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The official final DTV Table Of Allotments/channel change thread - Page 2

post #31 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by HIPAR View Post

So how many of the remaining 15% over the air viewers are actually viewing the digital channels? Everyone I know is still watching NTSC.

While we're certainly not representative of "average" viewers (for that matter, neither is "everyone [you] know"), it is worth noting from comments made in this forum that a significant number of AVS Forum members (myself included) watch OTA digital channels.
post #32 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Desmond View Post

While we're certainly not representative of "average" viewers (for that matter, neither is "everyone [you] know"), it is worth noting from comments made in this forum that a significant number of AVS Forum members (myself included) watch OTA digital channels.

As well as non AVS people as well. I hear from them on a daily basis.
post #33 of 7384
Well, coming to the fact that many stations may change their station dials, do you think that the station will change it's station Moniker such as KCBS 43 or something similar to that?
post #34 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by JBauer2635 View Post

Well, coming to the fact that many stations may change their station dials, do you think that the station will change it's station Moniker such as KCBS 43 or something similar to that?

FCC rules require if a digital station identifies itself with a channel number, it must be it's analog channel number, even after analog shut down and a station no longer transmits on that channel digitally and even if another station begins to transmit digital on the old channel number. If the new station was never on an analog channel, then it has to pick a channel that is unused in the area. No two stations in the same market can use the same channel number post transition.
post #35 of 7384
I don't see that anyone has commented on this and this may be somewhat off-topic for this thread, but if I read the notice posted at the FCC DTV page (http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/) on April 25 correctly, 32 stations have been granted approval to do a digital flash cut conversion whenever they want to. One of the stations is an ABC affiliate in Elmira, NY, WENY. So it appears that we will see more stations shutting down their analog signal well before the Feb. 17, 2009 shutdown day.
post #36 of 7384
Remember, stations that were not licensed in 1997 when the second channels were issued were only issued one channel, analog or digital (99% went with analog) and knew they would have to file for a digital channel someday to make the transition but could continue to operate analog until the shutdown date. That is what is happening now, the stations are having to ask for the digital channel, be it a second (some have found a second) while others are asking for the flash cut.

This is all paperwork at this point.
post #37 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by afiggatt View Post

...the notice posted at the FCC DTV page (http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/) on April 25 (indicartes that) 32 stations have been granted approval to do a digital flash cut conversion whenever they want to... So it appears that we will see more stations shutting down their analog signal well before the Feb. 17, 2009 shutdown day.

I couldn' t locate the, "the stations listed in the attached Appendix" referred to in the first paragraph of that document. Can anyone find it?
post #38 of 7384
post #39 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by afiggatt View Post

if I read the notice posted at the FCC DTV page (http://www.fcc.gov/dtv/) on April 25 correctly, 32 stations have been granted approval to do a digital flash cut conversion whenever they want to. One of the stations is an ABC affiliate in Elmira, NY, WENY. So it appears that we will see more stations shutting down their analog signal well before the Feb. 17, 2009 shutdown day.

My take on the notice is that those 32 stations will continue to broadcast analog-only until Feb 17, 2009, and will flash cut to digital at that point, as opposed to switching early.

Any of the industry experts here able to confirm which interpretation is correct?
post #40 of 7384
See post 36.
post #41 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

FCC rules require if a digital station identifies itself with a channel number, it must be it's analog channel number, even after analog shut down and a station no longer transmits on that channel digitally and even if another station begins to transmit digital on the old channel number. If the new station was never on an analog channel, then it has to pick a channel that is unused in the area. No two stations in the same market can use the same channel number post transition.

In my opinion, this is the most stupid rule I've ever heard of. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area we have several stations that will be operating their digital transmitters on channels presently used by analog stations: KVIE on 9 - now KQED, KTNC on 14 now KDTV, KTFK on 26 now KTSF, KFTY on 32 now KMTP, KRON on 38 now KCNS, and KTVU on 44 now KBCW.

I think it's going to be really confusing for KTVU, for example, to continue to call themselves FOX2 and KBCW referring to themselves as the Bay Area's CW 44 when they aren't on those channels and some other station is.

What's wrong with FOX 44 and CW 45... where they'll actually be transmitting? Somebody's got spider webs between their ears.

