North American television frequencies

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North American television frequencies are different for over-the-air and cable television systems.

Broadcast television[edit]

History[edit]

The VHF band plan was modified several times before 1948. The last change was the transfer of channel 1, originally intended as a low-power (less than 1,000 watts) LPTV community channel, to two-way land-mobile radio and the six-meter amateur radio band.[1]

In March 2008, the FCC requested public comment on turning the bandwidth currently occupied by analog television channels 5 and 6 (76–88 MHz) over to extending the FM broadcast band when the digital television transition was to be completed in February 2009 (ultimately delayed to June 2009).[2] This proposed allocation would effectively assign frequencies corresponding to the existing Japanese FM radio service (which begins at 76 MHz) for use as an extension to the existing North American FM broadcast band.[3]

700 MHz band[edit]

Wireless microphones and medical telemetry devices formerly shared some of the TV bands, but transmitted at a very low power. After the migration of digital television in 2009, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) banned these from using the 700 MHz band in the U.S., effective June 12, 2010. The 700 MHz band is now used for public safety communications and wireless broadband providers.[4]

Channel frequencies[edit]

VHF band[edit]

NOTE: ATSC signal centered 3 MHz above lower edge.
VHF low-band (band I)
(frequencies in MHz)
 Channel   Lower edge   Video carrier   ATSC pilot   Audio carrier   Upper edge 
2 54 55.25 54.31 59.75 60
3 60 61.25 60.31 65.75 66
4 66 67.25 66.31 71.75 72
(Break in band plan)
5 76 77.25 76.31 81.75 82
6 82 83.25 82.31 87.75 88
VHF high-band (band III)
(frequencies in MHz)
 Channel   Lower edge    Video carrier   ATSC pilot   Audio carrier   Upper edge 
7 174 175.25 174.31 179.75 180
8 180 181.25 180.31 185.75 186
9 186 187.25 186.31 191.75 192
10 192 193.25 192.31 197.75 198
11 198 199.25 198.31 203.75 204
12 204 205.25 204.31 209.75 210
13 210 211.25 210.31 215.75 216

UHF band[edit]

On August 22, 2011, the United States' Federal Communications Commission announced a freeze on all future applications for broadcast stations requesting to use channel 51,[5] to prevent adjacent-channel interference to the A-Block of the 700 MHz band. Later that year (on December 16, 2011), Industry Canada and the CRTC followed suit in placing a moratorium on future television stations using Channel 51 for broadcast use, to prevent adjacent-channel interference to the A-Block of the 700 MHz band.[6]

