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Meaning of "tentative digital television service channel designation"

Discussion in 'Legislative and Regulatory Issues' started by lpickup, Jul 26, 2005.

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  1. lpickup

    lpickup Legend

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    Jul 12, 2005
    Well, my local broadcasters have begun submitting their most recent round of extension requests for transition to DTV to the FCC. Originally they foresaw summer 2006 as when they would go live. Their latest extension request now has the date of 11/21/06 as their estimated on-air date (and of course, based on what I've seen in just about every other extension request from stations around the country, they'll never meet this and it will slip into 2007 because of "construction season limitations").

    So, while the language in SHVERA regarding distant digitals and an April 30, 2006 trigger date previously seemed like it wouldn't be worth it to me to pursue, it now looks like I need to understand this a bit better.

    Keep in mind that my local broadcasters (all 4 networks!) are not even operating under STA at this point, so there is plain and simple no digital television signals going over the airwaves in my area.

    SHVERA states:

    There is also some language regarding the fact that my local broadcasters can (and probably will :mad:) request a waiver to prohibit me from receiving such a test (the fact that I have to test when we all know that there are no digital signals AT ALL is humorous!) so that could render the entire discussion moot for me.

    But, assuming they "forget" to do so by their deadline to do so (11/30/05), I am trying to figure out what section (AA) means. Yes, I am in DMA #90, so within the top 100. But what is a "tentative" channel designation?

    This whole thing has been very annoying over the past several years, especially when I see "in HDTV where available" on all my favorite shows, and I get consistently denied for waivers by my local stations, yet they consistently have their extension requests approved by the FCC!

    Thanks,

    ...Lance Pickup
     
  2. joblo

    joblo Godfather

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    Dec 10, 2003
    If the station has elected to continue using its current digital channel after the transition, and the FCC has approved that choice, then the earlier date applies, otherwise it does not.

    For example, suppose a station's analog channel is 8, and its digital signal is currently on channel 30. If it chooses to continue operating on channel 30 after the analog signal on 8 is turned off, then the earlier date applies, assuming FCC approval for operation on 30. But if the station elects to move its digital signal to channel 8 after the analog signal is turned off, then the later date will apply, again assuming FCC approval for that choice.
     
  3. lpickup

    lpickup Legend

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    Jul 12, 2005
    Thanks! Not necessarily good news for me, but you answered the question perfectly!

    ...Lance
     
  4. joblo

    joblo Godfather

    484
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    Dec 10, 2003
    You're welcome...

    Btw, to see the channel elections of broadcasters in your area, go to this page
    on the FCC web site and select form 382 plus appropriate city/state info, etc.

    http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_sear.htm

    Also check form 383 for secondary applications in cases where the FCC has found conflicts with the initial elections.
     
  5. lpickup

    lpickup Legend

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    Jul 12, 2005
    Thanks. I did look up their election yesterday. The station I am concerned about is "hedging" and elected not to participate in round 1 at this time. Their current NTSC channel is 3, their current DTV allotment is channel 53. Apparently the reason given for them opting out of round 1 was that a nearby Canadian station has been allocated channel 4, so apparently channel 3 would not be available to them.

    However, and this brings me to another concept I don't quite "get", that of in-core vs. out-of-core. Apparently the in-core channels are 2-51, leaving their current allotment "out-of-core". I'm not real sure what the significance of that is, but apparently an in-core channel is "desirable" or stations have the right to be assigned an in-core channel? So, I suspect that in round 2 (or whenever) they may elect an in-core channel which would obviously not be 53 (if they had intended to stay on 53, they would have elected 53 anyway during the first round).

    ...Lance
     
  6. joblo

    joblo Godfather

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    Dec 10, 2003
    Out-of-core channels (52-69) are not allowed post-transition (except possibly via auction, which is a whole other story), and lo-band channels (2-6) are considered generally undesirable due to interference issues. Only stations with at least one in-core channel were eligible to participate in the first round, and those whose only in-core channel is lo-band, such as the one you cite, were allowed to release that channel and participate in the second round instead. Additionally, stations that opted to hold on to a lo-band channel in the first round will be given yet another chance to vacate that channel in the third round, so in the end, almost all stations should end up operating in the 7-51 range.

    Very few stations across the country opted to keep lo-band channels in the first round, btw, so WCAX was typical rather than atypical in that regard. I think that exhibit they filed about the Canadian station was about gaining some sort of edge in the second round. I don't really believe they would have chosen to operate on channel 3, even if there were no Canadian interference issue.
     
  7. dallas_axelrod

    dallas_axelrod Mentor

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    Apr 24, 2004
    If we assume that a broadcaster elects a new digital channel in the first round, on what date must this broadcaster start offering service on this channel? What are the dates for broadcasters who participate in the second and third round? Did most of the networks participate in the first round?
     
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