Information from Broadcast Industry Insiders

Rockefeller Re-Introduces D-Block Bill

Rockefeller Re-Introduces D-Block Bill

Senate Commerce Chairman John (Jay) Rockefeller, D-W.Va has reintroduced legislation that would re-allocate a chunk of spectrum to public safety officials for the creation of a national broadband interoperable network.

Rockefeller said the bill mirrors the measure he offered last Congress that would re-allocate the D-block of spectrum to public safety officials instead of auctioning it off to commercial bidders as the Federal Communications Commission has proposed.

He noted that with the upcoming 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Congress needs to finally implement a recommendation by the commission that investigated those attacks to create a national broadband interoperable public safety network to help first responders better communicate during emergencies. The 2001 terrorist attacks highlighted the problems first responders have had in trying to communicate with each other during emergencies.

“I think it’s a national priority,” Rockefeller said. The issue is controversial because some House lawmakers including key members of the Energy and Commerce Committee favor the FCC’s plan, which also called for using the proceeds from the auction of the D-block to help pay for the construction of the public safety network.

Rockefeller’s bill includes a provision authorizing the FCC to conduct incentive auctions, which are aimed at persuading broadcasters to voluntarily give up some of their spectrum in exchange for some of the proceeds from the auction of that spectrum. Rockefeller’s bill notes that some of the money from these incentive auctions and funding derived from other auctions also can be used to help pay for the construction of the public safety network.

The issue has not only split lawmakers but also industry. Some of the nation’s biggest wireless providers such as AT&T and Verizon favor giving the D-block to public safety, while T- Mobile, Sprint and smaller wireless carriers favor the FCC’s proposal to auction off the spectrum to commercial bidders.

T-Mobile and other wireless providers are part of the Connect Public Safety Now coalition that are urging lawmakers to allow the FCC to auction the D-Block to commercial bidders and at the same time provide funding to build the public safety broadband network.

“While we respectfully disagree with Mr. Rockefeller on the way to get there, we stand with him on the need to build this network, and are committed to ensuring that it becomes a reality - quickly,” the coalition said in a statement which also noted the FCC’s move to request comments on the technical details related to building a national broadband.

End of Article

This just goes to show how little they care about this nation and the safety of its people. To even ask that the D-Block be used for anything other than its original purpose should be considered criminal by the people most effected, and that is YOU !! The FCC should also be reminded of why the digital TV transition was done in the first place.

They are treating this spectrum like it is a cracker Jack prize, and are blinded by the extreme greed that resides in every mans heart and soul. They are treating a public resource as if it is theirs to give away to whom ever they please, while the safety of the American people seems to be one of their last concerns as long as their pockets get fat.

This should be a concern for every American Citizen, but the Sheeple are blinded by all of their silly and meaningless twits and tweets to the real threats this technology presents to their personal safety.

If you really think the internet is the place for our nations emergency communications system with all of the hackers and all of the domestic and foreign attacks that take place daily, then you are simply one of the blind Sheeple who never get involved in the real world, and keep your head buried in the childish world of twits and tweets, and blind Sheeple.

THE SAND PEOPLE STILL WANT TO ELIMINATE US FROM THE PLANET, and all the FCC and the broad band robber barons see is extreme riches that WILL exceed anyone's wildest imagination.

Yes, I know I have mentioned the greed factor more times than some want to hear, but if you have a message that you want someone to hear, you have to shout it from the roof tops. I see first hand what large sums of money can do to even the humblest of people. I am administering a $700,000 estate for my Aunt, and now I see first hand the greed I have been talking about all this time. I can only imagine its influence when talking about billions of dollars. It is sickening to see how the greed for the dollar makes even supposedly honest people into full blown scoundrels.

The FCC needs to be reeled in and made aware that they are dealing with this nations safety communications system and not just giving more spectrum to the tweeter crowd, and that the spectrum they view as a cash cow for private industry still belongs to the American Sheeple, even if they don't realize it or acknowledge it. CALL YOUR WASHINGTON REPRESENTATIVES AND EXPRESS YOUR OUTRAGE. This is not all about saving DTV, it may end up being about saving a big portion od this countries population from harm or extinction.
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Kill the 8-VSB Frankenstein

Jan 1, 2011 12:00 PM, Brad Dick Editorial Director

Editorial director Brad Dick revisits his prediction about 8-VSB in light of an FCC recommendation that the industry move to adopt COFDM.

Kill the 8-VSB Frankenstein, redux

It was August 2000 when I wrote on this page, “8-VSB technology is a Frankenstein, built from the scraps of other failed ideas … 8-VSB has had almost six years to make itself work, and it still doesn't. We should not gamble on promised future fixes that might make tomorrow's 8-VSB as good as COFDM is today.”