UHF band
(frequencies in MHz) ATSC signal 3 MHz above lower edge
 Channel   Lower edge   Video carrier   ATSC pilot   Audio carrier   Upper edge 
14 470 471.25 470.31 475.75 476
15 476 477.25 476.31 481.75 482
16 482 483.25 482.31 487.75 488
17 488 489.25 488.31 493.75 494
18 494 495.25 494.31 499.75 500
19 500 501.25 500.31 505.75 506
20 506 507.25 506.31 511.75 512
21 512 513.25 512.31 517.75 518
22 518 519.25 518.31 523.75 524
23 524 525.25 524.31 529.75 530
24 530 531.25 530.31 535.75 536
25 536 537.25 536.31 541.75 542
26 542 543.25 542.31 547.75 548
27 548 549.25 548.31 553.75 554
28 554 555.25 554.31 559.75 560
29 560 561.25 560.31 565.75 566
30 566 567.25 566.31 571.75 572
31 572 573.25 572.31 577.75 578
32 578 579.25 578.31 583.75 584
33 584 585.25 584.31 589.75 590
34 590 591.25 590.31 595.75 596
35 596 597.25 596.31 601.75 602
36 602 603.25 602.31 607.75 608
37 608 609.25 608.31 613.75 614
38 614 615.25 614.31 619.75 620
39 620 621.25 620.31 625.75 626
40 626 627.25 626.31 631.75 632
41 632 633.25 632.31 637.75 638
42 638 639.25 638.31 643.75 644
43 644 645.25 644.31 649.75 650
44 650 651.25 650.31 655.75 656
45 656 657.25 656.31 661.75 662
46 662 663.25 662.31 667.75 668
47 668 669.25 668.31 673.75 674
48 674 675.25 674.31 679.75 680
49 680 681.25 680.31 685.75 686
50 686 687.25 686.31 691.75 692
51 692 693.25 692.31 697.75 698[5][6]
 Channel   Lower edge   Video carrier   ATSC Pilot   Audio carrier   Upper edge 
52 698 699.25 698.31 703.75 704
53 704 705.25 704.31 709.75 710
54 710 711.25 710.31 715.75 716
55 716 717.25 716.31 721.75 722
56 722 723.25 722.31 727.75 728
57 728 729.25 728.31 733.75 734
58 734 735.25 734.31 739.75 740
59 740 741.25 740.31 745.75 746
60 746 747.25 746.31 751.75 752
61 752 753.25 752.31 757.75 758
62 758 759.25 758.31 763.75 764
63 764 765.25 764.31 769.75 770
64 770 771.25 770.31 775.75 776
65 776 777.25 776.31 781.75 782
66 782 783.25 782.31 787.75 788
67 788 789.25 788.31 793.75 794
68 794 795.25 794.31 799.75 800
69 800 801.25 800.31 805.75 806
 Channel   Lower edge   Video carrier   ATSC Pilot   Audio carrier   Upper edge 
70 806 807.25 - 811.75 812
71 812 813.25 - 817.75 818
72 818 819.25 - 823.75 824
73 824 825.25 - 829.75 830
74 830 831.25 - 835.75 836
75 836 837.25 - 841.75 842
76 842 843.25 - 847.75 848
77 848 849.25 - 853.75 854
78 854 855.25 - 859.75 860
79 860 861.25 - 865.75 866
80 866 867.25 - 871.75 872
81 872 873.25 - 877.75 878
82 878 879.25 - 883.75 884
83 884 885.25 - 889.75 890

Notes[edit]

  • Virtual channels 1, 37, and 70 to 99 can be assigned via PSIP even though there is no corresponding physical station on that channel.
Cable television frequency issues
  • UHF channels 14 to 43 translate to common cable-ready channels 65 to 94 (add 51).
  • UHF channels 44 to 69 translate to rarely used cable TV channels 100 to 125 (add 56).

Historical band plans[edit]

VHF low-band (band I & II)
1940 U.S. channel assignments (partly deprecated)
(frequencies in MHz)
 Channel   Lower edge   Video carrier   Audio carrier   Upper edge   Current U.S. use 
1 50 51.25 55.75 56 Amateur band, TV ch. 2 (deprecated)
(Break in band plan)
2 66 67.25 71.75 72 TV ch. 4 (deprecated)
3 72 73.25 77.75 78 Radio-controlled car/plane hobby, TV ch. 5
4 78 79.25 83.75 84 TV ch. 5
5 84 85.25 89.75 90 TV ch. 6, FM radio
(Break in band plan)
6 96 97.25 101.75 102 FM radio
7 102 103.25 107.75 108 FM radio


VHF high-band (band III)
1940 U.S. channel assignments (partly deprecated)
(frequencies in MHz)
 Channel   Lower edge   Video carrier   Audio carrier   Upper edge   Current U.S. use 
8 162 163.25 167.75 168 NOAA Weather Radio (162)
(Break in band plan)
9 180 181.25 185.75 186 TV ch. 8
10 186 187.25 191.75 192 TV ch. 9
(Break in band plan)
11 204 205.25 209.75 210 TV ch. 12
12 210 211.25 215.75 216 TV ch. 13
(Break in band plan)
13 234 235.25 239.75 240 Military
14 240 241.25 245.75 246 Military
(Break in band plan)
15 258 259.25 263.75 264 Military
16 264 265.25 269.75 270 Military
(Break in band plan)
17 282 283.25 287.75 288 Military
18 288 289.25 293.75 294 Military

