Here comes the UHF Channel "Repack" for OTA - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #1 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
 
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Exclamation Here comes the UHF Channel "Repack" for OTA

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/next...iers-1.2877676

See the "Lots of new spectrum" section.

- Trip

RabbitEars.Info
Comments are my own and not that of my employer (the FCC) or anyone else.
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post #2 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 01:23 PM
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Exclamation

Thanks for pointing that out, Trip. Yep, here comes the UHF station "Repack" for OTA:
Quote:
Canada will work with the U.S. to relocate over-the-air television to free up the low-frequency 600 MHz spectrum for wireless.
That's channel 35 and up being reassigned: OTA FAQ & Knowledge Base

This could also mean redeployment in North America of VHF-LO for OTA, for better or for worse. Time will tell.
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post #3 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 01:23 PM
 
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Does that mean everything down to and including the 600 MHz spectrum? Or will there be a "gap" like there is between the VHF Lo and Hi? Are OTA carriers just going to lose any channels? It appears that channel 51 is available to OTA at 698 MHz, which is mighty close to the 700 cellular spectrum. Perhaps 600 slots in neatly between channels 34 and 35?

Last edited by keithr386; 2014-12-19 at 01:50 PM.
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post #4 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 01:25 PM
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keithr386 see the table of frequencies in my post - I posted just as you were posting. The way they did the last repack is almost surely how they will do the next one: no gaps, no exceptions.
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post #5 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 01:53 PM
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This is already being done in the US on a "voluntary" basis with financial compensation. Another move is to allow wireless broadband use for unused local frequencies. Some US TV stations have moved to lower frequencies or survive as subchannels on another channel's frequency. The long term plan is to reassign all UHF frequencies for mobile broadband use. Outside of the GTA and a couple of other large border cities, OTA is all but dead in Canada anyway since dozens of stations have been shut down by the major networks. All that remains is for the government to drive home the stake by forcing another costly transition. Given the public pressure for mobile services, the huge profits to be made from such services and the pro-business stance of most governments, it won't take long.
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post #6 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 02:38 PM
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.... well,... I was eventually going to need a new antenna anyway
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post #7 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 02:55 PM
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But do you want a VHF-lo monster to get bad reception on an underpowered VHF-lo station? Many stations just moved from VHF to UHF because VHF-lo performance was so bad. Now, the FCC and IC want to force them back there. VHF-lo is especially bad in close urban environments due to RF noise and the way it easily propagates over long distances. That was very evident around here when we had distant VHF-lo stations on cable. Can you imagine what will happen when the 50 or so TV stations in and around Detroit are forced onto 12 VHF frequencies?
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post #8 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 04:50 PM
 
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What about the spectrum between channel 13 (216MHz) and let's say, 400 Mhz. I know there's (there was) military activity, some ham and civil aviation activity throughout but do they really require the almost 200 full mégahertz of spectrum???

Propagation isn't bad at all in that area and our dear bay antennas would take us through the transition. And also what's the arm in a tiny weeny converter box :-) ???

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post #9 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 07:08 PM
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I wonder if this will prompt the industry to move to mpeg 4 compression over ATSC?

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post #10 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 08:33 PM
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And H.265 (aka HEVC) is ABOUT TWICE AGAIN as Efficient as H.264 (aka MPEG4)...and a LOT more with bit starved data streams:
http://infoscience.epfl.ch/record/20...ubmited-v2.pdf [HEVC vs H.264 AVC vs VC9]
http://iphome.hhi.de/wiegand/assets/...erformance.pdf
http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articl...%29-87765.aspx

BTW: No need to panic and re-Optimize all of the DIY Antenna Designs...at least not yet....it will take 5-10 years to clear out ALL of the stations between Ch38 and Ch51. And ALL that is happening NOW is a PROPOSAL to ALLOW some stations to VOLUNTEER to get Rich...Quick....let me makes you an offer youze can't refuse....

Antenna Simulations, Overload Calculations, etc: http://imageevent.com/holl_ands
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post #11 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 10:44 PM
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That's a good point about H.265, holl_ands, and I get irate over some unfairness I perceive about it from the FCC and the big mobile telcos: while new modulations are being devised that improve on OTA spectrum use, the big mobile communications companies still waste tons of spectrum servicing really old, really clunky technologies. They wouldn't need nearly so much spectrum if they would clean up their own act and force people off of legacy systems, but no... that would cost them money to replace all those handsets...

The OTA broadcasters are being coerced into repacking the spectrum, yet the big mobile communications companies routinely buy up chunks of spectrum simply to lock out geographical competitors, not to provide newer or more efficient services. The entire mobile spectrum needs to be repacked too.

As for VHF-LO, ExDilbert, I was only speculating idly about that but again with newer modulations I would hope that many/most/all of the OTA propagation problems in that band might be addressed with better error correction.
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post #12 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 10:46 PM
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If the industry wants to move to H.264 or H.265, the relevant organizations need to start mandating its inclusion in new TV sets very soon. Sets sold today could easily last 10 years. (I have a couple of LCD sets that are now about 10 years old and have no ATSC tuner.) 5-10 years is a short timeline in technological terms. 10 years ago there were only a few ATSC stations in the US, mainly in larger cities, and none in Canada. The NTSC standard dominated for about 70 years.

I agree that this will have little impact on antenna design. It will allow for better optimization and existing designs will continue to work just fine. I can't wait to see the new crop of antennas optimized for H.265 that we will see on eBay.
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post #13 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-19, 11:11 PM
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According to this report, if IC chooses the maximum repack option, everything above Channel 26 will have to move: http://blog.fagstein.com/2014/12/19/...ctrum-in-half/
The report also says IC wants to issue a moratorium ASAP on new OTA stations as it waits to find out what's happening.
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post #14 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-20, 10:47 AM
 
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Shouldn't there also be a moratorium on the issuing of new cell phones .. only while we wait to find out what is happening with the spectrum of course? It seems so inconsistent. Captive regulators anyone?
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post #15 of 113 (permalink) Old 2014-12-20, 11:01 AM
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IC should be taken to task for their shortsighted implementation of the digital transition. It's only been 3 years since it happened and there was already talk of clawing back more UHF spectrum in the US when it took place. There are 6 free allocations here on lower frequencies yet they allowed stations to operate on 48 and 51.

The moratorium should only be issues for new stations above channel 26. If a station wants a lower frequency it should be granted, with the caveat that existing stations be allowed to intervene in order to claim a lower frequency for immediate use.

Quote:
Shouldn't there also be a moratorium on the issuing of new cell phones
That makes no sense. It's like saying we should stop selling TVs. IC has already placed conditions on the sale and allocation of new wireless communications frequencies, the equivalent of placing conditions on the creation of new TV stations.
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