The Federal Communications Commission announced yesterday the grant of a new television station to Belleville, Illinois. which will serve this area. UHF Channel 54 was assigned to the Signal Hill Telecasting Corporation.
The new station will be one of the most powerful television stations in the world, with an effective radiated power of 220,000 watts. This is more than the combined power of all seven New York City stations - more than the total power of all seven Los Angeles TV stations - and more than twice the power of all four Chicago stations.
The combination of great height of antenna and tremendous radiated power will give the new TV station an estimated primary coverage area of over 6400 square miles.
Construction will start immediately, and the station expects to be on the air by early 1953.
This is one of the first television stations granted in a major market area after the lifting of the freeze by the FCC. Channel 54 is in the UHF band. The new model TV sets now on the market are already equipped to receive the UHF station, and most of the recent model sets which have been sold in 1951 and 1952 will require merely a simple and inexpensive plug-in attachment which the set owner can put on the TV set himself. Older sets will require an inexpensive converter, which can be installed in one service call.
Among the many advantages of UHF television, which set owners will appreciate, are: UHF reception will have no interference from electrical appliances, diathermy machinies, automobile spark plugs, airplanes, and other electrical equipment which interferes with television in the VHF band. All other factors such as quality of picture and sound are identical with VHF.
(Originally published in the Evening Whirl 11/25/1952).