- January 11, 2010 at 4:55 am
So, you guys seen this story? A lobbying group tells the FCC we should change broadcast DTV from a high-powered single-point stick to a cell-phone-network like distributed system of low-power DTV multiple repeaters, to blanket your station’s broadcast radius, the reason being they want to “grow” the white space between cities to then carve up and commercialize further for other apps.
Good idea? Bad idea? No idea?
Good: no more single-point failure, like we saw in NYC on 9-11-00 when all the TX antennae on the WTC were lost at a stroke. ANy natural or man-made disaster would not take down all your coverage pattern. Maybe good: poor local reception may be less of an issue if you’re so much closer to a local Tx. Commercially good: you would have even more ability to sculpt your exact broadcast coverage pattern, giving your signal to some areas and withholding it from others.
On the bad side, lots of folks just bought and put up new sticks and TX’s. Do you wanna be the one to tell’em about this new idea?
Why does the whole concept trigger my Spider-Sense so strongly against it, I don’t know, but it does.
- January 11, 2010 at 8:41 pm
although it’s not my job i alway’s bin a bit curious about RFsystems.
so i read a lot about it.(this does not mean that i also understand it 😉 )
indeed you can address your audience more precise which give more flexibility in for instance advertising.
but Radio and TV have next to a commercial/entertainment task also a task to give people information when the worstcase scenario occur.
(social panic is one of your worst enemies)
faillure of one transmission site as you al ready mentioned does not have so much impact as it has know. and also due to there reduced size they are not that fragille.
you see in a small country like ours they already have raised the amount of transmision site’s with factor 4 during the digtal changover last year.
off coarse this is not as fragmented as a GSM network but it is already going on.
one of the technical advantage’s is that you can guarantee a better reception with less power.(which is a good economic aspect) this due to the nature of DVB-T (ATSC in the US). whit timing the guardband’s the different transmission’s site can help each other instead of disturbing each other like in the analog early day’s.which is very usefull in places whit high buildings or in the mountain’s.
maybe due to this effect owning a big tranmitter site can be a good base or headstart in rolling out the cellular network. cause you can do it in a more controlled way and whit a other tempo.
off coarse this is just a wild guess and maybe i’m overseeing very big pitfalls in RFtechnology i’m just amateur in this
People saying they don’t make mistake’s often make nothing at all!
- January 11, 2010 at 9:28 pm
My GUESS on the situation:
The lobbying group is mostly representing commercial broadcast manufacturers. They are “disguising” their efforts by saying they are interests are in “the people”. The story being that people have invested greatly into HD and now that the transition is complete, they are finding out that they may not receive the same stations they once did. The digital signal does not travel as far as the analog. The same problem occurs with HD-radio. Of course, they have the answer – buy more transmitters!
ps-None of my comments are meant to be gospel. Otherwise, I would write a book that provided all the cold, hard, fast answers that everyone assumes are out there. These are the things that I have found to work well with my shooting habits and workflow. Always try things out for yourself and deduce the best workflow for you.
- January 12, 2010 at 1:40 am
Let me add some logistical issues to this story for you Mark: I am here in Chicago, about 5 blocks from my transmitter at the Sears (Willis) tower. I have a single short microwave hop as do most all of the other broadcasters in town (Unlike out west where there might be several hops to reach the mountaintop.) I have one computer monitoring our one cabinet transmitter, including the room temperature, incoming power, etc…
Now IF this goes through, we will now have to find a way to distribute video to these multiple transmitters, monitor them, and travel to each of them to do weekly preventive maintenance on them. Realistically speaking, traditional broadcast television is hanging on by a thread, and turning every broadcaster into essentially a cell phone or wireless internet provider, may just put broadcast television out of business.
Don’t even get me started on what Sprint did a couple of years ago, when they wanted a piece of the BAS (Broadcast Auxiliary Spectrum) so badly, they bought EVERY broadcaster in the county new digital microwave equipment so they could condense the available space to broadcasters giving them access to the newly available bandwidth for themselves!
- January 12, 2010 at 10:21 pm
seems like pro’s are talking here
can you guy’s confirm if this is true what i read and wrote about
transmision site’s helping each other to make the signal more robust.
or is this just a myth that i fished up ;D
weekly preventive maintenance
is this really needed for fairly low power rig’s. i don’t see that much maintenance on GSM/UMTS mast’s and i live next to one.
indeed signal distrubution but also monitoring can give real extra challenge’s.
People saying they don’t make mistake’s often make nothing at all!
- January 14, 2010 at 4:42 am
Hey Maurice, I guess it just depends on the system make up. When I say preventative maintenance, what that means to me is that almost all stations require an engineer to at the very least poke his head in and take readings to ensure everything is running as it should, and the readings on the actual transmitter match those on the remote system. Other responsibilities depending on the type of site may be to check the fuel in the generator, cooling system components, etc…My transmitter site several has filters attached to the Sears tower cooling system that need to be cleaned frequently to ensure the water is flowing. My issue with this new system would be that every station would have an engineer that would do nothing but travel from site to site every day making sure everything is as it should be.
As for the cooperation you speak of, when you have multiple station’s occupying one site in town, there is always a lot of coordination when it comes to maintenance shutdowns. If one station has to do work on a microwave receiver, three other stations may need to shut down so no one gets fried! Also, I would say that most engineers in a given market are at least one a first name basis with each other, and I know of many cases where one station lent another station a part or two to get them back on the air while the replacement was shipped in.
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