Common Broadcast Conversion Factors and Rules of Thumb

Metric Conversion

Most citizens of the US think in terms of "English" units like inches, feet, miles, ounces, pints, quarts, and pounds. But the folks in the UK have been using metric units like meters for decades, and most folks in the US don't seem to be trying, so the term "English" units seems to be, at this late date, a little odd....

The primary metric units of interest to Broadcasters are meters and kilometers, since the FCC and the rest of the world converted to these units before the turn of the 21st century...

The most exactly defined conversion between English and Metric units is the following:

  • 1 inch = precisely 2.540 centimeters.

All other English <> Metric dimensional conversions can be derived from this formula.

  • miles <> kilometers

One mile = 1.60934 km
One km = 0.621371 mile
Rule of thumb: 100 km = a little over 60 miles

  • feet <> meters

One foot = 0.3048 meter
One meter = 3.2808 feet
Rule of thumb: 30 meters = roughly 100 feet

  • inches <> meters

One inch = 0.0254 meter
One meter = 39.3701 inches
Rule of thumb: a meter = about 40 inches or 3 1/3 feet

  • commentary:

All calculations we do at Dataworld are done in metric units. When input is specified in English units, we precede the calculations with conversions to metric units. Likewise, when output is specified in English, the metric results are converted to English units.


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