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post #1 of 249 Old 07-14-2008, 12:07 PM - Thread Starter
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From Broadcast Engineering:

Quote:


The FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) said July 10 that field testing of prototype TV white space devices (WSDs) would begin this week.

The tests are being conducted as part of the commission's rule making to consider authorizing operation of such devices in the TV broadcast spectrum on unoccupied channels. They follow a series of bench tests, which together constitute the second round of FCC OET white space device testing.

The question of whether to authorize use of unlicensed consumer RF devices in TV spectrum has pitted portions of the computer industry, wishing to use the spectrum for a variety of applications including wireless broadband Internet service, against the broadcast industry, some in the medical device industry, and wireless mic users and vendors.

For broadcasters, the issue comes down to protecting their investment in DTV transmission technology as well as that of over-the-air viewers in DTV receivers and antennas. Broadcasters fear wandering consumers with white space devices will generate harmful interference to DTV signals, which in many instances will be generated by sources that are virtually impossible to track down.

Proponents of the devices repeatedly have sought to assure the commission and WSD detractors that a variety of approaches, including frequency sensing technology, can be successfully employed to prevent DTV interference. Additionally, they contend WSDs will usher in a host of benefits to consumers.

WSD testing is open to the public.

For more information, visit http://www.fcc.gov/oet/projects/tvba...e/Welcome.html.



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post #2 of 249 Old 07-18-2008, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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It appears that the WSD test aren't going well. They really should worry about these things after the transition (if at all).

From TV Technology:

Quote:


Microsoft Bows Out of White Space Device Tests

Marketwatch reported this week that Microsoft was pulling out of the FCC’s “white space” testing. Microsoft’s numerous technical problems with its white space equipment during previous FCC tests have been widely reported, and it appears that the company has not been able to resolve the problems. Marketwatch noted that Google, another white space device (WSD) proponent, has not submitted equipment for testing by the FCC, although it did provide results of its own testing. The FCC testing has been open to the public. While I have not been able to attend any of the tests, third-party reports indicate that there are major problems with WSDs using sensing technology to determine if a TV channel is being used.

Marketwatch has this comment from Microsoft spokesman Ginny Terzano, “Our position remains the same including our confidence in the FCC process, the viability of the technology and our belief [that] the use of the white spaces spectrum will be beneficial to consumers.”

http://www.tvtechnology.com/pages/s.0115/t.14572.html



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post #3 of 249 Old 10-14-2008, 05:09 AM
 
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Bottom Line: People using "white-space enabled" Ipods in your neighborhood may inadvertently block your reception of weak DTV channels. Or increase interference for cellphones.


FCC Report Supports Use of White Spaces For Wireless
FCC, Wireless Providers at Odds Over Plan for Unused Airwaves

A report released yesterday by the Federal Communications Commission concluded that using empty airwaves to provide free wireless Internet would not cause major interference with other services, paving the way for FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin's proposal to sell the airwaves at a federal auction. ...... But several large wireless carriers, including T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T, argue that using the spectrum will in fact interfere with their own broadband services operating in adjacent airwaves.

More - http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...003074_pf.html
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post #4 of 249 Old 10-14-2008, 06:41 AM
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I don't know why the press keeps mixing these up.

This is NOT the FCC's report on "white space devices" that will interfere with digital TV. This is the FCC's report on AWS-3, which is up in the 2 GHz range. This service would NOT harm digital TV (though it could harm some cell phone providers and is very likely unconstitutional).

Somehow I'd expect the press to be better about this. The FCC is testing in two bands, it'd be nice if they were kept straight.

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post #5 of 249 Old 10-14-2008, 09:52 AM
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Here's the website, shows what unlicensed part 15 transmitters can mess up your reception.

http://broadcastengineering.com/hdtv...rference-1014/

Near the bottom of the web page there's a link that show what is like have the picture break up. This link is a video streaming.

Not good for normal TV viewers and TV DXers, that will have a hard time pulling in the digital signals thanks to part 15 transmitters!

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post #6 of 249 Old 10-14-2008, 10:00 AM
 
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Unfortunately my workplace blocks that video.

Here's where I originally heard about these approvals (slashdot): http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.../10/14/0113228
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post #7 of 249 Old 10-14-2008, 10:33 AM
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From Broadcast Engineering:

Video aims to show Congress what white space interference can do

The NAB and Association for Maximum Service Television are hoping that seeing is believing for Congress when it gets an eyeful of a new video designed to show lawmakers the potential interference unlicensed white space devices could cause in the TV broadcast spectrum.