Cable television[edit]

Harmonically related carriers (HRC)[edit]

Harmonically related carriers (HRC) is a system for assigning television channel numbers to bands of frequencies over a cable TV network.[citation needed]

William Grant, in his book,[7] states:

"By harmonically relating the carrier frequencies themselves it is ... possible to improve system performance. This does not reduce the beats produced, but positions them within the system transmission spectrum, such that they are more tolerable. In effect, all signal carriers are spaced precisely at 6 MHz apart, and thus, all beats generated are at 6 MHz increments." "Since the television signals are vestigial sideband modulation, if the beat products can be manipulated to fall on or near the RF carriers themselves, they are much less offensive."

Incrementally-related carriers (IRC)[edit]

Incrementally related carriers (IRC) is a system for assigning television channel numbers to bands of frequencies over a cable TV network.[8] The IRC plan attempts to minimize distortion products by deriving all video carrier signals from a common source.[9] The IRC system assigns channel frequencies (for the North American NTSC-M system) spaced 6 MHz apart. In an IRC (Incrementally Related Carrier) system, the VHF channels are at their off-air frequencies except for channels 5 and 6, which will be 2 MHz higher than usual.[10]

Channel frequencies[edit]

These frequencies are used for both NTSC-based analog television and QAM-based digital television. Band plans for North American cable television systems are standardized in EIA standard 542-B.[11]


