Talk:Digital television transition in the United States

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Proposed move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. —Ed (talkmajestic titan) 04:58, 11 January 2010 (UTC)



DTV transition in the United Statesdigital television transition in the United States — Consistency with other articles; and "move" tab has been disabled on this page. radiojon (talk) 21:42, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Support: This is a no brainer. Probably should go in uncontested moves. I think it got page move locked because traffic was extremely high back in the time of the pagemove vandal attack led to locking down the most active pages. -- KelleyCook (talk) 15:44, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Evaluation[edit]

I found the first coverage of the transition that seemed balanced toward positives rather than negatives. That makes the post-June 12 additions a little more balanced. For now, obviously, the section is unbalanced. I'm just waiting for actual evaluations of how the transition went.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:25, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

I added a new report of stats. TomCat4680 (talk) 02:15, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Can we wait and do stats until they are part of a larger evaluation? Right now any statistics in this section looks strange. I put the same information under "Initial problems" as a follow-up to previous information. Later maybe we can move that down below, if we're making it part of something bigger.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 17:26, 3 July 2009 (UTC)


Actually the FCC wants to officially evaluate the transition themselves. Story here. TomCat4680 (talk) 18:21, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

If you've got the information go ahead and add it.
Then when there are results we can add those.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 18:38, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Or I could do it myself. That needs to wait until tomorrow.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 18:01, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Still no word on a full evaluation. But they keep printing the number of people without DTV. I'm sure that should go under "evaluation" at some point, but until someone makes those numbers part of an evaluation, I'm going to leave them under "Initial problems". After all, we don't know whether it's a bad thing that a month later, 1.5 million people still don't have it.
The latest update says the number of people with NO DTV. One number in the article specifically says the number includes those with cable or satellite or whatever who also have other TVs that aren't ready, so I'm not sure how reliable our numbers really are. We don't have specifics except in the two cases.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 15:57, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Well, I found something that should have gone in the section. I look at the actual Broadcasting & Cable online at a college that gets EBSCO Host with PDF pages, and while I don't see the whole thing, I do see things I didn't see while searching for information specific to this article.

The former head of the FCC wasn't too happy with the change. The section is more balanced now, as it should have been all along. Still, less than a week before the anniversary of the first deadline, no formal evaluation.Vchimpanzee · talk · contributions · 22:09, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

DTV power limits, technical suggestion[edit]

The maximum power for DTV broadcast classes is also substantially lower; one-fifth of the legal limits for the former full-power analog services.

I would suggest that digital and analog powers cannot be directly compared.

Both methods use(d) amplitude modulation. Transmitter power is (was, for analog) continuously changing. The TVF license might say the station was running 100,000 watts analog ERP, but at any given instant the power is probably quite different. Similarly, the license shows the digital power as 22,000 watts ERP but at any given instant the power is almost certainly NOT 22,000 watts.

- In analog, synchronizing pulses are transmitted at regular, predictable intervals. These pulses are transmitted at the maximum available transmitter power. The quoted power of an analog station was the power during a synchronizing pulse, the peak power. Average power, averaged across a few milliseconds or more, was considerably lower. Averaged over time, WTVF's analog power was considerably less than 100,000 watts.

See FCC Regulation 73.664(b), which says in part:

The direct method of power determination for a TV visual transmitter uses the indications of a calibrated transmission line meter (responsive to peak power) located at the RF output terminals of the transmitter.

See also FCC Regulation 73.681, in particular the definitions of IRE standard scale, Peak power, and Visual transmitter power

- In digital, there are no synchronizing pulses. The power still varies, but not in a predictable fashion; you don't know when the next power peak will happen. The quoted power of a digital station is averaged over time. (how much time, I don't know.) At any given instant, WTVF's digital power stands a 50% chance of being greater than 22,000 watts. This article suggests a 6dB peak-to-average ratio for ATSC digital TV -- WTVF's digital peak power would be closer to 44,000 watts. This is still a lot lower than their analog peak power, but the difference isn't nearly as dramatic as the 22,000-watt figure in the FCC database might suggest.

I am unfortunately unable to find a citation in the FCC Regulations requiring measurement of average power by digital stations! It is however clearly stated in the TV Technology article cited above and common knowledge among broadcast engineers...

W9wi (talk) 16:01, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

DTV power limits, pt. 2[edit]

(to the twenty kilowatt limit of low-VHF DTV)

The low-VHF DTV power limit is actually 45 kilowatts in many cases -- though only ten kilowatts in many others. See FCC Regulation 73.622 which says in part:

(6) A DTV station that operates on a channel 2-6 allotment created subsequent to the initial DTV Table will be allowed a maximum ERP of 10 kW if its antenna HAAT is at or below 305 meters and it is located in Zone I or a maximum ERP of 45 kW if its antenna HAAT is at or below 305 meters and it is located in Zone II or Zone III.

Like the peak-vs.-average power thing, this is a bit like comparing apples and oranges. The analog power limit was always 100kW regardless of zone, although you had to start reducing at 305m in Zone I but not until 610m in Zones II and III. With digital, you start reducing power at 305m in both zones, but in Zones II and III you reduce from 45kW instead of 10.

I don't know that it invalidates the point but the 20kw figure is not correct.


For what it's worth, the similar limits are 30 and 160kW for high-VHF. For UHF the limit is always 1000kW regardless of zone and power reduction doesn't start until 365m. (see the same FCC Regulation 73.622 above)

W9wi (talk) 16:14, 21 March 2010 (UTC)


Why did the corrupt government make TV worse?[edit]

This article is almost useless. It does not explain why the federal government passed a law forcing people to switch from strong analog signals to shitty digital ones. Was it because congressmen were bribed by cable and satellite lobbyists, as is usually the case, expecting that people would get so angry with their shitty converter boxes that they would subscribe to cable or satellite services instead? Well, I cannot afford to pay for television subscriptions. When I received analog signals, my TV reception was perfect. After the switchover, it is shit, even with the converter boxes. Cie'th (talk) 22:50, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Any bribes probably would have been from those who wanted to make use of the spectrum freed up. Anyway, it's pretty much doubled the number of broadcast channels that I can receive (after subchannels)... AnonMoos (talk) 12:18, 13 August 2011 (UTC)


I have to agree: What were the reasons for mandating this change and forcing people and corporations and others to spend money for the changeover? This is not addressed whatsoever in the entire, lengthy article -- amazing. 148.177.1.211 (talk) 13:22, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

The digital broadcasts require less bandwidth. This allows them to broadcast a higher resolution signal and more stations in the same frequency range that formerly held one channel. I do agree, however, that analog handled a weak signal far better than digital does. Under analog it would have some "snow" on the screen, but still be watchable, while the same strength of digital signal is an unwatchable mess of freezing blocks. One fix for this is to get a better antenna, particularly a directional antenna (with a rotor, if you have broadcasters in more than one direction) and place it as high up as possible (in attic, if you can't put it on roof). Or, if you have unlimited Internet access at a high enough speed, you can watch TV online, using Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, or specific program sites, like Southparkstudios.com. StuRat (talk) 16:51, 7 December 2015 (UTC)

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