It is not surprising that the editorial drew strong responses on both sides of the issue. The editorial was simply my opinion that many 8-VSB backers were choosing to remain blind to other options, specifically anything like COFDM.

Six years earlier, in 1994, Broadcast Engineering magazine suggested implementing a 15-month delay to accommodate a range of (C)OFDM tests. It seemed a small price to pay for something as important as this nation's DTV platform. Unfortunately, vested interests pushed back with claims that new generations of receivers could solve any reception problems.

A key argument in the original editorial was that 8-VSB was being touted as superior to COFDM under false pretenses. More than a few knowledgeable engineers believed that COFDM would better serve the current (HD) and future (mobile, multichannel) options than would 8-VSB; however, 8-VSB backers claimed those, as of then, nonexistent consumer applications were not sufficiently important to be included in the platform's patchwork solution.

Another straw man argument used by 8-VSB backers was that it would be too expensive to convert the 8-VSB receivers already in the field to COFDM. That couldn't have been true because Sinclair offered to pay for those TV set conversions.

The pro-8-VSB argument focused on two basic, but critical, points: HD is what matters, and it's ready to go.

It is now 17 years later, and an FCC commissioner has proposed that the industry consider replacing 8-VSB with (C)OFDM. I hate to say it, but I told you so.

On Nov. 30, the FCC released its NPRM on opening TV spectrum to wireless broadband services. Along with the clawback provisions in the proposal, this industry's possible technological future was hinted at by Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker. She said, “I accept that this item represents an initial step in updating our TV band rules. Significant and fundamental issues are deferred. In the future, there needs to be a fulsome discussion on additional innovative proposals to address sharing of broadband and broadcast in the TV bands, including the possibility of a broadcast transition from MPEG-2 to MPEG-4, the adoption of a more cellularized broadcast system or a transition from ATSC to OFDM technologies” [my emphasis added].

According to an April 2010 Nielsen report, fewer than 10 percent of homes receive their TV signal via OTA reception. That means up to 90 percent of a station's audience never relies on a transmitted RF signal. These viewers don't give a damn about 8-VSB or ABCD; they just want to watch TV.

Would COFDM have been a better solution for the delivery of DTV and today's mobile and multichannel iterations? We'll never know. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, “You go to market with the technology you have, not the technology you might like to have.”

We as an industry picked this Frankenstein, for better or worse, and now we have to live with it — that is, until the FCC decides otherwise.

Send comments to:

Wouldn't it be ironic that the guy down the street who couldn't wait to show you his new $4,00 plasma 4 years ago, may have to use a converter box with his "New High Tech TV" What comes around, Goes around !!


Broadcasters have role to play as wireless Internet service providers

Broadcasters have role to play as wireless Internet service providers, says Greg Herman

Jan 25, 2011 3:28 PM, By Phil Kurz

Greg Herman, president of, says he believes broadcasters can help the FCC achieve its wireless Internet spectrum goals if they are given the freedom to employ new digital modulation techniques.

Should there be a role other than surrendering spectrum for broadcasters to play in meeting the nation’s future demand for broadband wireless Internet service?

Greg Herman, the head of and the president of LPTV broadcaster WatchTV in Portland, OR, thinks so. Herman is in Washington, D.C., this week making the rounds to pitch his contention that broadcasters should be freed from regulations requiring them to use 8-VSB modulation for DTV transmission.

Herman would like to see broadcasters be given the freedom to deploy newer digital modulation approaches, like OFDM, which he sees as creating a significant role for broadcasters in providing wireless broadband Internet service.

Because much of the anticipated demand for wireless Internet capacity stems from the growing popularity of watching Internet TV on portable devices, broadcasters could play a critical role.

In this podcast interview, Herman talks about broadcasters as wireless broadband providers, what would be needed to modify broadcast transmission infrastructure to serve this new role and the ongoing stream of revenue the government could collect from broadcasters who use some of their spectrum to deliver broadband Internet service.

Broadcasters have role to play as wireless Internet service providers, says Greg Herman


Internet Connected TVs Are Vulnerable To Viruses !!

February 8, 2011
Ocean Blue Says Connected TVs Are Vulnerable To Viruses

The latest generation of TVs and set-top boxes are at risk of virus infection unless manufacturers take steps to build in protection, says Ocean Blue Software (OBS). The UK-based company, which develops TV application software, says the majority of new TVs and set-top boxes that allow for connection to the Internet will be exposed to viruses never before associated with TVs and set-tops.

