Dielectric welcomes FCC release of ATSC 3.0 NPRM

Dielectric welcomes FCC release of ATSC 3.0 NPRM

Announcement gives broadcasters stronger impetus to make equipment decisions in preparation for Spectrum Repack

Dielectric is encouraged by the FCC’s release of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which seeks comments on the voluntary adoption of ATSC 3.0 by broadcasters as long as their ATSC 1.0 signal is kept available.

 

The announcement is an important development for local TV stations that choose to retain their broadcast licenses and continue over-the-air operations, according to Dielectric.

 

“The timing of this NPRM could not be better as stations receive their new channel assignments and start planning for the TV spectrum repack,” has said Keith Pelletier, vice president and general manager of Dielectric. “The repack is without question the greatest disruption for broadcasters in many years, yet the beginning of exciting new opportunities that the industry can now begin planning for in earnest.”

 

Decisions on equipment made for the repack can directly impact the station’s ability to take advantage of the features of the new OFDM-based, end-to-end IP connectivity that is native to the ATSC 3.0 standard.

 

“Many broadcasters understand the benefits that vertical polarization provides and we are being asked to provide quotations for repack antennas with a vertical component for ATSC 1.0 use even if stations currently only have horizontally polarized antennas,” has said Jay Martin, vice president of sales, Dielectric. “The FCC can only reimburse repacked stations on a like-for-like basis, but the cost difference to add the vertical component to the antenna is relatively minor, considering that the installation costs will be reimbursable.”

 

Jay Martin, vice president of sales at Dielectric

Jay Martin, vice president of sales at Dielectric

 

The specific amount of vertical polarization is not critical, according to John Schadler, Dielectric vice president of engineering. He notes that extensive field testing shows that as little as 20 percent of a vertical component can produce significant gains in fade margin.

 

“To remain relevant in the bit delivery business of the future broadcast market, all stations in a market will have to deliver robust signals capable of being received by a wide variety of, as yet undefined, devices,” has said Schadler. “The bits delivered by stations with inferior signal quality or robustness will simply not be as valuable. Investing a modest amount now to add vertical polarization is a wise move to safeguard the future viability of a station.”


Decisions on equipment made for the repack can directly impact the station’s ability to take advantage of the features of the new OFDM-based, end-to-end IP connectivity that is native to the ATSC 3.0 standard.
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