AVS Official Topic: The FCC and Television Spectrum Repack - Page 16 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #451 of 478 Old 06-16-2019, 06:46 PM
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Cable TV virtual channels are another whole can of worms. Many date back to the days when cable TV only had channels 2-36; as a result a lot of stations are on wildly different cable channels than their OTA channels. In DFW, Spectrum has KDFI on channel 7 vs. 27; KXTX on channel 10 vs. 39; KTXA on 12 vs 21; etc.

TV stations are best advised to completely ignore the channel numbers their local cable co. gave them, and stick to their original OTA analog TV channels - if they can still remember them. Most can, since they built their brands around those channel numbers. (We never had any mix-ups in the DFW area AFAIK.) But I can imagine stations getting, um, confused on occasion.
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post #452 of 478 Old 06-16-2019, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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FCC rules require full-power and Class A stations to use their analog channels as their virtual channels, with a few very narrow exceptions.

- Trip

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post #453 of 478 Old 06-17-2019, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SFischer1 View Post
You are missing the point completely!



Combining antennas like you said you did is GENERATING Multipath unless you are as lucky as you were as the angle was ~ 90 degrees.



Most people will not be lucky and they will lose stations as the tuner cannot cope with the multipath. It does not matter how the multipath is generated, by combining antennas or naturally occurring reflections.



I cannot receive one low power station even though the Signal Strength is 94% or higher. The Signal Quality is 0% and the Symbol Quality is of course 0% resulting in NO VIDEO and NO AUDIO. There is a full power station almost exact ally in the same direction on an adjacent channel.



I did get the station for a few minutes to capture a clean stream and the results are posted here:



https://www.avsforum.com/forum/45-lo...l#post58157440



If you do not accept my answer please post to the correct thread where the more knowledgeable experts can try better to help you:



https://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hd...are-topic.html



SHF
I combined two antennas fifteen years ago and it's still working great. It was the only way for me to get all the channels reliably in the DC area. I couldn't do it with the one antenna.

Sent from my Galaxy S10
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post #454 of 478 Old 06-19-2019, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
I combined two antennas fifteen years ago and it's still working great. It was the only way for me to get all the channels reliably in the DC area. I couldn't do it with the one antenna.

Sent from my Galaxy S10

Consider yourself lucky because in many cases it doesn't work. Here's why:

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/25-hd...l#post56833878

It's really a crap shoot as what's going to happen. Sometimes you'll gain a station but loose one that was previously good.
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post #455 of 478 Old 06-20-2019, 02:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
FCC rules require full-power and Class A stations to use their analog channels as their virtual channels, with a few very narrow exceptions.

- Trip
Correct. Unfortunately stations don't always follow the rules, and someone like you or holl_ands has to get onto them.

When they didn't follow this rule, it was almost always by mistake. Whoever set up their encoder had cable, watches the station on cable, and thought the cable channel was the old analog channel, unaware that the cable co. had changed their channel number (probably because even longer ago, the cable system only supported channels 2-36; remember those days?)
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post #456 of 478 Old 06-20-2019, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Correct. Unfortunately stations don't always follow the rules, and someone like you or holl_ands has to get onto them.

When they didn't follow this rule, it was almost always by mistake. Whoever set up their encoder had cable, watches the station on cable, and thought the cable channel was the old analog channel, unaware that the cable co. had changed their channel number (probably because even longer ago, the cable system only supported channels 2-36; remember those days?)
Then there are those who shouldn't follow the rules, but do. WWSB in Sarasota identifies as ABC7 complete with the circle-7 logo ABC stations use around the country. That's because they're on Channel 7 on cable systems. BUT... their Virtual is 40, because that's their legacy. Nobody's ever challenged the use of ABC7, so why not just let them flip the virtual? Would end some confusion, I'm sure.

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post #457 of 478 Old 06-21-2019, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
Then there are those who shouldn't follow the rules, but do. WWSB in Sarasota identifies as ABC7 complete with the circle-7 logo ABC stations use around the country. That's because they're on Channel 7 on cable systems. BUT... their Virtual is 40, because that's their legacy. Nobody's ever challenged the use of ABC7, so why not just let them flip the virtual? Would end some confusion, I'm sure.
Why shouldn't they? A station that calls themselves "Fox Philadelphia" shouldn't have virtual channel "Philadelphia" just because they call themselves that. They would use 29-1 like any other station.

For OTA viewers, WWSB has only ever been on 40 (analog) or 40-1 (digital). A change to 7-1 would cause confusion. Moreover, in areas where WZVN 26-1, also branded as ABC7 and for the same reason, has coverage overlap with WWSB, which station gets the right to it?

Better to follow the rules.

