ATSC 3.0 - A new system for OTA. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 45 Old 09-15-2011, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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From Broadcast Engineering

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ATSC sets its focus on future of digital terrestrial television with new technology group

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) said Sept. 6 it was turning its attention to the future of digital terrestrial television with formation of a new technology group to develop ATSC 3.0.

ATSC 3.0 will be a series of voluntary technical standards and recommended practices for the next-generation digital broadcast system serving both viewers and TV stations, the ATSC said in a press announcement. ATSC envisions the new system lasting decades.

"As we look to the horizon, the ATSC will be exploring technologies that perhaps haven't even been invented yet," said ATSC president Mark Richer.

Because ATSC 3.0 is likely to be incompatible with current broadcast systems, it must provide improvements in performance, functionality and efficiency significant enough to warrant implementation of a nonbackwards-compatible system, he said, adding that interoperability with production systems and non-broadcast distribution systems should be considered.

ATSC 2.0, which includes Internet-enhanced broadcasting and non-real-time (NRT) and 3-D broadcast standards, as well as ongoing support for the ATSC Mobile DTV standard, provides for the near-term future.

Formation of the new ATSC 3.0 Technology Group, called "TG3," will allow the ATSC Technology & Standards Group (now called "TG1"), chaired by Richard Chernock, CTO of Triveni Digital, to accelerate its current activities, including development of ATSC 2.0, NRT, 3-D and Mobile DTV. TG3 was recommended by the ATSC board of directors in July and adopted by the membership Sept. 2, 2011.

ATSC board chairman, Samsung VP John Godfrey, has appointed James Kutzner as the chairman of TG3. Kutzner, senior director of advanced technology for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), chaired the ATSC 3.0 Planning Team for the past year.

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post #2 of 45 Old 09-15-2011, 05:18 PM
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I have finally set up every TV in my home so they are capable of receiving digital OTA signals. OTA HDTV is an unbelievable improvement over analog.
Please, no more improvements that are "likely to be incompatible with current broadcast systems."
I don't want them, and can't justify more expenditures (of obviously diminishing returns) on OTA. Out landfills are full enough of obsolete electronics.
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post #3 of 45 Old 09-15-2011, 10:47 PM
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"ATSC envisions the new system lasting decades." WE ENVISIONED THE EXISTING SYSTEM LASTING DECADES!!! And the current system freaking better last decades! The American public is not going to stand for another round of new tv or converter
box purchases anytime this decade or in the 2020s. What would it have that the existing system doesn't? Maybe the ability to carry 3 HD programs on one RF channel so that all stations can be fit on channels 2-6 and wireless bvroadband can have 7-51?

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #4 of 45 Old 09-15-2011, 11:32 PM
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Perhaps the next gen. ATSC broadcast standard will finally anticipate and

solve the little known and completely unforeseen challenge to DTV / HDTV transmissions..............





TREES!


Including the subtle variations thereof:

short, tall, very tall, deciduous, evergreen, dry, wet, moving and

conspiracy in the first degree........




Premeditated
Evergreen Windbreaks!



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post #5 of 45 Old 09-16-2011, 02:07 AM
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NO MORE DTV TRANSITIONS!!! We just had one two years ago! The ATSC system we have now works good enough. We have HD channels and more channels OTA than before with the current ATSC system. Leave it alone!

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post #6 of 45 Old 09-16-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi Master View Post

NO MORE DTV TRANSITIONS!!! We just had one two years ago! The ATSC system we have now works good enough

Some of us would disagree. The when you add in the fact that FCC will most likely make stations share channels current ATSC technology is woefully inadequate.
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post #7 of 45 Old 09-16-2011, 12:50 PM
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Given the pace of the first transition from design to implementation, are they aiming for 2030 or 2040?
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post #8 of 45 Old 09-16-2011, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by msgohan View Post

Given the pace of the first transition from design to implementation, are they aiming for 2030 or 2040?

At the age of 63, 2050 would suit me perfectly!
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post #9 of 45 Old 09-17-2011, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Some of us would disagree. The when you add in the fact that FCC will most likely make stations share channels current ATSC technology is woefully inadequate.