"Almost any TV based product with a processor, enough memory and an Internet connection is at risk," said Ken Helps, founder and CEO of OBS, in a statement. "Owners can access any Internet address and potentially download anything."

Although every TV and set-top box is different, most connected systems now use Linux and widely available software packages such as graphics engines and codecs, according to OBS. Opening up digital TV receivers to PC-centric technologies means that anyone can author the content, and with an increasing proliferation of pay-per-view services, personal details, such as credit card information, will be stored within TVs and set-top boxes.

Ocean Blue is developing Neptune software, a firewall for its DVB core, but warns this will provide only rudimentary protection. "TVs do not have sufficient power to run full anti-virus protection," added Helps. "We have the technology to link our software to a cloud-based AV service that can provide AV scanning before downloads reach the TV set. That would solve the processing issue, and ensure protection was always up to date."


How would you like to buy a $3,000 OLED TV and have it infected by a virus. I guess we will be buying Norton Anti Virus, the appliance version before long. This crap is simply just getting out of hand, and way,way to ridicules. Its almost like a science fiction movie, or a bad dream !!
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Staff member
This sounds a bit fishy. While there is a threat of internet TVs being compromised, notice how Ocean Blue says that it has a solution, namely a cloud based antivirus for internet TV platforms... sounds to me like they're trying to scare people to drum up business.

But it does really show how poorly designed consumer products are today. Between cost cutting by manufacturers and engineers who really should pay more attention to detail we have a lot of bugs which should have never made it past beta.


It's A Small World After All: Cell Tower Gear Goes Miniature

February 7, 2011
Communications Technology Magazine - It's A Small World After All: Cell Tower Gear Goes Miniature :: Communications Technology
It's A Small World After All: Cell Tower Gear Goes Miniature

Today, Alcatel-Lucent unveiled lightRadio, a new initiative in wireless infrastructure. At a press launch in London supported by partners Freescale Semiconductor and HP, Alcatel-Lucent said this is accomplished by taking today’s base stations and massive cell-site towers and radically shrinking and simplifying them.

A typical cell site has a tower bristling with antennas and amplifiers, and nearby there is a large box containing processors. lightRadio represents a new architecture where the base station is broken into its component elements and then distributed into both the antennas and throughout a cloud-like network. The new architecture was pioneered by Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent’s research-and-development arm.

"First, we have miniaturization of all these elements and then further integration of all these elements," says Jean-Pierre Lartigue, VP/marketing at Alcatel-Lucent’s wireless division.

The company created a combined antenna and amplifier in the shape of a cube small enough to fit into the palm of a hand. The lightRadio cube combines the clutter of antennas serving 2G, 3G, and LTE systems and shrinks it into a single multi-frequency, multi-standard Wideband Active Array Antenna that can be mounted on poles, on the sides of buildings or anywhere else there is power and a broadband connection.

Working with Freescale, Alcatel-Lucent also shrunk the base-station processor to the size of a small chip. Lartigue says the miniaturized processors use Self Organizing Network (SON) technology where "antennas talk together to optimize the best wireless interface."

For more on SON, see "Docitive Networks - The Next Femto Evolution."

Such small components are much more flexible in terms of where they can be placed. By moving former base-station components to a System on a Chip (SOC), lightRadio places processing where it fits best in the network - whether at the antenna or in the cloud. HP is working with Alcatel-Lucent on cloud and virtualization technologies.

According to Lartigue, "What we provide is integration between what providers are doing in wireline and wireless. You can be very selective where you put the processors. You can put the processors close to the fixed broadband termination."

Initial elements of the new lightRadio product family will be tested in customer trials in the second half of 2011.

Lighter Is Greener

Alcatel-Lucent says lightRadio will reduce energy consumption of mobile networks by as much as 50 percent compared with current radio access network (RAN) equipment.

Another wireless vendor, DesignArt Networks, also has gone green with its new 40-nanometer 4G SOC platform family. The DAN3800 Baseband SOC targets next-generation, distributed, macro base-station equipment.

“Consuming only 8 watts, the DAN3800 delivers multiples in performance of currently available silicon solutions - powering an entire 4-sector LTE Advanced Macro BTS for the delivery of up to 1.2 Gbps of raw 4G data capacity - all with just one single DAN3800 Baseband SOC,” explained DesignArt Networks CTO Assaf Touboul in a statement.