- Trip

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post #458 of 478 Old 06-24-2019, 07:30 AM
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Many folks in the DFW area are complaining that they can't receive KTXA/21 after their repacking move on Friday. I get KTXA fine, but it appears there may be another broadcaster causing interference on RF 18 for many viewers.

It could be that KPFW forgot to turn off their transmitter (they were on RF 18 and were supposed to move to RF 5), or that someone else started broadcasting on RF 18 (although I don't know who that might be).
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post #459 of 478 Old 06-28-2019, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
Why shouldn't they? A station that calls themselves "Fox Philadelphia" shouldn't have virtual channel "Philadelphia" just because they call themselves that. They would use 29-1 like any other station.

For OTA viewers, WWSB has only ever been on 40 (analog) or 40-1 (digital). A change to 7-1 would cause confusion. Moreover, in areas where WZVN 26-1, also branded as ABC7 and for the same reason, has coverage overlap with WWSB, which station gets the right to it?

Better to follow the rules.

- Trip
I think the small overlap area where viewers can receive both ABC-7 branded stations is insignificant w/r/t ADI. Those viewers are already used to there being two ABC-7s. Neither station has complained about the other's use of the identifier. And, even though WWSB's virtual is 40 (they're actually ON rf 24), nobody who's moved into the Sarasota/Bradenton area in the last 14 years would know that. The news vans, the marketing, the station promos on TV and radio never mention anything about it, anymore.

I guarantee cord-cutters putting up an antenna in either market are baffled when they press 7-1 on the remote and get nothing. I'd also hazard a guess the station and Best Buy end up informing a number of customers they need to tune to 40-1 to get WWSB.

Sure, following the rules is the way to go and I wouldn't advocate anyone breaking them. I just see some cases where a shift in virtual channel use to reflect pre-digital legacy identification could be justified.

Which begs another question. Has any station opted to forego legacy virtual channel identification for current rf channel and/or is there a procedure for that? I know it was kicked around at WWJ-TV back in the day.

Walking the fine line between jaw-dropping and a plain ol' yawn.

Last edited by DrDon; 06-28-2019 at 07:40 AM.
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post #460 of 478 Old 06-28-2019, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
Has any station opted to forego legacy virtual channel identification for current rf channel and/or is there a procedure for that? I know it was kicked around at WWJ-TV back in the day.
That's one of those ideas that seems to make a lot of sense (if, of course, your current RF channel isn't someone else's virtual channel) until something like repacking, channel sharing, or ATSC 3.0 comes along and screws it all up again.

Rebranding to the channel your local cable co. gave you makes more sense, again assuming it isn't already someone else's virtual channel - and assuming that, if your station is on multiple cable systems, they all agree! Cable cos. rarely change a station's virtual channel on any given cable system (although they change RF channel/program IDs all the time).

In the rare cases where a station has good cause to rebrand as a different channel, there ought to be a way for a station to petition the FCC for permission to change their virtual channel to match their new branding. The FCC could check for problems like the above and make a decision.
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post #461 of 478 Old 06-28-2019, 04:02 PM
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Virtual channel to new RF (in 2009)

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
Has any station opted to forego legacy virtual channel identification for current rf channel and/or is there a procedure for that? I know it was kicked around at WWJ-TV back in the day.
Hi DrDon,

I could immediately recall a station that rebranded their on air referenced number: WFQX-TV...Northern Michigan's FOX.

When I was growing up, they were "Fox 33" (analog only). It was sometime after I was no longer residing in Northern Michigan that they went to being "Fox 32", and now they seem to brand as "Local 32".

Wikipedia cites that the number change was in August 2009, so not quite coinciding with the analog shut-down: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WFQX-TV

I'm not finding a particular line item on one of the LMS filings from that time that noted the PSIP change...maybe there's a different correspondence.

Cheers! ~ Statmanmi

Kent County, MI
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post #462 of 478 Old 06-28-2019, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDon View Post
....

Which begs another question. Has any station opted to forego legacy virtual channel identification for current rf channel and/or is there a procedure for that? I know it was kicked around at WWJ-TV back in the day.
What about KAXT that has VC 1, RF 42.

I forget the sequence that prevented use of other Virtual Channels, but the FCC said fine when asked. I have not seen any reports of problems so VC 1 is just fine for any HDTVs.

EDIT:
EDIT:-2 It is interesting, the station that took VC 42, a full power station is now channel sharing with KAXT. (KTLN)

No, it was KTNC using VC 42 while KAXT was on RF 42 and needed a VC (low power station looses in any contest with a full power station).


Also ..., KCSM wanted to use VC 43 but that was rejected by the FCC and as they had turned off their analog transmitter on RF 60, were forced to put a flea power transmitter on RF 60 or get fined / get their license taken away.

