Tower Locator Blog


Callsigns, FCC Service Class and Power Limits

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) identifies a TV station's transmission (RF channel) by a callsign. Callsigns that start with a W _ _ _ are stations east of the Mississippi River, callsigns that start with a K _ _ _ are west of the river. Some stations have a callsign that includes a 1 or 2 digit suffix (W or K _ _ _-DT). Sometimes the suffix reflects station service class, sometimes virtual (displayed) TV channel number.

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FCC Broadcast Service Class
Suffix Description Power
DT Digital TV Full
TV Television
D Digital Low
CA Class A
CD Class A Digital
DC Digital Class A Television
LD Low Power Digital TV
LP Low Power TV
TX Translator
DD Distributed Digital Television Low to
Full Power
DX Auxiliary (backup) Facilities
LM Land Mobile Use of TV Channel

Broadcast Power (ERP)
Service UHF VHF
Full Power ≤ 1000 kW ≤ 185 kW
Class A ≤ 15 kW ≤ 3 kW
Low Power Over-the-Air Digital TV (OTA DTv)
Callsigns, FCC Service Class and Power Limits