Welcome to RF Current, a weekly electronic newsletter focusing on Broadcast technical and F.C.C. related issues. This newsletter is part of The RF Page @ www.transmitter.com, a web site devoted to TV Broadcast RF engineering. For more information see the What is... guide to the R.F. Page site.

This page contains stories from RF Current issues published in November 1997. Links referenced in the articles were current when published but by this time may have changed. If you find a bad link, try connecting to the home page of the publication or company and look for an archive of past articles. If you find a changed link, I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know by dropping me a note indicating the new location at dlung@transmitter.com.

I'm looking for news from shows and meetings or news from your company that might be of interest to other RF and broadcast engineers. Please e-mail me at dlung@transmitter.com or phone me at Telemundo, (305) 884-9664.

NOTICE: RF Current was not be published December 1st. Items up to the U.S. Thanksgiving Holiday will appear in the November 26th Extended Edition.

November 26 - Issue 96 Extended Edition

FCC Announces Auction Schedule - Proposes Broadcast License Auction Rules (Nov. 26)
In a Public Notice (DA972497) released yesterday the FCC outlined its auction schedule for 1998. The first auctions will be for the LMDS spectrum, with an application deadline of January 20, 1998. Broadcasters will be interested to note the FCC listed a "Pending Analog Broadcast Licenses for Commercial Radio and Television Stations" auction in the 4th Quarter of 1998. See the Public Notice for more details.

In a separate action, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rule Making that would substitute auctions for comparative hearings in deciding mutually exclusive broadcast license cases. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 required the use of auction in new cases. It allowed the Commission to choose which method to use in pending cases. In the NPRM the Commission asked for comments on whether it should hold comparative hearings instead of using auctions in pending cases, particularly those in which an Initial Decision had been issued before the D.C. Circuit Court invalidated the Commission's central criterion for deciding the cases.

The FCC also announced a temporary freeze, effective upon release of the NPRM, on the filing of applications for commercial broadcast stations. Noncommercial broadcast educational licenses would not be subject to auctions, although the NPRM requested comments on whether ITFS licenses should be included in the auctions.

More details are available in the News Release (NRMM7020). The Notice of Proposed Rule Making was not available on the FCC's web site when this was written. The WordPerfect version should appear at http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Mass_Media/Notices/1997/fcc97397.wp . The FCC often releases NPRMs in other formats. Try these predicted links for text, Adobe Acrobat or HTML formats.

TV CEMA Urges FCC to Alter Proposed V-Chip Implementation Rule (Nov. 24)
The Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) urged the FCC to "set reasonable implementation deadlines for the so-called V-Chip". Gary Shapiro, President of CEMA, said
"The FCC has to recognize that merely because it adopts the programming standard does not mean manufacturers can change production schedules overnight. Given the normal TV production cycle to meet the Commission's proposed July 1998 deadline would have required manufacturers to begin the product development process back in January 1997. The Commission's deadline would require manufacturers to reduce the design cycle from 18 to six months, and that is not possible. There is more to designing a new televsion than just changing a few circuits. It includes designed the new integrated circuits, and a workable user interface, laboratory testing, as well as developing a field test and quality assurance regimes. And forcing manufacturers to radically compress the manufacturing and testing process may cause hte introduction to the marketplace of a program blocking feature that is less than functional."
CEMA also called on the FCC to make clear that the program blocking rules do not apply to Internet content, and that computers do not require a V-chip unless they can receive television signals and have a monitor of 13 inches or larger. More details are available in the CEMA News Release.

DTV News from SMPTE Conference in NYC (Nov. 24)
At the SMPTE 1997 conference in NYC, Victor Tawil reported on the preliminary results of field strength tests at WHD-TV, the Model HDTV station in Washington D.C. Looking at the preliminary test numbers, it appeared coverage was far less than that obtained at similar DTV tests in Charlotte, NC and Raleigh, NC. Power wasn't the problem, as Tawil said the station was operating at 500 kW average ERP. The antenna height (under 500 feet), combined with reflections from nearby towers and buildings, appeared to be the main cause of the coverage problems. Multipath alone wasn't the issue, since over twenty percent of the sites had signal levels below threshold. Additional tests are planned in December using a different antenna and circular polarization. It will be interesting to see how this affects the coverage.

Bob Rast reported on CBS's DTV activities. During the application process for WCBS-DT in New York City, the FCC discovered that in some cities the current DTV Table of Allotments did not consider the 400 km. coordination zone with Canada. This has the potential to impact DTV channel assignments throughout the northern part of the U.S., particularly in the Northeast. Whether or not this will delay the expected January release of the FCC's new DTV Table of Allotments is not known at this time. The FCC is under pressure to act on the Petitions for Reconsideration filed earlier this year and finalize the DTV Table so stations can plan for construction. Even if the Table is released in January it is likely it will take at least an additional 60 days to consider comments on it.