Furthermore they lost ~ $140M when they did not make a bid on time during the repack. ( The dueling lawsuits were settled with the CMS getting $10M.

https://padailypost.com/2019/03/19/c...v-sale-fiasco/
)


SHF

http://www.larrykenney.com/sfonair.html

Last edited by SFischer1; 06-30-2019 at 12:21 AM.
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post #463 of 478 Old 06-29-2019, 04:29 AM - Thread Starter
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In order to try to short-circuit what I imagine to be an off-topic discussion, I will very briefly address each key point here.

The "small" overlap area includes the city of Sarasota. Seems like an important city for a Sarasota-licensed station. In fact, I checked and the contour overlap area contains more than 880,000 people, constituting more than 24% of WWSB's population and more than 44% of WZVN's population. I'm not sure who would consider that to be "small," but I certainly wouldn't.

More to the point, just saying something along the lines of viewers will figure it out if there are two 7-1 stations assumes that the receiver functions properly and shows two stations on 7-1. There are plenty of receivers that do strange things with duplicate virtual channels. Sony TVs will pick up the first one properly, then put the second one on its RF channel. The DTV Pal converter box will put one of the signals on its proper channel, and the other on 70-1, or if that's already taken, 71-1, etc. Still other receivers choose either the first or second 7-1 received, completely leaving the other one out. Then the viewer can try to figure out why it is that their 7-1 is talking about Fort Myers instead of Sarasota or vice versa.

There is no procedure for changing virtual channel number. ATSC A/65C Annex B lays out a procedure that stations are to follow to determine their virtual channel number. (Note that the rules do not require LPTV stations to follow Annex B, though the FCC does encourage LPTV stations to follow it. If an LPTV station's failure to follow Annex B results in a conflict with a station that is required to follow Annex B, the LPTV must change its virtual channel accordingly.) Only if a conflict arises that those rules cannot resolve does the FCC permit an alternative (see KAXT-CD).

You can't find anything on WFQX because they lack permission, as far as I am aware. In LMS, you will find their virtual channel listed as 33. https://enterpriseefiling.fcc.gov/da...cilityId=25396

- Trip
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Last edited by Trip in VA; 06-29-2019 at 04:36 AM.
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post #464 of 478 Old 09-03-2019, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Phase 5 completion deadline moved to September 11 due to Hurricane Dorian.

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-866A1.pdf

- Trip
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post #465 of 478 Old 09-05-2019, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip in VA View Post
Phase 5 completion deadline moved to September 11 due to Hurricane Dorian.

https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-19-866A1.pdf

- Trip

Thanks Dorian...


Now it is going to happen while I am on vacation. I think my FireTV app can force a rescan while I am remote, but I obviously won't be home to troubleshoot anything.
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post #466 of 478 Old 09-05-2019, 07:34 PM
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Trip,

What are the repack dates for Chicago set for?

Thx

Nick

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post #467 of 478 Old 09-06-2019, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by ncsercs View Post
Trip,

What are the repack dates for Chicago set for?

Thx
Trip has an app for that.


https://www.rabbitears.info/repackchannels.php


For Chicago:


https://www.rabbitears.info/repackch...=&lss=&status=


Phase 6 = October 18, 2019
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post #468 of 478 Old 09-06-2019, 07:21 AM
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New Internet meme:

Trip has an app for that.

Don't know if this is a new RabbitEars feature or if I just stumbled on it but clicking distance shows a terrain view from transmitter to receiver. Graphic way to visualize things here in terrain challenged NH.

Great that RabbitEars is able to fill the void left by TVfool. All in all it provides more info and given the complexity of the technical and licensing data does a great job presenting it in an easy to understand manner.

/tom
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post #469 of 478 Old 09-06-2019, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tschmidt View Post
Don't know if this is a new RabbitEars feature or if I just stumbled on it but clicking distance shows a terrain view from transmitter to receiver. Graphic way to visualize things here in terrain challenged NH.
That was something that I wrote up by request for one of the alpha testers before it went public. It's been there since the Search Map was made public.

- Trip
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post #470 of 478 Old 09-22-2019, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by dr1394 View Post
Phase 6 = October 18, 2019
I'm noticing in many if not most of these repack phases, although there might be a time span of more than a month listed, all or nearly all the stations are changing on the last day. South Bend and Chicago stations appear to be making the switch near 2:00 a.m. on Friday, October 18 and probably the case for most of the other Phase 6 areas. (Presumably that means Thursday night the 17th a few hours after midnight and not Friday night the 18th a few hours after midnight.)

Last edited by budh9534; 09-22-2019 at 07:27 AM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budh9534 View Post
I'm noticing in many if not most of these repack phases, although there might be a time span of more than a month listed, all or nearly all the stations are changing on the last day. South Bend and Chicago stations appear to be making the switch near 2:00 a.m. on Friday, October 18 and probably the case for most of the other Phase 6 areas. (Presumably that means Thursday night the 17th a few hours after midnight and not Friday night the 18th a few hours after midnight.)


