[opendtv] Re: House Commerce Committee Probes DTV Transition

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 19 Nov 2008 18:19:29 -0500

Dale Kelly wrote:

>> To me, the plan for the DTV transmitter to go back to
>> VHF, at power levels that are 13 to 18 dB below that of
>> the analog transmitter, is a *far* more likely way to
>> lose coverage area, compared with staying UHF and going
>> up to 1 MW ERP.
> I do agree in principle.
> However, the cost of building a full power UHF DTV facility
> is prohibitive for many medium and small market analog VHF
> stations. The cost of the replacement UHF 1000Kw* capable
> transmitter together with the UHF antenna and transmission
> line package and a tower upgrade or replacement, are in the
> million(s) dollar range. Add to that the likely need for a
> new or upgrade transmitter building plus significantly
> upgraded electrical utilities and a new backup generator
> system together with the huge increase in operating costs
> (utilities and systems maintenance) and a loss of coverage
> is often the only viable business option.

Okay, I can understand that. The ones I was referring to, though, are
the four in the Wash and Balt markets that are already transmitting DTT
on UHF, and are already high power in UHF. So they must have at least
some of the investment in that UHF facility already in place, although
probably it's not optimized?

In two cases, CBS 9 in Wash and CBS 13 in Balt, the UHF is already at 1
MW, and both robust as oxen. Now, compare this with their new home in

CBS 13 (WJZ) will drop to 28.8 KW in VHF. Is that going to be as good as
its 1 MW on actual Ch 38? The analog Ch 13 is 316 KW. So that means a
change of -10.4 dB compared with analog, on the VHF freq. That one may
actually be close, if I had stuck with a VHF antenna anyway.

CBS 9 (WUSA) will drop to 12.6 KW in VHF. It is now 1 MW on Ch 34. So in
the VHF band, a change of -14 dB in ERP in VHF. I'm almost positive that
won't match its existing UHF coverage.

NBC 11 (WBAL) is now at 513 KW on Ch 59, so not that great. But still,
in the VHF band, the change compared with analog is -18 dB. They are
going to 5 KW in VHF(!!). My bet is that one won't match its existing
UHF coverage either, by a long shot.

I'm more worried about these stations that I am about the ones staying
in the UHF band, is my bottom line. Would the cost of staying UHF have
been so high? Dunno.

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