-Linda Hardesty
All companies have a marketing strategy to extract all they can get from our pockets, and you could be right about this one too. Look at how Microsoft releases products before they are finished, and then uses the public as their beta testers. In essence, they release a product before it is finished, and then profit off of an inferior product while the users beta test for them. They use the entire user base for testing, thus saving them millions in developmental costs. Now that's a marketing strategy if there has ever been one !!
The enemies of DTV never stop. They want us GONE, THERE WILL BE NO Voluntary Exits !

President Stumps For Paying Broadcasters For Voluntary Exits
Will also propose putting $5 billion in USF for one-time 4G wireless push.
By John Eggerton -- Multichannel News, 2/10/2011 6:00:00 AM
President Stumps For Paying Broadcasters For Voluntary Exits - 2011-02-10 11:00:00 | Multichannel News

President Barack Obama this week is actively pushing for "voluntary" incentive spectrum auctions that would pay broadcasters and others to clear off some spectrum real estate as part of his recently announced National Wireless Initiative to expand wireless broadband to 98% of Americans within five years. That is the same timetable for getting broadcasters to give up as much as 120 MHz of spectrum (multiple FCC sources have suggested the figure is not an immovable object).

The president will also call for government creation and funding of the long-contemplated national, interoperable public safety communications network. He supports legislation reallocating the D Block (Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) has introduced such a bill, as well as investing in building out that network.) White House staffers briefing reporters on the plan called it "a central part of [the president's] overall economic agenda," and the president's plan to "win the future."

The plan will be outlined by the President Thursday in a speech at Northern Michigan University in Marquette. He will also participate in a distance learning demonstration, one of the FCC's national priorities for broadband. The president plans to invoke a spectrum "crunch" that needs to be addressed by a combination of more efficient use and incentivizing current users to give up some real estate.

"As recommended in the FCC's National Broadband Plan, legislation is needed to allow the FCC to conduct 'voluntary incentive auctions' that enable current spectrum holders to realize a portion of auction revenues if they choose to participate," the White House said in a briefing paper e-mailed to reporters. Broadcasters will be glad, if not entirely assuaged, to see the use of "voluntary" and "choice" by the White House, since it has been concerned that the effort would not be truly voluntary.

Deputy Director of the National Economic Council Jason Furman, briefing reporters on the speech, did not have a figure for how much the White House was expecting to have to compensate broadcasters or other commercial users for giving up spectrum, saying that would depend on how the auctions were structured and how much each broadcaster was willing to take for giving up their spectrum. "It depends on how the auction functions. what type of bids people make and what price they would be willing to [give up] the spectrum," he said. "But he said it reflects a "give or take" division of the proceeds between federal and commercial users."

The President in June put his stamp on the FCC's National Broadband Plan of freeing up 500 MHZ of spectrum for mobile broadband. He said that the government had already made better use of its spectrum and freed up 115 MHZ worth of spectrum, but said that "the much higher quality, more important spectrum is to come. What we'd like to set up is an incentive mechanism so that broadcasters who are using that for now, would have the choice if they decided to, to give up some of their spectrum.... the end result is that that spectrum would be in the hands of whoever had the greatest benefit of using it."

The president has referred to the wireless initiative in other speeches, starting with the State of the Union, but the initiative is the focus of the Michigan speech.

According to a copy of the details of the plan, he will also propose a one-time $5 billion cash infusion (from spectrum auctions not fees) into the FCC Universal Service Fund (USF) to subsidize 4G wireless broadband service; $3 billion for wireless R&D, and $10.7 billion to create and run an interoperable wireless emergency communications network using D block spectrum allocated--rather than auctioned--for that purpose. Actually, White House officials told reporters that it will be more like $15.7 billion for that emergency network, since it expects the $5 billion USF infusion to do double duty creating infrastructure that will also be used by the emergency network. So, in a way the FCC will get its wish for a public-private
partnership, only not one created by auctioning the D block to a private user who would share it with public safety.

While the FCC proposed auctioning the spectrum, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said this week that the prime directive was to get the network up and running and that he would support the best way to do that. The bill will be footed by the $27.8 billion in spectrum auction proceeds the White House projects the government will have left over after it compensates broadcasters and other private entities and pays any relocation costs for government entities also being displaced in the effort to reclaim 500 MHz for wireless broadband.

There will even be $9.6 billion left over after all that investing for deficit reduction, the White House says.

The President's speech came the same day the House Communications & Internet Subcommittee was holding an oversight hearing on the Obama Administration's $7 billion-plus in broadband stimulus grants and loans handed out as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The President's talking points include a shout-out to that investment for boosting broadband deployment and investment

It also came the same week that the FCC launched USF reforms, including migrating subsidies to broadband. White House officials said the wireless initiative would complement that effort.


