HD Callsigns

Paul Hopfgarten paul@derrynh.net
Wed Nov 21 19:13:32 EST 2007

Let's be honest here, the VAST majority doesn't really care WHAT your FCC ID
is, and as long as my sports talk is on 850, 103.7, 1440 or 105.5 (PS: How
many people in So NH tune to JYY looking for Sports Talk?) and they don't
know (or care) if it's HD, LD or LDS (latter Day Saints) for that matter...

Sid should get Nassau to put JYY on 102.3 and use 105.5 for the //WEEI
simulcast when they turn on the NH Simulcasts in January!

-Paul Hopfgarten
-Derry NH

-----Original Message-----
From: boston-radio-interest-bounces@tsornin.BostonRadio.org
[mailto:boston-radio-interest-bounces@tsornin.BostonRadio.org] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2007 12:01 PM
To: Scott Fybush; Sid Schweiger
Cc: 'B-R-I'
Subject: Re: HD Callsigns

Well, OK. I won't use the term call-sign in this context. But how does
it reduce confusion to use both identifiers, and to thereby suggest to
the vast majority of the audience--who are, in fact, listening to the
analog transmission--that they are listening to a digital

Since the digital stream can contain info that the receiver can
display, wouldn't the requirement of the rule be met by transmitting
the identifier of the digital stream so that it would be displayed on
HD receivers but would not be audible to listeners to the analog
transmission (or the digital stream)? Or do I still not understand?

Dan Strassberg (dan.strassberg@att.net)
eFax 1-707-215-6367

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Scott Fybush" <scott@fybush.com>
To: "Sid Schweiger" <sid@wrko.com>
Cc: "'B-R-I'" <boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org>
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2007 11:22 AM
Subject: Re: HD Callsigns

>I disagree, and rather strongly at that, with Dan's assertion that
>"WBZ-HD" or "WVEI-FM-HD1" constitutes a "callsign" within the meaning
>of 73.1201.
> Fact is, I see nothing ANYWHERE in 47CFR73, or in the FCC's own
> databases, for that matter, that codifies the "WXXX-HD" naming
> convention that the industry has chosen to employ, and the most
> current wording of 73.1201(b)(1) certainly doesn't mandate it,
> either:
> "A radio station operating in DAB hybrid mode or extended hybrid
> mode shall identify its digital signal, including any free multicast
> audio programming streams, in a manner that appropriately alerts its
> audience to the fact that it is listening to a digital audio
> broadcast."
> Perhaps one of the lawyers on the list could tell me why it would be
> a violation of the letter of 1201(b)(1) to identify thusly:
> "850 WEEI Boston, 1440 WVEI Worcester, 103.7 WEEI-FM Westerly, and
> 105.5 WVEI-FM Easthampton, now broadcasting in HD Digital radio."
> In summary: my contention is that "WVEI-FM-HD1" is simply an
> identifier ("in a manner that appropriately alerts its audience...")
> for one of the digital audio streams of the station whose callsign
> remains simply "WVEI-FM," and that the "WVEI-FM Easthampton" legal
> ID, with the "permissible insertion" of the digital broadcast
> identifier, is perfectly adequate and legal.
> Similarly, it's my understanding, from seeing the way the FCC
> handles such matters internally, that the digital TV signal now
> operating on channel 30 in Boston is actually part of the license
> whose facility ID is 25456 and whose callsign is "WBZ-TV," and that
> such license also includes (until 2/17/09) authority to operate in
> the analog mode on channel 4, and therefore that any identification
> as "WBZ-DT" is simply a means of alerting the audience that it's
> viewing a digital broadcast, and not a legal station identification
> under a strict interpretation of 73.1201. I suspect this piece of
> the rules will be massively misinterpreted come 2/17/09; I'm already
> seeing some signals that have gone digital-only identifying
> exclusively as "WXXX-DT Wherever," which is not at all what it says
> on their licenses.
> Personal opinion: I don't think the latest revisions to 73.1201 were
> handled well at all. There's far too much confusion right now about
> what is and is not a legal callsign, particularly in light of the
> fact that the FCC really doesn't care that much about calls anyway,
> having gone to internal identification by unchanging facility
> numbers. The "appropriately alerts its audience" language is
> painfully vague, leading to massive amounts of, IMHO, on-air clutter
> that's neither in the letter nor the spirit of the rule.
> IANAL, etc...
> s

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