Storm Damage, Vandalism Delay Lakeshore PBS Repairs
MERRILLVILLE - Lakeshore Public Media in northwest Indiana says complications have led to a delay in bringing Lakeshore PBS back on the air. The station's TV transmitter was damaged during a severe storm last month and the organization says suspected vandalism has hindered efforts to get the station broadcasting again.
The 15-year-old transmitter was damaged beyond repair and Lakeshore PBS has begun work to purchase a new one. The station says demand for transmitters and the 6-8 week time frame to build a new one means the new transmitter is not expected to arrive until late September.
Earlier this month, the station received a temporary low-power transmitter, but an error prevented it from working property. Engineers discovered vandalism that caused multiple faults in the transmission lines that prevented the transmitter from operating normally.
Matt Franklin, vice president of TV operations for Lakeshore PBS calls the situation a "perfect storm of unfortunate circumstances."
“It wasn’t just one thing, it was many,” he said, ”the age of the transmitter, a new engineering team, the spectrum auction and the vandalism – all happening at once to keep us off the air so much longer than we ever could have expected."
Lakeshore PBS says engineers are working to repair the faults and special testing equipment is being brought in to help efforts. Once the temporary transmitter is operational, the station will work to extend the low-power signal to as many satellite and cable systems as possible.
While the station is still not broadcasting, Lakeshore Public Media says it is maintaining service on Comcast/Xfinity systems throughout the Chicagoland area due to the cable provider's back-up fiber connection.