All-Channel Receiver Act

The All-Channel Receiver Act of 1962 (ACRA) (47 U.S.C. § 303(s)), commonly known as the All-Channels Act, was passed by the United States Congress in 1961, to allow the Federal Communications Commission to require that all television set manufacturers must include UHF tuners, so that new UHF-band TV stations (then channels 14 to 83) could be received by the public. This was a problem at the time since the Big Three television networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) were well-established on VHF, while many local-only stations on UHF were struggling for survival.

The All-Channel Receiver Act provides that the Federal Communications Commission shall "have authority to require that apparatus designed to receive television pictures broadcast simultaneously with sound be capable of adequately receiving all frequencies allocated by the Commission to television broadcasting."[1] Under authority provided by the All Channel Receiver Act, the FCC adopted a number of technical standards to increase parity between the UHF and VHF television services, including a 14dB maximum UHF noise figure for television receivers.

All-Channel Receiver Act
Great Seal of the United States (obverse)
Long titleAn Act to amend the Communications Act of 1934 in order to give the Federal Communications Commission certain regulatory authority over television receiving apparatus.
Acronyms (colloquial)ACRA
NicknamesAll-Channels Act
Enacted bythe 87th United States Congress
Public lawPub.L. 87–529
Statutes at Large76 Stat. 150
Acts amendedCommunications Act of 1934
Titles amended47
U.S.C. sections created47 U.S.C. § 330
U.S.C. sections amended47 U.S.C. § 303
Legislative history


While the first U.S. commercially licensed UHF television stations signed on as early as 1952, the majority of the 165 UHF stations to begin telecasting between 1952 and 1959 did not survive. UHF local stations of the 1950s were limited by the range their signals could supposedly travel, the lack of UHF tuners in most TV sets and difficulties in finding advertisers and TV network affiliations. Of the 82 new UHF TV stations in the United States broadcasting as of June 1954, only 24 remained on the air a year later.[2]

Fourth-network operators such as the DuMont Television Network, forced to expand using UHF affiliates due to a lack of available VHF channels, were not viable and soon folded. The fraction of new TV receivers that were factory-equipped with all-channel tuners dropped from 20% in 1953 to 9.0% by 1958, a drop that was only partially compensated for by field upgrades or the availability of UHF converters for separate purchase. By 1961, with 83 commercial UHF stations still on-air, the number of new TVs capable of receiving UHF as well as VHF channels had fallen to a record low of 5.5%[3] with a small number of viable stations situated in localities where a lack of available VHF frequencies had forced early expansion onto UHF.

While public educational television was available from 105 US stations by 1965,[4] many of them in the already-crowded VHF spectrum, only 18 percent of the large number of UHF frequencies reserved for educational use in US cities were in active use. In areas where audiences had no UHF receivers, a station broadcasting above channel 13 was unlikely to survive.

Under the All-Channel Receiver Act, FCC regulations would ensure that all new TV sets sold in the U.S. after 1964 had built-in UHF tuners. By 1971, there would be more than 170 full-service UHF broadcast stations nationwide;[5] the number of UHF stations would grow further to accommodate new television networks such as the Public Broadcasting Service (1970), Fox (1986), Univision (1986) and Telemundo (1987).

UHF TV stations would ultimately outnumber their long-established VHF counterparts.

Digital television

The act has most recently been used in 2005-2007 (47 C.F.R. 15.115c and 47 C.F.R. 15.117b) to require TV manufacturers to include ATSC-T (terrestrial TV) tuners for digital television, in any TV set that includes an NTSC analog TV tuner. This requirement has been phased-in during the mid-2000s, starting with the largest TV sets. By early 2007, every device capable of receiving over-the-air TV (including VCRs) was forced to include an ATSC tuner. Millions of dollars in fines were imposed in 2008 by the Federal Communications Commission against vendors, including various name-brand retail chains such as Best Buy, Sears/Kmart and Walmart. Best Buy is disputing both the fines and the authority of the FCC to impose the penalties;[6] Circuit City and Sears also disputed the charges.

