The other week i was talking with a guy who reminded me that the FCC Auction of UHF just started and TV Stations are applying to bid away their right to broadcast so the spectrum can be sold to Cellphone companies.
The last week i have been doing some research into it but the FCC is being very secretive about it.. they are not releasing names of companies that are selling their right to broadcast and they won't for 2 years after the auction completes i guess to hide who sold out OTA and put 10 million homes off of television.
What I am finding is
The auction has begun and broadcasters can sell their allocated transmission rights. If they do they are basically off the air unless they partner with another VHF low or high broadcaster to broadcast off of their signal allocation.
This means that if 2 stations are on the same channel only 2 HD signals can be broadcast because of bandwidth limitations.
Or they can drop the quality down to 480p and get up to 5 channels on the same physical channel. which kinda sucks but at least they are still on the air.
All UHF broadcasters will have the option to sell their rights BUT if they decide to not sell their rights there will be a reorganization of the remaining broadcasters into the VHF Spectrum. Not sure how they are going to force broadcasters with VHF space now to take in these UHF channels but its the government they will do it.
So now everything that was on UHF whether the broadcaster shutdown and went out of business.. or made a deal with a VHF broadcaster to jump on their physical channel will be wiped out..
No more UHF... the only limitations on this is small metropolitan markets where cellphone load is very light....
but most markets where the TV Signal originates are large and I get my broadcasts from large markets... Baltimore, Philly 50 miles from me but thats where I get signal from.... so those areas will be off the air in UHF because they need the bandwidth for Cellphones..
Maybe in some rare area where the broadcast towers are not in a large metropolitan area where Cellphone Service wants the bandwidth a few stations may be left on UHF.. but its unlikely because if those TV broadcasters interfere with fringe cellphone service from another market it will be moved to VHF too.
Ok ... SO.. basically the auction started last week or so.. and the finalized date is 36 months out and that is when UHF will be shutdown.
now VHF will have another limitation on it... the signal strength will be reduced to limit its effect on cellphone and other services...
Its not bad enough that even a strongish VHF signal is difficult to pickup if you are 50 miles out .. they are also reducing signal strength so VHF will only be available in the local market... meaning the Philly market will no longer be available to fringe or distant viewers.
WPVI real 6 in philly is said to not even be watchable in parts of the city limits of philly.. let alone any distance out from the city.
I have expressed my astonishment about this to a few people and they keep saying ... you are making too much of this.. but if you live in a metropolitan area maybe your availability just went from 50 stations to 25 stations.. but if you live in a fringe area and like me you can't pickup real 5 that is only 35 miles away even with a VHF Dipole and a 7777 preamp
and I have the following real 2 4 5 6 11 and 12 and from all of those that are all 50 miles away except 5 that is 35 miles away I can only pickup real 12 and only get 1 or 2 bars and I can only pick up real 11 if i am extremely lucky and then the signal is flakey...
I only have a clearstream 4v for vhf .. I also have an 8bay for uhf but I didn't expect to need VHF since i was able to pull in about 50 UHF stations and that would be more than enough to keep me happy.. just to put on the tv and watch something.. more than enough for me....
So people say .. VHF is better at fringe than UHF..
I ask really?
I mean between you guys and the canadians.. and the few that hang on Reddit.. REALLY?
I haven't attempted it but a 100 inch antenna mounted on a 50 foot tower instead of my 8bay in my attic giving me 5+bars on 50 UHF channels doesn't seem like VHF is easier or better... mostly easier.
Where I live I consistently get winds over 40mph in the winter.. add ice to that and the fact that my exact home gets much stronger wind because of geographic features then a 100inch antenna does not have the same life or hope on my single story roof as a 8bay nestled nicely in my comfy attic..
I mean i can just see that going down quick or needing constant adjustment and the reason I am cutting the cord is because of my age and retirement and need to reduce my budget expenses...
I just spent $225+ on equipment the 4v an 8bay a channelmaster 7777 and a RCA 22db amp and a spool of coax
I thought I was so ready.. I thought wow no problem .. I can watch the news or record it.. I can watch at least half a dozen shows on OTA that i like and I can watch some sports on the weekend and record what i don't watch and watch that during the week... supplement this with radio and a bit of youtube or hulu as long as I am under my 300gig cap because I can't afford another $30 on top of $50 to remove the caps... and I would be good to go
Man i am so ticked off .. so seriously ticked off
there is some talk to offer basic cable OTA packs to people that are effected but it will only be for really low income people.. actually who knows i may end up one of them but I expect the way the cable companies are with fees that the rebroadcast and regional sports fees that are $10 or something will not be eliminated and I am still going to end up paying a monthly charge for TV service of $30 or something..
totally not cool
anyone want to shed some light on this...
I am correct right? a CS5 only does 7 and up and its still not as great as a 100inch mounted on a tower which is what i would need..
there are no VHF Low and High antennas that can get you 12 to 16 db gain within your attic .. and I have a truss attic with 2x4s that cross through the center of the attic space .. so there is no chance of pointing it exactly or rotating it in that attic I might get lucky but probably not like i would pointing a CS4v or an 8bay.
really disgusted here
and no one seems to be talking about it.. this is going to be bigger than digital transition for millions of people...
10.2 million people get OTA as their ONLY source of tv .. many millions more stream and use OTA for live news and sports and tv shows...
our fricken president and the fcc .. totally bought by comcast which is one of the bandwith buyers.. why they are buying i have no idea.. but the buyers that have been released are Comcast.. Verizon and TMobile at this point.
and also Comcast has said they will be selling their NBC rights for OTA so no more NBC ota.
so what have you guys heard..
everything above is either from the FCC site or direct releases from Comcast NBC on them selling and also buying .. so its true.. sad isn't even beginning to define it...
I totally thought I would be saving $1000 to $1200 a year in my retirement and be able to cover some of my heating and electric bills .. AHHHHH!