Television and Satellite Frequency Reference

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Digital Television

  • Digital television is not necessarily High Definition.
  • Most modern Digital OTA is on the UHF band, however there are also VHF Digital channels
  • Channel numbers as your digital television references them are virtual and have no actual national frequency assignment numbering standard, they are simply within the FCC allocated UHF or VHF range. The FCC required that a "reference" to their old legacy analog channel be embedded so viewers would not have to memorize a whole new set of channel numbers. The TV might identify a digital station as being in the VHF range when it's actually in the UHF range.

Broadcast frequencies are broken up into the following categories:

  • VHF (Very High Frequency): 54 Mhz – 216 Mhz, Channels 2 – 13
  • UHF (Ultra High Frequency): 470 Mhz – 698 Mhz, Channels 14 – 69

698 Mhz – 806 Mhz: Formerly used for television and will now be freed up for future 4G services like W-Max. Pay satellite services, cell phone providers and other such companies use these frequencies.

VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency). VHF channels are further broken down by "low-band" VHF (channels 2-6) and "high-band" VHF (channels 7-13). UHF channels are 14-69. VHF requires a larger antenna than UHF.

DirecTV and Dish Network Satellite

The Broadcast Satellite sub-band of the Ku-band is commonly called the DBS band. The DBS band is reserved for high powered satellites intended for the delivery of digital television. DIRECTV and DISH Network are DBS Satellite system providers. DBS Satellites are spaced 9 degrees apart. The wide spacing of DBS satellites allow for very high powered transmissions which results in the ability to use a small 18" dish.

  • Direct Broadcast Satellite - DBS 12.2 - 12.7 GHz

DirecTV uses Ku-Band and Ka-Band. Ku band is the frequency range from 12 to 18 GHz. DirecTV uses Ka-Band frequency ranges from 27 GHz to 40 GHz. Ka-band is used by Wildblue and DIRECTV. Wildblue uses Ka-band for delivering of satellite broadband and DIRECTV uses Ka-band to supplement their existing Ku band channel capacity.