In late March 2008, the Community Broadcasters Association filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, seeking an injunction to halt the sale and distribution of DTV converter boxes,[7] charging that their failure to include analog tuners or analog passthrough violates the All-Channel Receiver Act.[8] Responding to CBA's actions, the FCC and NTIA urged manufacturers to include the feature voluntarily in all converter boxes, and manufacturers responded by releasing a new generation of models with the feature. In early May 2008, the D.C. district court denied the CBA petition without comment,[9] effectively telling the association that it had not exhausted all its efforts, and that there was not enough merit to take the case to the courts.

In July 2010, the FCC granted a waiver allowing Dell, LG, and Hauppauge to fail to include tuners for NTSC analog TV or standard ATSC digital TV in mobile television devices designed to receive ATSC-M/H signals. While all full-power stations have been forced to turn off their analog signals, and most low-power TV stations therefore have been forced to digital as the de facto standard, the vast majority of stations do not transmit a mobile-TV signal, which will leave viewers with these devices unable to receive most broadcasts. Because LPTV stations have already had their limited financial resources drained by having to buy and install new digital equipment, it is unlikely that any LPTV stations will be seen on mobile TV because of this waiver, which also applies to other companies.[10]

Broadcast radio

In the 1980s, this law was used to require that all AM receivers be able to pick up the new expanded band stations from 1610 to 1700 kilohertz. This requirement was enacted in advance of new stations being allotted in the 1990s.

It has been proposed in 2009 to require HD Radio receivers to be included in all satellite radio (SDARS) receivers, in response to the monopoly created by the XM/Sirius merger. All three use proprietary systems, and there have been no considerations to require the inclusion of open standards like FMeXtra, DRM+, DAB+ or DMB, which are compatible anywhere outside of the United States. A notice of inquiry (a predecessor to a full rulemaking proceeding) is before the FCC as docket 08-172. A bill had been submitted to the U.S. House as the Radio All Digital Channel Receiver Act[11][12] in 2008 but was not passed into law.[13]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Tulsa TV history thesis, Chapter 3 (KCEB)".
  3. ^ The FCC and the All-Channel Receiver Bill of 1962, LAWRENCE D. LONGLEY, JOURNAL OF BROADCASTING. Vol. XLII. NO. 3 (Summer 1969)
  4. ^ Archived March 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Stay Tuned: A History of American Broadcasting; pp 387-388; Christopher H. Sterling, John M. Kittross; Erlbaum 2002; ISBN 978-0-8058-2624-1
  6. ^ "Best Buy: FCC has no power to fine us over analog TVs". Ars Technica.
  7. ^ "Community Broadcasters Association". Archived from the original on 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2008-06-22.
  8. ^ Community Broadcasters Association petitions court to order DTV converter halt Archived December 4, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Broadcast – Production – NAB - Broadband – Satellite – Mobile –". Archived from the original on 2008-07-24.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "FCC may mandate HD Radio reception by satellite receivers".
  12. ^ "Rep. Markey launches bill for HD Radio mandate in all Satellite Radios".
  13. ^ H.R. 7157: Radio All Digital Channel Receiver Act, 110th Congress 2007-2008
1962 in television

For the American TV schedule, see: 1962–63 United States network television schedule.

The year 1962 involved some significant events in television. Below is a list of notable events of that year.

Analog passthrough

Analog passthrough is a feature found on some digital-to-analog television converter boxes. Boxes without analog passthrough only allow digital TV (ATSC standard) to be viewed on older, analog-only (NTSC standard) TVs. Those with analog passthrough allow both digital and analog television to be viewed on older TVs.