Larry
SF
post #42 of 7384
The purpose of keeping the analog channel branding is to keep the public's confusion factor down. As you pointed out in your post, in areas like SF, many stations will be swapping channels with each other. The FCC feels the public will be too confused and since any OTA tuner will be remapped to the old analog channel, once a tuner has been scanned, it really doesn't matter since the old analog channel numbers will still be displayed.
post #43 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

The purpose of keeping the analog channel branding is to keep the public's confusion factor down. As you pointed out in your post, in areas like SF, many stations will be swapping channels with each other. The FCC feels the public will be too confused and since any OTA tuner will be remapped to the old analog channel, once a tuner has been scanned, it really doesn't matter since the old analog channel numbers will still be displayed.

This may change for some stations after analog cutoff. Smaller, less successful stations in smaller markets are the most likely to do this. I would imagine as stations change ownership, they may well "re-brand" to the new RF channel. As an example, KSPR-33 (ABC) in Springfield MO has long suffered from a poor reputation. The DTV allocation for KSPR is RF 19. It was recently sold to Schurz, who own the dominant station in the market, KYTV-3/44. Schurz may re-brand KSPR to "ABC 19", to re-image the station. Lower numbers are easier to remember. KY-3 is quite unlikely to re-brand, even though it's DTV allocation is CH 44, and will remain so.

Only DTV fanatics, like us, are likely to care about this very much.
post #44 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkSplice View Post

This may change for some stations after analog cutoff. Smaller, less successful stations in smaller markets are the most likely to do this.

Stations do not have a choice in this. It is the law. Stations will brand with their analog channel numbers from now on, no matter what channel they actually transmit on.
post #45 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxeng View Post

Stations do not have a choice in this. It is the law. Stations will brand with their analog channel numbers from now on, no matter what channel they actually transmit on.

Very true, as is everything else you've said about this ... However .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

The purpose of keeping the analog channel branding is to keep the public's confusion factor down.

And, IMO, the way I read the section of 2nd DTV review R&O as well as comments submitted by interested parties on this issue, I think it was also done to allow stations to keep their existing analog channel branding.

Quote:


since any OTA tuner will be remapped to the old analog channel

Actually, RCA DTC-100 is one tuner that allows the user to turn off PSIP channel mapping and use/display to the user the actual RF channel number instead. MPEG program stream #'s are used instead of minor Channel #'s.

Quote:


once a tuner has been scanned, it really doesn't matter since the old analog channel numbers will still be displayed.

#1).Tuners don't allways find all receivable channels via a "scan", sometimes different antenna adjustment is necessary to receive different stations.

This is a little easier to accomplish with a receiver that allows you to rescan/add channels with antenna in different direction if you have a outdoor, directional antenna which can generally be "aimed" in the right direction for any given station, but probably not as easy if there are receivers that don't allow manual tuning or "scanning in"/adding a single channel/station by RF channel if you're futzing around with posistioning of indoor antennas .....

#2). The PSIP VCT info sent by each station containing the remapped channel info for that station(the major channel # which corresponds to the "old" analog channel #) can't be decoded until signal near threshold for reception(i.e. decoding of audio video streams) is acheived.

However, most DTV receivers I've used can and do show some sort of an indication of signal when DTV signal is as much as about 10db below threshold required for reception, and probably about 8db below what is required to decode the PSIP info. On one receiver, careful examination of its "AGC" readings is one way this can be accomplished --- including regardless of the multipath conditions which in some cases can result in a "signal strength"(yeah right, but that's what it says it is) reading of "ZERO", even in some cases when the signal is actually quite strong ...on another receiver here, its so called "DTV signal meter" is generally sufficient in this regard, and again, will indicate a DTV signal on a RF channel well below what is required to decode the PSIP channel remapping info ....

In other words, in some cases, OTA viewers will need to know the actual RF channel # used, and the receiver will need to provide a non-confusing and intuitive way for them to individually manually "tune in", or "scan in" a single RF channel and allow the user to utilize signal meter(s) while adjusting antenna for best results to even be able to achieve a condition where the channel remapping info can be received+from then on be used by the receiver so the station "shows up" as it's "old analog channel #" via the channel remapping .....

All DTV receivers (I've owned 4 of them, different models, 5 if you count my newest DTV tuner in a PC) I've owned have some sort of way to do this to some extent, although I find this process is more cumbersome+less "intuitive" with some receivers vs. others.

