DTV Update – KUSI Reverts to Virtual Channel 51

KNSD signed its analog channel 39 transmitter off June 26, the last of the full-power analog stations in San Diego to do so. KNSD had provided a nightlight service to viewers since the official June 12 cutoff date. In Los Angeles, KCBS channel 2 finally shutdown its nightlight service July 12.

Stations that turned off their analog transmitters reported no other major problems. KUSI now suffers the same co-channel interference on channel 18 from Los Angeles that XETV has put up with on 23, so North County viewers must be instructed to either improve their antenna systems for greater front-to-back ratios or revert to cable or satellite. KPBS shutdown channel 15 without incident.

Channel 69 analog fired up again, if temporarily. International Communications Network, the people who brought you K61GH, were kicked off 61 by a spectrum auction. They got relief on channel 9, but told the FCC their signal suffered greatly due to adjacent channel interference from incumbents KFMB 8 and KGTV 10. Going digital on 9 from Kearny Mesa didn’t help. So the FCC granted them an STA and K69JC callsign to operate from Mt. San Miguel until September 9 this year. ICN has filed for a permanent home at channel 50, and say they are awaiting spectrum coordination results from Mexico.

Over-the-air viewers of Mt. San Miguel DTV stations needed to rescan their tuners in order to continue watching KUSI or KDTF after Wednesday, June 18. KUSI changed its virtual channel number to match its physical channel 18 June 12 during the analog shutdown. But McKinnon Broadcasting VP of Engineering Richard Large said that he learned in discussions with Gordon Godfrey at the FCC that they must keep the analog channel 51 number as their VCT Main_Channel_Number, even after the analog transmitter is shutdown. The ATSC standard does state that the digital MCN must relate to the analog channel, and the FCC has reinforced the requirement to continue the identification through the DTV transition, presumably as an additional measure to keep viewer confusion to a minimum.

KUSI had changed the number in order to allow Entravision to use 51 as its virtual channel number after it obtained a special temporary authorization to operate KDTF on channel 51 as a low power DTV station. KDTF had been on channel 36 on Mt. San Miguel, but signed on Saturday, June 13 as a dual DTV outlet with Telefutura on its primary and KBNT on its secondary subchannel. KDTF is the first low power digital station in San Diego County. KDTF-LD has renumbered its virtual channel to 36 while remaining on physical channel 51.

XHDTV Channel 49 Tecate and XETV channel 6 Tijuana continue with their analog English language services from Mexico.  Low power English language UCSD-TV’s K35DG is still on from Mt. Soledad. KBOP-CA 43 beams informercials from Mt. San Miguel.