[mythtv-users] ATSC 3.0 in SF Bay area?

Gary Buhrmaster gary.buhrmaster at gmail.com
Sun Jul 4 00:37:52 UTC 2021

On Sat, Jul 3, 2021 at 10:41 PM Douglas Peale <Douglas_Peale at comcast.net> wrote:

> This is in San Jose, this is with an antenna pointed at Sutro Tower (I have line of sight).

There is a low power station transmitting on
OTA TV RF channel 6 from Loma Prieta Peak,
owned by Venture Technologies Group
(FCC license KBKF) and had been primarily
used as a FM station due to an artifact that
TV channel 6 has abuts the low FM range
that can typically be tuned by FM radios
(and therefore was a lingering analogue
lower power TV station that had to convert to
digital by mid-July).  In order to keep their
FM station on the air, the company developed
a solution to broadcast ATSC 3.0 and their
analogue FM station.  It is currently operating
under a temporary special use permit for
transmitting both its analogue FM station
and digital ATSC 3.0 signal.

As you see, it currently has a test channel
being broadcast.  Since their goal appears
to primarily be to continue their FM broadcasts,
it is not clear what they will do in their next

There is still no word on when a ATSC 3.0
lighthouse (with real channels) will move
forward in the San Francisco/San Jose/Oakland
market, although it appears it may be a SFN
(Single Frequency Network) rollout (based
on some engineering work that is reportedly
being performed by PMG);  Given the region's
geography, a SFN makes some sense
(although implementation can get tricky).  If
you listen to the press releases, maybe
something later this year (although given the
processes and approvals, it could take longer,
a lot longer).

> There is another channel that both tuners receive, 38.1 which is flagged AVC by both tuners.

That channel is standard ATSC 1.0, and I actually
expect the current virtual channel is 38.2, "Skylink".
While the primary channel ATSC 1.0 encoding is
MPEG2 (per FCC standards), secondary channels
have some flexibility IRT encoding per later ATSC
1.0 updates, so AVC is being used.  Only more
recent TV sets can actually decode it, but it must
work well enough for that particular broadcasters

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