Other than the DTC-100-* which I no longer own, and software such as Tsreader with which you use the RF channel to "tune with" --- the best receiver (IMO) I've used in this regard, in addition to a "auto channel scan" feature, has a "channel edit" list with all RF channel numbers 2-69 shown, and the user simply selects(or deselects - the autochannel scan automatically selects any RF channel in the list it achieves a lock on a signal on) the RF channel numbers for the stations in their area ... then, When/if the receiver achieves a lock on a signal from any of those "channels" you've selected as "active" in the list, the VCT info is stored+used by the receiver, and from then on the station can be "tuned to", or channel up/down "surfed to" by the VCT Major Channel # (or major+minor). The VCT major/Minor Channel #'s are the ones displayed as well, unless a signal lock isn't achieved, in which case it's the RF channel Number. Also, *every* time you tune to a "in use" major channel number, it automatically updates whatever info from the PSIP it's storing to whatever the broadcaster is currently sending, so when changes are made to MPEG info (PAT/PMT/PID's/etc) or PSIP tables or fields at the station which sometimes "upset" other receiver's which need a rescan, this receiver gets it automatically+doesn't need a new "rescan" ...

Also, with that receiver, it's possible at any time to "manually" tune directly to a RF channel #, any RF channel, including ones you haven't "selected" in the list or that haven't been found by autoscan - The only exception being a RF Channel # that corresponds to a VCT major channel number for a station which is added (by it's RF channel #) in the "channel edit number list"), and of course whose PSIP info had previously been decoded. Fortunetly, all one has to do is "deselect" that channel from the channel edit list if one wants to tune to that RF channel involved.

Another receiver model I have allows you to "scan in" a single RF channel while looking at a signal meter, that works as well.

* - other than the DTC-100 with the channel mapping turned off, which was the least confusing and "best" option for me+family when stations weren't required to do the channel remapping and some were doing it and some weren't ..

Although TSID should(and does from what I've seen) solve any problems that might arise when a "channel scan" occurs - such as if say in some cases via "dx" if multiple stations with identical major/channel #'s are received --- and it shouldn't be a problem currently in almost all cases as the analog station is transmitting there, currently, however :

I suspect the issue on some receivers of not being able to "scan in" a single RF channel, or to manually "tune" to a RF channel # that corresponds to a VCT Major channel # already in memory(at least without rescanning with antenna disconnected to clear all that info out) might become an issue in the future for some folks when those RF channels currently in use by analogs, in some cases will be used by other DTV stations.

I've heard rumors this might be the case with some receiver models(although I haven't seen any of these personally) --- Any Receiver which would only allow a full scan and a "scan in additional channels/add digital channels with antenna aimed a differet way without disrupting the channels found via full scan" options via autoscan features ONLY are probably the worst sort of thing to have in this regard IMO, as, in that case, you can only "guess" at where to posistion the antenna for any given station you want to add without the help of any "signal meter"+ in some cases some users will have to be doing a lot of "scanning" around ....

-----------------

I guess what I'm saying is, I wish they would come up with one, good "standardized" way to implement these necessary "scan in or manually tune a single channel" functions on *all* future receivers so it allways works the same for everyone, *and* would work for everyone and anyone no matter what might occur for cases when it is necesssary allows option of manual tuning(or scanning in a single indivdual RF channel) to *any* RF channel(2-51 post analog shut off) along with the use of some sort of "signal diagnostics" tools (AGC readings, Signal quality readings, SNR readings/etc) on an individual basis, by RF channel # ...

The FCC's posistion on this causing "less confusion" for the public, as it pertains to OTA viewers along with how some of the "channel tuning" features are implemented on some receivers, really seems only 100% applicable to me as it pertains to OTA viewers(those who are not getting guide info from the DBS companies/etc which If I understand correctly in some cases can also help with this sort of thing) who are lucky enough to do a autoscan and receive all their local stations they want, or can potentially receive via the "scan" ...

Hopefully that's the case for many folks, but I know it's not the case for some, and I expect, even now many folks have never seen many stations in their area they can actually recieve because their antenna wasn't orientated the "right way" when they did an "autoscan" ..... while that's true for analog as well with most modern analog TV's, it's very straightfoward to "tune" to the RF channel of an analog signal (and the actual RF analog channel #'s that correspond to what the tuners "say" they are are certianly well known+publicized) and get the picture and sound on the channel in a way that makes perfect sense and allows for easy+intutive adjustment of antenna for best reception results on screen .... That's not the case if you have a digital channel not found by "autoscan", where you need to be able to tune to RF channel look at some sort of meter to adjust signal so that you can get the channel remapping info ....

