7-Feb-2008 Added post-2009 signal analysis (NEW!)

We are pleased to announce that starting today, the Signal Analysis Tool will provide a post-DTV-transition signal analysis in addition to the normal, present-day, analysis.

The FCC has set February 17, 2009 as the date when most analog television broadcasts will be shut down.  Almost all major broadcasters have been operating both analog and digital broadcasts in parallel for the past few years.  This date will mark the completion of their switch to digital as they finally decommission their analog transmitters.  There will still be several Class A and low power stations providing analog broadcasts after this date, but overall, the switch to digital will be nearly complete.

When this transition occurs, several things will happen:

  • Many TV channels will be freed up.  This will relieve some of the interference issues in our crowded television spectrum.
  • Some broadcasters have been limited to low-power transmitters (to minimize interference) and may switch to higher power after the analog shutdown.
  • Many broadcasters will move their digital broadcasts to the channel currently occupied by their analog broadcast.
  • Any broacaster using channels 52 through 69 will relocate to a lower channel number.  These upper channels are being re-allocated to other services such as first-responder networks (police, fire, ambulance, etc.), and the rest is being auctioned off.

If you are already enjoying digital over-the-air television or are planning to do so, you should be aware of how some of these changes might affect you.  Since several of the broadcasts will be changing channels, tower locations, and/or transmitted power, this might affect your choice of equipment when setting up your antenna.  With the proper information, you can make sure your setup is well suited for both your present and future needs.  Be sure to consider issues like:

  • Will a UHF-only antenna be enough or will a combination of UHF and VHF be necessary?
  • What direction will be signals be coming from?  Will an antenna rotator be needed?
  • How strong/weak are the signals?  Will overload be a problem?  How much gain is needed in the antenna?

 

The enhanced signal analysis output provides 6 views now, which let you choose between "All channels", "Only Digital", and "Only Analog" for current and post-transition situations.

 

The data used in the post-transition analysis is based on the information provided by the FCC in their final DTV channel allocation list, released August 6, 2007.  Although it is still possible for things to change between now and the final shutoff date, most of these channel assignments are firmly set.

 
 
 
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