[Tig] OT-DTV switchover

Ted Langdell ted at tedlangdell.com
Thu Nov 12 04:41:22 GMT 2009


Stations had the option to make their assigned analog VHF channel  
their post-transition DTV channel, and economics factored into the  
decision for many stations.

They thought that since analog signals on VHF—particularly low-band  
VHF (2-6)—can cover a geographic area on less radiated power than UHF  
needs to cover the same area, they'd save money on transmitter  
facilities and electricity by jumping back to VHF at the transition.

Things didn't work that way, and now a number of Digital VHF  
licensees are petitioning for more power on the VHF channel  
assignments, for a return to their pre-transition temporary UHF  
channel as the permanent assignment, or for a new slot in the UHF  
band if the transition channel's not available, now.

Since the DTV scheme includes a channel mapping protocol, what slice  
of spectrum the station actually uses doesn't really matter, since  
the system makes it appear as though the channels are on their  
original analog assignments... so KCRA (DT) Sacramento, which is  
actually on UHF 35, appears on your channel indicator as "3."

Watching post-transition call letter applications has been interesting.

A number of stations have applied for call-letter changes, since the  
transition took place.  Some want their analog calls (-TV) to be  
assigned to their digital signals, which used to all have -DT.   
Others, which may not have needed a -TV suffix—due to the television  
station being the only instance of the calls—have applied for a -DT  
suffix.

Ted


On Nov 11, 2009, at 3:46 PM, Cliff Benham wrote:
Fred Mushel wrote:
>> Does anyone know why VHF channels are still used for over the air  
>> HDTV transmissions even though I recall reading that the DTV  
>> changeover would be to all UHF frequencies?
>
> Many O&Os kept their VHF assignment when they switched to digital  
> to maintain their local DMA 'identity' like 7ABC, NYC and 6ABC in  
> Philadelphia. Some had operated on those channels since the dawn of  
> television, just after WWII.
>
> Some digital viewers had to install huge outdoor antennas to  
> receive those Lo-V stations. The ten element 'bird perch' above my  
> roof measures 7 X 16 feet! This is for WPVI, 6ABC in Phildelphia,  
> 39 miles distant.
>
> Heres an FCC list of all DTV station assignment with both their old  
> and new RF channel assignments.
>
> http://www.dtv.gov/stationlist.htm
>
> Cliff
>
>

Ted Langdell
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