Also, there's the potential issue of the virtual channel #'s regarding the potential of some folks becoming confused about whether they need a UHF+VHF or just a UHF antenna, based on the virtual channels vs the actual frequency of transmission(which the "RF" channel number does correspond to via a well known "channel table" in use for many decades ...) ...

It's nice they're interested in making things less "confusing" and "easier", but sometimes, even with all good intentions of making things "easier" for many or most can also make things more complicated for others if some necessary more "manual" functions aren't available on the receivers as well ....
post #46 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

Stations do not have a choice in this. It is the law. Stations will brand with their analog channel numbers from now on, no matter what channel they actually transmit on.

Actually it is merely an FCC rule that only came into effect in October 2004. Prior to that many stations were using the actual RF channel as their major channel number for their digital streams. As such, it can be changed by the FCC at any time.

Once the analogue transmitters are shut down, it is quite possible that the FCC will simply abolish the rule and let the individual stations decide. However, in some markets such a change could lead to disputes. For example, in Burlington Vermont which station would call itself channel 22? WVNY whch has used 22 since the 1960's but will be broadcasting on RF channel 13? Or WCAX that has been known as Channel 3 since 1954 but will be broadcasting on 22 starting in 2009?
post #47 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_O View Post

Actually it is merely an FCC rule that only came into effect in October 2004.

Last time I looked, a FCC rule was law.

Quote:


Once the analogue transmitters are shut down, it is quite possible that the FCC will simply abolish the rule and let the individual stations decide.

Very unlikely according to the FCC themselves.
post #48 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

Last time I looked, a FCC rule was law.



Very unlikely according to the FCC themselves.

OW! OW! Enough with the tire iron! I'm *not* Bob Miller....
post #49 of 7384
Laws, rules and regulations.... If you want to go cross-eyed see http://www.archives.gov/federal-regi...der/12291.html
post #50 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkSplice View Post

OW! OW! Enough with the tire iron! I'm *not* Bob Miller....

No tire iron. You seem to think the FCC with change their mind on this. They have said it is done. They will not reconsider it. As far as they are concerned, it is a closed subject. Why do you have such a hard time understanding that? That is all.
post #51 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian_O View Post

Prior to that many stations were using the actual RF channel as their major channel number for their digital streams.

At that time, some stations were doing that, and some stations were using analog channel # for PSIP VCT Major channel number as was "recommended" ....

That situation was the worst possible combination, IMO. Either everyone using the RF channel #, or as it is required currently is much better situation, IMO ..


Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

You seem to think the FCC with change their mind on this. They have said it is done. They will not reconsider it. .

Yep ... Also something to keep in mind here is that the way it's being done is something that ATSC and groups such as MSTV "approve", and, I think it's really "part" of ATSC A 65/B PSIP standard, which was adopted/mandated pretty much in its entirety by FCC duing 2nd DTV review ....
post #52 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

Last time I looked, a FCC rule was law.

.

Not quite. While an FCC rule has the same force as a law, it is not a law. An FCC rule can be changed by the FCC, while a law can only be changed by Congress with both Houses acting in unison. That's a big difference.

For example, the analogue cutoff date of February 17, 2009 and the channels that can be used by TV broadcasters after the analogue cutoff (2-36 and 38-51) were both laws set by Congress and cannot be changed by the FCC since there was no language in the 2005 Bill (finally passed in Feb 2006) which would allow them to do so. On the other hand, in the legal sense, the regulation under which broadcasters must use their analogue channel number as their digital major channel number is nothing more than an administrative rule set by the FCC. As such it can be abolished by the FCC, if and when they see fit to do so.

One of the FCC's main justifications for setting the rule in October 2004 (many years into the transition) disappears when the analogue transmitters are shut down and there are many stations that would like to use the physical channel as their "identity". While using two different channel numbers for the same station is confusing to viewers, calling oneself channel 3 while broadcasting on channel 22, for example, is even more confusing: different channel number, different antenna type required. There will be pressure from many stations themselves to dump the rule and the FCC will listen. Whether or not they act remains to be seen.
post #53 of 7384
Unfortunately, our FCC doesn't work like your Industry Canada. No one sees this rule changing. It would cause more confusion than what is in place now.
post #54 of 7384
Well, in my market there's a channel 2 which is doing digital on channel 51. They have (thankfully!!!!!!!) chosen to stay on 51 after the transition.

