How Valuable is Low-Band VHF Anymore? asks: How Valuable is Low-Band VHF Anymore?

Writer Bill Hayes recently fielded some questions from a colleague regarding the upcoming spectrum auction. The colleague observed that it appeared that the FCC was clearing the way for UHF stations that wanted to participate in the auction but still stay on the air to move to low-band VHF. He wanted to know what my feelings were on moving to low-band VHF and wondered if stations would really move there.

The decision on low-band VHF is really a business decision. I am a huge fan of over-the-air broadcasting and have that capability in my home. I travel with a USB tuner stick that lets me look at DTV services when I am on the road. But even I recognize that the majority of people that watch OTA broadcasts do it via a subscription-based service; thus they are not receiving the over-the-air services but a redistribution of which, in many instances, is provided via a direct feed from the stations’ studio rather than receiving the over-the-air signal.


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