|30 MHz to 300 MHz|
|10 to 1 m|
|ITU radio bands|
|EU /NATO /US ECM radio bands|
|IEEE radio bands|
|Other TV and radio bands|
Very high frequency (VHF) is the ITU designationfor the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves (radio 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).
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.
Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum longer than infrared light. Radio waves have frequencies as high as 300 gigahertz (GHz) to as low as 30 hertz (Hz). At 300 GHz, the corresponding wavelength is 1 mm, and at 30 Hz is 10,000 km. Like all other electromagnetic waves, radio waves travel at the speed of light. They are generated by electric charges undergoing acceleration, such as time varying electric currents. Naturally occurring radio waves are emitted by lightning and astronomical objects.
High frequency (HF) is the ITU designation for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves between 3 and 30 megahertz (MHz). It is also known as the decameter band or decameter wave as its wavelengths range from one to ten decameters. Frequencies immediately below HF are denoted medium frequency (MF), while the next band of higher frequencies is known as the very high frequency (VHF) band. The HF band is a major part of the shortwave band of frequencies, so communication at these frequencies is often called shortwave radio. Because radio waves in this band can be reflected back to Earth by the ionosphere layer in the atmosphere – a method known as "skip" or "skywave" propagation – these frequencies are suitable for long-distance communication across intercontinental distances and for mountainous terrains which prevent line-of-sight communications. The band is used by international shortwave broadcasting stations (2.31–25.82 MHz), aviation communication, government time stations, weather stations, amateur radio and citizens band services, among other uses.
Common uses for radio waves in the VHF band are FM radio broadcasting, television broadcasting, two way land mobile radio systems (emergency, business, private use and military), long range data communication up to several tens of kilometers with radio modems, amateur radio, and marine communications. Air traffic control communications and air navigation systems (e.g. VOR & ILS) work at distances of 100 kilometres (62 mi) or more to aircraft at cruising altitude.
Television (TV), sometimes shortened to tele or telly, is a telecommunication medium used for transmitting moving images in monochrome, or in colour, and in two or three dimensions and sound. The term can refer to a television set, a television program, or the medium of television transmission. Television is a mass medium for advertising, entertainment and news.
A land mobile radio system (LMRS), also called public land mobile radio or private land mobile radio, is a person-to-person voice communication system consisting of two-way radio transceivers which can be mobile, installed in vehicles, or portable (walkie-talkies). Public land mobile radio systems are made for use exclusively by public safety organizations such as police, fire, and ambulance services, and other governmental organizations, and use special frequencies reserved for these services. Private land mobile radio systems are designed for private commercial use, by firms such as taxis or delivery services. Most systems are half-duplex, with multiple radios sharing a single radio channel, so only one radio can transmit at a time. The transceiver is normally in receiving mode so the user can hear other radios on the channel; when a user wants to talk he presses a push to talk button on his microphone, which turns on his transmitter. They use channels in the VHF or UHF bands giving them a limited range, usually 3 to 20 miles depending on terrain, although repeaters installed on tall buildings, hills or mountain peaks can be used to increase the coverage area. Older systems use AM or FM modulation, while some recent systems use digital modulation allowing them to transmit data as well as sound.
Radio modems transfer data wirelessly across a range of up to tens of kilometres. Using radio modems is a modern way to create Private Radio Networks (PRN). Private radio networks are used in critical industrial applications, when real-time data communication is needed. Radio modems enable user to be independent of telecommunication or satellite network operators. In most cases users use licensed frequencies either in the UHF or VHF bands. In certain areas licensed frequencies may be reserved for a given user, thus ensuring that there is less likelihood of radio interference from other RF transmitters. Also licence free frequencies are available in most countries, enabling easy implementation, but at the same time other users may use the same frequency, thus making it possible that a given frequency is blocked. Typical users for radio modems are: Land survey differential GPS, fleet management applications, SCADA applications, automated meter reading (AMR), telemetry applications and many more. Since applications usually require high reliability of data transfer and very high uptime, radio performance plays a key role. Factors influencing radio performance are: antenna height and type, the sensitivity of the radio, the output power of the radio and the complete system design.
In the Americas and many other parts of the world, VHF Band I was used for the transmission of analog television. As part of the worldwide transition to digital terrestrial television most countries require broadcasters to air television in the VHF range using digital rather than analog format.
