The Very High Frequency (VHF) range encompasses several different radio and television bands. VHF runs from 30 to 300 megahertz, according to the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences. Its advantages have led aircraft pilots, police, some broadcast television channels, FM stations and ham radio operators to use VHF. These advantages also encouraged many broadcasters and local governments to switch from HF (High Frequency) bands to VHF.
Radio interference does not affect VHF nearly as much as HF. This proves especially beneficial for use in vehicles. Many police forces switched to VHF in the past, due to interference problems on HF, according to the Institute for Criminal Justice Education. The ICJE also indicates that VHF offers advantages in rural areas because it can more easily transmit long distances, when compared to UHF (Ultra High Frequency). However, it does not transmit so far that distant stations interfere with each other at night.
Another of the most significant advantages is that VHF offers much better sound quality than HF bands like AM, shortwave and CB (Citizen's Band). This explains why broadcasters use it to transmit high-quality audio on FM radio and some television stations. Many of these broadcasters use stereo sound. Although sound clarity doesn't hold as many advantages for two-way communications, it still boosts intelligibility, which prevents misunderstandings and reduces the need to repeat oneself. The sound quality usually remains uniform at all hours.
VHF receivers generally use the least expensive, most portable antennas. For example, many FM and weather-band radios receive broadcasts with simple telescopic antennas that cost little to replace and retract into the receivers when not in use, among other advantages. UHF and HF receivers often use loops, long wires and other larger, more costly antennas. A radio operator can utilize the same VHF antenna for two-way communications and reception of the weather band. A combined radio/television may use the same antenna to pick up VHF TV stations and FM radio, but will require separate antennas for UHF and AM.
VHF radios provide several important advantages for use on boats and ships. They offer much more effective communication in marine emergencies than CB or FRS (Family Radio Service). Coast Guard units do not monitor the CB emergency channel and FRS doesn't supply an emergency channel, according to the Boat Owners Association of the United States. VHF proves more popular among boat operators than other bands, so it's easier to communicate with a wide range of boaters.
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