Before digital television, passthrough originally existed for VCRs (and later PVRs and DVDRs), allowing the TV antenna or cable TV signal to pass through the VCR (with a slight insertion loss) to the TV set automatically when the VCR was turned off, or manually with a button on the remote control. Passthrough was turned off when the RF modulator (typically on TV channel 3 or 4 in North America) was on, as this F connector was originally the only way to send the VCR output to older TVs, until unmodulated composite video and RCA connectors became common.

Big Three television networks

The Big Three television networks are the three major traditional commercial broadcast television networks in the United States: the American Broadcasting Company (ABC), CBS (formerly known as the Columbia Broadcasting System) and the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Until the 80's, the Big Three networks dominated U.S. television.

Community Broadcasters Association

The Community Broadcasters Association (CBA) was a trade organization representing low-power broadcasting interests, including LPTV and Class A television stations, in the United States of America. It ceased operations in 2009.


KFTV-DT, virtual channel 21 (UHF digital channel 20), is a Univision owned-and-operated television station serving Fresno, California, United States that is licensed to Hanford. The station is owned by the Univision Local Media subsidiary of Univision Communications, as part of a duopoly with Porterville-licensed UniMás owned-and-operated station KTFF-DT (channel 61). The two stations share studios on North Palm and West Herndon Avenues (using Univision Plaza as its street address) in northwestern Fresno; KFTV's transmitter is located on Blue Ridge in rural northwestern Tulare County.


KFXK-TV, virtual channel 51 (UHF digital channel 31), is a Fox-affiliated television station serving Tyler, Texas, United States that is licensed to Longview. Owned by White Knight Broadcasting, it is a sister station to Tyler-licensed low-power MyNetworkTV affiliate KTPN-LD (channel 48); Nexstar Media Group, which owns Jacksonville-licensed NBC affiliate KETK-TV (channel 56), operates KFXK and KTPN-LD under a shared services agreement. The three stations share studios on Richmond Road (near Texas Loop 323) in Tyler; KFXK's transmitter is located near FM 125 in rural northwestern Rusk County (northwest of New London).

Although KFXK operates a full-power signal, the broadcasting radius does not reach much of the southern part of the market. Therefore, it is relayed on low-power translator station KFXL-LD (channel 29) in Lufkin. This station's transmitter is located on SH 103 near Loop 287 northwest of Lufkin.


KLRN, virtual and VHF digital channel 9, is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to San Antonio, Texas, United States. The station is owned by the Alamo Public Telecommunications Council (formerly the Southwest Texas Public Broadcasting Council). KLRN's studios are located on Broadway Street in downtown San Antonio, and its transmitter is located on Foster Road (near Calaveras Lake) in the southeastern part of the city. On cable, the station is available on Charter Spectrum and Grande Communications channel 10, and AT&T U-verse channel 9.

KLRN also serves as the default PBS member station for the Laredo and Victoria markets, which do not have one of their own.


KMPX, virtual channel 29 (UHF digital channel 30), is an Estrella TV owned-and-operated television station licensed to Decatur, Texas, United States and serving the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex. The station is owned by Liberman Broadcasting. KMPX's offices are located on Gateway Drive in Irving, and its transmitter is located south of Belt Line Road in Cedar Hill.


KTVD, virtual channel 20 (UHF digital channel 19), is a MyNetworkTV-affiliated television station licensed to Denver, Colorado, United States. The station is owned by Tegna Inc., as part of a duopoly with NBC affiliate KUSA (channel 9). The two stations share studios on East Speer Boulevard in Denver's Speer neighborhood (to the immediate southeast of the studios shared by KWGN-TV (channel 2) and KDVR (channel 31)); KTVD's transmitter is located atop Lookout Mountain (near Golden). On cable, the station is available on Comcast Xfinity in standard definition on channel 5, and in high definition on digital channel 657. It is also carried on CenturyLink Prism channels 20 and 1020.

