TV Technical Profile: WUOA-LD

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46.1 - Vision Latina
46.2 - Buzzr
46.3 - —
46.4 - NTD America
46.5 - Novelisima
46.6 - ShopLC
46.7 - NBC LX Home
46.8 - Telexitos
Transmitter Location:
[map] [street view] [bird's eye] On Red Mountain. Looking at Vulcan from downtown, their tower is the third down with the multiple "tines" at the top. This tower also houses WTTO and several other TV and FM properties.
Power (ERP):
10 kW
Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):
947 feet
Other Information:

[Image] An image from the UNIFE channel, showing "Birmingham 46.1" on a crawl at the bottom, along with channels in Nashville, Miami and Tampa. From October 2022.
Owned By:
DTV Holding Inc
This facility dates back to an original construction permit for a low power analog TV station on channel 53, owned by the now-defunct All American Network in January of 1988.  Before actually coming on the air, the station went through a number of technical changes, including a move from channel 53 to 51; a license to cover was filed in August of 1991 with the call sign of W51BY.  The programming was a simulcast of Trinity Broadcasting Network's WTJP-TV in Gadsden, a mix of Christian programming from the All American Network and TBN itself.  During this period, the station broadcast from the old channel 68 tower on Ishkooda Mountain, near the intersection of Montevallo Road and Oxmoor Road near Homewood.  The All American Network eventually folded into TBN itself, around the year 2000.
In the Spring of 2003 the station moved to the WTTO-TV tower on Golden Crest Drive, atop Red Mountain, while increasing their power and moving to channel 46, where the call sign became W46DK.  During this era, full power television stations began converting to digital operations, eating up a lot of spare channels and displacing many low power UHF broadcasts like this one.  With the impending sign-on of WMCF in Montgomery on RF channel 46, this station applied for a move to channel 31, but it's unknown if it ever moved here or just went completely silent.  The station filed a Silent STA for a short period in 2010, citing lack of support for a low powered analog signal in the market. 
After resuming operations a few months after going silent, the station — presumably now on channel 31 but still in analog — chugged along until it was sold off by TBN to a company called Regal Media, Inc. in 2012, who filed their own displacement application to operate on RF channel 17 as a digital station.  It's unclear whether the station operated during this period, as there was a small parade of changes filed, as well as ownership changes as the station fell into the hands of King Forward, Inc., in 2014.  Less than a year later, King Forward transferred the license to DTV America, whose filings with the FCC indicate the station was on and off a few times through 2015.  It also changed calls from W46DK to WUOA-LP (later WUOA-LD after going digital.)  They got a permit to tweak the coverage of the station and it was finally confirmed to be on the air, from RF channel 17, with a digital signal in late June 2016, carrying three networks on three subchannels: comedy-themed Laff on the -.1, the game show-centric Buzzr on -.2 and the female-oriented Escape network on -.3.  Roughly a week after these stations debuted, the subchannel count rocketed up to eight as the station added two QVC feeds plus the Liquidation Channel, along with two channels showing only colors bars, which will presumably be filled at some point by other networks that the DTV America company puts on its many owned low power TV stations across the US.  In June 2017 it was discovered that The Country Network on the -.4 subchannel had been replaced by getTV, which was taken off WTTO around the same time.

In the winter of 2020 the station appears to have dropped Shop LC, Laff and Escape from their lineup, replacing one channel with Three Angels Broadcasting network and the other two with different informercial feeds.  One of those feeds was later replaced, in April 2020, with Cozi TV.

The station moved to RF channel 28 in June 2020.  In October 2020 the station dropped QVC from the —.5 subchannel and replaced it with Cheddar, and dropped 3ABN from the —.7 subchannel and replaced it with ShopLC.  When Cozi TV was added to Tuscaloosa's WVUA-DT, it later was removed from this station's —.3 subchannel and replaced with "infomercials and public domain movies network" Magnificent Movies Network.

In late August 2021 it was observed that some of the subchannels had changed; the infomercials on the —.1 channel were replaced with NTD America; —.3 dropped infomercials for BeIn Sports Xtra; —.5 dropped Cheddar for Novelisima.  It appears that around the same time, QVC Plus was dropped for Classic Reruns TV on the —.7 subchannel.  The station appeared to be off the air for a short time as of October 2021.  The "Classic Reruns TV" on —.7 was dropped at some point for BeIn Sports Español.

In October 2022, it was noted the —.1 subchannel had dropped NTD America for an Argentinian channel called UNIFE.  That was short-lived, as the channel soon flipped to Spanish language Vision Latina.  NTD America moved to the —.4 subchannel, displacing Get TV, which was already available elsewhere over-the-air.  In November 2022, the station was granted a permit to swap out antennas; the change will have no effect on power, antenna height or coverage. A license to cover was filed for that change the same month.

The station's lineup was noted to have changed again in the winter of 2023, with the BeIN sports channels being dropped, and NBC LX News and Telexitos being added.  Later, Novelisima was added to the —.5 subchannel.  In June it was announced the NBC LX News operation would be discontinued. In August it was discovered the replacement would keep the same LX name and website but show home renovation, real estate and related programming.