Channel 24 in my area carries Fox on 24-1 in 720p in HD and ABC on 24-2 in 720p in HD and both channels look amazing. Plus congress needs to protect broadcasters and not make them give their spectrum to the greedy wireless companies just so they can make money off of spectrum that is now free to the public. Not to mention the 14.3 trillion dollar deficit, the millions of dollars that were just spent on the current DTV transition, and the crappy shape the economy is in.

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post #10 of 45 Old 09-17-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jedi Master View Post

Channel 24 in my area carries Fox on 24-1 in 720p in HD and ABC on 24-2 in 720p in HD and both channels look amazing.

Color me dubious. Also what about stations that broadcast in 1080i? Or what if station want to move to 1080p? Or what if stations want to add a mobile channel?

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Plus congress needs to protect broadcasters and not make them give their spectrum to the greedy wireless companies just so they can make money off of spectrum that is now free to the public. Not to mention the 14.3 trillion dollar deficit, the millions of dollars that were just spent on the current DTV transition, and the crappy shape the economy is in.

Congress is on the side of the wireless companies not broadcasters. That isn't going to change.
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post #11 of 45 Old 09-17-2011, 11:42 AM
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So, if the FCC takes away even more channels, WHERE will we put this new system? Do they expect to "Flash Cut" every channel at once?
Will they give everybody new TV sets?
Will they offer subsidized converter boxes again?

Could broadcasters just make this all a "Pay TV" system, and forget the free stuff?

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post #12 of 45 Old 09-17-2011, 11:47 AM
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I'm not holding my breath for any magical solutions that will "fix" all of the "problems" of Digital TV, including the need for a decent antenna, amplifiers that work, and people's total nonacceptance of having to make any effort at all to make things work.

That's what Pay Cable is for.

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post #13 of 45 Old 09-18-2011, 04:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

Congress is on the side of the wireless companies not broadcasters. That isn't going to change.

Maybe you should read this.

Quote:


Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) is hopping mad that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has refused to send to Capitol Hill the Commission's analysis of the National Broadband Plan and its impact on free and local television viewers. The veteran congressman had requested the analysis in June and Genachowski refused the request the beginning of this month.

The veteran congressman, in a new letter dated August 16th, called Genachowski's refusal to comply with his request deeply troubling.

Dingell (pictured) lashed out at Genachowski for seeking authority from Congress to conduct incentive auctions while refusing to make public what will happen if such reclamation of TV spectrum takes place. By keeping this information from Congressyou force me to conclude that you in fact are concealing from Congress the true nature and consequences of future agency actions. With this in mind, I will oppose granting the Commission statutory authority to conduct such auctions that does not include explicit and fair protections for broadcasters,

http://www.rbr.com/media-news/dingel...d-secrecy.html

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post #14 of 45 Old 09-18-2011, 07:55 AM
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I'd love to know if the AARP has gotten wind of all this yet.
They'd likely get the word out.

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post #15 of 45 Old 09-18-2011, 08:11 AM
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Along with Dingell sending that message to the FCC he introduced a bill that allowed for protections for broadcasters. Apparently no protections are mentioned in the incentive auction language that was included in the Jobs Act the President proposed.

From http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/124530

Little Off-Air TV Protection Offered in American Jobs Act
by Doug Lung, 09.16.2011

Visit www.WhiteHouse.gov, skipping the sign-up page, and you'll find videos and even a slide show on the American Jobs Act. Tracking down the full text of the Act is a little more difficult. I'll save you the trouble--it's here. Read the actual language of the Act and the proposed rules for the Incentive Auctions of TV broadcast spectrum and you'll find that the Act offers little assurance broadcasters will be able to continue serving the same audience they do now. It omits the critical protections in John Dingell's HR 2482 - Public Safety and Wireless Innovation Act.

Most articles I've seen this week on the American Jobs Act provide few details as to how the Incentive Auctions proposed in the Act would impact broadcaster, likely because the language isn't clear. I'll give my interpretation and welcome comments from people that might have a different understanding.

