|Formation||April 14, 2008|
RabbitEars is a website dedicated to providing information on over-the-air digital television in the United States, its territories and protectorates, and border areas of Canada and Mexico. Aside from merely listing network affiliations and technical data, notations of stations carrying Descriptive Video Service, TVGOS, UpdateTV, Sezmi, Mobile DTV, and MediaFLO are also now covered on the site. RabbitEars also maintains a spreadsheet of current television stations.
RabbitEars.Info has been cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Columbus Dispatch, and the Gotham Gazette for news stories, the Electric Pi Journal, CEOutlook, Sony's eSupport, and Crutchfield websites for additional technical information, and WCCB-TV, WOLO-TV, and WGHP television stations in relation to the digital television transition.
History of RabbitEars
RabbitEars was developed as a replacement for 100000watts.com, which was a website started around 1998 by Chip Kelley. 100000watts started as a listing of every TV station in the US and grew in scope to eventually include AM and FM radio information as well. However, all information on that site, including technical data from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), was hand-entered, and ultimately Kelley no longer had the time to dedicate to the website. Planning to shut the site down, Clear Channel/M Street Publications stepped in and purchased it in late 2002, after which it became subscription-only. It was at that time that Trip Ericson decided to develop a replacement.
After the digital television transition started in 2008, RabbitEars began tracking digital subchannels, Digital Transition Reports, and Analog Termination Requests made to the FCC. These pages were attached to an incomplete design that Ericson had begun to implement in 2004, but that had never been finished due to lack of coding knowledge. As the transition related pages in particular received attention, corrections were sent to add to and correct the incomplete data that was kept on the rest of the site, and a notice was posted asking for additional assistance. On March 14, 2008, Bruce Myers joined the effort by creating an updated website design, and on April 14, 2008 RabbitEars launched in its current form. Because of these circumstances, while the web address was registered in 2004, the 2008 date is considered to be the beginning of the organization.
RabbitEars maintains a spreadsheet of DTV channels that includes information about stations such as their locations, call signs, network affiliations, channel, ERP, HAAT, and more for full-service DTV stations. The spreadsheet was originally hosted on AVSForum by Mike Mahan, who is better known as "Falcon_77", and was integrated into the RabbitEars project on July 29, 2008.
RabbitEars tracks stations that use Descriptive Video Service, TVGOS, UpdateTV, Mobile TV, Sezmi, and individual datacasts provided by local television stations in addition to providing lists of television station ownership, network affiliations, and some other miscellaneous information. It covered the digital television transition extensively, and maintains a history of the transition. Also provided is continuing documentation of stations requesting different channels, as well as stations having problems with VHF transmission.
At the end of October 2009, the site added listings for Qualcomm's MediaFLO service, which has since gone defunct. In December 2009, the site also added listings for high powered transmitters Echostar would be using to launch its own mobile video service. It is believed that the high-powered transmitters MediaFLO and Echostar use could result in overloading of preamplifiers used to boost television signals, and that these lists could help mitigate those concerns.
The RabbitEars Area Designation System (READS) Ranks were put together in 2008 in order to provide for a market ranking system without utilizing the proprietary Designated Market Area data, which is a registered service mark of Nielsen Media Research. The READS Ranks are based solely on OTA signal coverage of American channels and do not take any demographic data into account. Also, for that reason, border Canadian markets, such as Toronto and Montreal (Canada's top markets), are included in the list, but rank close to the bottom of the list; most other Canadian markets, such as Edmonton, are not included, as American channels are not available over-the-air.
The READS list has been made available for use by anyone who wants to use them, with the only condition being that the ranks are not modified and still listed with the name "READS".
- Fybush, Scott (April 27, 2005). "[BC] 100000watts.com (was: XETRA-690 to be bought by Spanish network)". radiolists.net. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
- Jay (July 12, 2009). "RabbitEars.info - Interview with Webmaster Trip Ericson". dtvusaforum.com. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
- Jessell, Harry (10 December 2009). "CES To Offer Look Into Mobile DTV Future". TVNewsCheck. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
- timothy (20 September 2008). "Nielsen Sends Wikipedia DMCA Takedown For Station Descriptions". Slashdot. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
- Barron, James (1 August 2013). "CUNY TV Station Turns Over an Old Leaf, Transmitting by Air to Widen Its Reach". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
Adding an over-the-air signal makes sense, said Mark J. Colombo, owner and editor of the Web site RabbitEars.info.
- Pegoraro, Rob (February 20, 2009). "(Some) Analog TV Broadcasts Died This Week". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
More technically-inclined viewers can find additional details at a volunteer-run database, RabbitEars.
- Pegoraro, Rob (March 5, 2009). "The Digital Transition, TV's Long-Running Horror Show". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
your best source might have been a volunteer-run site, http://rabbitears.info.
- Pegoraro, Rob (April 26, 2009). "A DVR Without Subscriptions, Strangely Unique". The Washington Post. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
That guide comes from two free sources: the data digital stations transmit and a service called TV Guide on Screen available in most U.S. cities.
- Sarno, David (December 25, 2008). "How to get TV using an antenna". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 25 December 2009.
For a list of broadcast channels available in your area, go to www.rabbitears.info, click on "searches" and put in your ZIP Code.
- Husted, Bill (July 27, 2009). "Return to rooftop antenna fits well with move to HDTV". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
www.rabbitears.info/market.php: A quirky Web site with lots of detailed station information.
- Husted, Bill (July 27, 2009). "In some areas, antennas work fine for HDTV". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 16 September 2009. Republished from Columbus Dispatch
- Schneider, Peter (December 22, 2008). "The Use of Wireless Mics in the U.S. Beyond the DTV Transition". Gotham Gazette. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
http://www.rabbitears.info/ss/DTV-Channels.xls is an Excel spreadsheet listing DTV channels, their location, call sign, transmitter height and power. http://www.rabbitears.info/market.php lists similar information with easy links to the FCC database for station information and transmitter contour pattern. Importantly, it also lists the DTV stations that are moving on or soon after February 17, 2009.
- Rucker, Dick (February 16, 2009). "Preparing for The Switch to Digital TV Broadcasting". Electric Pi Journal. Washington Apple Pi. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
For a complete listing of all broadcast TV stations in the U.S. and their current status and plans for making the transition to DTV, go to http://www.rabbitears.info
- Gilroy, A. (March 17, 2010). "Mobile DTV Seems to Clear FCC". CEOutlook. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
So now the problem for Mobile DTV returns to that of wrangling enough broadcasters to support it, as only 24 are now airing in the new service, according to the RabbitEars Forum.
- "Unable to get TV Guide listings". Sony. October 14, 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009.
For further information regarding when a particular local broadcast station will begin transmitting the TV Guide Onscreen a signal through a digital broadcast, contact the local broadcast station or visit http://rabbitears.info.
- Barstow, Loren (July 1, 2009). "Understanding TV Guide On Screen". Crutchfield. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
You can find info on local digital stations at www.rabbitears.info (TV Guide On Screen host stations will have an On Screen icon next to them.)
- "Your HDTV & Digital Television Questions". WCCB-TV. 19 June 2009. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
www.rabbitears.info/search.php gives basic parameters of all available stations.
- "ABC Columbia Presents". WOLO-TV. 21 May 2008. Retrieved 16 September 2009.
http://www.rabbitears.info/search.php gives basic parameters of all available stations.
- "Digital TV Switch". WGHP. 28 Feb 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2010.