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FCC Continues Working On DTV-Related Reception Issues

The FCC continues to work through what it characterizes as a "limited number" of DTV-related reception issues.

That included proposing to grant relief to a network-owned station in one of the nation's largest markets--WLS-TV Chicago, which requested that it move from VHF channel 7 to UHF channel 44. The ABC station cited continuing reception problems, including the "urban canyon" effect in which tall buildings and walls in high-rises reduce reception.

The FCC concluded in an Aug. 12 notice of proposed rulemaking that the move is in the public interest and gave commenters a total of 25 days to weigh in.

The week before, the FCC proposed granting Grey Television's request that it move KKTV from VHF channel 10 in Colorado Springs to ch. 49 to boost its coverage by about a million people and eliminate interference it was experiencing.

The FCC continues to work with what it continues to characterize as a limited number of reception issues in a "mop-up" operation after the switch to digital on June 12, 2009.

Solutions include moving stations from VHF to UHF channel positions, boosting power, and in at least one case--KNMD Santa Fe--moving from one VHF channel position to another to gain viewers in mostly rural areas. WLS got FCC permission to boost power, but that was apparently not sufficient relief.

The FCC's willingness to boost power and move stations suggest to some tacit acknowledgement that the FCC lowballed the DTV power limits and is having to play catch-up. A commission spokesperson had no comment.

The FCC also issued a notice of proposed rulemaking last Friday (Aug. 14) on a request by WVUE New Orleans for a fix of its DTV reception problems.

The FCC has estimated it was working with two or three-dozen stations on reception issues. That is out of the nearly 1,800 stations that made the switch to all-digital.