The American Jobs Act allows the FCC to move TV broadcasters to clear spectrum.

John Dingell's HR 2482 would have reimbursed broadcasters for all direct and indirect costs of the move. The Jobs Act is not as clear, saying amounts in the Incentive Auction Relocation Fund may only be used by the NTIA, in consultation with the Commission, to cover:

"(I) the reasonable costs of television broadcast stations that are relocated to a different spectrum channel or geographic location following an incentive auction under subparagraph (F), or that are impacted by such relocations, including to cover the cost of new equipment, installation, and construction;

and

"(II) the costs incurred by multichannel video programming distributors for new equipment, installation, and construction related to the carriage of such relocated stations or the carriage of stations that voluntarily elect to share a channel, but retain their existing rights to carriage pursuant to sections 338, 614, and 615."

That's the end of the good news. Paragraph (F) gives the FCC wide authority to modify the licenses of broadcasters that don't give up their spectrum in an Incentive Auction and it isn't clear whether licensees would have to agree to them. It states:

"If the Commission also determines that it is in the public interest to modify the spectrum usage rights of any incumbent licensee in order to facilitate the assignment of such new initial licenses subject to new service rules, or the designation of spectrum for unlicensed use, the Commission may pay to such licensee a portion of the auction proceeds for the purpose of relocating to any alternative frequency or location that the Commission may designate."

Unlike HR 2482, there's no provision within the Jobs Act to protect a TV station's coverage area or to protect it from interference.

What happens if the incumbent licensee doesn't want change channels?

The wording "any alternative frequency or location that the Commission may designate" seems very broad to me. If they want your New York City spectrum, can they move your station to Montana?

If this is truly voluntary, it's unlikely that stations operating on UHF channels would want to move to a VHF allocation, but stations on the higher UHF channels would likely be open to moving to another UHF channel with costs covered by the NTIA fund mentioned earlier. Will the amount the FCC pays the licensee depend on the undesirability of the location or frequency it would have to move to? What happens if there aren't enough channels for the broadcasters that don't want to change location or move to a less desirable channel?

The Jobs Act exempts broadcasters from spectrum fees, so it appears that fees can't be used to persuade stations to "voluntarily" move off UHF channels.

It isn't clear whether Congress will pass the Act, and if it does, if there will be an opportunity to bring the legislation on Incentive Auctions more in line with HR 2482. The Jobs Act, as it stands, does little to remove the uncertainty over the future of of-air TV.

There is one indication that proponents of reallocating TV spectrum for wireless broadband are beginning to realize the National Broadband Plan recommendation to take 120 MHz of UHF TV spectrum isn't practical. The Act doesn't limit the amount of spectrum to be auctioned or limit it to UHF, but it did set a threshold at 84 MHz. After 84 MHz of broadcast TV spectrum is auctioned (and payments received), a portion of the funds from any additional TV spectrum auctions "may be disbursed to licensees of other frequency bands for the purpose of making additional spectrum available, provided that a majority of such additional spectrum is assigned via competitive bidding."

If 84 MHz of UHF TV spectrum is auctioned off, wireless services would start at TV Channel 38, with the Channel 37 spectrum reserved for medical devices and radio astronomy serving as a buffer between broadcast and wireless services. Broadcasters have to notify all nearby medical facilities before they can build a UHF TV station. I wonder if the wireless carriers that buy these frequencies will have to do this also?

Incentive spectrum auctions are only a small part of the Jobs Act, but it would be ironic if it passed as submitted and those people struggling to make ends meet lose access to free TV as a result.

