05.11.2011 02:00 PM
Another Channel Repacking Won’t Fly for WMTV-TV
MADISON, WIS.: “A viewer 75 miles northwest of Madison reports
occasional reception trouble the last few days,” tweeted Tom Weeden, chief
engineer of WMTV-TV in Madison, where 18 percent of the TV households rely
exclusively on over-the-air reception. Weedon linked the message to tropospheric ducting maps
showing the potential for RF interference in the area.
Seventy-five miles is a good signal by any measure, interference or otherwise,
especially since the NBC affiliate is broadcasting at 155 kW on Ch. 19. Weedon
said they can’t go any higher because of the transmitter’s proximity to
Chicago’s WGN-T, about 150 miles away. WGN is also broadcasting on Ch. 19, at
600 kW, according to the latest record on the
“Our situation is an argument against packing stations closer together,” Weedon
said, referring to the federal plan to reclaim 40 percent of the broadcast TV
spectrum and move TV stations into the remaining channel assignments. The
nation’s 1,600 or so TV stations just underwent a repacking following the
digital transition in which they relinquished 108 MHz of spectrum. The federal
government wants another 120 MHz for wireless broadband, leaving TV stations
roughly 180 MHz nationwide.
~ Deborah D. McAdams
See . . .
March 15, 2010: “FCC Proposes Reallocating 40 Percent of
Broadcasters stand to lose 40 percent of their spectrum under the FCC’s new
National Broadband Plan.