On Oct. 9, the trade groups sent to Congress a video demonstrating the impact of interference from white space devices on digital TV signals if TV spectrum is not adequately protected.

The video includes a text message to Congress: "Despite what some high-tech companies might tell you, this is what you can expect if unlicensed mobile devices are allowed to operate in the TV spectrum without adequate protections. These devices can't sense when spectrum is in use — and we can't risk uncontrollable TV interference."

To view the video, visit www.interferencezones.com/whitespaces.wmv.

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post #8 of 249 Old 10-15-2008, 11:42 AM
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Chairman says FCC will propose allowing mobile unlicensed devices to operate in white spaces between DTV channels.

By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said Wednesday that the FCC will propose allowing mobile unlicensed devices to operate in the white spaces between DTV channels.

He says that the item is scheduled to be voted for in its Nov. 4 meeting.

Martin told reporters Wednesday that he was proposing allowing devices with both remote-sensing and geolocation capabilities--like laptops and so-called smart radios--to operate in the DTV band so long as they can tap into a database of broadcast TV channels in the area so they would not interfere with them.

He also said power levels would be more limited for devices operating on channels adjacent to TV channels than for other channels.

Martin said the FCC was proposing allowing the devices to operate at 100 milliwatts, but only 40 milliwatts on adjacent channels.

He said the FCC's white spaces report, which is being released today, concludes that the devices can be employed without interfering with broadcasts, and issue broadcasters argue with. The FCC has been testing prototype devices, with mixed results.

The caveat to the chairman’s announcement is that items that are announced for a vote do not necessarily make it to the final meeting agenda, as was the case with the low-power must-carry item for the Oct. 15 meeting.

David Donovan, who heads the Association for Maximum Service Television, told B&C that allowing 40 milliwatts of power on a first adjacent channel will "decimate over-the-air TV." MSTV has been a leading voice in opposition to allowing the unlicensed devices, arguing they could wreak havoc with DTV reception at the same time that the government is trying to convert the entire country to DTV.

Martin said he wants to utilize the spaces between broadcast services for broadband, and that they can be used so long as the devices do not interfere with broadcast channels.

Martin said the FCC testing was not about whether devices comply with existing rules and standards, but to instead use the tests to draw up those rules, saying that at times the devices worked, and at times didn't, but the testing allowed the FCC to go forward with drawing up rules.

Martin said the FCC will both put the report in the record and circulate an item to the commissioners establishing the rules for allowing white spaces devices.

Martin did not know when the unlicensed devices would become available if the item were adopted Nov. 4, but thought it would at least be a year for the devices with geolocation capability, and longer for those that need to be resubmitted.

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post #9 of 249 Old 10-15-2008, 11:43 AM
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Topic title changed.

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post #10 of 249 Old 10-15-2008, 07:08 PM
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I did a search for comments on this proposal, using the FCC's comment search form and specifying the docket number 04-186. Would you believe there are nearly 25,000 comments?

I made a small sampling, and most of them seem to be form letters, pasted into the electronic comment form. One category supports adoption, to enable wider broadband internet access:

Quote:


I'm writing to encourage you to support innovation and the Internet by
opening up the "white spaces" -- unused parts of the TV
spectrum. According to the FCC's website, FCC broadband policies
"must promote technological neutrality, competition, investment,
and innovation to ensure that broadband service providers have
sufficient incentive to develop and offer such products and
services." Permitting "Unlicensed Operation in the TV
Broadcast Bands" will facilitate these goals and is an important
step to alleviating the frustration that consumers feel with their
limited choices for broadband Internet service.
With innovators clearly enthusiastic about the opportunity to bring new
devices into the market, service providers are more than likely to take
advantage of the new technology to bring faster, cheaper broadband
access to consumers. Please take full advantage of this long-awaited
opportunity to devote this public resource to the benefit of current
and future Internet users.

There's at least one more version on this topic.

Another category expresses concern for live musicians, because of potential interference with wireless microphone etc.:

Quote:


I am writing to urge you to consider live musicians as you think about the
impacts of opening wireless frequencies. The current proposal could cause
harm to live musicians, companies that manufacture wireless music
products, and everyone else who has a stake in supporting live musicians.
Harmful interference could hinder the performance of live music in public
schools, universities, churches, performing arts centers, outdoor arenas
and countless bars and restaurants across the country. It's also likely
that, under the current measure, live musicians wishing to continue to use
their equipment will have to pay a licensing fee or monthly contract fee
to an outside mobile or wireless service company.