Also see Reclaimed TV Spectrum Valued at $28 Billion in Obama Jobs Bill on TVTechnology.com.
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post #16 of 45 Old 09-18-2011, 11:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Jedi Master View Post

Maybe you should read this.



http://www.rbr.com/media-news/dingel...d-secrecy.html

Yeah it's ONE guy and he's a democrat. Who controls the House?
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post #17 of 45 Old 09-18-2011, 11:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ATSCguy View Post

There is one indication that proponents of reallocating TV spectrum for wireless broadband are beginning to realize the National Broadband Plan recommendation to take 120 MHz of UHF TV spectrum isn't practical. The Act doesn't limit the amount of spectrum to be auctioned or limit it to UHF, but it did set a threshold at 84 MHz. After 84 MHz of broadcast TV spectrum is auctioned (and payments received), a portion of the funds from any additional TV spectrum auctions "may be disbursed to licensees of other frequency bands for the purpose of making additional spectrum available, provided that a majority of such additional spectrum is assigned via competitive bidding."

If 84 MHz of UHF TV spectrum is auctioned off, wireless services would start at TV Channel 38, with the Channel 37 spectrum reserved for medical devices and radio astronomy serving as a buffer between broadcast and wireless services. Broadcasters have to notify all nearby medical facilities before they can build a UHF TV station. I wonder if the wireless carriers that buy these frequencies will have to do this also?

That's what I couldn't figure. Wireless companies weren't going to get 120 MHz of contiguous sprectrum from TV. They would get 36 MHz from channels 31-36 and 84 MHz from channels 38-51. What exactly could they do with the 36 MHz from channels 31-36?
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post #18 of 45 Old 09-19-2011, 01:04 AM
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4000p Ultra HD in 3D along with 2 1080i 2D subchannels that will fit in a 6 MHz channel is at least 20 years off, maybe 30-40. The only "improvement" that an "ATSC 3.0" using MPEG4 could offer is the ability to cram 2 HD streams (or 3 or 4 of them bitstarved) into one 6 MHz channel so they can give all of UHF to wireless internet ande cram all OTA tv onto VHF. HELL NO, WE WON'T GO!

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #19 of 45 Old 09-19-2011, 04:32 AM
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Second generation digital TV systems are already being rolled out alongside first generation systems in Europe.

Many European countries introduced DTV around the same time as the US, but for SD (often 16:9 SD) broadcast rather than HD. These systems used MPEG2, MP2 or AC3 audio and DVB-T (capable of 15-24Mbs per 7/8MHz channel typically) Normally the space occupied by a single analogue SD service could carry 3 or 4 SD MPEG2 services at reasonable quality with late 90s MPEG2 encoders. These days the "acceptable quality" has dropped, and MPEG2 encoders have improved, and with tweaks to the modulation scheme it is now common to carry 6 or more SD services in the same capacity that could carry a single SD analogue service.

To introduce HD (720p or 1080i) and/or pay-TV - some countries added H264 video encoding (and in some cases AAC audio encoding) to their existing standards, or if they were later in rolling out DTV, rolled out a mixed MPEG2 SD non-pay TV/H264 HD and SD pay TV standard - but still within the 15-24Mbs modulation scheme DVB-T, with three 720p services being carried for instance. (Norway went very late and mandated all receivers - SD and HD - to be compatible with HD broadcasts, avoiding the requirement for SD/HD simulcasting that other countries have. NRK1-3 HD are broadcast in 720p in a single DVB-T mux)

However other countries have rolled out an entirely new transmission system - using H264 video and AC3/AAC audio compression AND a new modulation system that can deliver 40+Mbs in an 8MHz channel, DVB-T2. The UK has replaced one of it's six DVB-T 18-24Mbs muxes with a single 40Mbs DVB-T2 mux carrying 4 1080i HD H264 services, and Sweden has two DVB-T2 muxes carrying around 9 HD services - a mix of 720p and 1080i in two muxes (running at a lower bitrate). The use of Single Frequency Networks (where multiple transmitters transmit the same service on the same frequency) also allows for efficient spectrum use. On the other hand SD and HD services are simulcast - as old DVB-T/MPEG2 SD only receivers can't receive the new HD broadcasts.

Whether using DVB-T or DVB-T2 using H264 video compression has allowed for better video quality than MPEG2 at a given bitrate, OR more acceptable quality services at a lower bitrate than would be possible for MPEG2.

The implementation of new modulation schemes has usually been tied to new services - HD or pay-TV or both - in Europe - and as people replace their existing receivers, they've replaced them with models with the newer technology (or bought low-cost £20-40 set top boxes if they want the new services).

