TV Repack to Play Havoc with Atlanta FM's
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Thread: TV Repack to Play Havoc with Atlanta FM's

  1. #1

    TV Repack to Play Havoc with Atlanta FM's

    As you may know, the FCC is rearranging the actual broadcast frequencies of numerous TV stations in order to reorganize things following the recent spectrum auction. This will not affect the virtual channels that consumers see on their sets.

    Many FM stations have their antenna mounted on a TV tower, and this TV "repack" is going to play havoc with them. In Atlanta, all of the FM stations on the newer tower at the Richland site on Briarcliff Road will either have to temporarily decrease power, sign off or temporarily move to another tower. The stations include WCLK, WRFG, WZGC, WUBL, WWPW, WWWQ and WKHX.

    WUBL, WWPW, WWWQ and WKHX used to be on the original tower at the site but do not have backups there now. I haven't scoured the FCC database to find out if any of the stations have a backup on a different tower, but if they do not, they're going to have to come up with a contingency plan.

  2. #2
    iHeart has backups at the "other" American Tower site on Chester Ave. WZGC has abackup at New Street. WKHX has a backup on the "old" Briarcliff tower. 99.7 has an app (maybe a CP) for a backup at Chester. WRFG may be low enough on the tower to simply reduce power, WCLK (last I knew) still had their old site licensed as an aux.

    But, yes, this will be a thorn in everyone's side.

  3. #3

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    Here's a guide of who is moving where on the DTV side:

    http://radioactiverf.com/home/troubl...-53cc04e4-4c82

    I'm surprised that WGTV and WXIA didn't take the opportunity to move off of the VHF band and its crappy DTV reception, although considering the purpose of the repack the FCC might have nixed that.
    "When broadcasting over the radio, there are certain words we must omit.
    Like 'BEEP' and 'BUZZ' and 'GOBBLE-GOBBLE', by gosh we can't even say shhhhhaving cream!"

  4. #4

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    So explain to me the technology on the whole DTV spectrum. I always thought that the DTV channels were on an entirely different band of frequencies than the older 2-69 analog channels. Why would the DTV channels need to repack? How are they affecting their old analog counterparts? When is this shuffle happening? Also, I see that ATSC 3.0 format bringing 4K to broadcast TV will be broadcasting from cell towers instead of one tower in town. It is supposed to stream so you can actually move in the car and not lose picture like we used to be able to do with analog. Right now you cannot move more than walking speed without losing the DTV signal cause thereís no error correction. I also see that there will be no push from the FCC to turn off the current ATSC format due to their not being a need to auction off the current DTV frequencies. Anyone want to elaborate on this? I think the whole cell tower idea is brilliant. Bringing broadcast TV further out into rural areas and onto cell phone devices.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RadioDoogie View Post
    So explain to me the technology on the whole DTV spectrum. I always thought that the DTV channels were on an entirely different band of frequencies than the older 2-69 analog channels.
    Well, that's your first error. The Television spectrum for channels 2-51 has been the same since the early 50s. The only changes since then have been shrinking UHF band has been shrunk twice, soon to be 3 times.

    Why would the DTV channels need to repack?
    The TV band is being shrunk by the FCC so that mobile carriers can purchase more spectrum at auction.

    How are they affecting their old analog counterparts?
    This question makes no sense; the analog stations have been off the air for years. One reason this repack is possible was because of the long co-existence period for analog and digital, where some markets had effectively double the number of TV stations from the late 90s until 2009.

    When is this shuffle happening?
    It is in the beginning stages now - some licensees have already shut down.
    "Its music what makes a radio station, and at Live FM, we play the last music around."
    After receiving that copy, I quit the VO industry.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by HGR1290 View Post
    iHeart has backups at the "other" American Tower site on Chester Ave. WZGC has abackup at New Street. WKHX has a backup on the "old" Briarcliff tower. 99.7 has an app (maybe a CP) for a backup at Chester. WRFG may be low enough on the tower to simply reduce power, WCLK (last I knew) still had their old site licensed as an aux.

    But, yes, this will be a thorn in everyone's side.
    That's right. I had forgotten that WKHX has an aux on the original tower (along with sister WYAY).

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by RadioDoogie View Post
    How are they affecting their old analog counterparts?
    Were you referring to the remaining low-power analog stations, WDWW Channel 28, WUVM Channel 4, and WTBS Channel 6? Everything else is digital now.

    The repack should only impact WDWW, since WUVM and WTBS are both VHF. WTBS, of course, is the Franken-FM at 87.7.

    IIRC the FCC has been slow on getting rid of the VHF LP analog stations, partly to preserve the Franken-FMs. I'd rather see them turn Channels 5 and 6 into an extended digital-only FM band (78-88MHz), and give priority to AM stations vacating the AM band (except for class A clears which should remain on AM).
    "When broadcasting over the radio, there are certain words we must omit.
    Like 'BEEP' and 'BUZZ' and 'GOBBLE-GOBBLE', by gosh we can't even say shhhhhaving cream!"