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". Band I ranges from 47 to 68 MHz for the European Broadcasting Area, and from 54 to 88 MHz for the Americas and it is primarily used for television broadcasting in line to ITU Radio Regulations. Channel spacings vary from country to country, with spacings of 6, 7 and 8 MHz being common.
Analog television or analogue television is the original television technology that uses analog signals to transmit video and audio. In an analog television broadcast, the brightness, colors and sound are represented by rapid variations of either the amplitude, frequency or phase of the signal.
The digital television transition, also called the digital switchover, the analog switch-off (ASO), or the analog shutdown, is the process, mainly begun in 2006, in which older analog television broadcasting technology is converted to and replaced by digital television. Conducted by individual nations on different schedules, this primarily involves the conversion of analog terrestrial television to digital terrestrial. However, it also involves analog cable conversion to digital cable or internet protocol television, as well as analog to digital satellite television. Terrestrial transition was begun by some countries around 2000. By contrast, satellite transition was well underway or completed in many counties by this time. It is an involved process because the existing analog television receivers owned by viewers cannot receive digital broadcasts; viewers must either purchase new digital TVs, or converter boxes which change the digital signal to an analog signal which can be viewed on the old TV.
Radio waves in the VHF band propagate mainly by line-of-sight and ground-bounce paths; unlike in the HF band there is only some reflection at lower frequencies from the ionosphere (skywave propagation). km (100 miles). They can penetrate building walls and be received indoors, although in urban areas reflections from buildings cause multipath propagation, which can interfere with television reception. Atmospheric radio noise and interference (RFI) from electrical equipment is less of a problem in the band than at lower frequencies. The VHF band is the first band at which efficient transmitting antennas are small enough that they can be mounted on vehicles and portable devices, so the band is used for two-way land mobile radio systems, such as walkie-talkies, and two way radio communication with aircraft (Airband) and ships (marine radio). Occasionally, when conditions are right, VHF waves can travel long distances by tropospheric ducting due to refraction by temperature gradients in the atmosphere.They do not follow the contour of the Earth as ground waves and so are blocked by hills and mountains, although because they are weakly refracted (bent) by the atmosphere they can travel somewhat beyond the visual horizon out to about 160
Line-of-sight propagation is a characteristic of electromagnetic radiation or acoustic wave propagation which means waves travel in a direct path from the source to the receiver. Electromagnetic transmission includes light emissions traveling in a straight line. The rays or waves may be diffracted, refracted, reflected, or absorbed by the atmosphere and obstructions with material and generally cannot travel over the horizon or behind obstacles.
The ionosphere is the ionized part of Earth's upper atmosphere, from about 60 km (37 mi) to 1,000 km (620 mi) altitude, a region that includes the thermosphere and parts of the mesosphere and exosphere. The ionosphere is ionized by solar radiation. It plays an important role in atmospheric electricity and forms the inner edge of the magnetosphere. It has practical importance because, among other functions, it influences radio propagation to distant places on the Earth.
In radio communication, skywave or skip refers to the propagation of radio waves reflected or refracted back toward Earth from the ionosphere, an electrically charged layer of the upper atmosphere. Since it is not limited by the curvature of the Earth, skywave propagation can be used to communicate beyond the horizon, at intercontinental distances. It is mostly used in the shortwave frequency bands.
For analog TV, VHF transmission range is a function of transmitter power, receiver sensitivity, and distance to the horizon, since VHF signals propagate under normal conditions as a near line-of-sight phenomenon. The distance to the radio horizon is slightly extended over the geometric line of sight to the horizon, as radio waves are weakly bent back toward the Earth by the atmosphere.
An approximation to calculate the line-of-sight horizon distance (on Earth) is:
These approximations are only valid for antennas at heights that are small compared to the radius of the Earth. They may not necessarily be accurate in mountainous areas, since the landscape may not be transparent enough for radio waves.
In engineered communications systems, more complex calculations are required to assess the probable coverage area of a proposed transmitter station.[ citation needed ]
The accuracy of these calculations for digital TV signals is being debated.
