19 December 2009

analog tv channel 6 used for radio

While reading about VHF on Wikipedia, I learned about a company called Pulse 87. This company broadcasts low-power analog television on channel 6, with the audio subcarrier appearing at 87.7 MHz. Low-power television is exempt from the digital tv switchover, so this analog broadcast works as a radio station at 87.7 MHz. This unusual radio station has a "hot dance airplay" format.

Pulse 87 currently operates WNYZ in New York City, while plans to operate stations in other cities (Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Chicago) have run into various problems preventing their launch.

Wikipedia also suggests that digital television in the channel 6 frequency (83.25-87.75 MHz) has had problems with interference, so it's possible that the FCC might release that part of the spectrum for radio broadcasting.

Digital radios intended for the North America market are often confined to the 88.1-107.9 MHz range, so as a rule, this station's target audience is limited to those who have radios without that limit (such as imported radios with a wider range for FM, or analog-tuned radios that have less precise FM broadcast band boundaries.


Paul said...

I've been covering this issue all year long over at RadioSurvivor:

It's unlikely the FCC will expand the FM dial into channel 6 territory. However, the Commission is examining eliminating the protections for channel 6 which restrict the far left end of the dial being used by noncommercial stations in a lot of markets.

As a side-line to this investigation, Chicago Public Radio is complaining about the LPTV channel 6 stations that are effectively functioning like radio stations:

carmen said...

yeah 87.7 here is quite good - best hiphop station on the dial.

the lack of statoins on frequency means nice distance - usually a stronger cochan in the immediate area is what kills reception in crowded areas.. not loss of the original station