The Magic of TV

For someone who works at a television station, I know remarkably little about TV and how it works. And by “little” I of course mean none. Full stop.

Recently though our technicians had to do some work on the transmission tower we use– so I couldn’t help but post the picture they took while they were out there painting.

Check out our mighty transmission tower, said I! And I thought that would be the end of it. Really I was just hoping to cheer folks up about the technical difficulties they may have experienced as a result of the work we were doing. But then someone left a comment— Larry Lee was his name– asking for further explanation of what exactly this tower does.

And so I of course had to do a little research. Thankfully, Scott Holisky, our chief transmission engineer, was at the ready. How’s that tower actually work? I asked him. To which Scott replied with an Einstein quote:

You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat.  You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles.  Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there.  The only difference is that there is no cat.

Riiiiiiiight. Get it now? Yeah, me neither. Thankfully Scott went on.

“Instead of telegraph wires,” he said, “it’s radio frequency (RF) energy that we impose our information on and broadcast to the viewer’s set. The tower allows us to get the broadcast antenna up high to improve the coverage to outlying viewers. The RF is intense enough to cause health issues to the workers, so we just turn it off when they are close in.”

In other words, you’d be advised to admire the tower from afar. Or just to stare at this picture of it. Or just tune in to tpt and reflect on all of the work and magic that goes into making it work.

That is all.