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|Branding||WATC TV 57|
|Channels||Digital: 41 (UHF)
Virtual: 57 (PSIP)
|Translators||WKSY-LD 21.4 (UHF) Summerville
36 (UHF) Union City (construction permit)
|Owner||Carolina Christian Broadcasting, Inc.
(Community Television, Inc.)
|First air date||April 14, 1996|
|Call letters' meaning||Atlanta Christian|
|Former callsigns||WATC (1988–2009)|
|Former channel number(s)||
|Transmitter power||165 kW|
|Height||319 m (1,047 ft)|
|Public license information:||Profile
WATC-DT is a television station located in metro Atlanta. It transmits its digital signal on physical TV channel 41, appearing on virtual channel 57.1, its former analog TV channel. The station's transmitter is located on Sweat Mountain in north-northwestern metro Atlanta, and its city of license is Atlanta. Its TV studios are located in Norcross, near Interstate 85.
It is an independent, non-commercial educational Christian religious broadcasting station with programing from various Christian TV networks including FamilyNet, World Harvest Television, The Inspiration Network, The Worship Network, Golden Eagle and Shepherd's Chapel. All are transmitted in standard definition at 480i resolution.
WATC produces more local non-news programming than any other TV station in Atlanta. Its nightly prime time flagship program Atlanta Live is aired 7-9 PM on weeknights, and re-aired the following morning at 7:00 AM.
WATC granted permission to simulcast its signal on WSKC-CA channel 22 (also licensed to Atlanta), so that station could maintain its class-A television service status. WSKC-CA was located on the same broadcast tower as WATC, and could continue broadcasting in analog even after WATC went digital-only in February 2009. However, it was off-air as of March 2009, and remained so for most of the year. Since then, the station has moved to transmit digitally from a location near Norcross as WSKC-CD, and now airs Korean programming as it had previously done on analog before its affiliation with WATC.
Despite the DTV Delay Act extending the deadline from February 17 to June 12, the station ended analog service on the original date. On June 18, it changed its broadcast callsign from the unsuffixed WATC it has since the beginning, a few days after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that TV stations were free to add or drop -DT as easily as -TV. Its 165 kW digital is significantly less than the 540 kW (20% of its previously-licensed 2698 kW analog) required to replicate its analog TV broadcast range (by FCC regulations) at the same height. It has a construction permit for 750 kW, and requested special temporary authority for 330 kW.
It has also received a construction permit for a fill-in broadcast translator in Union City, Georgia (southwestern metro Atlanta) on channel 36, which was vacated by analog WATL TV. It will have the same callsign as its parent station (with no extra numerals or other differentiation, despite not being a same-channel booster) and could not be sold separately, as it is within a program the FCC created in 2009 in order to address the shortcomings of the ATSC digital broadcast television system. Since ATSC is very prone to multipath interference, this may be due to reflected signals from the skyscrapers of downtown Atlanta and midtown Atlanta, as well as terrain shielding of the Chattahoochee River valley and the hills around it.
The station formerly had another translator station, W42AO, licensed to Athens, Georgia. That station is now WAGC-LD. Owner Carolina Christian Broadcasting, Inc. also owns WGGS-TV, its sister station in Greenville, South Carolina.
In early May 2011, the station added other religious programming called "WATC too" on new channel 57.2.
The station's digital channel is multiplexed:
|Channel||Video||Aspect||PSIP Short Name||Programming|
|57.1||1080i||16:9||WATC-DT||Main WATC programming|
WATC shut down its analog signal, over UHF channel 57, on February 17, 2009, to conclude the federally mandated transition from analog to digital television. The station's digital signal remained on its pre-transition UHF channel 41, using PSIP to display WATC's virtual channel as 57 on digital television receivers, which was among the high band UHF channels (52-69) that were removed from broadcasting use as a result of the transition.