Restricting the search using item 15 on the search form ("Eliminate Brief Text Comments") produces about 900 hits, and the files make for more interesting and varied reading.

If you're thinking of submitting a comment on this proposal, I suggest writing one from scratch, in good business-letter format, and submitting it as a Word, WordPerfect, or PDF document using the ECFS Comment Upload form. It might get more attention that way.
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post #11 of 249 Old 10-15-2008, 08:47 PM
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From the statements that Chairman Martin made it should now be obvious that WSDs used on adjacent channels will interfere will digital television reception. The ATSC system could be completely redesigned (another digital transition) to work with WSDs but anyone (including FCC commissioners) who says unlicensed mobile WSDs can co-exist with the current ATSC system clearly does not fully support the digital television transition.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Chairman says FCC will propose allowing mobile unlicensed devices to operate in white spaces between DTV channels.

When they say "between" channels, what they really mean is "on top of long-distance channels". For me that would mean saying goodbye to long-distance Baltimore or Philadelphia stations, as the girl next door streams Miley Cyrus over her white space gadget.

Sure I'd still have my local channels 8, 15, 43, but no more would I see Baltimore channels 11, 13 45, or Philly channels 6, 10, 12. Instead these channels would be blocked by "white-space" internet gadgets.
Quote:


Martin told reporters Wednesday that he was proposing allowing devices with both remote-sensing and geolocation capabilities--like laptops and so-called smart radios--to operate in the DTV band so long as they can tap into a database of broadcast TV channels in the area so they would not interfere with them.

BOGUS.

Said database would only list stations inside a DMA, and exclude channels outside the DMA even if they are receivable by that resident.
Quote:


David Donovan, who heads the Association for Maximum Service Television, told B&C that allowing 40 milliwatts of power on a first adjacent channel will "decimate over-the-air TV."

Grrr.

We already gave-up channels 52 to 83. Why do we over-the-air viewers have to give-up channels 2 to 51 too????
Channels 2 to 51 should be exclusively reserved to television.
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post #13 of 249 Old 10-16-2008, 06:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

When they say "between" channels, what they really mean is "on top of long-distance channels". For me that would mean saying goodbye to long-distance Baltimore or Philadelphia stations, as the girl next door streams Miley Cyrus over her white space gadget.

Sure I'd still have my local channels 8, 15, 43, but no more would I see Baltimore channels 11, 13 45, or Philly channels 6, 10, 12. Instead these channels would be blocked by "white-space" internet gadgets. BOGUS.

Said database would only list stations inside a DMA, and exclude channels outside the DMA even if they are receivable by that resident. Grrr.

We already gave-up channels 52 to 82. Why do we over-the-air viewers have to give-up channels 2 to 51 too????
Channels 2 to 51 should be exclusively reserved to television.

Because the politicians and FCC commissioners who support WSDs only give lip service to free TV but actually hope everyone goes to cable or satellite. The digital transition itself will probably result in a net gain of at least 2 million subscribers for cable and satellite. If the WSDs can get rid of most the rest of OTA viewers, channels 21 to 51 will be auctioned off too.
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post #14 of 249 Old 10-16-2008, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

We already gave-up channels 52 to 83.

And channel 1.  Don't leave out that we gave up channel 1.
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post #15 of 249 Old 10-16-2008, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammer View Post

Because the politicians and FCC commissioners who support WSDs only give lip service to free TV but actually hope everyone goes to cable or satellite. The digital transition itself will probably result in a net gain of at least 2 million subscribers for cable and satellite. If the WSDs can get rid of most the rest of OTA viewers, channels 21 to 51 will be auctioned off too.

You're right, but if they don't do something about the economy, I think their plans may not pan out so well.
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post #16 of 249 Old 10-16-2008, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dattier View Post

And channel 1.* Don't leave out that we gave up channel 1.

If we had ever used channel 1, it'd have been more useless than WBBM-DT most of the time!

- Trip

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Comments are my own and not that of the FCC (my employer) or anyone else.


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post #17 of 249 Old 10-16-2008, 01:31 PM
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Fol. is FCC/OET Test Report re Lab and On-Air tests of PROTOTYPE
White Space Devices (WSD), dtg 15Oct2008:
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_publi...-08-2243A3.pdf

Specific proposals on how WSD would be used are still sketchy,
but would most likely include two types.

