Band I

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Band I is a range of radio frequencies within the very high frequency (VHF) part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The first time there was defined "for simplicity" in Annex 1 of "Final acts of the European Broadcasting Conference in the VHF and UHF bands - Stockholm, 1961" [1] . Band I ranges from 47 to 68 MHz for the European Broadcasting Area, [2] and from 54 to 88 MHz for the Americas [3] and it is primarily used for television broadcasting in line to ITU Radio Regulations (article 1.38). Channel spacings vary from country to country, with spacings of 6, 7 and 8 MHz being common.

Radio frequency (RF) is the oscillation rate of an alternating electric current or voltage or of a magnetic, electric or electromagnetic field or mechanical system in the frequency range from around twenty thousand times per second to around three hundred billion times per second. This is roughly between the upper limit of audio frequencies and the lower limit of infrared frequencies; these are the frequencies at which energy from an oscillating current can radiate off a conductor into space as radio waves. Different sources specify different upper and lower bounds for the frequency range.

Very high frequency class of radio waves

Very high frequency (VHF) is the ITU designation for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves from 30 to 300 megahertz (MHz), with corresponding wavelengths of ten meters to one meter. Frequencies immediately below VHF are denoted high frequency (HF), and the next higher frequencies are known as ultra high frequency (UHF).

The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation and their respective wavelengths and photon energies.


Television broadcasting usage

In the UK, Band I was originally used by the BBC for monochrome 405-line television; [4] likewise, the French former 455-line (1937-1939) then 441-line (1943-1956) transmitter on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and some stations of the French monochrome 819-line system used Band I. Both 405-line and 819-line systems were discontinued in the mid-1980s. Other European countries used and still use Band I for 625-line analogue television, first in monochrome and later in colour.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.

Monochrome shades of one color; describes paintings, drawings, design, or photographs in one color or values of one color, having only one colour

A monochromic image is composed of one color. The term monochrome comes from the Ancient Greek: μονόχρωμος, translit. monochromos, lit. 'having one color'.

The 405-line monochrome analogue television broadcasting system was the first fully electronic television system to be used in regular broadcasting.

This is now being gradually phased out with the introduction of digital television in the DVB-T standard, which is not defined for VHF Band I, though some older receivers and some modulators do support it.

Digital television (DTV) is the transmission of television signals, including the sound channel, using digital encoding, in contrast to the earlier television technology, analog television, in which the video and audio are carried by analog signals. It is an innovative advance that represents the first significant evolution in television technology since color television in the 1950s. Digital TV transmits in a new image format called HDTV, with greater resolution than analog TV, in a wide screen aspect ratio similar to recent movies in contrast to the narrower screen of analog TV. It makes more economical use of scarce radio spectrum space; it can transmit multiple channels, up to 7, in the same bandwidth occupied by a single channel of analog television, and provides many new features that analog television cannot. A transition from analog to digital broadcasting began around 2006 in some countries, and many industrial countries have now completed the changeover, while other countries are in various stages of adaptation. Different digital television broadcasting standards have been adopted in different parts of the world; below are the more widely used standards:

DVB-T is an abbreviation for "Digital Video Broadcasting — Terrestrial"; it is the DVB European-based consortium standard for the broadcast transmission of digital terrestrial television that was first published in 1997 and first broadcast in the UK in 1998. This system transmits compressed digital audio, digital video and other data in an MPEG transport stream, using coded orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing modulation. It is also the format widely used worldwide for Electronic News Gathering for transmission of video and audio from a mobile newsgathering vehicle to a central receive point.

In the United States, use of this band is for analog NTSC (ended June 12, 2009) and digital ATSC (current). Digital television has problems with impulse noise interference, particularly in this band.


In European countries that use System B for television broadcasting, the band is subdivided into three channels, each being 7 MHz wide:

ChannelFrequency range
E247-54 MHz
E2A48.5-55.5 MHz
E354-61 MHz
E461-68 MHz
C82.25-87.75 MHz

Italy also uses a "outband" "channel C" (video : 82.25 MHz - audio : 87.75 MHz). It was used by the first transmitter brought in service by the RAI in Torino in the Fifties which was previously used in WW2 by the US to broadcast NTSC TV on channel A6 for military purposes, later donated to Italy, it had its video carrier shifted 1 MHz lower to accommodate the System B standard. This channel was also widely used by private local stations until the switch over to DVB-T.

