I guess the thing I don't understand about the opposition to channel mapping is... what does one hope to gain by requiring DTV stations to map to their RF channel? How does that benefit anyone?
For years and years now both TV and radio have branded their calls in association with their dial/RF position. This simply continues that tradition.
I see far more confusion in the future by branding DTV channel 17 as retro analog channel 5. Far easier and simpler to cut over to the new RF channel now and remain consistent with the method which has been in place for decades.
And again, I disagree. Call it a matter of semantics if you will - but under the "method which has been in place for decades," both TV and radio have branded their calls in association with the way in which they are tuned by the public
. In the earliest days of AM radio, that was usually in wavelength, by meters, because that was the way the earliest dials were marked. (That form of "mapping" continued in Europe well into the 70s, which is why BBC Radio 1 was known as "247," its wavelength in meters, rather than as "1214," its frequency in kilohertz.) "France 2" in Britain appears as pushbutton #2 on French TV sets, and the underlying RF channel only comes into play when the set is configured for the first time. And when I go to watch NBC here, I do so on "Channel 10," and I let my TV set, cable box, or satellite receiver figure out whether that means 192-198 MHz for the analog OTA signal, 798 MHz for the QAM digital cable signal, 12-point-something GHz for the Dish or Direct signal, or 734-740 MHz for the ATSC digital signal.
Here's the key, as I see it - it is only as a matter of custom, based on the old-fashioned analog tuners that could only do fixed mapping between frequency and "virtual channels," that we call the 734-740 MHz frequency band "channel 58." In the UK, that same frequency band is split between "channel 53" and "channel 54." In much of the rest of Europe, Asia and Africa, it's "channel 54." On your analog cable box, it's "channel 114."
In other words, to my digital tuner right now, right here, "channel 10" is
734-740 MHz, just as for you in Phoenix, "channel 10" is 572-578 MHz. The tradition behind "channel 10" is in the content associated with that branding, not in any of the many various frequency bands on which that content happens to be transmitted at the moment...or will be in the future. Those underlying frequencies are simply the behind-the-scenes mechanics, of no more importance than the IP address of this website or the precise frequency your cellphone is using at any given second. You type in the URL, or dial the number - or punch in "channel 10" - and the software takes care of the rest.