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In this thread the chief engineer for our FOX affiliate said "Our power level now is 800 Watts ERP. Channel 56 is currently authorized for 1 MW. However, Channel 56 is also among the channels the FCC is planning to auction away for wireless services. There are no near term plans to change the power levels. "



Can anyone expand upon this comment?


Why would the FCC give them a temporary channel assignment? How temporary can it be? Is this just an excuse for a low power (and hence, I assume, cheaper) transmitter? Transmitters are frequency specific, no? So if they have a large expense and expect to use it a short time, I could understand their reluctance to get a reasonable transmitter.


Are other markets/stations affected by this cricumstance?



Thanks,


Joe
 

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Many of the digital channels in L.A. are 60 or above and are thus scheduled to be auctioned. However the plan is to auction them off with the assumption that they can not be used until the digital transition is complete in 2006 (or whenever). I know KCBS was broadcasting on channel 60 two years ago with 469 KW.


If a channel is purchased at auction it would take several years to build any system to use the channel.


Auctioning the spectrun is not the reason.


Rick R
 

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Many DTV licenses were issued for channels above 52 and those stations had to build transmitter plants in order to keep their digital spectrum. When NTSC is shut down, they will have to build another transmitter either on their old NTSC frequency or on one turned in by another station. Those stations will definitely pay more for the transition than station that received a channel that was in the channel 2 to 51 core.


Stations that went on air in the first wave were required to build full power plants at even greater cost. Since then the FCC relaxed the full power requirement, easing the burden a bit on the small market stations that were less able to afford the double whammy. These stations are at a disadvantage, but there is no way the FCC could have doubled up the number of channels in the country without this spill-over.


The added cost of landing an out of core channel could easily reach $1 million.
 

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Well, first of all, what a disaster. So stations that get assigned above 52 both are forced to spend more money, and have no reason to spend any money doing anything but the bare minimum for their >52 transmitter? Wonderful.

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...there is no way the FCC could have doubled up the number of channels in the country without this spill-over.
Is this really true? There are all of about a dozen OTA stations that it's even possible to receive from my location in Austin (within city limits). Why give any stations >52 when there should be 30+ unused channels below that? What am I missing?
 

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What you are missing is the required separation between stations, for stations on the same or adjacent channels and also for stations that are given by a table of UHF taboos . These are channels at specific spacings that cannot be located in the same or adjacent markets due to interference that is generated in the UHF television receiver.
 
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