Television Channel Sharing and Repacking

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  • #16405
    washnotore
    Participant

    It looks like LPTV and translator stations are saved for now.

    http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db1217/DOC-336928A1.pdf

    http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2015/db1217/FCC-15-175A1.pdf

    Information released today by the FCC courtesy of TV Technology:

    WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission today outlined provisions to accommodate low-power television and translator licencees through the incentive auction process.

    The FCC said today’s Third Channel Sharing Report & Order builds on previous commission actions by:

    Permitting Channel-Sharing: The Third Report & Order allows channel sharing among LPTV and TV translator stations.

    Extending the Deadline for the Digital Transition: This summer the commission postponed the Sept.1, 2015 deadline for LPTV and TV translator stations to transition to digital broadcasting so that these stations will not be forced to complete their digital conversion only to find that their newly constructed digital facilities were displaced as a result of the repacking process. The Order sets a new digital transition date of 12 months after the 39-month post-incentive auction transition final deadline for full power and Class A stations (51 months after the conclusion of the incentive auction, scheduled to begin March 29, 2016).

    Offering Software Assistance for Finding New Channels: Prior to opening the special displacement window for LPTV and TV translator stations, the Media Bureau will utilize the repacking and optimization software to identify new channels for displaced translator stations.

    The Order was adopted unanimously on Wednesday, the day before the FCC regular meeting. The item was removed from the agenda Wednesday morning.

    “The commission’s action is designed to preserve the vital services LPTV and TV translator stations provide – particularly in rural areas,” Media Bureau Chief William Lake said. “These steps, along with other actions we have taken, will help ensure the continued availability of these services following the Incentive Auction.”

    The commission noted that the Spectrum Act of 2012 left non-Class A LPTVs and translators unprotected in the post-auction channel repack, but the community value of LPTVs and translators was recognized by the commission. Thus in 2014, it created a filing window to give first choice of remaining TV channels to LTPV and TV translator stations displaced in the repack.

    The commission said it also determined that LPTVs and translators operating on channels allocated for wireless use may remain on those channels until they are notified that a forward-auction winner is within 120 days of commencing operations, extending the stations’ time on those channels for several years.

    #16409
    mwdxer1
    Participant

    Glad to read the than the translators are safe for the time being, but our local translators go from 17-34. There are CPs for 15, 36, 38, & 42, so I have no idea what will happen to them. The 5 main Portland stations (2-6-8-10-12) all have translators here on the North Coast (Astoria). Only 6 has no diginet add ons. I wonder if that will change with less room in the spectrum? There is the possibility of 2 & 6 going back to low VHF. If 49 joins 12, then what happens to the diginets, COZI, LAFF, etc? Dish Network just added Get TV and FETV shares with COZI, Blue Highway with LAFF and Rural with Family Net, so it looks like the diginets are looking at other sources to get their channels to more viewers.

    #19668
    washnotore
    Participant

    FCC repacking plan April 2016

    http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0429/DA-16-453A1.pdf

    The FCC announced Friday that it has received committments from TV broadcast owners to sell off 126 MHz, or 21 TV channels, to wireless companies as part of the spectrum auction. The move would mean the TV band would run from channels 2 to 29, with a nationwide repacking that would result in channel changes for most stations (though they can continue to remap to their legacy analog channel numbers on receivers).

    The 28 channels left would amount to one-third of the original 83. The FCC is not releasing information on which TV stations have offered to surrender their spectrum or move to VHF channels to make way for more cellular data. The FCC says the next phase of the auction, in which wireless companies will bid for the spectrum, will begin May 29.

    This is actually the third time the FCC has sliced off a portion of the TV band for wireless use: channels 70 to 83 were eliminated in the 1980’s and channels 52 to 69 were eliminated following the 2009 digital transition.

    #19680
    DarkStar
    Participant

    The move would mean the TV band would run from channels 2 to 29…

    Woah!

