FCC Report Flags TV Interference Problems

Eighty-four percent of consumer complaints to the FCC were related to DTV issues, according to report on consumer inquiries complaints for the second quarter of 2008 released last week.

The total number of radio and television inquiries decreased by 63 percent, as compared to the first quarter of 2008, whole the number of radio and television broadcasting complaints fell even more, from 122,104 in the first quarter to 30,317 in the second quarter. Indecency and obscenity complaints comprised over 82 percent of the complaints.

Looking at the detailed tables in the report, I noticed that interference inquiries were third in line, after DTV and broadcast programming issues, accounting for 960 inquiries.

On the complaint side, DTV issues (with 282 complaints) ranked fourth, behind two programming categories (indecency/obscenity and general criticism) and “other programming issues.” Under the “Cable & Satellite Services” heading, there were an additional 609 off-air reception device issues, third behind DTV issues and billing and rates issues.

While the report does not break out the nature of the interference or reception issues, among the many comments and inquiries I've received, interference to reception of distant TV stations from nearby Low-Power or full power TV stations on the same channel or adjacent channels is quite common. It will be interesting to see how compressing most DTV stations into Channels 7-51 and the rollout of TV white space devices will impact FCC inquiries and complaints.

Read all of RF Reporthere.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.