Got an email from Ken SMith at Fox relating why their power is so low. It confirms what Rob Cooper mentioned a few days back. I'm no broadcast gear expert either, but am an engineer and it just doesn't pass my sniff test that none of the $3-5MM in equipment they would use for broadcasting on 56 would work on 7. Also, regardless, seems like they violate the coverage in the "city of license" rule.
Here's the text of his message:
The original deadline date for broadcasting a DTV signal was established as May 1, 2002. In the fall of '01, the FCC issued a Reconsideration to their rules which allowed stations to build lower power facilities and maintain their protection status, as long as the city of license was covered.
Fox Television had nine stations that had to build facilities. Full power stations can be built for an average cost in the 3-5 Million dollar range. But they take a longer time frame to build out.
Fox Television opted for the Reconsideration, and by doing so I believe they were the only Network to have all their owned and operated stations actually on the air by the imposed deadline.
Take heart, there is mention in some of the trade magazines that the FCC might impose new rules on when those of us with low-power station must have them up to full power.
The real kicker for us: our DTV channel - channel 56 - will not be allowed to exist when the final transition to Digital occurs, and all analog stations are turned off. We will then need to convert our Channel 7 analog system into a Digital system. The equipment needed for DTV at Channel 56 will not work with Channel 7.