7 Billion in Broadband stimulus for private enterprise? No wonder we have no money in our pockets, and the country is broke. This industry does not need financial assistance, they only need regulations that stipulate that since they are using a public resource for private profit, they need to develop their own infrastructure by a certain amount each year from their own obscene profits, instead of on the backs of the sheeple, who are already being raped by the extremely overpriced fees this industry already charges.

It's business as usual when the "Messiah" is involved, and that business is giving away the peoples money to big business. Nothing ever changes when the porkers are at the public's feeding trough, and what a sloppy mess they always make when eating the peoples money like it's pig slop, or as if it belonged to them

There will be no voluntary exits in the end, only forced ones, as these people lie to the public every day as a matter of habit. Just look at the health care bill as an example. It is time to "Walk Like An Egyptian" in this country too, and let the porkers know we are watching and we don't like what we see when they are gorging at the public's money trough. I don't have a problem with safety personnel getting what they need, as that is a real function of the Government, not supporting big business with taxpayer dollars.
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Moderator of DTV Latino
8VSB at least can cover a large area with just one transmitter, with COFDM need a transmitter plus gap fillers or repeaters for cover the same area that is able of cover of efficient way 8VSB, COFDM also uses more energy for cover a large area and the effective load of data stream is just in the best of the cases 14mbps in a single channel and 7mbps in hd one channel and the other in SD and also is not that great in multipath plus electric noise
8-VSB was never the way to go, but as always in this country, the lobbyists ALWAYS GET THEIR WAY, to the detriment of the "PEOPLE". COFMD (Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) would have been much better as far as a digital modulation format in relation to reception, and is much better at achieving mobile reception. Power levels in this country is not really an issue, and any type of digital modulation will need adequate SNR to be received, no matter what the modulation method. 8-VSB was chosen mainly due to its compatibility with 6 MHz. channels and its ability to provide multiple data streams in a 6 MHz. channel size.


Moderator of DTV Latino
well we uses COFDM and already we get pixellation in fixed reception even with an rooftop antenna, also the modulation COFDM if you move the coaxial cable some milimeters or inches sometimes gets pixellation and with a quad shield cable the signal just get lost so i can say that in the practical thing, COFDM isn´t that better than 8 VSB is just worst.

in Chile we uses COFDM in the japanesse system but is terrible sometimes gets pixellation or the channels gets lost also even being a multicarrier system of modulation too gets lost by multipath issues.

the COFDM modulation scheme can carry just a single channel in MPEG2 and maybe two in MPEG4 AVCHD but the just can get as highest bitrate in the video stream is 14Mbps, can not reach more bitrate by the limit that put COFDM by be multicarrier system would never reach 19.39Mbps ,
best regards
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FCC Kiboshes OFDM Experimental License Request

From TV Technology Magazine, FCC Kiboshes OFDM Experimental License Request

WASHINGTON: An experimental license for a new system for mobile DTV transmission was denied by the FCC. The license was sought by WatchTV, a Portland, Ore., low-power TV concern headed by Greg Herman, also president of, a coalition advocating for the new hybrid DTV/broadband delivery system. The denial was based both on the technology and a proposal to move four analog LPTV signals to digital multicast tiers on different frequencies.

“This is to inform you that the above-captioned request for modification is denied,” the FCC’s Media Bureau chief, William Lake, wrote in the determination addressed to Herman. “Although your submission is styled as a request for an experimental authorization, the request is a very unusual one. The proposal contemplates that analog TV service from four stations would cease and their programming would be transmitted from a different digital TV station on a multicast basis. The request contains no analysis of the potential impact on consumers; it merely assumes that virtually all viewers who previously received the analog signals will be able to receive the multicast digital signal.”

Low-power TV stations and translators were not subject to the June 2009 digital-transition deadline. A date for LPTVs remains pending. Lake goes on to say WatchTV proposes to convert the four analog stations to “a different technology previously implemented in China, intended to support what is described as broadband service. That technology is inconsistent with the existing ATSC standard for transmission of digital television in the United States.” (Why does that matter, when you want it off the air anyway), and by extension, WatchTV, is promoting the use of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing for delivering mobile DTV and broadband over the air. The group was seeking an experimental license in the Portland market to test its technology, which couples OFDM and receivers using a Chinese standard, Converged Mobile Multimedia Broadcasting. Co-OFDM was a competitor for transmitting regular DTV in the United States before 8-vestigial sideband won out.

“This commission supports innovation and technological experimentation. However, we are also mindful to ensure that experiments not undermine our rules,” Lake wrote. “An experimental license is not to be used to introduce a new service that does not comply with our rules, as this request appears to contemplate.

