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DTV V's Seeking UHF Slots

As you may have noticed, I discontinued the biweekly "DTV Station Status" section of RF Report. I'm still creating the TV engineering database spreadsheets and uploading them to although on a less regular basis.

In reviewing the spreadsheet from the July 22, 2009 FCC database. I discovered some interesting items.

First, most of the full power analog TV entries have been removed from the database. The remaining entries appear to be limited to analog night light stations.

Second, five more stations have applied for channel changes during the month of July.

Notably, Boston's WHDH-TV has filed an application to change its DTV operations to Ch. 42 from Ch. 7. WEDY in New Haven filed to move from Ch. 6 to Ch. 41. And WLOX in Biloxi wants to jump from Ch. 13 to Ch. 39.

In the Dallas-Fort Worth market, CBS-owned KTVT has had major problems with its DTV operations on Ch. 11. In an STA filing, the station noted that since commencement of DTV operations on Ch. 11 in June, it had received "several thousand" phone calls and e-mail messages from would-be viewers who were having trouble in capturing the station's DTV broadcasts. The filing said that the majority of reception problems were being experienced by viewers using rabbit ear antennas or other indoor antennas, and also by those living more than 15 miles from the station's transmitter site.

"In addition to the thousands of complaints the station has received, the difficulties that Dallas-Fort Worth area residents are having in receiving KTVT's signal is dramatically shown by a precipitous decline in the station's ratings among over-the-air viewers in the period immediately following the DTV transition," the filing continued. "A comparison of the station's prime time Nielsen ratings (P25-54) during the weeks of June 1, 2009 and June 22, 2009 shows that there was a massive decline in the station's over-the-air audience, while ratings among cable viewers remained stable."

According to the numbers, KTVT's 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. off-air audience ratings fell by 57 percent. It noted that cable ratings dropped by only 2 percent.

The station is proposing moving to its post-transition Ch. 19 slot, which was assigned to its sister station, KTXA. and that KTXA eventually move to channel 29. KTXA would then move to Ch. 18 on a temporary basis.

For a complete listing of all current full power, low power, translator, distributed transmission system TV stations in the FCC's TV Engineering Database, download the file from

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.