Column Descriptions for the FCC DTV Channel Plan - FCC97-115

The following list of column descriptions may be used with the tables I've made available in the 6TH R &O DTV Channel Plan page. See the caution below. The material that is enclosed in quotes is quoted word for word from the FCC's Sixth Further Notice Of Proposed Rule Making - Advanced Television Systems and Their Impact upon the Existing Television Broadcast Service, Mass Media Docket No. 87-268, (FCC 96-317).

NOTICE: I just received the 6th Report and Order and have not had a chance to review it for any changes in the table methodology. Therefore, be aware these descriptions are based on the 6th NPRM and may not be appropriate here! I will update this guide shortly, but did not want to delay making the table available.

  1. City & State - City and state of license. Note that many stations are licensed to suburban communities and these cities, rather than the major market name, are used here.
  2. NTSC Ch. - Current NTSC Channel
  3. DTV Ch. - Proposed DTV channel allocation for the station
  4. DTV Power (kW.) - "The tabulated value of effective radiated power (ERP) for DTV operation was calculated to replicate NTSC coverage. It is the maximum, over a set of uniformly spaced compass directions, of the ERP values required to extend noise-limited DTV coverage as far as the grade B contour of the NTSC station."
  5. Antenna Height (meters) - The "height of the transmitting antenna above average terrain as found in the engineering data base for the particular station. This value represents the height above terrain of the radiation center of the station being replicated, averaged from 3.2 to 16.1 kilometers (2 to 10 miles) over 8 evenly spaced radials. In a few cases, the value found in the engineering data base is unrealistically low or negative, and the height above ground or other reasonable value has been substituted."
  6. DTV Service Area (sq. km.) - The "service area is the area where the desired signal is above the DTV noise threshold less the area where service receives interference from other DTV or NTSC stations."
  7. DTV People Served (1000's) - The "number of people served is the population receiving an adequate signal relative to noise excluding people in areas with interference."
  8. Existing NTSC Service Area (sq. km.) - "The areas tabulated under the subheading ... are net values calculated by subtracting areas receiving interference from the area inside each station's grade B contour. Here the only interference under consideration is that from other NTSC stations actually on the air."
  9. Existing NTSC People Served (1000's) - The "number of people currently served is the population inside the grade B contour less the number of people in interference areas."
  10. Interference Area (% of Noise Limited Area) - "The effects of introducing DTV, evaluated as percentages of the reference conditions... Interference issues are discussed in the Further Notice at paragraphs 33, 40-41." "The NTSC-to-NTSC ratios used for interference evaluation were determined by FCC staff observers at the Advanced TV Test Center during the tests of digital systems. All values are threshold-of-visibility (TOV) observations, except the co-channel value of 28 dB which is the precise offset value corresponding to impairment rating 3 according to the Advanced TV Evaluation Laboratory in Canada. No observations were made for channel differences of -5, -4 and +5, and no calculations were made for these taboos when evaluating NTSC-to-NTSC interference. "
  11. Interference Population (% of Noise Limited Population Coverage) - Same criteria as used for calculated the interference area, above.
  12. DTV / NTSC Service Match - The "degree to which the allotment table has succeeded in providing each NTSC station with a DTV channel for replication of service during the transition. The area which will receive DTV service is divided by the area now served by the NTSC channel, and the result is presented as a percentage."

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Created April 21, 1997 by Doug Lung
Copyright © 1997 H. Douglas Lung