As Many Move to UHF, Alaska Station Does Reverse

By Andrew Gauthier 

Broadcasting & Cable

After full-power broadcasters ceased analog operations on June 12 and settled into their final digital TV (DTV) assignments, one of the early findings was that stations with VHF channel assignments were experiencing far more reception problems than their UHF counterparts.

Reception issues were particularly prevalent in Eastern cities like Philadelphia and New York, where the number of stations in close proximity meant that VHF stations had to curtail their power to avoid interference and were often left with signals unable to penetrate into apartment buildings for reception on small indoor antennas.

The FCC has since granted power increases to a number of VHF stations, and let others switch their digital assignments to available slots in the UHF band. Raycom Media, for example, has switched WLOX, its Biloxi, Miss. station, from VHF to UHF operation, and plans to do the same at its Jackson, Miss., station, WLBT, next month. And WCPO Cincinnati wants to move from its current VHF Ch. 10 assignment to UHF Ch. 22, even though the Scripps Television station has already received a power increase.

“We’re still finding areas where the digital signal is not acceptable and is not being received at all,” says Mike Doback, VP of engineering for Scripps.

But at least one station, KUAC Fairbanks, Alaska, decided to move in the other direction to solve its reception problems. More…