[opendtv] Re: Visit at Best Buy

  • From: "John Shutt" <shuttj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2004 13:30:23 -0500


The second DTV "biennial" review, FCC 04-192, fully adopts A/65B for 
major/minor channel number assignment.  A/65B states that a station MUST use 
it's analog channel number as it's DTV major channel number. The FCC 
concurred with this practice unless an exception is specifically granted by 
the FCC.

Stations can not use their digital channel as a major channel number if they 
have an NTSC channel as well.

John Shutt

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Willkie" <johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxx>

> I'd call it a long list of exceptions: common control or ownership of
> channels in the same market, and use CAN use their digital channel as 
> major,
> if they wish to do something unwise.  "Why is channel 5 channel 31-1 on 
> your
> TV set?"  IIRC, it's a recommendation to use the analog channel; not that
> the recommendation needs to be made for existing services.
> John Willkie

From FCC 04-192:

153. Major/Minor Channel Numbers. In the NPRM, we noted that the ATSC PSIP 
attaches the assignment of "major channel number" values to a broadcaster's 
current NTSC RF channel
number regardless of the actual RF channel used for DTV transmission, and 
sought comment on whether
there was any need to modify this standard. For example, a broadcaster who 
operates an NTSC service
on channel 4 and a DTV service on channel 27 would use the major channel 4. 
The PSIP "minor channel
number" is used to identify programs and other services, which are a part of 
the DTV service. For
example, channel 4.1 may be an HDTV program service and it may be 
multiplexed with an SDTV
service, which is channel 4.2. According to ATSC, this allows a viewer to 
easily "surf" from, for
example, 4.0 (NTSC) to 4.1 (HDTV) to 4.2 (SDTV). ATSC, MSTV/NAB, and others 
state that the
major/minor channel number scheme established in ATSC A/65B will be useful. 
ATSC states that the
PSIP Standard defines specific requirements for use of "major channel 
numbers" to provide viewers with
a uniform methodology to access DTV services and to avoid conflict with 
duplicative numbers in a
market. The major channel number also allows broadcasters to maintain their 
local brand identification.
We see no reason to modify this standard. During the development of PSIP, 
ATSC recognized that in
some situations broadcasters would need to deviate from the rule that the 
major channel number is the
same as the broadcaster's NTSC channel number and created certain 
exceptions. We agree with ATSC
and MSTV/NAB that these exceptions should provide broadcasters with the 
necessary flexibility to
address most circumstances. To the extent broadcasters have a unique 
situation that is not provided for in
PSIP, the Commission may grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis. The 
correct TSIDs must be used to
ensure that receivers link the analog and digital channels properly. 
Accordingly, broadcasters are required
to transmit the TSIDs assigned for their stations in their digital 
transmission. During the transition period
while both analog and digital signals are broadcast, stations are required 
to transmit the NTSC TSID in
line 21, field 2 in order for the receiver to locate the programs referenced 
in PSIP.

From ATSC A/65B

3.3 Major and Minor Channel Numbers

When PSIP is used for terrestrial broadcast, care must be taken in the 
assignment of major and
minor channel numbers to avoid conflicts. For example, the PSIP standard 
indicates that for the
US and its possessions, a terrestrial broadcaster with an existing NTSC 
license shall use a major
channel number for digital services that corresponds to the NTSC RF channel 
number in present
use for the analog signal. For cable, such restrictions are technically 
unnecessary. The use or
potential re-assignment of a broadcaster's major channel number is beyond 
the scope of this
standard. For terrestrial broadcast, the major channel number is limited to 
the range 1 to 99 for
ATSC digital television or audio services. For cable, major channel numbers 
may range from 1
to 999.

For minor channel numbers, this Standard specifies that zero shall be used 
for NTSC analog
television services, 1 to 99 for ATSC digital television or audio only 
services, or 1 to 999 for
data services. Minor channel numbers for cable, on the other hand, have no 
restrictions on use:
they can range from 0 to 999 for any type of service. 

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