“Although the proposal itself is silent about the number of participants in the experiment, it is our understanding from the applicant’s counsel that the applicant hopes that thousands will participate. In addition, you, as the applicant’s CEO, have been quoted as saying that, ‘If the technology works as well as anticipated, deployment can start within a year, with widespread penetration, including rural areas, faster than any other technology.”

Lake says the request appears to be more appropriate as a developmental license, which would require a petition for making an exception to current FCC rules regarding 8-VSB, the DTV standard developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee. Any such rulemaking would likely need to be accompanied by a similar standards process, he said.

“In short, the information submitted with the request is not persuasive that the proposal is truly for a technical experiment,” Lake wrote in the denial dated Feb. 10. “It does not describe except in the most general of terms what tests, if any, will be performed. The commission generally looks favorably on experiments designed to examine technical issues. We cannot, however, authorize an experiment that appears designed to establish a new service that is not currently permitted under commission rules.” emerged last November when it announced demonstrating the OFDM-CMMB technology for the FCC. Seven video content streams were said to be fed to 12 different CMMB-based receivers, from cell phones to dedicated handheld devices made by Samsung, Motorola, HTC, LG and Sony-Ericsson. CMMB America is a member of, which says “tens of millions” of CBBM devices are deployed around the world. The company is a division of Hong Kong-based CMMB Vision, which makes printed circuit boards for CMMB devices.

Aside from promoting the use of OFDM and CMMB, the group’s aim is to preserve broadcast TV spectrum. It recently announced that it engaged Washington, D.C. firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough to carry its water on Capitol Hill. The firm’s senior policy advisor and a former Congressman, Ron Klink was named point man for the group.

-- Deborah D. McAdams

If the group’s aim is to preserve broadcast TV spectrum, then we all know why it got denied, don't we !!
CEA-CTIA Spectrum Auction Report ‘Very Optimistic

BIA-Kelsey: CEA-CTIA Spectrum Auction Report ‘Very Optimistic 02.16.2011
From TV Technology magazine

An analysis of broadcast spectrum incentive auction revenues released this week may be overly optimistic in its estimates, according to BIA/Kelsey.

The white paper, submitted to the FCC this week by the Consumer Electronics Association and CTIA—The Wireless Association, attempts to put dollar values on the cost and revenues generated by spectrum auctions of 120 MHz of “underutilized” broadcast television spectrum. The proposal is part of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski’s National Broadband Plan, which the two associations have endorsed.

Using what they term “conservative assumptions,” the two associations—which did the report in-house– estimated that the licenses auctioned in the broadcast TV band should be valued at $0.978 per MHz-POP (the amount of bandwidth, in MHz, times the population area covered), and that estimated net auction revenues would be approximately $33 billion, although they note that revenue could be higher if valuations are consistent with recent auctions for similar spectrum rights.

It also estimates that “only a very small percentage” of the U.S. broadcast stations would have to participate in the auction to achieve the goals of the NBP, and that in the vast majority of broadcast markets, no broadcast stations would need to participate in such an auction. The estimated enterprise value of the broadcast licensees that voluntarily surrender their channels is $1.2 billion-$2.3 billion, assuming that the participating stations opt to surrender their licenses rather than accept lower-cost options such as channel sharing or cellularization. The report estimates that the cost of relocating or “repacking” TV channels 31-52 to the new core channels at TV channels 7-30 at $565 million, based on data from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

“The spectrum crisis is real and must be addressed to ensure that our innovation-driven economy can recover and thrive,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. “Additional spectrum for licensed and unlicensed wireless broadband is crucial to our national competitiveness. A voluntary incentive auction will create jobs, enhance innovation, provide the government resources to reduce the national debt, and even give broadcasters a windfall of billions of dollars for spectrum they don’t own.”

“I think the report is a very optimistic view,” said Mark Fratik, vice president with BIA Kelsey, which analyzes the financial status of the broadcast industry. “I think they over-estimate the revenues and they underestimate, somewhat, the costs of relocating all these stations and the disruption it would cause.”

The report also completely discounts the role of low power TV stations, Fratrik noted. “They basically just say that LP is going to go away,” he said. “They don’t talk about any costs involved in relocating LPs.” Fratrik adds that the report doesn’t take into account what percentage of the auction revenues local broadcasters would get, but acknowledged that “that’s a question that Congress has to decide.”

For its part, NAB said that the report just represents one view and doesn’t take into account the impact that relinquishing such spectrum would have on small markets.