Keep in mind these changes have to be carefully choreographed with other stations, so it makes sense to plan a specific time, and waiting until the final day gives engineering crews at all stations maximum time to perform all the necessary work.
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Keep in mind these changes have to be carefully choreographed with other stations, so it makes sense to plan a specific time, and waiting until the final day gives engineering crews at all stations maximum time to perform all the necessary work.
After some extra checking, it is Thursday night the 17th after midnight when most will change their real frequencies, and Friday morning the 18th when we wake up will be the time to rescan.

I'm aware nearly all stations in an area need to switch about the same time. But if they scheduled it a few days earlier, it would allow some troubleshooting if something went wrong and still be able to have all the swaps completed by the end of the 18th. (Perhaps that's why it's done a few hours after midnight - to give 22 hours to troubleshoot a problem before the 18th ends.)
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post #473 of 478 Old 09-22-2019, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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On the contrary, a bunch of Phase 7 stations are planning to transition within the first week of the phase. Some, I imagine, are to avoid winter weather, while others may have had financial incentive from a wireless company.

- Trip
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post #474 of 478 Old 11-10-2019, 06:19 PM
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https://www.avsforum.com/forum/45-lo...l#post58802154

Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Kenney View Post
I was talking with an engineer from KAXT 1/KTLN 68 (RF 42) last night and they're all ready to go with a new higher powered transmitter and new antenna for their channel change to channel 22. They are planning to make the move in mid-March as soon as the Phase 9 start date occurs.

It's possible that KKPX virtual 65, in phase 8, could move from channel 41 to channel 33 as early as January 18, so watch for announcements after the beginning of the new year. Stations are required to announce their channel changes on air before they move.

Larry
WHAT????

What ever happened to the viewers only having to rescan once for each phase?

Have there been stations changing frequency at any time they wish in the other phases?

SHF
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post #475 of 478 Old 11-11-2019, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
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WHAT????

What ever happened to the viewers only having to rescan once for each phase?

Have there been stations changing frequency at any time they wish in the other phases?

SHF
Yes. Not all stations can move at the same time, in some cases. Stations are permitted to move any time during their phase as long as it doesn't create interference, but are encouraged to coordinate with other stations if possible.

In this case, it actually could reduce the number of rescans. ION's rescan page indicates that KKPX will move on 3/13/20. If they moved at 11:59PM on that day, and KAXT-CD (and other Phase 9 stations?) moved at 12:01AM on 3/14/20, wouldn't that look like a single rescan rather than two?

- Trip
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post #476 of 478 Old 12-03-2019, 03:23 PM
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Depending on the 'tuner (TV or DVR), it may be possible to enter the physical channel number in and the system will ID the virtual channel number(s) without going thru the hassle of a full rescan.
By doing so, stations that are on the 'cliff' may not get re-registered again since many 'scan' functions are 'delete and start fresh' as opposed to a 'add channel' option that some sets don't have.

Doing one of these may work. Using physical channel 36 as the example, enter;

36
36 then enter (or select)
36.1
36.1 enter (or select)

But, entering just the digits may add just an analog channel. I will also add, if there is an existing virtual channel 36, the tuner will go to that channel instead.

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Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1975. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??
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post #477 of 478 Old 12-03-2019, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Depending on the 'tuner (TV or DVR), it may be possible to enter the physical channel number in and the system will ID the virtual channel number(s) without going thru the hassle of a full rescan.
By doing so, stations that are on the 'cliff' may not get re-registered again since many 'scan' functions are 'delete and start fresh' as opposed to a 'add channel' option that some sets don't have.

Doing one of these may work. Using physical channel 36 as the example, enter;

36
36 then enter (or select)
36.1
36.1 enter (or select)

But, entering just the digits may add just an analog channel. I will also add, if there is an existing virtual channel 36, the tuner will go to that channel instead.
Sometimes deleting the existing virtual channel first will work. It may be necessary to also delete all the virtual channels assigned to the same RF channel to get all of it out of the set's memory. Then of course, the deleted channel may have to re-added later in a similar way.

Requiring an "add" or "scan and add without delete" function should have been part of the ATSC hardware specs. It is incredible that any chip set or TV would be built without that capability, since it would only require a small amount of added code, and no other additional hardware. Not being to add channels without first deleting all existing is a common problem - even in strong signal areas when using an indoor antenna.
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post #478 of 478 Old 12-03-2019, 06:17 PM
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From the 2-3 dozen 'tuners' of various types I have ha d experience with, I would say 85-90% do NOT allows actual deletion of a channel. Just 'hiding' it which really is a better idea. It would be too easy to actually remove a channel accidentally requiring a channel scan to get it back. Now if there was a (somewhat) hidden option to do so, that would be fine, but for Joe Sixpack, not so.

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Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1975. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??
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