Incoming President Requests DTV Cutover Delay

WB4JFI wb4jfi at
Sun Jan 11 11:23:18 CST 2009

> -----Original Message-----
> From: at
> [ at]On Behalf Of Bob
> Bruninga
> Sent: Sunday, January 11, 2009 2:15 AM
> To: WB4JFI; Alex Fraser; Tacos
> Subject: RE: Incoming President Requests DTV Cutover Delay
> > The spectrum that is being auctioned
> > off is the highest UHF channels, above
> > channel 51....
> > Very few low-VHF stations will go back
> > to those channels after the transition...
> > Most stations with highband VHF (7-13)
> > analog channels will return to those
> > channels around the country.
> Your use of the terms "go back to" is what was confusing me.
> They are already there (analog) right?  Maybe what I am
> missunderstanding is that maybe they have temporary UHF
> assignments now for their DTV, but they have to make a decision
> about afterward, to keep the UHF or keep the VHF, but they cannot
> keep both.  If that is what you are saying, now it all makes sense.
> And that is why now I see that I have to put up some VHF elements too...
> Thanks
> Bob
> wb4apr
> _______________________________________________
> Tacos mailing list
> Tacos at

Sorry, Yes, the above is correct.  We always talked about "going back to"
the analog channels at the end of the transition for this process.  I did
not realize that was confusing.  We (broadcasters) understood that that we
would only have one channel after the DTV transition was completed, and we
were not guranteed to have our original analog channel back.  Remember, for
some stations (ie: low-VHF), this "go back to" the old chaneel was not a
very good option.  Plus, with the whole nation's TV channel assignments
thrown into the air (due to adjacent market or adjacent channel
interference, etc), and with twice as many stations on the air temporarily
during the transition (the DTV transmitters), there was NOT an assumption
that going back to the analog channel assignment was a slam-dunk.

One minor nit in your above: not all stations had a UHF channel assigned for
DTV.  Some stations had low-VHF or high-VHF channels assigned for DTV
operations, it all depended on available channels and interference
calculations.  But, you are correct that the DTV channel was often thought
of as a temporary assignment.

Among our options at the end of the transition (Feb.17, 2009) was: 1)
staying on the new DTV channel assignment; 2) returning to our old analog RF
channel, but with DTV (the option we are talking about - "going back to");
3) ending up on a third channel.  My company had all three.

Option 1 was the easiest, you just turn off the old analog system - and make
some probably minor changes (although some stations made this much more
expensive).  With option 2 above, the equipment costs could be very high.
(for example, you could actually need up to THREE different transmitters
right at the transition: 1) your old analog transmitter on its analog
channel; 2) your DTV transmitter in its "interim" DTV channel; 3) the final
DTV transmitter on the analog channel.  If your analog transmitter was new
enough, step three's costs could be reduced by replacing the exciter and
using the existing analog transmitter's amplifier chain.

Some of the above is a simplification of a multi-year process (between
government, the broadcast industry, and consultants) to try and make the
transition equally palatable to all parties, but hits the basic points.

Bottom line is yes, you wll need an antenna capable of VHF as well.  That
was why I mentioned it.

Good luck.

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