"It's hard to take seriously an analysis of broadcast spectrum values done by parties with a vested interest in forcing scores of broadcasters out of business,” the NAB said in a statement. “It's noteworthy that CTIA and CEA cavalierly suggest eliminating 'smaller stations in larger markets,' which translates into fewer niche broadcast stations that serve important immigrant communities and religious audiences. NAB does not oppose spectrum auctions that are truly voluntary, and we look forward to an informed dialogue in coming months on the enduring value of free and local television for all Americans."

If the CEA-CTIA are involved in this, we all know how much they lie from the MAGIC RABBIT EARS we used to see on TV that werre intentionally misleading, with the intention all along for DTV to fail. Broadcast TV just doesn't have the lobbying dollars that Broadband does, and if any spectrum is saved from the thieves, it will be the ultimate case of the "LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD", against all odds. These people are driven by greed for the green, and not by common sense. Do you want to depend on the internet for EAS OR CAP? idiots abound at the CEA-CTIA, and the FCC.

Fringe Reception

Super Moderator, Chief Content Editor
Staff member

"The report estimates that the cost of relocating or “repacking” TV channels 31-52 to the new core channels at TV channels 7-30 at $565 million, based on data from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration." HA! WHO ARE THEY KIDDING?

In my area alone, both of my CBS and ABC affiliates recently completed antenna tower changes removing and replacing their VHF antennas and have new antennas for channels 38 and 39. Not a cheap investment, then add in the associated high-power transmitting equipment. My CBS affiliate has updated several translators above channel 30 as well. NBC is now on 48, Telemundo is on 50, KVOS is on 35, KONG is on 31, KFFV is on 44 and so on.

As mentioned above, my CBS affiliate rebuilt the top of their tower (higher) to accommodate their new UHF antenna and they scrapped their channel 7 antenna. Photos are here on the Forum.

After less than two years they are expected to UNbuild their tower and replace the UHF antenna with a new channel 7 antenna? That is classic big Government inefficiency.

Next, how much money will they give ME to cover the cost of the specialty antennas I am currently using to receive the "upper channels" they want to take away from us?

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The industry spent over 1.5 billion on upgrading to DTV as it is, and some of them are still paying the debt for that change, and now they think it can be done for $565 million? Just an antenna change itself can be half a million or more.That just simply won't happen for that price.

On the topic of channel sharing, how many stations will willingly be the DOT 2 channel, and how would this be decided? If market rankings are used to determine this, and if a station does better and moves in the ranking, are they going to switch DOT 1 and DOT 2 positions? I highly doubt it.

Who decides in a channel sharing scenario who's transmitter gets shut down, or will the second transmitter be held in check as a back up and be re-channelized so if the main transmitter has an issue, the other stations transmitter could be brought online while repairs are made.

Do they really expect competing stations to cooperate with each other? That would be kinda like expecting the GOP and the LIBS to cooperate, and we all know how well that works. Politicians are blinded by the GREEN SYNDROME, which seems to effect the region of the brain that processes common sense, along with the portion of the brain that controls the greed factor. It simply destroys any sense of what is right, decent, and moral.
Broadcast engineering and the spectrum revolution !!



Chris Imlay, SBE's General Counsel, has authored a White Paper on the NBP, offering his views on how it will affect the broadcasting industry and more specifically, the broadcast engineer. Chris says, "This is a revolutionary period in domestic spectrum allocations. The White House's National Economic Council stated recently that freeing up 500 megahertz of spectrum for wireless broadband connectivity over the next ten years is a "national imperative." CTIA, representing wireless carriers, has estimated that it is more like 800 megahertz of spectrum needed in order to keep pace with consumer demand for smartphones and tablet computers.

Chris goes on to predict, "If the allocations envisioned for mobile broadband are implemented on the timetables proposed domestically and internationally, the demand for and the work of television broadcast engineers, radio broadcast engineers and the profession of broadcast engineering will inevitably change substantially. Broadcast engineers stand to be directly and adversely affected by the NBP, and by the worldwide effects that have been triggered by it."

The complete text of Chris' White Paper on the National Broadband Plan is posted on the SBE website. See link below.

(This paper does not reflect necessarily the views of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, Inc. This paper has not been adopted by or accepted by the Board of Directors of the Society. The views expressed herein are those only of the author and are not attributable to the Society.)