I suspect the US - is trickier as the TV market is far less dominated by OTA than in Europe (in the UK more people watch OTA than any other TV delivery system - with satellite second and cable third) AND the US went HD with their first transition, whereas Europe went SD (and 16:9 often) with the first transition, and waited for newer technology (and lower production costs) before going HD with a second transition.

The next transition for TV is surely going to be 4k or 8k - but whether OTA can sustain the bitrates required is an interesting question. If we can currently fit 40Mbs of data into 8MHz, and that can deliver 4 1080i services, that suggests that a single 4k service should be able to fit into a single RF channel. With improved compression coming with the replacement for H264/AVC that could be improved on - though I'm not sure how close to the Shannon limit DVB-T2 is...

However I can absolutely see the reasoning behind the ATSC wanting a newer broadcast system. ATSC 8VSB running at 19.2Mbs with MPEG2 for HDTV doesn't compare that well to DVB-T2 COFDM running at 30+Mbs with H264 in a similar 6MHz RF channel.
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post #20 of 45 Old 09-19-2011, 10:31 AM
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Maybe the FCC should allow each DMA to shuffle a couple of existing 6 MHz channels, making a hole big enough for a, say, 10 or 12 MHz wide channel that carries a mux of the primary services of each "station", to get it all on the air. Then, after getting everybody switched over to new TV's and new STB's, we could shutdown the existing 6 MHz ATSC channels, and make a couple of new, 10-12 MHz channels for auxiliary services and sub-channels.

We'd just have to get out of the "USA=6 MHz per channel" mentality, as well as the "one (RF) channel per broadcaster" mindset.

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post #21 of 45 Old 09-19-2011, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

Maybe the FCC should allow each DMA to shuffle a couple of existing 6 MHz channels, making a hole big enough for a, say, 10 or 12 MHz wide channel that carries a mux of the primary services of each "station", to get it all on the air. Then, after getting everybody switched over to new TV's and new STB's, we could shutdown the existing 6 MHz ATSC channels, and make a couple of new, 10-12 MHz channels for auxiliary services and sub-channels.

We'd just have to get out of the "USA=6 MHz per channel" mentality, as well as the "one (RF) channel per broadcaster" mindset.

I honestly can't tell if you're serious or pulling our collective legs. I really am not interested in starting over with all new TVs and new STBs.
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post #22 of 45 Old 09-19-2011, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

We'd just have to get out of the "USA=6 MHz per channel" mentality, as well as the "one (RF) channel per broadcaster" mindset.

"one (RF) channel per broadcaster"

That's one of the major differences between the US and many European DTV systems.

In the US broadcasters (stations) operate their own transmission systems - so local stations each have a single RF slot and operate their own transmitters on that frequency.

In many European implementations, the transmission infrastructure is entirely separate (run by a third party), and broadcasters are just allocated EPG numbers and bandwidth, with the transmission operator deciding where the physical spectrum is. But this is because Europe runs with a more networked base system - where the same content is often broadcast nationwide on many different frequencies (though with DVB-T/T2 you can have multiple transmitters on the same frequency in some cases - which can be very efficient).

Even if broadcasters control their own transmissions, there is usually co-operation (cross-EPG carriage for instance, and it is usual to co-site all the transmitters for a given region on the same site, usually the same mast)

The UK is slightly different as the BBC have their own guaranteed RF slots (different in pre- and post-Digital Switch Over regions) in the digital spectrum plan, with ITV and Channel Four sharing a third slot.

Another option being considered - it was close to being adopted for DVB-T2 - is to use multiple receive aerials (antennae) and both H and V polarisation to increase the data capacity of a given chunk of spectrum.
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post #23 of 45 Old 09-19-2011, 03:15 PM
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I honestly can't tell if you're serious or pulling our collective legs. I really am not interested in starting over with all new TVs and new STBs.

That's exactly what they are proposing.