VHF is the first band at which wavelengths are small enough that efficient transmitting antennas are short enough to mount on vehicles and handheld devices, a quarter wave whip antenna at VHF frequencies is 25 cm to 2.5 meter (10 inches to 8 feet) long. So the VHF and UHF wavelengths are used for two way radios in vehicles, aircraft, and handheld transceivers and walkie talkies. Portable radios usually use whips or rubber ducky antennas, while base stations usually use larger fiberglass whips or collinear arrays of vertical dipoles.
For directional antennas, the Yagi antenna is the most widely used as a high gain or "beam" antenna. For television reception, the Yagi is used, as well as the log periodic antenna due to its wider bandwidth. Helical and turnstile antennas are used for satellite communication since they employ circular polarization. For even higher gain, multiple Yagis or helicals can be mounted together to make array antennas. Vertical collinear arrays of dipoles can be used to make high gain omnidirectional antennas, in which more of the antenna's power is radiated in horizontal directions. Television and FM broadcasting stations use collinear arrays of specialized dipole antennas such as batwing antennas.
Certain subparts of the VHF band have the same use around the world. Some national uses are detailed below.
The VHF TV band in Australia was originally allocated channels 1 to 10-with channels 2, 7 and 9 assigned for the initial services in Sydney and Melbourne, and later the same channels were assigned in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. Other capital cities and regional areas used a combination of these and other frequencies as available. The initial commercial services in Hobart and Darwin were respectively allocated channels 6 and 8 rather than 7 or 9.
By the early 1960s it became apparent that the 10 VHF channels were insufficient to support the growth of television services. This was rectified by the addition of three additional frequencies-channels 0, 5A and 11. Older television sets using rotary dial tuners required adjustment to receive these new channels. Most TVs of that era were not equipped to receive these broadcasts, and so were modified at the owners' expense to be able to tune into these bands; otherwise the owner had to buy a new TV.
Several TV stations were allocated to VHF channels 3, 4 and 5, which were within the FM radio bands although not yet used for that purpose. A couple of notable examples were NBN-3 Newcastle, WIN-4 Wollongong and ABC Newcastle on channel 5. While some Channel 5 stations were moved to 5A in the 1970s and 80s, beginning in the 1990s, the Australian Broadcasting Authority began a process to move these stations to UHF bands to free up valuable VHF spectrum for its original purpose of FM radio. In addition, by 1985 the federal government decided new TV stations are to be broadcast on the UHF band.
Two new VHF, 9A and 12, have since been made available and are being used primarily for digital services (e.g. ABC in capital cities) but also for some new analogue services in regional areas. Because channel 9A is not used for television services in or near Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Perth, digital radio in those cities are broadcast on DAB frequencies blocks 9A, 9B and 9C.
VHF radio is also used for marine Radioas per its long-distance reachability comparing UHF frequencies.
Example allocation of VHF–UHF frequencies:
Until 2013, the four main Free-to-Air TV stations in New Zealand used the VHF Television bands (Band I and Band III) to transmit to New Zealand households. Other stations, including a variety of pay and regional free-to-air stations, were forced to broadcast in the UHF band, since the VHF band had been very overloaded with four stations sharing a very small frequency band, which was so overcrowded that one or more channels would not be available in some smaller towns.
However, at the end of 2013, all television channels stopped broadcasting on the VHF bands.
Refer to Australasian television frequencies for more information.
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British television originally used VHF band I and band III. Television on VHF was in black and white with 405-line format (although there were experiments with all three colour systems-NTSC, PAL, and SECAM-adapted for the 405-line system in the late 1950s and early 60s).
British colour television was broadcast on UHF (channels 21-69), beginning in the late 1960s. From then on, TV was broadcast on both VHF and UHF (VHF being a monochromatic downconversion from the 625-line colour signal), with the exception of BBC2 (which had always broadcast solely on UHF). The last British VHF TV transmitters closed down on January 3, 1985. VHF band III is now used in the UK for digital audio broadcasting, and VHF band II is used for FM radio, as it is in most of the world.
Unusually, the UK has an amateur radio allocation at 4 metres, 70-70.5 MHz.
Frequency assignments between US and Canadian users are closely coordinated since much of the Canadian population is within VHF radio range of the US border. Certain discrete frequencies are reserved for radio astronomy. The general services in the VHF band are:
Cable television, though not transmitted aerially, uses a spectrum of frequencies overlapping VHF.
