AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know what the policy of the FCC regarding stations that are broadcasting their HD station at a miniscule power just to get on the air? I have a CBS affiliate,KGAN-DT, in my area that is broadcasting at a very low power from an antenna at their station instead of their full power antenna located about 20 miles closer to my house for the time being. Is there a time limit that they have to be broadcasting at full power or do I just have to miss out on the best OTA HD programming available until they decide to to stop dragging their feet?


Edlsen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Not yet decided.


From [fcc.gov] :

(click on one of the links for DOC-230562, depending on what format you want)

Quote:
Replication and Maximization for DTV channels within the core spectrum: The FCC proposes to end replication and maximization interference protection for the top-four network affiliates (i.e., ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC) in markets 1-100 as of July 1, 2005; and for all other commercial DTV licensees as well as noncommercial DTV licensees as of July 1, 2006.

The NPRM also asks whether the FCC should adopt an intermediate signal coverage requirement beyond a broadcaster’s current obligation to cover its community of license, expanding into nearby areas of the market.
Docket is FCC 03-08. Unfortunately the deadline for filing comments was last Monday.


The information I have from the FCC website indicates their low-power transmitter is actually on the channel 9 tower between Cedar Rapids and Waterloo. 6.6kw isn't much but it could be worse; one of the stations around here has a temporary permit for 400 watts!


In theory all they're *ever* required to do is deliver a "principal community" signal across Cedar Rapids itself. The risk to that is of the FCC authorizing someone else to use KGAN's digital channel in an outlying area (i.e. Dubuque, or Davenport, or Newton) where the low-power operation doesn't reach - thus permanently denying KGAN access to viewers in those outlying areas.


But again, they've got two years to make up their minds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
There will probably be some stations that get stuck with their STA powers because they didn't maximize facilities in time. The intention of the FCC is to start allocating tons of new channels for communities. The FCC wants to move foward because the authority of the FCC to auction frequencies ends in 2007.


Currently the minimum for a DTV station is 500 watts TPO (Top Power Output) and an ERP (Effective Radiated Power) that will cover the City Of License.


After the transition the minimum for a DTV station is 500 watts TPO and an ERP of 3.5Kw (VHF) and 15Kw (UHF). Also after the transition the Maximum for a Class-A or LPTV station will be a TPO of 500 watts and an ERP of 3Kw (VHF) and 10Kw (UHF). As you can see, after the transition a Class-A or LPTV station will rival their "full power" counterparts that don't run at maximum power.


BTW if I can receive a station with a UHF STA at 20Kw from 55 miles away in the "good" catagory, I'll probably be able to receive some Class-A and LPTV stations running at Maximum power from the same area in the "normal" catagory.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
TPO="*Transmitter* Power Output". I'm 99.9% certain it is not directly regulated - that there is no minimum in the FCC regs. There is a minimum *ERP* and your TPO must be high enough to achieve this minimum. More antenna gain allows you to reach the minimum ERP with a lower TPO.


I know of DTV stations (admittedly under STA) running as little as 40 watts ERP. Their TPO would likely be somewhat less. ("likely", as it's possible they're using a very small antenna whose gain is less than the losses in the feedline. )


You might be surprised to know how little signal is necessary to "...cover the City Of License.". It's on the order of 41dBu. By contrast, an analog UHF station must deliver at least 80dBu. (?!) That's how the Pax station here gets away with putting their DTV transmitter a few miles northwest of Nashville even though their city of license is 70 miles away!


The minimum ERP limit for analog is 100 watts. (I only know of two stations - both in Alaska - running less than 5,000 watts analog...) I'm quite a bit less than 99.9% certain but I thought that lower limit was carried through to the digital regulations. May have a chance to look that up tomorrow when the weather is supposed to stink.


The new max for Class A and LPTV stations is actually 150kw UHF. That limit (and the new 3kw for VHF) is already in effect with some stations already exceeding the old limits.


WB's digital signal here in Nashville is on the air with STA at 18.4kw. There's a 40kw analog LPTV (Pax translator) on an adjacent tower. I'm 19 miles from both towers with an antenna about 10' high. WB is rock solid - the Pax analog comes in but it's very noisy and subject to interference from the WB analog station in Knoxville. (150 miles away!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Doug- Do you have the link for the source that tells where KGAN-DT is transmitting from? It's not that I doubt you, but they must be in phase two. They were first broadcasting from their tower at the station in Cedar Rapids and I assumed (incorrectly obviously) that when they moved to the tower they share with a bunch of other stations, both analog and digital, that they would be at full power. I guess if they have moved to their main tower then I can take that as a sign of progress. I live about 5 miles from the Waterloo border so every mile closer to my house is a bonus. I can get KCRG-DT just fine so I know my antenna is aimed right. I will just have to be patient and enjoy the Kentucky Derby in HD on NBC on May 3. You won't see me fuming until the fall when college football starts on CBS.


Jared
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
67 Posts
Hey Doug, (w9wi)


Just like to say thanks for all the great info you provide us on your website.

It is the most informative tv database for Dxers I've come across on the internet.


73's

Mark
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
 http://www.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/tvq?call=KGAN


There are three records - one for their analog signal, one for their modified construction permit for full-power digital operation, and the third for their low-power STA. Click on "Region", "Area", or "Local" map under the full-power digital record to see where the tower is. (note that the latitude/longitude for the full-power digital record are the same as for the STA - i.e. they're apparently already using their permanent antenna)


I can certainly believe they had a lower-power STA at the studio. There could even be a *newer* at-the-studio STA. The FCC has not traditionallly been all that good about reporting STAs.


There are a number of reasons for using reduced power at the permanent site. Could be the local electric utility isn't delivering enough power to operate that many high-powered transmitters. (that's been a problem in NYC) Could be they're having trouble getting delivery on the high-powered amplifier. Or they could just be trying to save money on electric bills...

====================================

Mark_T: thanks for the comments! I try... ====================================

I've just re-checked the FCC regs and I can't find *any* minimum power requirement for digital TV. Only the requirement of some minimum signal strength across the city of license.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top