TV Fool  

Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Special Topics


Thread Tools
Old 22-Apr-2016, 2:27 AM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 60
FCC Auction of UHF how bad is this going to be?

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!
ZippyTheChicken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-Apr-2016, 4:39 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 381
I don't believe the entire UHF TV band is going to be converted to Cell Phone use. From what I read a few years ago, channels above 30 or 31 will be jettisoned for Cell Phone use. Channels 14 to 30 or 31 will be left intact for TV stations.

The smart move for TV stations that get forced out of their channel on UHF is to find one lower on the dial or to move to the VHF band. Since only a few stations broadcast on VHF these days the VHF TV band has a fair amount of space for new channels.

One thing is certain, the channels on VHF will likely have to petition the FCC to use higher power levels than currently allowed since they seem to have a shorter range (especially on VHF low) than the UHF signals.

I bought up several VHF antennas (2 through 13) over the last few years in anticipation of this. Now it is likely the TV antenna manufacturers will start building some new antennas that can get VHF Low again.
Billiam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-Apr-2016, 1:54 AM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 60
Originally Posted by Billiam View Post

One thing is certain, the channels on VHF will likely have to petition the FCC to use higher power levels than currently allowed since they seem to have a shorter range (especially on VHF low) than the UHF signals.

I bought up several VHF antennas (2 through 13) over the last few years in anticipation of this. Now it is likely the TV antenna manufacturers will start building some new antennas that can get VHF Low again.

This is my worry .. I am 55 miles out.. However I have a real 5 that is 35 miles away and I can't get it .. my report says 24db to my area and I have a Clearstream 4v with a ChannelMaster 7777 on it.. now given its a Clearstream 4v probably best for VHF 11 and up but I don't get that station and the Real 12 that I do get thats 55 miles away I get like 2bars on my TV while much weaker DB Rated stations to my area that are on Higher UHF channels I do get...

Real 12 to me is 15db in my report and I get 1-2bars

Real 46 is 1.1db to me and I will get 3 to 4 bars

i got that thing amped up real strong heh

anyway i hear with ATSC 3 they can jam more channels on the same bandwidth ..

but I also read that the FCC is asking VHF to actually lower their power output because its going to interfere with emergency and other signals

I am in the philly region Real 6 wpvi tried amping up their signal with special permission from the FCC and still people within the city limits couldn't pick it up...

Just recently i had been in a battle with someone saying VHF will broadcast farther.. i think they are confusing AM vs FM ... but in my experience VHF sucks and my thoughts on it are because the waveform is much longer which means a bigger chance for dropouts while UHF high would be best because its small waveform allows an antenna to catch missed signal on the next wave before the tuner has time to dropout... anyway

its all suck .. they should be doing away with cable and promoting ATSC 3.0 its a great value and good for our communities ...

even now i can pickup 50 stations and probably 40 are watchable english .. and maybe 30 are pretty good content .. I can't complain about that

I am on a budget now .. needing to not just wanting to cut the cord..

in my area its comcast or dish or a big antenna with a big amp or two amps..

my system will actually have 2 preamps and a distribution amp and be fed by a 8bay and my clearstream 4v.. still testing but that seems like what I have to do to get what I can here.
ZippyTheChicken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-Apr-2016, 4:06 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 381
I won't buy cable TV again. Aside from sports, there is nothing on there that I would watch. But being busy with work and life in general, I don't have time to spend hours a day in front of the TV. Get enough football on the main networks (though I miss the College Bowl games which all seem to be on cable stations) and enough NHL games to keep me happy.

If you can install a small to mid size outdoor antenna, there are still some options for getting VHF Lo channels. Still some Antennacraft antennas kicking around that are All Channel (2 to 51) and Channel Master makes some All Channel as well. Winegard only has one or two left and both are quite large. That along with a pre amp and you should be able to watch most of what you'd like including 5 and 6, with the right antenna.,
Billiam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 4-May-2016, 11:43 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Eastern Ohio
Posts: 101
They already took 700mhz for LTR cell sites

They will next take 600mhz so we will again loose the upper UHF channels

At some point OTA may cease to exist all due to greed and smart phones
WIRELESS ENGINEER is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-Jun-2016, 2:10 PM   #6
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 346
I think the F c c has given the cable and cellular network operations enough to them greedy company's ALL ready in stead OF giving they need to .make them cut their bills like 70/to 80,percent that they send their costomers and leave the tv channels out of their Greedy hands it's time for everyone to make some noise on this like the ham radio operator's did!!!Be For its to LATE!!!!!!You have MY VOTE!!! Let's make it happen if you call the F c c I will To everyone needs to Call be for its to LATE!!!!

Last edited by Nascarken; 27-Jun-2016 at 2:19 PM.
Nascarken is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-Jun-2016, 6:52 PM   #7
Antennas Direct Tech Supp
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2,942
You're barking up the wrong tree. It was too late FOUR YEARS AGO when the 112th CONGRESS passed (and the president signed) the law that directed the FCC to take the current action. Where do you think a big chunk of the funding for Obamacare was to come from?
Antennas Direct Tech Support

For support and recommendations regarding our products, please contact us directly at

Sorry, I'm not a mod and cannot assist with your site registration.
ADTech is offline   Reply With Quote


Go Back   TV Fool > Over The Air Services > Special Topics

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT. The time now is 2:38 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Copyright © TV Fool, LLC