Audio tapes of these sessions are available. Victor Tawil's report and the rest of Friday's day-long seminar are available in a 7 tape package, Reference the Friday, November 21, 1997 seminar. Price quoted at the show for the tape set was $59, this may be higher for orders placed now. Bob Rast's report was part of an extremely informative panel discussion titled "DTV as a Business", a two tape set, number P1. Price for these two tapes is $24. Orders should reference meeting number SM9701. The company providing the tapes is Conference Copy Inc., 8435 Route 739, Hawley, PA 18428. Telephone (US) (717) 775-0580, fax (717) 775-9671.

While these sessions were not included in the Proceedings, most are. For information on ordering copies of the 1997 SMPTE Conference Proceedings, visit the SMPTE web site.

FCC Experimental Actions in October (Nov. 21)
The FCC has released a Public Notice on Experimental Actions, listing licenses granted in October, 1997. Interesting grants include an experimental license to CBS Communications Services, Inc. (no apparent connection to the broadcasting company) for a wide range of frequencies, including 138-140 MHz., 150.05-174 MHz., 216-222 MHz., 410-413 MHz., 450-512 MHz. (includes TV auxiliary frequencies), 806-824 MHz., 851-869 MHz., 1710-1850 MHz. and 2450-2483.5 MHz, The purpose is to test, develop and demonstrate communications and surveillance equipment for Federal, state, and local governments. The locations are fixed and mobile in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and the continental United State.

COMSAT RSI, Wireless Antennas, was granted a license (WA2XNC) to operate in several frequency bands, including 420-608 MHz., 614-959.6 MHz., 3700-4200 MHz., 5725-8400 MHz., 10700-13250 MHz. and 17700-19700 MHz. Several other bands were also listed, but those above include frequencies of interest to broadcasters - TV channels, C-band downlinks and uplinks, TVAuxiliary, and Ku-band downlinks and uplinks. The station will be fixed in Antioch (Lake), Illinois.

For more information on these grants as well as a complete list of all experiment licenses granted in October refer to the Public Notice (pnet7025.txt).

TECHNOLOGY - Researchers Build World's Smallest Practical Transistor (Nov. 19)
If you follow news on computer and communications integrated circuits, you've probably seen reports we may be reaching the limits of physics in our attempts to build smaller, faster ICs. Researchers at Bell Laboratories have succeeded in creating experimental MOS "nanotransistors" that are only 60 nanometers wide. How wide is 60 nanometers? According to the release from Lucent, 182 atoms wide, four times thinner than the smallest transistors in today's ICs. The nanotransistor delivered a current flow of 1.8 milliamps per micron in the "on" state at 1.5 volts. Lucent's Press Release said "It also delivered the highest reported transconductance - a measure related to the transistor's gain - at 1.12 siemens/mm. It is five times faster and draves 60 to 160 times less power than today's transistors to perform equivalent operations." The 160x figure is obtained with the device operating at 0.6 volts.

More information on the "nanotransistor" is available in the Lucent Press Release and in the Technical Data. Photographs are also available.

CHIPS - Sony Announces Line of DTV Receiver Chips (Nov. 18)
Yesterday sony announced a services of chips designed for use in various digital TV applications. Two of the chips work as a tuner for digital broadcast signals from satelllite. One chip is an oscillator/mixer circuit that includes an oscillator stable over 1.3 to 2.7 GHz. The other chip provides adjustment free carrier recovery with an on-chip PLL circuit. Samples and production quantities are available now. See the Front-End Tuner Solution Press Release from Sony Electronics.

Sony also announced the CXD1961AQ which includes a QPSK demodulator, automatic clock recovery, MPEG-2 frame synchronization, a Viterbi decoder, de-interleaver, Reed-Solomon decoder, energy dispersal descrambler and channel error monitoring. See the Singtle Chip Solution for Satellite Receivers and Set-Top Boxes Press Release.

The last chip may be of interest on the transmission side. It is a real-time MPEG-2 video encoder with motion estimation. The CXD1922Q supports MPEG MP@ML and SP@ML at 720x480 at 30 fps for NTSC. More information is available in the Real-Time MPEG-2 Encoder Press Release.

SCIENCE - Scientists Propose Economical Alternative to Tokamak Fusion Reactors (Nov. 20)
Scientists have long viewed nuclear fusion as a solution to the global energy crisis. However, there has been little success demonstrating this techology and many scientists doubt the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), based on the Tokamak design. The Tokamak reactors use deuterium and tritium as fuel. Researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and the University of Florida say they have developed a fusion reactor that uses a cheap, available fuel and produces no more radioactivity than that from a coal-fired power plant.

UCI physic professor Norman Rostoker, UCI research physicist Michl Binderbauer and University of Florida physic professor Hendrik Monkhorst published their work in the November 21 issue of Science. A Press Release from UCI said they "...propose a colliding beam fusion reactor that would be fueled by protons and boron, rather than the deuterium-tritium mix that would power ITER. The reactor they have designed, on paper, would produce a very small fraction of the radioactivity of ITER, in turn allowing the facility to be much smaller, easier to maintain and environmentally safe."

