Goto Section: 74.720 | 74.732 | Table of Contents

FCC 74.731
Revised as of September 1, 2021
Goto Year:2020 | 2022
  §  74.731   Purpose and permissible service.

   (a) Television broadcast translator stations and television broadcast
   booster stations provide a means whereby the signals of television
   broadcast stations may be retransmitted to areas in which direct
   reception of such television broadcast stations is unsatisfactory due
   to distance or intervening terrain barriers.

   (b) Except as provided in paragraph (f) of this section, a television
   broadcast translator station or television broadcast booster station
   may be used only to receive the signals of a television broadcast
   station, another television broadcast translator station, a television
   translator relay station, a television intercity relay station, a
   television STL station, or other suitable source such as a CARS or
   common carrier microwave station, for the simultaneous retransmission
   of the programs and signals of a television broadcast station. Such
   retransmissions may be accomplished by either:

   (1) Reception of the television programs and signals of a television
   broadcast station directly through space, conversion to a different
   channel by simple heterodyne frequency conversion and suitable
   amplification; or,

   (2) Modulation and amplification of a video and audio feed, in which
   case modulating equipment meeting the requirements of § 74.750(d) shall
   be used.

   (c) The transmissions of each television broadcast translator station
   shall be intended for direct reception by the general public and any
   other use shall be incidental thereto. A television broadcast
   translator station shall not be operated solely for the purpose of
   relaying signals to one or more fixed receiving points for
   retransmission, distribution, or further relaying.

   (d) The technical characteristics of the retransmitted signals shall
   not be deliberately altered so as to hinder reception on conventional
   television broadcast receivers.

   (e) A television broadcast translator station shall not deliberately
   retransmit the signals of any station other than the station it is
   authorized by license to retransmit. Precautions shall be taken to
   avoid unintentional retransmission of such other signals.

   (f) A locally generated radio frequency signal similar to that of a TV
   broadcast station and modulated with visual and aural information may
   be connected to the input terminals of a television broadcast
   translator or low power station for the purposes of transmitting still
   photographs, slides and voice announcements. The radio frequency
   signals shall be on the same channel as the normally used off-the-air
   signal being rebroadcast. When transmitting originations concerning
   financial support or public service announcements, connection of the
   locally generated signals shall be made automatically either by means
   of a time switch or upon receipt of a control signal from the TV
   station being rebroadcast designed to actuate the switching circuit.
   The switching circuit will be so designed that the input circuit will
   be returned to the off-the-air signal within 30 seconds. The connection
   for emergency transmissions may be made manually. The apparatus used to
   generate the local signal which is used to modulate the translator or
   low power station must be capable of producing a visual or aural signal
   or both which will provide acceptable reception on television receivers
   designed for the transmission standards employed by TV broadcast
   stations. The visual and aural materials so transmitted shall be
   limited to emergency warnings of imminent danger, to local public
   service announcements and to seeking or acknowledging financial support
   deemed necessary to the continued operation of the station.
   Accordingly, the originations concerning financial support and PSAs are
   limited to 30 seconds each, no more than once per hour.
   Acknowledgements of financial support may include identification of the
   contributors, the size and nature of the contribution and advertising
   messages of contributors. Emergency transmissions shall be no longer or
   more frequent than necessary to protect life and property.

   (g) Low power TV stations may operate under the following modes of

   (1) As a TV translator station, subject to the requirements of this

   (2) For origination of programming and commercial matter as defined in
   § 74.701(f);

   (3) For the transmission of subscription television broadcast (STV)
   programs, intended to be received in intelligible form by members of
   the public for a fee or charge subject to the provisions of § § 73.642(e)
   and 73.644.

   (h) A low power TV station may not be operated solely for the purpose
   of relaying signals to one or more fixed receiving points for
   retransmission, distribution or relaying.

   (i) Low power TV stations are subject to no minimum required hours of
   operation and may operate in any of the 3 modes described in paragraph
   (g) of this section for any number of hours.

   (j) Television broadcast booster stations provide a means whereby the
   licensee of a television broadcast station may provide service to areas
   of low signal strength in any region within the primary station's Grade
   B contour. The booster station may not be located outside the predicted
   Grade B of its primary station nor may the predicted Grade B signal of
   the television booster station extend beyond the predicted Grade B
   contour of the primary station. A television broadcast booster station
   is authorized to retransmit only the signals of its primary station; it
   shall not retransmit the signals of any other stations nor make
   independent transmissions. However, locally generated signals may be
   used to excite the booster apparatus for the purpose of conducting
   tests and measurements essential to the proper installation and
   maintenance of the apparatus.

   (k) The transmissions of a television broadcast booster station shall
   be intended for direct reception by the general public. Such stations
   will not be permitted to establish a point-to-point television relay

   (l) After 11:59 p.m. local time on September 1, 2015, Class A
   television stations may no longer operate any facility in analog (NTSC)

   (m) After 11:59 p.m. local time, 51 months following the release of the
   Channel Reassignment Public Notice announcing completion of the
   incentive auction conducted under Title VI of the Middle Class Tax
   Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96)), low power
   television and TV translator stations may no longer operate any
   facility in analog (NTSC) mode and all licenses for such analog
   operations shall automatically cancel at that time without any
   affirmative action by the Commission.

   [ 28 FR 13722 , Dec. 14, 1963, as amended at  43 FR 1951 , Jan. 13, 1978;
    47 FR 21499 , May 18, 1982;  47 FR 40172 , Sept. 13, 1982;  48 FR 21487 ,
   May 12, 1983;  52 FR 31404 , Aug. 20, 1987;  76 FR 44827 , July 27, 2011;
    80 FR 27863 , May 15, 2015;  81 FR 5052 , Feb. 1, 2016]


Goto Section: 74.720 | 74.732

Goto Year: 2020 | 2022
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