NOTE: Frequencies given are for luminance carriers. For channel center frequencies, add 1.75 MHz.
Channel Number Channel Letter STD Video Carrier (MHz) HRC Video Carrier (MHz) IRC Video Carrier (MHz) QAM / CDSREF Carrier (MHz) Audio Carrier (MHz)
Subband "T" Channels
T-7 7.00
T-8 13.00
T-9 19.00
T-10 25.00
T-11 31.00
T-12 37.00
T-13 43.00
T-14 49.00
(Break in band plan)
Lowband
2 2 55.25 54.0027 55.25 57.00 59.75
3 3 61.25 60.0030 61.25 63.00 65.75
4 4 67.25 66.0033 67.25 69.00 71.75
1 A-8 n/a 72.0036 73.25 75.00 77.75
5 5 (or A-7) 77.25 78.0039 79.25 79.00 or 81.00 81.75 or 83.75
6 6 (or A-6) 83.25 84.0042 85.25 85.00 or 87.00 87.75 or 89.75
Midband
95 A-5 91.25 90.0045 91.25 93.00 95.75
96 A-4 97.25 96.0048 97.25 99.00 101.75
97 A-3 103.25 102.0051 103.25 105.00 107.75
98 A-2 109.25 108.0054 109.25 111.00 113.75
99 A-1 115.25 114.0057 115.25 117.00 119.75
Midband
14 A 121.25 120.0060 121.25 123.00 125.75
15 B 127.25 126.0063 127.25 129.00 131.75
16 C 133.25 132.0066 133.25 135.00 137.75
17 D 139.25 138.0069 139.25 141.00 143.75
18 E 145.25 144.0072 145.25 147.00 149.75
19 F 151.25 150.0075 151.25 153.00 155.75
20 G 157.25 156.0078 157.25 159.00 161.75
21 H 163.25 162.0081 163.25 165.00 167.75
22 I 169.25 168.0084 169.25 171.00 173.75
Highband
7 7 175.25 174.0087 175.25 177.00 179.75
8 8 181.25 180.0090 181.25 183.00 185.75
9 9 187.25 186.0093 187.25 189.00 191.75
10 10 193.25 192.0096 193.25 195.00 197.75
11 11 199.25 198.0099 199.25 201.00 203.75
12 12 205.25 204.0102 205.25 207.00 209.75
13 13 211.25 210.0105 211.25 213.00 215.75
Superband
23 J 217.25 216.0108 217.25 219.00 221.75
24 K 223.25 222.0111 223.25 225.00 227.75
25 L 229.25 228.0114 229.25 231.00 233.75
26 M 235.25 234.0117 235.25 237.00 239.75
27 N 241.25 240.0120 241.25 243.00 245.75
28 O 247.25 246.0123 247.25 249.00 251.75
29 P 253.25 252.0126 253.25 255.00 257.75
30 Q 259.25 258.0129 259.25 261.00 263.75
31 R 265.25 264.0132 265.25 267.00 269.75
32 S 271.25 270.0135 271.25 273.00 275.75
33 T 277.25 276.0138 277.25 279.00 281.75
34 U 283.25 282.0141 283.25 285.00 287.75
35 V 289.25 288.0144 289.25 291.00 293.75
36 W 295.25 294.0147 295.25 297.00 299.75
Hyperband
37 AA or W+1 301.25 300.0150 301.25 303.00 305.75
38 BB or W+2 307.25 306.0153 307.25 309.00 311.75
39 CC or W+3 313.25 312.0156 313.25 315.00 317.75
40 DD or W+4 319.25 318.0159 319.25 321.00 323.75
41 EE or W+5 325.25 324.0162 325.25 327.00 329.75
42 FF or W+6 331.25 330.0165 331.25 333.00 335.75
43 GG or W+7 337.25 336.0168 337.25 339.00 341.75
44 HH or W+8 343.25 342.0171 343.25 345.00 347.75
45 II or W+9 349.25 348.0174 349.25 351.00 353.75
46 JJ or W+10 355.25 354.0177 355.25 357.00 359.75
47 KK or W+11 361.25 360.0180 361.25 363.00 365.75
48 LL or W+12 367.25 366.0183 367.25 369.00 371.75
49 MM or W+13 373.25 372.0186 373.25 375.00 377.75
50 NN or W+14 379.25 378.0189 379.25 381.00 383.75
51 OO or W+15 385.25 384.0192 385.25 387.00 389.75
52 PP or W+16 391.25 390.0195 391.25 393.00 395.75
53 QQ or W+17 397.25 396.0198 397.25 399.00 401.75
54 RR or W+18 403.25 402.0201 403.25 405.00 407.75
55 SS or W+19 409.25 408.0204 409.25 411.00 413.75
56 TT or W+20 415.25 414.0207 415.25 417.00 419.75
57 UU or W+21 421.25 420.0210 421.25 423.00 425.75
58 VV or W+22 427.25 426.0213 427.25 429.00 431.75
59 WW or W+23 433.25 432.0216 433.25 435.00 437.75
60 XX or W+24 439.25 438.0219 439.25 441.00 443.75
61 YY or W+25 445.25 444.0222 445.25 447.00 449.75
62 ZZ or W+26 451.25 450.0225 451.25 453.00 455.75
63 AAA or W+27 457.25 456.0228 457.25 459.00 461.75
64 BBB or W+28 463.25 462.0231 463.25 465.00 467.75
Ultraband
65 CCC or W+29 469.25 468.0234 469.25 471.00 473.75
66 DDD or W+30 475.25 474.0237 475.25 477.00 479.75
67 EEE or W+31 481.25 480.0240 481.25 483.00 485.75
68 FFF or W+32 487.25 486.0243 487.25 489.00 491.75
69 GGG or W+33 493.25 492.0246 493.25 495.00 497.75
70 HHH or W+34 499.25 498.0249 499.25 501.00 503.75
71 III or W+35 505.25 504.0252 505.25 507.00 509.75
72 JJJ or W+36 511.25 510.0255 511.25 513.00 515.75
73 KKK or W+37 517.25 516.0258 517.25 519.00 521.75
74 LLL or W+38 523.25 522.0261 523.25 525.00 527.75
75 MMM or W+39 529.25 528.0264 529.25 531.00 533.75
