FCC to conduct “a more thorough examination” of reception issues

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Broadcast and Cable is reporting that the FCC is likely to send out engineers to do “a more thorough examination” of digital signal reception issues in top market areas.

New York and Chicago were among the specific markets mentioned in the article.

In a number of big city markets, stations moving from temporary UHF DTV channel assignments to permanent VHF channels were having trouble reaching some downtown viewers.

There are certainly exponentially more devices operating in the RF environment than when the FCC began planning for the DTV switch almost two decades ago. But engineers note that the overall noise environment should actually be lower than before the switch since high-powered stations are no longer broadcasting two signals.

Commentary: The low power assumptions that were originally made with some of the VHF broadcast stations were obviously miscalculated. All full-power stations have shut off analog signals including the remaining nightlight stations (The FCC has unexpectedly removed the list of nightlighters. If anyone has a copy, please PM me).

If the overall noise environment has decreased as engineers have suggested, then why are VHF reception issues prevalent in top market/non fringe areas?

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