I seriously doubt they're ever going to want to start calling themselves "KGAN - CBS 51" when they've been known as 2 for more than a half century.
post #55 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

Unfortunately, our FCC doesn't work like your Industry Canada. No one sees this rule changing. It would cause more confusion than what is in place now.

Brian_O, a Canadian, has a very good understanding of how the FCC operates.

They do indeed answer directly to Congress who delegated them authority through the Communications Act of 1934 to handle the administrative and technical details of telecommunications law. And, for all intents and purposes, the rules they make to handle those details do carry the weight of law. They have an Enforcement Bureau to make that so and Administrative Law Judges to review the legal issues when a rule is contested.

For now, they have bigger issues than the channel moniker numbers.

--- CHAS
post #56 of 7384
All laws passed by Congress are enforced by the appropriate federal agency, be it the TSA, FAA, IRS, Attorney General, or the FCC, et al. The agencies that enforce federal laws are usually authorized, as part of a statute passed by Congress, to write Regulations which the FCC calls Rules. Regulations are intended to provide clarification to the actual statute, give guidance on compliance with the statute, administer penalities for failure to comply with the statute, and clarify Congress' intent in enacting a statute. Sometimes they can be very broad, sometimes they are very focused.

A federal agency cannot just write a Regulation/Rule because it "feels like it" or because the public or broadcasters want it. Each Regulation/Rule must be based on applicable law.

So the FCC was authorized to administer a law that provided for, among other things, how digital TV stations would ID themselves via channel numbers. The FCC wrote a Rule that they believed complied with that statute and they may change/rewrite that Rule as long as it remains within the parameters of the applicable statute. Regulations/Rules are also subject to federal court review and may be thrown out by a court.

The bottom line - the FCC can probably change the rule regarding station ID's. Whether or not they will is another matter.
post #57 of 7384
Quote:
Originally Posted by milehighmike View Post

So the FCC was authorized to administer a law that provided for, among other things, how digital TV stations would ID themselves via channel numbers. The FCC wrote a Rule that they believed complied with that statute and they may change/rewrite that Rule as long as it remains within the parameters of the applicable statute. Regulations/Rules are also subject to federal court review and may be thrown out by a court.

The bottom line - the FCC can probably change the rule regarding station ID's. Whether or not they will is another matter.

All true and they have said they have no intentions of reviewing the channel moniker issue. They had a lengthy R&O comment, reply and re-reply on this issue. This was all gone over, including specific comments quoted pro and con, in the 2nd DTV Review in 2004 so there IS justification in the ruling for what they have ruled on.

The rest of this is pie in the sky until something out of Washington states different.
post #58 of 7384
I second what foxeng said, plus ... let's face it, this whole thing was pushed through by broadcasters who know that lay people often think in terms of channel numbers rather than legal call signs. We often don't think in terms of KWWL or KCRG even though they'd like us to; we think in terms of "channel 7" and "channel 9."

Now, I've noticed over the past few years that more and more stations are putting their call letters or network more front and center, perhaps as a hedge against this digital conversion -- for instance, "NewsCenter 13" in Des Moines became "WHO-TV 13 News" in the late '90s before going to "Channel 13 News" in the past couple of years -- but a good chunk of the population is still going to call them simply "channel 13." (Of course, in their case, they're going BACK to channel 13 after the transition, so why did I bring them up?)
post #59 of 7384
Couple of quick questions :

#1). I wonder when we might see a new DTV table of allotments for post transistion, or if/when we might see a "final" tentative channel designation list ?

#2). Has a NPRM, or other detailed document been published yet for 3rd DTV review? I saw the info in the press releases from the 4/25 FCC meeting, but can't find any detailed text yet ... Maybe it's not there yet, or I missed it/not looking in the right place, or there isn't going to be one before an R&O(that would seem unusual) ?

Thanks,
post #60 of 7384
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitewatchman View Post

Couple of quick questions :

#1). I wonder when we might see a new DTV table of allotments for post transistion, or if/when we might see a "final" tentative channel designation list ?

#2). Has a NPRM, or other detailed document been published yet for 3rd DTV review? I saw the info in the press releases from the 4/25 FCC meeting, but can't find any detailed text yet ... Maybe it's not there yet, or I missed it/not looking in the right place, or there isn't going to be one before an R&O(that would seem unusual) ?

Thanks,

#1) Nobody knows, the broadcasters want it ASAP, so they know where they'll be for sure after analog shutdown.

#2) I haven't seen it yet.
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