Set-top box

A set-top box (STB) or set-top unit (STU) (one type also colloquially known as a cable box) is an information appliance device that generally contains a TV-tuner input and displays output to a television set and an external source of signal, turning the source signal into content in a form that then be displayed on the television screen or other display device. They are used in cable television, satellite television, and over-the-air television systems, as well as other uses.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the cost to a cable provider for a set-top box is between $150 for a basic box to $250 for a more sophisticated box in the United States. In 2016, the average pay-TV subscriber paid $231 per year to lease their set-top box from a cable service provider.

Ultra high frequency

Ultra high frequency (UHF) is the ITU designation for radio frequencies in the range between 300 megahertz (MHz) and 3 gigahertz (GHz), also known as the decimetre band as the wavelengths range from one meter to one tenth of a meter (one decimeter). Radio waves with frequencies above the UHF band fall into the super-high frequency (SHF) or microwave frequency range. Lower frequency signals fall into the VHF (very high frequency) or lower bands. UHF radio waves propagate mainly by line of sight; they are blocked by hills and large buildings although the transmission through building walls is strong enough for indoor reception. They are used for television broadcasting, cell phones, satellite communication including GPS, personal radio services including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, walkie-talkies, cordless phones, and numerous other applications.

The IEEE defines the UHF radar band as frequencies between 300 MHz and 1 GHz. Two other IEEE radar bands overlap the ITU UHF band: the L band between 1 and 2 GHz and the S band between 2 and 4 GHz.


WAFF is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Huntsville, Alabama, United States and serving North Alabama's Tennessee Valley. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on virtual and UHF channel 48 from a transmitter located south of Monte Sano State Park. Owned by Gray Television, WAFF maintains studios on Memorial Parkway (U.S. Highway 431) in Huntsville.


WCHV is a news/talk-formatted broadcast radio station licensed to Charlottesville, Virginia, serving Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia. WCHV is owned and operated by Monticello Media.


WFXR, virtual channel 27 (UHF digital channel 17), is a Fox-affiliated television station licensed to Roanoke, Virginia, United States. The station is owned by the Nexstar Media Group, as part of a duopoly with Lynchburg-licensed CW affiliate WWCW (channel 21). The two stations share studios at the Valleypointe office park on Valleypoint Parkway in Hollins (near Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport); WFXR's transmitter is located on Poor Mountain in unincorporated southwestern Roanoke County.

Even though WFXR maintains a digital signal of its own, the signal's full-powered broadcasting radius does not cover much of the eastern portion of the Roanoke/Lynchburg market. Therefore, the station is simulcast in high definition over WWCW's second digital subchannel in order to reach the entire market. This signal can be seen on UHF channel 20.4 (or virtual channel 21.2 via PSIP) from a transmitter on Thaxton Mountain in unincorporated Bedford County.


WIPB, virtual channel 49 (UHF digital channel 23), is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to Muncie, Indiana, United States. The station is owned by Ball State University, and is a sister station to National Public Radio (NPR) member radio station WBST (92.1 FM). WIPB's studios are located at the E.F. Ball Communication Building on the university's campus on University Avenue in northwestern Muncie, and its transmitter is located on County Road 50 in rural southern Delaware County (south of Cowan). On cable, the station is available in standard definition on Comcast Xfinity channel 2 in Muncie and channel 19 in Indianapolis, and in high definition on digital channel 1023 in both cities.


WJZB-TV, UHF analog channel 14, was a television station located in Worcester, Massachusetts, United States. The station existed from 1953 to 1969.


WROV-TV, UHF Channel 27 in Roanoke, Virginia, was the second-oldest TV station in Roanoke (having signed on shortly after WSLS-TV). Established February 15, 1953, it left the air on July 13, 1953, becoming the first UHF television station in the United States to have ceased operations.


WSUN-TV, UHF analog channel 38, was a television station located in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States. Operating from 1953 to 1970, it was the first television station in the Tampa/St. Petersburg television market.

Digital television in North America
Satellite TV
Technical issues

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