The other thing that I think should be looked at when ATSC 3.0 gets the green light is the 6mhz assigned to each channel.
It's no secret that the FCC wants to do a re-pack, and sell off the upper end of the UHF spectrum. I have read a few articles about some tests concerning the sharing of a 6mhz block by two stations. That would give them each 3mhz.
From the article I read concerning the station in Cleveland running on a ATSC 3.0 test, with a 6mhz block, they manage to get about 26Mbs. And 15.7Mbs was assigned to the 4K stream.
Now simple math, divide that 26Mbs by two for sharing the 6mhz block and you get 13MBs per 3mhz. Now I'm no expert on this, and simply trying to understand this possible future ATSC 3.0 and sharing of the 6mhz block, tells me that 4K would have a problem being used. Or a station would be stuck only offering a 4K, and no sub-channels. Worse yet, a station assigned to sharing is stuck when its main network feed starts to get offered in 4K, and the station can't provide the 4K because of contracts it has to offer other HD channels on it's 3mhz.
Now this is just pure speculation on my part, and simply trying to point out that a re-think of the 6mhz assignment block may be in need. Lets say for the sake of arguement that the sell off happens, and we end up with Channels 2 - 36 (6mhz blocks) for TV. We would end up loosing 38-51. This totals 14 possible channels lost. And as I pointed out, sharing 6mhz blocks by two stations, would effect any possible use of 4K. And if there is no sharing, and each station gets a 6mhz block, then there is a limit to competition from smaller stations. No room for them in some markets. Or placing stations too close to each other, and thus effecting reception.
But, what if we end up dividing the blocks into 5mhz with ATSC 3.0. Just a very rough calculation on my part gave me TV channel assignment 2-41 (5mhz), using the same space of channels 2-36 (6mhz).
If ATSC 3.0 can get us 26Mbs at 6mhz, then we should be able to get 21.6Mbs with 5mhz blocks. This would still allow stations the ability to offer 4K if the network they are with goes that route. But, also room for a HD sub-channel. The increase in the number of channels available for license would increase as well. Leaving smaller stations (by that I mean stations not affiliated to the major networks), to stay on the air. I do believe some consolidation will occur with a re-pack, but not as severe if the assignment blocks are at 5mhz each.
Lets also look at it another way. If we remain with 6mhz blocks with ATSC 3.0, and a station can run a possible 5 HD_1080p streams, then just a single station can offer all the major US networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, CW). Now what happens in a market that now has three stations offering all those networks. Do the other two sign off. Shutdown? What happens to the local news those stations offered in their market. No longer available? But one station affiliated to the 5 main networks, offers only one local point of view news. Is this healthy for any market? Assigning a smaller block of 5mhz would put a limit on one station offering all the networks. Some will have to sign up with another local station. Thus keeping another local news source available.
Now everything I wrote here is speculation. But, something that might need to be considered with ATSC 3.0, and a possible re-pack of the TV frequency.
Remember, the 6mhz assignment per block was based on analog needs. Does it still need to be that if we are going to have to change the system once again when ATSC 3.0 kicks in.
Channel Master CM4228HD, CM3414, DVR+, Sharp AQUOS