Question: Can ATSC signal be made to reveal broadcast call sign?


I work with a translator district in Montana as a volunteer. We've upgraded 6 signals to ATSC and all has worked well. However, our viewer often call to say that "9" is out. I ask "do you get more than one "9"? When they say yes, I ask do they know which one is our signal and which from the OEM over the other way? They don't know and, as far as I can tell, there aren't many boxes/sets that show the actual broadcast channel though a few rare ones do. Is this the problem of set and box makers not decoding out that one bit of code? This seems like a really strange problem for a totally withit new signal standard.


Staff member
It's a matter of the converter box and TV manufactures being lazy. My Digital Stream DTX9950 will tell the real channel that a signal is being broadcast on (you have to know where to look to find it), but most receivers I have experience with don't. Also, how a receiver handles multiple streams of the same channel differs by manufacture. Some will show multiples of the same virtual channel. Others will log the first found as that virtual channel and the second as the real channel. In my area KOAA has a full power transmitter and a low power translator (left over from the analog era) co-located on Cheyenne Mountain. On my HDTVs, the translator, which is on channel 30, maps as channel 5-X (the legacy channel), while the main transmitter on RF42 maps as 42-X.


Moderator of DTV Latino
In my case have two set top boxes and an television with digital turner , the don't show up the virtual channel number and just enumerate as 1, 2, 3, etcetera, the other box show up the virtual channel number and our television does too,

My descent converter box shows the canal13 as 13.1 and 13.2 and the real frequency is channel 24 on my first converter box just is on the channel 1 the canal 13 HD and in the channel 2 the canal 13 cable edition, and we are using other system of dtv and just get the signal from a transmitter and not from a gap filler.

Question to the member that started the question, ATSC can also broadcast radio signals over a television signal or mux?

Looks like the supremacy is clearly for ATSC and we just got a mediocre system called ISDB version brazilian which isn't deployed fully and the products that have for decode the signal just are as mediocre as the system.

Sent from my LG-P500h using Tapatalk


Moderator, , , Webmaster of: Rabbit Ears
Staff member

To answer your original question, it is unlikely that the call sign is even found in the stream to extract in the first place. In most cases, translators simply receive the local signal, change the channel on it, and retransmit, while making no changes to the actual content of the local signal. This, of course, is why your KPAX translator continues to map to 8-1, among other characteristics.

The only way to have an idea of what signal the viewer is looking at is to find the RF channel number, and the ability to do this varies from device to device.

- Trip


Moderator of DTV Latino
there in the United States yours works in MFN (multiple frequency network) or SFN (single frequency network).

the first picture maybe represent what is happening to the viewers in the service area where are providing broadcast service

if see the canal 13 HD is located according with this converter box in the channel 1

and in the high quality converter boxes and etc is shown like this



well what is the call sign' is the channel name?

best regards


Hi Cy

Do9 & d18 have droped from my tv channels after working for a couple months. The other channels are ok. The tv channel search can't find them. I'm located at north end of swan lake

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member
Guest Hi Cy,

Would that be Swan Lake in British Columbia, Montana, Maine, Minnesota or Missouri?

I suspect you can answer the question yourself by using the tool developed by one of our Forum Moderators, Trip: RabbitEars.Info


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