The U.S. FCC allocated television broadcasting to a channelized roster as early as 1938 with 19 channels. That changed three more times: in 1940 when Channel 19 was deleted and several channels changed frequencies, then in 1946 with television going from 18 channels to 13 channels, again with different frequencies, and finally in 1948 with the removal of Channel 1 (analog channels 2-13 remain as they were).
87.5–87.9 MHz is a radio frequency which, in most of the world, is used for FM broadcasting. In North America, however, this bandwidth is allocated to VHF television channel 6 (82–88 MHz). The analog audio for TV channel 6 is broadcast at 87.75 MHz (adjustable down to 87.74). Several stations, most notably those joining the Pulse 87 franchise, have operated on this frequency as radio stations, though they use television licenses. As a result, FM radio receivers such as those found in automobiles which are designed to tune into this frequency range could receive the audio for analog-mode programming on the local TV channel 6 while in North America.
The FM broadcast channel at 87.9 MHz is normally off-limits for FM audio broadcasting; it is reserved for displaced class D stations which have no other frequencies in the normal 88.1–107.9 MHz subband to move to. So far, only two stations have qualified to operate on 87.9 MHz: 10 Watt KSFH in Mountain View, California and 34 Watt translator K200AA in Sun Valley, Nevada.
In some countries, particularly the United States and Canada, limited low-power license-free operation is available in the FM broadcast band for purposes such as micro-broadcasting and sending output from CD or digital media players to radios without auxiliary-in jacks, though this is illegal in some other countries. This practice was legalised in the United Kingdom on 8 December 2006.
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. 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 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.
Terrestrial television is a type of television broadcasting in which the television signal is transmitted by radio waves from the terrestrial (Earth-based) transmitter of a television station to a TV receiver having an antenna. The term terrestrial is more common in Europe and Latin America, while in the United States it is called broadcast or over-the-air television (OTA). The term "terrestrial" is used to distinguish this type from the newer technologies of satellite television, in which the television signal is transmitted to the receiver from an overhead satellite, and cable television, in which the signal is carried to the receiver through a cable.
TV DX and FM DX is the active search for distant radio or television stations received during unusual atmospheric conditions. The term DX is an old telegraphic term meaning "long distance."
The FM broadcast band, used for FM broadcast radio by radio stations, differs between different parts of the world. In Europe, Australia and Africa ( ), it spans from 87.5 to 108 megahertz (MHz) - also known as VHF Band II - while in the Americas it ranges from 88 to 108 MHz. The FM broadcast band in Japan uses 76 to 95 MHz. The International Radio and Television Organisation (OIRT) band in Eastern Europe is from 65.8 to 74.0 MHz, although these countries now primarily use the 87.5 to 108 MHz band, as in the case of Russia. Some other countries have already discontinued the OIRT band and have changed to the 87.5 to 108 MHz band.
Amateur television (ATV) is the transmission of broadcast quality video and audio over the wide range of frequencies of radio waves allocated for radio amateur (Ham) use. ATV is used for non-commercial experimentation, pleasure, and public service events. Ham TV stations were on the air in many cities before commercial television stations came on the air. Various transmission standards are used, these include the broadcast transmission standards of NTSC in North America and Japan, and PAL or SECAM elsewhere, utilizing the full refresh rates of those standards. ATV includes the study of building of such transmitters and receivers, and the study of radio propagation of signals travelling between transmitting and receiving stations.
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47, Part 15 is an oft-quoted part of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules and regulations regarding unlicensed transmissions. It is a part of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), and regulates everything from spurious emissions to unlicensed low-power broadcasting. Nearly every electronics device sold inside the United States radiates unintentional emissions, and must be reviewed to comply with Part 15 before it can be advertised or sold in the US market.
The radio spectrum is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum with frequencies from 30 Hertz to 300 GHz. Electromagnetic waves in this frequency range, called radio waves, are extremely widely used in modern technology, particularly in telecommunication. To prevent interference between different users, the generation and transmission of radio waves is strictly regulated by national laws, coordinated by an international body, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).
A tuner is a subsystem that receives radio frequency (RF) transmissions like radio broadcasts and converts the selected carrier frequency and its associated bandwidth into a fixed frequency that is suitable for further processing, usually because a lower frequency is used on the output. Broadcast FM/AM transmissions usually feed this intermediate frequency (IF) directly into a demodulator that convert the radio signal into audio-frequency signals that can be fed into an amplifier to drive a loudspeaker.