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post #24 of 45 Old 09-20-2011, 12:57 AM
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Those 12 MHz channels will be on VHF, including low VHF. If they kill analog radio they can put up to 7 HD radio streams on each FM channel, thereby allowing the FM band to shrink to 88-96 MHz and create a new 12 MHz low VHF DTV channel! The new system won't give us one darned thing we don't already have. THE ONLY PURPOSE WILL BE TO ALLOW WIRELESS BROADBAND INTERNET TO HAVE THE ENTIRE UHF BAND!!! I should not have to replace all of my tv sets or buy converter boxes for them just so people can download porn in HD to their laptops or cell phones! There is more than enough cell phone bandwidth to handle phone calls, text messages, and basic websurfing. We don't need HD video on demand on mobile devices at the expense of broadcast tv. The last DTV transition gave us a vast improvement over the old analog system. We gained HD, multicasting, and no snow ever. The next DTV transition better give us 4000p Ultra HD in 3D with no glasses, and 1080i subchannels so we can get ThisTV, The Cool TV, Create, etc. in HD. This ATSC 3.0 thing could in theory give us subchannels in HD, but it won't be used that way. It is all about channel sharing in order to clear UHF for precious wireless broadband internet. The least they can do is develop a modulation scheme that works well on low VHF frequencies, becasue that is where a lot of it will end up.

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #25 of 45 Old 09-20-2011, 07:48 AM
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I was thinking a bit last night....If we lose our OTA channels, or we "shack-up" with other broadcasters, what happens to the Broadcast Auxiliary frequencies, the ones used for field coordination, for live shots, for remotes ("O.B." as the Brits call them...Outside Broadcasts)?
Sneals, how do they work that in the UK? Do the auxiliary channels belong to the individual broadcasters, or the transmission providers? Are they assigned, or shared?

This spectrum grab seems to have more questions than answers.

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post #26 of 45 Old 09-20-2011, 08:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Hawk View Post

Those 12 MHz channels will be on VHF, including low VHF. If they kill analog radio they can put up to 7 HD radio streams on each FM channel, thereby allowing the FM band to shrink to 88-96 MHz and create a new 12 MHz low VHF DTV channel!

They are not killing analog radio. If anything I can see channels 5 and 6 being repurposed for FM radio. Also I fail to see how going from 6 MHz to 12 MHz solves the issues that make DTV on VHF such a pain.
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post #27 of 45 Old 09-20-2011, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenglish View Post

I was thinking a bit last night....If we lose our OTA channels, or we "shack-up" with other broadcasters, what happens to the Broadcast Auxiliary frequencies, the ones used for field coordination, for live shots, for remotes ("O.B." as the Brits call them...Outside Broadcasts)?

Sneals, how do they work that in the UK? Do the auxiliary channels belong to the individual broadcasters, or the transmission providers? Are they assigned, or shared?

This spectrum grab seems to have more questions than answers.

The UK has always worked a bit differently I think. In the 70s/80s (and possibly 90s) some roving cameras (the Land Rover/Citroen Safari mounted cameras at horse racing for instance) used UHF "in band" radio links (FM not VSB AM I think?) for radio camera links - but these were quite rare. Microwave links were the norm by the 80s, and these are now digital rather than analogue for wireless camera operation. It's usual for News OBs to use a radio camera link to an SNG truck - rather than cabling - these days, for safety, speed of deployment and flexibility of coverage.

There is both licensed and unlicensed spectrum ISTR - with some broadcasters having allocated spectrum for things like wireless radio mics, talkback circuits etc.

For IFB (aka Clean-Feed aka Mix Minus) and co-ordinating talkback AIUI we've never really used subcarriers on broadcast channels (i.e. had a "spare" carrier for studio to OB comms alongside the main mono/stereo audio feeds), but have had some allocated spectrum just below the UHF Band IV TV band (around 468MHz?) for carriage separately of non-broadcast audio. Think there may be some spectrum higher up around the 850MHz area as well?