    #19683
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    That’s a lofty goal and IMO won’t be met. The actual auction is at the end of May. Also, the only commitment they actually have gotten from broadcasters is that they will bid. That’s a far cry from achieving all that free space although the broadband industry has plenty of money to buy up whatever bandwidth they actually do clear when the smoke clears. Oh, and translators are not safe (http://current.org/2015/12/fcc-turns-down-special-protection-for-public-tv-translators-in-spectrum-auction/).

    http://www.radiomagonline.com/fcc/0019/fcc-sets-clearing-target-for-tv-spectrum-incentive-auction/37715

    #19694
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    What a bunch of CRAP! 🙁

    #19700
    mwdxer1
    Participant

    Wow, is right! 2-29 will be it? One engineer told me that he feels in another 10-20 years, the OTA spectrum will be all sold off. Maybe he will be right. Ouch. Several stations in Portland will have to move. Will low VHF be reactivated? I guess there could be a station on every channel now. What about LA, Chicago, or NY? Now that the sub channels have really increased the interest in OTA TV, the FCC is killing it. As viewers I guess we have no say. Disgusting to say the least!

    #19701
    semoochie
    Participant

    You’re not looking at this the right way. With new technology, they don’t need nearly as much space as before for far more channels. The general public won’t even be aware of it.

    #19702
    mwdxer1
    Participant

    I have heard of the new purposed technology, but it will cost the TV stations a lot on money and new TV’s or tuners will be needed to receive the new technology. I have heard 8-10 HD channels can be on one channel with the new technology, but will it be successful?

    #19704
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    The problem that I have is that OTA television is free for viewers to receive, whereas the new services to which this spectrum will be allocated will require payments of data plans.

    #19706
    mwdxer1
    Participant

    That is right, but little is free anymore, The FCC will make a mint on this and that all that counts in their eyes.

    #19710
    jr_tech
    Participant

    I always wonder when I see stuff like this “what will be the next shoe to drop”… they could perhaps compress the FM band into a few mHz of digital broadcasting, or take some of the higher frequency ham bands… I shudder to think of future spectrum grabs possibly being considered. 🙁

    #19712
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    Considering it has taken 20 years to convert the legacy TV bands to digital, and the post conversion redistribution or “packing” of the bands, I wouldn’t hold my breath on anything happening to the FM, AM or any other large service band anytime soon. After all, this is the U.S. government at work. ‘Nuff said on that.

    Recompressing the band post digital conversion has always been in the plan. The concern back in the 90’s about this was adjacent channel interference. Although it was contemplated that digital delivery would allow assignments to be closer together, it took a lot of research and modeling and more recently real world testing to understand what those limits are.

    As far as 8-10 HD streams in one 6 MHz channel, I wouldn’t lose any sleep over that. Besides, NONE of this really impacts anyone. The world of broadcasting has been transformed to a soulless, ghoulish toy for the wealthiest companies to play with. The electromagnetic spectrum used to be considered public property, but the politicians have commandeered it all (starting in 1934, or 1923 if you prefer) and those players with the deepest pockets can have it. Radio and TV no longer serve the public, just the bottom line of the licensees.

    The standard broadcast band, after its upcoming revitalization fails, will be the first to have its plug pulled. Currently that is the only reason for owning an AM license, that is, to receive a big cash payout to give up the license when that day gets here.

    The FM band will eventually go digital and support a totally new digital architecture, allowing multiple streams within each 200 kHz channel even more then presently when analog goes away. That, too, is going to take a long time to happen. At least another 20 years.

    #19998
    washnotore
    Participant
    #20001
    mwdxer1
    Participant

    AM has been on the chopping block for years with the decline of listeners, mostly going to FM, now to streaming. With AM, the noise level has increased so much, that in many areas AM is not even viable.
    There are companies that are interested in putting on translators on the Oregon Coast, but I am sure they are all on hold, until we know the outcome. The FCC has become a useless part of the government. You are right that the spectrum is no longer owned by the people. I doubt many really care with cable & satellite TV these days. Only a small percentage of viewers still watch OTA unfortunately, I heard about 20%. But I sure love having translators out here for 2-6-8-10-12. The sub channels are I really plus.

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