.

The antenna, weighing more than 3,000 pounds, had to be removed before a new high-definition antenna can be installed. Severe winter conditions had postponed the operation, said Gordon Jackson, WYCN station manager.

The low-power station expects to begin digital broadcasting “within the next month,” Jackson said.

Its over-the-air footprint will expand dramatically with the move, reaching as far as downtown Boston, the station says.

WYCN TV-13 still has an analog transmitter, the type that was common before most broadcasting companies switched to digital two years ago. It covers just a portion of Nashua and can only be seen by the few people left using analog over-the-air antennas.

The digital news helps compensate the city’s private community channel for the loss of its position on Comcast’s cable lineup. Comcast cited complications involved with the analog transmitter when it dropped TV-13 in October.

Over The Air broadcasting, which owns the station, said an underlying reason for the dismissal was Comcast’s desire to use the signal for nonbroadcasting reasons such as home security networks and Internet broadband, an increasing part of Comcast’s business model.

Station managers Carolyn Choate and Jackson, the public face of the station virtually since its founding in 1988, rounded up a wide range of support for keeping the station on the cable system, but without success.

– Telegraph staff


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