However because we don't have "stations" in the same way as the US does - we have national broadcasters (the BBC, ITV - originally a regional federation of broadcasters, Channel Four etc.) the licensing of frequencies can be handled more nationally I guess. On the other hand now no UK broadcaster has their own in-house outside broadcast operation (and even their news operations are partially or fully outsourced) - so who is allowed on which frequency is an interesting question. (The BBC and ITV still have their own studio operations where radio mic and talkback frequencies are carefully controlled to avoid interference with each other, and with visiting camera crews etc.)

GSM TBUs are normally used on satellite trucks - or satcomms (but with more delay). SNG is now the norm for live news contributions - most news microwave gear wasn't upgraded to digital - though some digital radio cameras are being deployed in metropolitan areas (the BBC have a "News Bike" in Central London, which is a cordless RF camera carried by motorbike for lives - again with GSM cellular used for IFB I think)

I think our "comms" infrastructure is pretty different. We've never really operated with a single IFB - every remote OB gets their separate specific mix-minus, as it is common for two OBs to need to be able to hear each other. Similarly each remote would get its own 4-wire for co-ord (if one is being used)

The only time I think that broadcast channels, in use for broadcast, have been used for IFB/talkback purposes was the "spare" capacity in the UK NICAM 728 digital audio system introduced in the late 80s (which added digital stereo audio to our analogue mono TV sound standard) The main stereo audio was 32kHz 14bit companded to 10 bit - but there was some space left for ancillary data. This was enough for a "telephone" quality compressed audio feed - which TVam and Channel Four both experimented for Studio to OB comms. Because of the split between transmitter operator and broadcaster -
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post #28 of 45 Old 09-20-2011, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BCF68 View Post

They are not killing analog radio. If anything I can see channels 5 and 6 being repurposed for FM radio. Also I fail to see how going from 6 MHz to 12 MHz solves the issues that make DTV on VHF such a pain.

So in addition to junking all of my STBs and TVs, do I have to pitch all of my FM radios also?
This is just beyond my ability to comprehend.
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post #29 of 45 Old 09-21-2011, 12:00 AM
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I also fail to see how switching from 6 MHz to 12 MHz would solve anything.

I do think that within the next 20 years that all radio stations will be forced to go digital only.

How can we say "the digital transition is complete" when thousands of low power stations are still broadcasting in analog?
LOW POWER ANALOG NEEDS TO DIE NOW!!!
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post #30 of 45 Old 09-21-2011, 04:31 AM
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First of all, I agree with those here who are wary of another digital transition -- especially if it were to occur any time soon, as I believe that a second disruption of broadcast television service so soon after the 2009 transition would just kill OTA television in the US.

Second, if we are going to have another transition despite that, I consider that to be one more argument for not shrinking the broadcast TV band -- because we'd certainly need all the space we can get to support another simulcast, this time being the simulcast of two separate digital services.

However, if were were to go to a new transmission standard akin to the one that the Europeans are rolling out, I can't help but wonder about another option. That standard fits 40 mbps of data into 8 MHz, which works out to 5 mbps/MHz. That means that the 12 MHz channels suggested by a couple of folks here would carry a whopping 60 mbps of data, sufficient for H264 HDTV transmissions for 5 or 6 channels. But it would required shared transmission facilities between multiple broadcasters, which is a poor fit for our broadcast licensing and business models.

But why wouldn't it be possible to go in the opposite direction, with narrower channels? As an example, 3 MHz channels would hold close to 15 mbps (probably a little less, due to guard banding between channels) and 2 MHz channels would hold close to 10 mbps (save caveat about guard bands). Using H264, the former would be sufficient for one HD channel and a couple of SD subchannels, and the latter would hold an HD channel. Either way, broadcasters would maintain their own facilities, just as they do now. On top of that, the 23 TV channels between channels 14 and 36 would effectively be "expanded" into 46 3 MHz channels or 69 2 MHz channels. Either way, that would permit digital TV to completely leave the UHF spectrum while still allowing the telecom forces to steal spectrum from broadcasters.

Yeah, that's incompatible with most of the rest of the world -- but so what, considering that our 6 MHz channels are already incompatible with the 7 and 8 MHz channels used outside of the Americas and Japan.
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