Fringe Reception

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From the article: The National Broadband Plan (NBP) developed by FCC (largely, incidentally, by FCC contractors, rather than FCC staff) was released to Congress in March of 2010. It calls for 500 MHz to be made available within ten years for broadband, of which 300 MHz should be within the segment 225 MHz to 3.7 GHz, and made available within five years.
Who were the FCC "Contractors"???? Follow the money trail ...
Regulations requiring broadcasters to provide verbal description to be enacted

Video Description Rules are Kind of at Hand

RANCHO MIRAGE, CALIF.: Regulations requiring broadcasters to provide verbal descriptions of program images will be reinstated in October. Best get in front of it, said Art Allison of the National Association of Broadcasters at the HPA Technology Retreat this week in the California desert. Video description rules call for the “insertion of audio-narrated description of a TV program’s key visual elements into natural pauses between the program’s dialog.” The service is intended to make programming more assessable to the blind.

Video description rules were approved by the FCC in 2000 and struck down in court two years later. They were reinstated last year in the “Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010,” though limited to the big four network affiliates in the top 25 markets plus the top five national cable networks. The networks will have to provide 50 hours per quarter of programming with video description service, excepting live and near-live programming. The rules are to be implemented over a phase-in period and extensions will be considered for stations and providers lacking the requisite technical capability. Consequently the ultimate deadline could be out a ways.

“It’s not tomorrow, but it is coming,” Allison said, describing the configuration for provision of VI (for “visually impaired”) with 5.1 surround sound. E.g., a single stereo VI can ride the 5.1 signal in two of the eight channels comprising a Dolby E stream. Two Dolby E streams with 16 channels can carry two 5.1 signals, each with an associated stereo audio VI mix, or a single 5.1 service and five stereo audio streams.

The FCC regulation doesn’t state what language the video description needs to be in, so technically, it could be Spanish. With regard to transmission, several audio services can be sent with a single video channel, but the PSIP virtual channel guide may get crowded. (PSIP or Program and System Information Protocol, carries the information that tells TV sets what’s in a TV signal.) Using separate virtual channels for say, English and Spanish in the main channels, the VI feeds and for hearing-impaired feeds adds six choices in guide.

The Consumer Electronic Association is working on a standard, CEA-CEB-21, Recommended Practice for Selection and Presentation of DTV Audio. It provides guidance to receiver manufacturers on how to parse an ATSC audio stream so viewers can find what they want without an engineering degree. Work commenced on the standard in mid-July; the second pre-vote comment round came to a close Nov. 22, 2010. Allison said it’s nearly done.

He earlier expressed frustration with the consumer electronics industry for not supporting dual-stream Dolby Digital, or AC-3, coding. The original ATSC standard for the transmission of digital broadcast television allowed for dual-stream AC-3, which would have supported multiple audio streams. However, it was not made mandatory and receiver makers therefore did not incorporate it into TV sets. Dual-stream AC-3 would have been more bandwidth efficient than the configurations with Dolby E.

“Receiver makers refused to support the original Dolby design to save bits by enabling supplemental audio tracks, so service providers must consume bits to send everything for any audio service,” he said. Then making a winking reference to Gary Shapiro’s best-seller, “The Comeback,” which makes the case for reclaiming TV spectrum for broadband, Allison added, “I wonder if that is in Gary’s book.”

-- Deborah D. McAdams, TV Technology magazine

The FCC is never going to stop harassing TV Broadcasters, especially the ones who do not voluntarily give the thieves back some or all of their spectrum. Has anyone even heard of a single "Public Service Requirements" put on the Cell Phone industry besides 911 support? I predict that you never will either. Would it be fair to give portions of a national forest to a logging company and let them take all they want, and then let them keep ALL OF THE PROFIT? How about making them return 2 to 3 percent of the profits taken for the use of "THE PUBLIC'S RADIO SPECTRUM" and apply it to the national debt with the stipulation that it cannot be stolen from that purpose for any reason.

Most people would express their dissatisfaction at the logging concept, so why not apply that same theory to the Radio Spectrum that BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE, AND NOT TO THE GOVERNMENT TO GIVE AWAY TO THE ONES WITH A PROFIT INCENTIVE ONLY, AND NO PUBLIC SERVICE REQUIREMENTS PUT ON THEM. HOW DOES THIS BENEFIT THE PUBLIC? The only ones who will benefit will be the broad banders and their investors, and possibly the face bookers, the my spacers, and the twitter twits that think these ridicules fads are something they absolutely cannot live without.

Grow up children, and once you do, you will realize that life won't end if you can't TWEET someone with a meaningless message any time you desire, and tie up precious bandwidth that could be used for something more important like saving someones life, or communicating during an emergency; you know...real life IMPORTANT STUFF !!!! The world had come a long way before twitter, and we may one day wish that world were back !!
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