RAI Italys national public-service radio and television broadcasting organization

RAI – Radiotelevisione italiana (Italian pronunciation: [ˈrai ˌradjoteleviˈzjoːne itaˈljaːna]; commercially styled as Rai since 2000; known until 1954 as Radio Audizioni Italiane is the national public broadcasting company of Italy, owned by the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

Some countries use slightly different frequencies or don't use Band 1 at all for terrestrial broadcast television. The fast growing of digital television as well as the susceptibility of this band to interference during E skip events in all European countries is accompanied by the progressive closedown of band I analog transmitters, e.g. former French-language Swiss Television transmitter at La Dôle near Geneva on channel E4 or French analog transmitters used by Canal Plus for its Pay-TV VHF network, e.g. Besançon (Lomont) and Carcassonne (Pic de Nore) both on French channel "L-3". Swiss VHF Band I transmitters are switched off untile 25/06/2007( Barillette ), and 26/11/2007, for Uetliberg, and Bantiger( German speaking area) French analog Canal Plus VHF band I are switched off until 2010.

Sporadic E propagation

Sporadic E or Es is an unusual form of radio propagation using characteristics of the Earth's ionosphere. Whereas most forms of skywave propagation use the normal and cyclic ionization properties of the ionosphere's F region to refract radio signals back toward the Earth's surface, sporadic E propagation bounces signals off smaller "clouds" of unusually ionized atmospheric gas in the lower E region. This occasionally allows for long-distance communication at VHF frequencies not usually well-suited to such communication.

La Dôle mountain

La Dôle is a mountain of the Jura, overlooking Lake Geneva in the westernmost part of the canton of Vaud. Rising to an altitude of 1677 meters, it is the second highest peak in the Swiss portion of the Jura, after Mont Tendre. Administratively, the summit is split between the municipalities of Gingins, Chéserex and La Rippe. The mountain is also close to and easily accessible from Saint-Cergue and the Col de la Givrine to the north, both above 1000 meters and connected to Nyon on Lake Geneva by road and by the Nyon–St-Cergue–Morez Railway. A paved road also climbs to the Chalet de la Dôle below the summit from Gingins.

Geneva Place in Switzerland

Geneva is the second-most populous city in Switzerland and the most populous city of the Romandy, the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Situated where the Rhône exits Lake Geneva, it is the capital of the Republic and Canton of Geneva.

Russia and other former members of OIRT

In the countries that use System D television broadcast system, the channel allocation in the VHF-I band is as follows:

ChannelFrequency range
148.5-56.5 MHz
258-66 MHz

North America

The band is subdivided into five channels for television broadcasting, each occupying 6 MHz (System M). Channel 1 is not being used for broadcasting anymore.

ChannelFrequency range
1*44-50 MHz
A254-60 MHz
A360-66 MHz
A466-72 MHz
A576-82 MHz
A682-88 MHz
A6A81.5-87.5 MHz

FM Radio Usage

The upper end of this band, 87.5 to 88 MHz, is the lower end of the FM radio band. In the United States, the FCC will occasionally issue a license for 87.9 MHz (though it only does so on rare occurrences and special circumstances; KSFH is the only standalone station that uses 87.9 currently); 87.7, which is approximately the same frequency as the audio feed of channel 6, is used by some television licenses to broadcast primarily to radio, such as Pulse 87's stations. In Japan and some former Soviet republics frequencies lower than 87MHz are still used for FM radio broadcasting.

See also

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  1. "Final acts of the European Broadcasting Conference in the VHF and UHF bands - Stockholm, 1961". Retrieved 2019-01-09.
  2. "FM / TV Regional Frequency Assignment Plans". ITU. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  3. "Frequency Bands allocated to Terrestrial Broadcasting Services". ITU. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
  4. Paulu, Burton (1981-10-01). Television and Radio in the United Kingdom. U of Minnesota Press. p. 91. ISBN   9780816609413 . Retrieved 11 April 2012.