The channel is the range of frequencies allocated to that broadcast station. NTSC (analog TV) and ATSC (digital TV) still use the same channels. Most of the new DTV channels are UHF, and the broadcasters are allowed to continue to use the older analog channels (the best ones being VHF) during the transition. Once the FCC tells them to shut off the analog broadcasts, the original channels will be put up for auction.
An NTSC analog "channel" is called such because it is allocated to > AM video and FM audio. > These channels will soon be just a part of television history as they are > phased out and replaced by the digital "channels."