  8. #8

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    Thanks for clearing this up. Forgive me for being kind of out of the loop on all of this. I guess I meant to say frequencies. Arenít the DTV channels using entirely different frequencies than the analog channels we used before June 2009? Didnít they push everyone off analog TV in 2009 so they could auction off those analog frequencies? Have those analog frequencies been auctioned off already along with some of the DTV frequencies? Or is the DTV spectrum on top of the old analog spectrum? Just trying to clarify. Also does anyone have any insight to ATSC 3.0 and a timeframe on the rollout?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by RadioDoogie View Post
    Thanks for clearing this up. Forgive me for being kind of out of the loop on all of this. I guess I meant to say frequencies. Aren’t the DTV channels using entirely different frequencies than the analog channels we used before June 2009? Didn’t they push everyone off analog TV in 2009 so they could auction off those analog frequencies? Have those analog frequencies been auctioned off already along with some of the DTV frequencies? Or is the DTV spectrum on top of the old analog spectrum? Just trying to clarify. Also does anyone have any insight to ATSC 3.0 and a timeframe on the rollout?
    The channels and frequencies are exactly the same for both analog and digital TV, except the channels don't go as high as they used to. What the FCC has done is trim off the high end of the UHF band that used to go up to channel 83. They got rid of channels 70-83 in 1983 (for analog cell phones; you could sometimes pick up one side of an analog cell call with an old TV set), then channels 52-69 after the DTV conversion in 2009, and now they are getting rid of channels 38-51. Since Channel 37 is not used, this means that DTV will only go up to channel 36. But these are the same channels and frequencies for channels 2-36 that have been used since the 1950s.

    Because of "virtual channels" in DTV, the number on your TV "dial" will not change, even though the RF channel will change, and (with the semi-exception of Channel 8 WGTV which moved off of RF channel 8 and then back) did already change at least once during the DTV conversion. WUPA Channel 69 (for instance) will remain at "dial" position 69. It's currently on RF channel 43, and moving to RF channel 36 with the repack. But despite all of the musical chairs, the frequencies for each channel are the same and have been since the 1950s.

    Because digital is much less susceptible to adjacent-channel interference, they can put digital channels right next to one another, avoiding the need for a vacant channel between stations as in the analog days. This is why the FCC is doing the "repack", to create a nice big block of spectrum that can be used elsewhere.

    IMO I wish the FCC would do away with the VHF TV band altogether as well, at least channels 2-6 which are horrible for DTV, but I understand there are obstacles that prevent doing that. Most TV stations have moved off of channels 2-6, and many have abandoned 7-13, but they are still there to use. In Atlanta, dial channel 5 WAGA is on RF channel 27 (and is not moving), and dial channel 2 WSB is moving from RF channel 39 to RF channel 32. Both of them abandoned VHF with the DTV move. Dial channel 11 WXIA moved to RF channel 10, and as I mentioned above WGTV moved back to RF channel 8 once they shut down their analog transmitter on channel 8. Consequently, WXIA and especially WGTV are the hardest to receive DTV stations in Atlanta, especially since most DTV antennas are tuned to the higher UHF frequencies. So, net-net is a lot of stations have moved off of the VHF band, but it's still available for use for DTV.
    Last edited by jabba17; 12-05-2017 at 04:17 PM.
    "When broadcasting over the radio, there are certain words we must omit.
    Like 'BEEP' and 'BUZZ' and 'GOBBLE-GOBBLE', by gosh we can't even say shhhhhaving cream!"

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jabba17 View Post
    The channels and frequencies are exactly the same for both analog and digital TV, except the channels don't go as high as they used to. What the FCC has done is trim off the high end of the UHF band that used to go up to channel 83. They got rid of channels 70-83 in 1983 (for analog cell phones; you could sometimes pick up one side of an analog cell call with an old TV set), then channels 52-69 after the DTV conversion in 2009, and now they are getting rid of channels 38-51. Since Channel 37 is not used, this means that DTV will only go up to channel 36. But these are the same channels and frequencies for channels 2-36 that have been used since the 1950s.

    Because of "virtual channels" in DTV, the number on your TV "dial" will not change, even though the RF channel will change, and (with the semi-exception of Channel 8 WGTV which moved off of RF channel 8 and then back) did already change at least once during the DTV conversion. WUPA Channel 69 (for instance) will remain at "dial" position 69. It's currently on RF channel 43, and moving to RF channel 36 with the repack. But despite all of the musical chairs, the frequencies for each channel are the same and have been since the 1950s.

    Because digital is much less susceptible to adjacent-channel interference, they can put digital channels right next to one another, avoiding the need for a vacant channel between stations as in the analog days. This is why the FCC is doing the "repack", to create a nice big block of spectrum that can be used elsewhere.

    IMO I wish the FCC would do away with the VHF TV band altogether as well, at least channels 2-6 which are horrible for DTV, but I understand there are obstacles that prevent doing that. Most TV stations have moved off of channels 2-6, and many have abandoned 7-13, but they are still there to use. In Atlanta, dial channel 5 WAGA is on RF channel 27 (and is not moving), and dial channel 2 WSB is moving from RF channel 39 to RF channel 32. Both of them abandoned VHF with the DTV move. Dial channel 11 WXIA moved to RF channel 10, and as I mentioned above WGTV moved back to RF channel 8 once they shut down their analog transmitter on channel 8. Consequently, WXIA and especially WGTV are the hardest to receive DTV stations in Atlanta, especially since most DTV antennas are tuned to the higher UHF frequencies. So, net-net is a lot of stations have moved off of the VHF band, but it's still available for use for DTV.
    Thanks for clearing that up. I understand now. I do also have the hardest time receiving WGTV and WXIA on my portable RCA DHT-235C DTV. (Best portable DTV ever made and the only one ever made that takes physical batteries. The newer 235A model has a slower processor and worse picture quality). In the analog days, VHF had the best stability and picture quality with less distance reception but UHF seemed to have more distance reception but was choppier and the picture quality was grainier. This was most notable in a moving vehicle. I really hope we get some kind of a streaming over the air broadcast TV someday so we can watch while on the move. I know Dyle bought out the old AT&T mobile TV spectrum and only a few local stations went over to it. I noticed it has poor signal distance and only standard definition quality. Plus there were only two RCA portables that carried mobile DTV at one time. I know the mobile DTV spectrum was free at first but when Dyle took it over, they encrypted or scrambled the broadcast channels and started charging for the service. Not even sure if Dyle exists anymore.

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