A diplexer is a passive device that implements frequency-domain multiplexing. Two ports are multiplexed onto a third port. The signals on ports L and H occupy disjoint frequency bands. Consequently, the signals on L and H can coexist on port S without interfering with each other.
The following tables show the frequencies assigned to broadcast television channels in various regions of the world, along with the ITU letter designator for the system used. The frequencies shown are for the analogue video and audio carriers. The channel itself occupies several megahertz of bandwidth. For example, North American channel 2 occupies the spectrum from 54 to 60 MHz. See Broadcast television systems for a table of signal characteristics, including bandwidth, by ITU letter designator.
In North American broadcast television frequencies, channel 1 is a former broadcast (over-the-air) television channel. During the experimental era of TV operation, Channel 1 was moved around the lower VHF spectrum repeatedly, with the entire band displaced upward at one point due to an early 40 MHz allocation for the FM broadcast band.
A television antenna, or TV aerial, is an antenna specifically designed for the reception of over-the-air broadcast television signals, which are transmitted at frequencies from about 41 to 250 MHz in the VHF band, and 470 to 960 MHz in the UHF band in different countries. Television antennas are manufactured in two different types: "indoor" antennas, to be located on top of or next to the television set, and "outdoor" antennas, mounted on a mast on top of the owner's house. They can also be mounted in a loft or attic, where the dry conditions and increased elevation are advantageous for reception and antenna longevity. Outdoor antennas are more expensive and difficult to install, but are necessary for adequate reception in fringe areas far from television stations. The most common types of indoor antennas are the dipole and loop antennas, and for outdoor antennas the yagi, log periodic, and for UHF channels the multi-bay reflective array antenna.
A digital channel election was the process by which television stations in the United States chose which physical radio-frequency TV channel they would permanently use after the analog shutdown in 2009. The process was managed and mandated by the Federal Communications Commission for all full-power TV stations. Low-powered television (LPTV) stations are going through a somewhat different process, and are also allowed to flash-cut to digital.
Television frequency allocation has evolved since the start of television in Australia in 1956, and later in New Zealand in 1960. There was no coordination between the national spectrum management authorities in either country to establish the frequency allocations. The management of the spectrum in both countries is largely the product of their economical and political situation. New Zealand didn't start to develop television service until 1965 due to World War 2 and its economic harm in the country's economy.
The frequency modulation radio broadcast band in Japan is 76-95 MHz. The 90-108 MHz section was used for television for VHF channels 1, 2 and 3 until the analog shutdown occurred on July 24, 2011. The narrowness of the Japanese band limits the number of FM stations that can be accommodated on the dial.
In broadcasting, a transposer or translator is a device in or beyond the service area of a radio or television station transmitter that rebroadcasts signals to receivers which can’t properly receive the signals of the transmitter because of a physical obstruction. A translator receives the signals of the transmitter and rebroadcasts the signals to the area of poor reception. Sometimes the translator is also called a relay transmitter, rebroadcast transmitter or transposer. Since translators are used to cover a small shadowed area, their output powers are usually lower than that of the radio or television station transmitters feeding them.
UHF television broadcasting is the use of ultra high frequency (UHF) radio for over-the-air transmission of television signals. UHF frequencies are used for both analog and digital television broadcasts. UHF channels are typically given higher channel numbers, like the US arrangement with VHF channels 2 to 13, and UHF channels numbered 14 to 83.
The Pan-American television frequencies are different for terrestrial and cable television systems. Terrestrial television channels are divided into two bands: the VHF band which comprises channels 2 through 13 and occupies frequencies between 54 through 216 MHz, and the UHF band, which comprises channels 14 through 83 and occupies frequencies between 470 and 890 MHz. These bands are different enough in frequency that they often require separate antennas to receive, and separate tuning controls on the television set. The VHF band is further divided into two frequency ranges: VHF low band between 54 and 88 MHz, containing channels 2 through 6, and VHF high band between 174 and 216 MHz, containing channels 7 through 13. The wide spacing between these frequency bands is responsible for the complicated design of rooftop TV antennas. The UHF band has higher noise and greater attenuation, so higher gain antennas are often required for UHF.