20-Nov-2008 Updated Google Earth Coverage Maps

FINALLY, after weeks of intense number crunching, we're pleased to announce the availability of updated Google Earth coverage maps!  These maps are similar to ones available before, but have been updated as follows:

  • Both Pre- and Post- transition sets are available.  This is based on a snapshot of the FCC database plus the final allotment data that's been published.  The information for low power (LP) and Class A (CA) transmitters is still very limited, so the post-transition coverage maps will still mostly show these as analog broadcasts.  If / when better information becomes available, we will try to incorporate that into future simulations and maps.
  • The new maps are based on Noise Margin rather than raw signal strength.  Maps based on raw signal strength gave the incorrect impression that analog broadcasts had greater coverage than digital broadcasts due to their difference in ERP.  However, this is not the case because digital broadcasts can cover more area with less power than analog broadcasts.  Since the new maps are based on Noise Margins (like in the Signal Analysis tool), analog and digital coverage can be compared more directly according to signal viewability.
  • The color scale for coverage maps is now consistent across all of TV Fool's simulation products.  The online coverage maps, the Google Earth coverage maps, and even the "cross section" profile view you get from clicking on individual transmitters in the radar plots all share the same color scale.

We hope to expand our map collections to those people who fall outside the range of the current metro file sets, but that support is not available yet.  Sorry.

The list of available metros and their download links are available in the Coverage Maps section.

Happy Holidays!

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