76 NNN or W+40 535.25 534.0267 535.25 537.00 539.75
77 OOO or W+41 541.25 540.0270 541.25 543.00 545.75
78 PPP or W+42 547.25 546.0273 547.25 549.00 551.75
79 QQQ or W+43 553.25 552.0276 553.25 555.00 557.75
80 RRR or W+44 559.25 558.0279 559.25 561.00 563.75
81 SSS or W+45 565.25 564.0282 565.25 567.00 569.75
82 TTT or W+46 571.25 570.0285 571.25 573.00 575.75
83 UUU or W+47 577.25 576.0288 577.25 579.00 581.75
84 VVV or W+48 583.25 582.0291 583.25 585.00 587.75
85 WWW or W+49 589.25 588.0294 589.25 591.00 593.75
86 XXX or W+50 595.25 594.0297 595.25 597.00 599.75
87 YYY or W+51 601.25 600.0300 601.25 603.00 605.75
88 ZZZ or W+52 607.25 606.0303 607.25 609.00 611.75
89 89 or W+53 613.25 612.0306 613.25 615.00 617.75
90 90 or W+54 619.25 618.0309 619.25 621.00 623.75
91 91 or W+55 625.25 624.0312 625.25 627.00 629.75
92 92 or W+56 631.25 630.0315 631.25 633.00 635.75
93 93 or W+57 637.25 636.0318 637.25 639.00 641.75
94 94 or W+58 643.25 642.0321 643.25 645.00 647.75
Jumboband
100 100 or W+59 649.25 648.0324 649.25 651.00 653.75
101 101 or W+60 655.25 654.0327 655.25 657.00 659.75
102 102 or W+61 661.25 660.0330 661.25 663.00 665.75
103 103 or W+62 667.25 666.0333 667.25 669.00 671.75
104 104 or W+63 673.25 672.0336 673.25 675.00 677.75
105 105 or W+64 679.25 678.0339 679.25 681.00 683.75
106 106 or W+65 685.25 684.0342 685.25 687.00 689.75
107 107 or W+66 691.25 690.0345 691.25 693.00 695.75
108 108 or W+67 697.25 696.0348 697.25 699.00 701.75
109 109 or W+68 703.25 702.0351 703.25 705.00 707.75
110 110 or W+69 709.25 708.0354 709.25 711.00 713.75
111 111 or W+70 715.25 714.0357 715.25 717.00 719.75
112 112 or W+71 721.25 720.0360 721.25 723.00 725.75
113 113 or W+72 727.25 726.0363 727.25 729.00 731.75
114 114 or W+73 733.25 732.0366 733.25 735.00 737.75
115 115 or W+74 739.25 738.0369 739.25 741.00 743.75
116 116 or W+75 745.25 744.0372 745.25 747.00 749.75
117 117 or W+76 751.25 750.0375 751.25 753.00 755.75
118 118 or W+77 757.25 756.0378 757.25 759.00 761.75
119 119 or W+78 763.25 762.0381 763.25 765.00 767.75
120 120 or W+79 769.25 768.0384 769.25 771.00 773.75
121 121 or W+80 775.25 774.0387 775.25 777.00 779.75
122 122 or W+81 781.25 780.0390 781.25 783.00 785.75
123 123 or W+82 787.25 786.0393 787.25 789.00 791.75
124 124 or W+83 793.25 792.0396 793.25 795.00 797.75
125 125 or W+84 799.25 798.0399 799.25 801.00 803.75
126 126 or W+85 805.25 804.0402 805.25 807.00 809.75
127 127 or W+86 811.25 810.0405 811.25 813.00 815.75
128 128 or W+87 817.25 816.0408 817.25 819.00 821.75
129 129 or W+88 823.25 822.0411 823.25 825.00 827.75
130 130 or W+89 829.25 828.0414 829.25 831.00 833.75
131 131 or W+90 835.25 834.0417 835.25 837.00 839.75
132 132 or W+91 841.25 840.0420 841.25 843.00 845.75
133 133 or W+92 847.25 846.0423 847.25 849.00 851.75
134 134 or W+93 853.25 852.0426 853.25 855.00 857.75
135 135 or W+94 859.25 858.0429 859.25 861.00 863.75
136 136 or W+95 865.25 864.0432 865.25 867.00 869.75
137 137 or W+96 871.25 870.0435 871.25 873.00 875.75
138 138 or W+97 877.25 876.0438 877.25 879.00 881.75
139 139 or W+98 883.25 882.0441 883.25 885.00 887.75
140 140 or W+99 889.25 888.0444 889.25 891.00 893.75
141 141 or W+100 895.25 894.0447 895.25 897.00 899.75
142 142 or W+101 901.25 900.0450 901.25 903.00 905.75
143 143 or W+102 907.25 906.0453 907.25 909.00 911.75
144 144 or W+103 913.25 912.0456 913.25 915.00 917.75
145 145 or W+104 919.25 918.0459 919.25 921.00 923.75
146 146 or W+105 925.25 924.0462 925.25 927.00 929.75
147 147 or W+106 931.25 930.0465 931.25 933.00 935.75
148 148 or W+107 937.25 936.0468 937.25 939.00 941.75
149 149 or W+108 943.25 942.0471 943.25 945.00 947.75
150 150 or W+109 949.25 948.0474 949.25 951.00 953.75
151 151 or W+110 955.25 954.0477 955.25 957.00 959.75
152 152 or W+111 961.25 960.0480 961.25 963.00 965.75
153 153 or W+112 967.25 966.0483 967.25 969.00 971.75
154 154 or W+113 973.25 972.0486 973.25 975.00 977.75
155 155 or W+114 979.25 978.0489 979.25 981.00 983.75
156 156 or W+115 985.25 984.0492 985.25 987.00 989.75
157 157 or W+116 991.25 990.0495 991.25 993.00 995.75
158 158 or W+117 997.25 996.0498 997.25 999.00 1001.75

