Thanks to both for the VHF explanation.
Now, since you are both wise in the ways of science, I have another question. I understand the economic benefits of broadcasting in VHF vs UHF since you need less power in the VHF spectrum. For example, WMAR (UHF) transmits with 830kw while both WBAL/WJZ transmit with 30kw. So, I would think that, at least theoretically, VHF can transmit at a higher power than 30kw.
Now, I live roughly 55 miles from the TV hill towers, and can get the UHF stations, but not the VHF ones. I'm guessing that there are a sizable number of folks in the same situation throughout the U.S., and further, may have complained to the FCC since it sounds like the digital VHF propagation is a known issue.
So my question is simply why is there a 30kw limit? Also, are there any efforts to raise this?
The United States is split into three "zones" for television licensing purposes. Zone I ( https://www.rabbitears.info/Zone1.jpg ) is the northeast and Great Lakes region, where population density is high and cities are close together. Zone III is the area surrounding the Gulf of Mexico, while Zone II is "everywhere else". In Zone I, the power limits are lower than in Zone II because, as suggested, it is a crowded part of the country. WUSA and WJLA actually operate in excess of the 30 kW limit, having signed agreements with other impacted stations and received waivers to operate at 52 kW.Likely because the VHF-Hi band is so crowded in the Northeast. I doubt they will be raised.
The current power levels are substantially higher than they originally were went VHF first went digital. (the VHF Nightmare era ) If I remember correctly the power levels were somewhere around 10kw for 7, 9, 11 & 13.
As for attempts to raise it, the FCC proposed to do so in 2010 or so. It didn't go anywhere.
Yes, and I also note they dropped 26-1 back to 720p once again. Looks like it was that way at least as far back as May and I just didn't notice at the time.WETA has pushed 26.2 up to HD.
Running promos to that effect.