A Medium power device would provide wide area coverage for
"low cost" broadband service and would probably require a license
to determine the frequencies of operation (a given service
provider would probably operate on MULTIPLE freqs).
Adjacent channel interference to OTA DTV is a major concern.

WSD developers want all of this to be UNLICENSED so it wouldn't
require any spectrum use coordination and would also be FREE...
Winning bidders for the 700+ MHz spectrum auction would not be happy.....

A second, low power device would operate in your home in order
to talk back to the broadband node (alternatively use 700+ MHz or Cell).

They also want to use low power devices to do whatever Wi-Fi
does today....so they could be everywhere in great numbers.
Which can be a HUGE PROBLEM for a variety of reasons....

Section 4.2 of the Report demonstrates how easy it is to leak
into an DTV and completely block reception of cable channels.
This would also be a problem for cable boxes and SAT receivers
using coax downlead signals in the TV band.

Also note they did not test leakage into USB dongles, PCs
and RPTV sets that might not have as much shielding...

THERE ARE NO WHITE SPACES ON CABLE!!!!!


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post #18 of 249 Old 10-16-2008, 01:45 PM
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FYI: Earlier thread re Preamp desensitization due to nearby WSD and 700+ MHz band devices:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1017307


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post #19 of 249 Old 10-16-2008, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

...

Martin said he wants to utilize the spaces between broadcast services for broadband, and that they can be used so long as the devices do not interfere with broadcast channels.

....


Yeah, but the problem is that it will be totally impossible to ENFORCE non-interference. If my neighbor is jamming my TV reception with his WSD, NO ONE (especially not the FCC) is going to do a damn thing about it. My only recourse would be to try and jam his WSD so that it never works and he eventually stops trying to use it.
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post #20 of 249 Old 10-16-2008, 03:27 PM
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Topics merged.

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post #21 of 249 Old 10-16-2008, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac The Knife View Post

Yeah, but the problem is that it will be totally impossible to ENFORCE non-interference. If my neighbor is jamming my TV reception with his WSD, NO ONE (especially not the FCC) is going to do a damn thing about it. My only recourse would be to try and jam his WSD so that it never works and he eventually stops trying to use it.

That is also my concern. Even if the FCC had a 1000 employees dedicated to tracking down the problems, they would not be able to figure out where the interference was coming from.
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post #22 of 249 Old 10-16-2008, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammer View Post

If the WSDs can get rid of most the rest of OTA viewers, channels 21 to 51 will be auctioned off too.

Except who would want (including to bid on) spectrum polluted by the WSD's ????

See here :

Ex-FCC Chief Economist, Nobel Winner Call for White Space Auction


BTW, Mr. Hazlett(Former FCC Chief Economist) is NO friend to Broadcasters, or OTA Broadcast TV/DTV viewers, the WSD's are actually more OTA Free-TV "friendly", I believe ..... See here :

Exit Strategies for The Digital TV Transistion - Testimony of Thomas W. Hazlett
Before the United States Senate Commerce Committee - June 9, 2004 (Note : PDF Document)


And here :

We don't want our DTV - By Thomas Hazlett

Jeff
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If I was trying to watch a long-distance Baltimore or Philadelphia station, and it started breaking up due to interference from somebody's Ipod broadcasting on top of the same channel, I'd probably take the Ipod and smash it to bits. Hopefully this won't happen, but I won't stand for disrupted television news or weather storm warnings.
Quote:


"Lost in the tragic events of Sept. 11 was an inadvertent experiment in radio spectrum policy: Virtually every New York City television station was knocked off the air..... But there was no need to get broadcast TV back; local residents watching cable or satellite feeds were unaware of disruption."

Dear FCC Idiot:

I'm sure people living in rural communities of New York State, in northern New Jersey, and on the eastern edge of Pennsylvania were *very* aware that their televisions suddenly stopped working on that fateful day. They rely on over-the-air and the FCC has no right to take that away from them.

Also:

The typical tv network like NBC broadcasts to 20 million homes every day. At 19 megabit/s that is approximately 400,000 gigabits per second streaming into televisions all across this continent. Show me a single website that can handle 400,000 Gbit/s bandwidth, which is what NBC.com would need if they lost their broadcast stations. It doesn't exist. The internet is not yet ready to replace the over-the-air broadcast service.