Channel usage[edit]

Cable channels 98 and 99 (A2 and A1, 108-120 MHz), if used, have appeared as channel 00 and 01 respectively on some converter boxes.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.tech-notes.tv/History&Trivia/Channel%20One/Channel_1.htm
  2. ^ Federal Communications Commission (2008-05-16). "In the Matter of Promoting Diversification of Ownership in the Broadcasting Services". Retrieved 2013-07-03. "Certain commenters have urged the Commission to give a "hard look" to a proposal that the Commission re-allocate TV Channels 5 and 6 for FM broadcasting"  73 F.R. 28400, 73 F.R. 28403
  3. ^ Could EXB Band Be Your New Home?RadioWorld September 10, 2008
  4. ^ "Distribution, Sale and Use of Wireless Microphones Operating in the 700 MHz Band Prohibited". FCC. 
  5. ^ a b FCC Public Notice DA-11-1428A1:
  6. ^ a b Industry Canada Advisory Letter - Moratorium on the Use of Television Channel 51
  7. ^ Cable Television, 2nd edition, GWG Associates, Schoharie, NY, 1988, page 82
  8. ^ http://www.jneuhaus.com/fccindex/cablech.html#irc
  9. ^ Walter S. Ciciora (ed), Modern cable television technology: video, voice, and data communications , Morgan Kaufmann, 2004 ISBN 1-55860-828-1, page 399
  10. ^ http://www.hackerscatalog.com/Services/TECH_Notes/eleven.html
  11. ^ Walter S. Ciciora, Modern cable television technology: video, voice, and data communications Morgan Kaufmann, 2004 ISBN 1-55860-828-1, pages 397-402
  12. ^ "Technical Notes". HackersCatalog.com. Extreme Media. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 

External links[edit]