If they truly "need" more room for cellphone/wireless internet usage, auction-off channels 40-51. If the digital proponents are correct, we should be able to squeeze the television spectrum to half its current size (from 68 downto 34 channels), thanks to the ability to place channels adjacent to one another. That extra space can then be auctioned-off to these internet devices.
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post #24 of 249 Old 10-17-2008, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

Dear FCC Idiot:

I'm sure people living in rural communities of New York State, in northern New Jersey, and on the eastern edge of Pennsylvania were *very* aware that their televisions suddenly stopped working on that fateful day. They rely on over-the-air and the FCC has no right to take that away from them.

How about this statement:

Quote:


At $300 for a cable “drop” or a satellite dish, a price that includes installation, virtually all of these homes could be added to existing networks at a one-time cost of under $3 billion.

Is he trying to say that the auction of the spectrum should have gone towards getting the "remaining" population on a subscription service?

Let's see, a one-time payment to get everyone on a subscription service. Thank you, but I'm not as optimistic that such viewers will enjoy the $600-$1200 annual costs to watch ad-supported television.

Or:

Quote:


One reason that these gains are so large is that the U.S. is spectrum-hungry. European Union countries average between 250 and 300 MHz of allocated radio spectrum, while the U.S. struggles to allocate 189 MHz,

Somehow, Europe has accomplished this while not yet reducing their UHF TV spectrum (though there are plans to). Why is TV to blame for the lack of spectrum problem in the US?


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post #25 of 249 Old 10-17-2008, 09:36 AM
 
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I'm sure he meant $300 for initial installation of the dish (paid by the government), followed by the standard ~$40 a month fee. Which sounds like a reasonable expense to somebody who earns $100,000 a year.

Unfortunately most of us are not that rich.

I don't know why the E.U. spectrum is any more "open" than the U.S. spectrum. They have the same AM/FM radio we have, plus another DAB radio on top of that. They have VHF/UHF television and cellphones. Maybe the American spectrum simply has a lot more "crap" (like CB) than Europe has? No idea.
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post #26 of 249 Old 10-17-2008, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by holl_ands View Post

Section 4.2 of the Report demonstrates how easy it is to leak into an DTV and completely block reception of cable channels. This would also be a problem for cable boxes and SAT receivers using coax downlead signals in the TV band.

Just think of all the un-terminated cable TV connections in a house. I imagine that capping all of them would help, but that's easier said than done for some of the cables I've pulled out of walls.

Here is one of the results from the report:

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The prototype transmitter was tuned to channel 21 and activated at full power (no external attenuation).
The picture quality on the cable channel was observed to be significantly degraded. The Adaptrum prototype provides for a variable transmit bandwidth. Using that feature, the transmit bandwidth was reset from 4.5 MHz to 6.0 MHz and the demonstration repeated.
Interference to the TV became noticeably worse.
The cable service signal path was changed to include the existing cable routing (including the distribution amplifier, etc., but without the converter box) and the test was repeated. Again, interference was observed on the TV receiver and was also noted on an analog TV in an adjacent room, which was tuned to channel 73, in the form of a complete loss of picture.
The step attenuator in the transmitter signal path was used to decrease the transmitted signal level from the maximum power (+22 dBm EIRP based on data presented in Section 3.4) in 1 dB steps while observing the DTV for interference. With 15 dB of signal attenuation (7 dBm EIRP), the interference was barely perceptible (on either TV).

So, at 5mW, the interference might not be too annoying? They are proposing up to 4W for fixed WSD's and 100mW for portable devices.

For all my concerns with OTA and WSD's, cable companies are probably going to have fits with this. Well, all they have to do is put fiber optic links to each STB, right?


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post #27 of 249 Old 10-17-2008, 01:08 PM
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Considering that the mandated use of CFL bulbs is going to destroy the reception of the AM radio band, I guess we might as well destroy the TV bands too.
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post #28 of 249 Old 10-17-2008, 04:41 PM
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I read over on broadbandreports that some of the WSD tests showed that receiver sensitivity on adjacaent channels dropped by 70dB. That's enough to change a nearby signal with a very respectable -40dBm receive level from "no problem" to "nothing"

And that's without considering pre-amps, which a nearby WSD could make useless.
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post #29 of 249 Old 10-17-2008, 10:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Nitewatchman View Post

Except who would want (including to bid on) spectrum polluted by the WSD's ????

While the bidders would probably prefer spectrum without the WSDs there is technology to get around that problem. However redesigning ATSC to use such technology would mean another transition.
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post #30 of 249 Old 10-17-2008, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mac The Knife View Post

Considering that the mandated use of CFL bulbs is going to destroy the reception of the AM radio band, I guess we might as well destroy the TV bands too.

Actually, I've had more problems with dimmers than CFLs.

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