The Release said the team plans to develop a commercial reactor over the next 10 years with money from private investors. Their work differs from other work in that it focused on reactor design questions rather than fusion experiments. More information is available in the UCI Press Release.

OTHER Items of Interest


November 17 - Issue 95 Final Edition

DTV - LG Semicon Announces Chipset for DTV Receivers (Nov. 17)
LG Semicon today announced "the world's first Digital TV (DTV) chipset, designed by its sister company LG Electronics." Paul A. Snopko, Zenith's director of research and development, said "The first cut of the LGS VSB solution, which replaced a rack of equipment with a seven-inch circuit board earlier this year, already met most of our specifications for the ATSC transmission standard. Current samples are meeting or exceeding our expectations for chips we plan to use in our first HDTV products planned for introduction next year."

The LG VSS ("Vestigial sideband Super Star") chipset consists of five chips from LG plus one from Sanyo: A VSB Sync/EQ (GDC21D001) which performs sync recovery, equalization, and phase correction, a VSB channel decoder (GDC21D002) which performs the decoding of incoming data from the transmitter in 8VSB mode or cable in the 16VSB mode using a Viterbi decoder and RS-Decoder, a KA7785M I/Fdemodulator from Sanyo, a one-chip MPEG2 video decoder (GDC21D401), a transport chip (GDC21D301) for demultiplexing transport streams and finally a video display processor (GDC21D701) which receives all the ATSC image formats, including high definition and standard-definition, and converts them into a 1080 x 1920 interlaced high definition display format. Samples of all but the last chip are available now. The display processor will be available in first quarter 1998.

DIGITAL - Wireless Data Services Announce New Products for Mobile Users (Nov. 17)
With COMDEX underway in Las Vegas, a number of new wireless communcations products have been announced. AirMediaTM announced a mobile Internet antenna for use with notebook computers and handheld devices. The 4.5 ounce device measures 3.73 inches by 2.68 inches by 0.83 inches. It can be powered off the portable computer's serial port or from its own internal batteries. It includes on-board storage so incoming news and messages can be stored even if the computer is turned off. For one of AirMedia's services see the next story. An AirMedia Press Release has more details on the unit, including pricing.

The AirMedia device is receive-only. If you need two-way access from your portable, you may be interested in the Wireless Access AccessLink two-way data messaging pager, which works with the 3-COM PalmPilot palmtop computer. According to the Glenayre, Wireless Access' parent company, this system uses SkyTel's 2-Way network to provide users with the ability to send and receive messages between Internet email addresses and access third party Internet information services, all from the PalmPilot. The belt-top AccessLink message pager connects to the PalmPilot using a cable from JP Systems, Inc. The Press Release on this product was not available when this article was written but it may appear later on the Glenayre News Page. (Disclosure: At the time this was written I owned Glenayre common stock.)

TV - KLAS Provides Las Vegas City Content to AirMediaTM Wireless News Service (Nov. 17)
AirMedia and CBS affiliate KLAS-TV, Las Vegas, announced today they will join together to create the KLAS Interactive Wireless Internet Broadcast Channel. This channel will allow KLAS to "broadcast condensed versions of its coverage of breaking Las Vegas news, traffic reports, business developments and other local-interest information directly to a viewer's home or office PC's in real-time." John Hart, AirMedia's Online Sales Manager said "AirMedia has developed this narrowcast platform so local TV stations can attract a captive audience: the office and home-office desktop conputer user. We plan to bring this city channel model to the top 20 TV markets, so that viewers can follow breaking local and national news, weather and sports throughout the day."

AirMedia does not use the broadcast station's facilities for transmission. Instead, it relies on a narrowband 900 MHz. frequency, similar to that used for alphanumeric paging. A Press Release link outlining the KLAS service returned an error message when this story was written. It may be fixed by now. AirMedia's web site is at http://www.airmedia.com.

SATELLITE - Spacenet 3 Moves to New Orbital Position (Nov. 13)
GE Americom's Spacenet 3 is now in service at 83 degrees west longitude. It had previously been located at 87 degrees west longitude. GE-3 is now in the 87 degree W. position. Spacenet 3 has 14 C-band transponders and 1 Ku-band transponder available for service.

SATELLITE - GE Americom's First European Satellite Launched Successfully (Nov. 13)
GE American Communications announced it successfully launched its GE-1E/Sirius 2 satellite from Kourou, French Guiana yesterday on an Arianespace 4 rocket. GE Americom will provide 16 high-power Ku transponders for use in the Pan European market and NSAB will provide Sirius 2 service on an additional 16 transponders to the Nordic Market. The satellite will be positioned at 5 degrees east when it becomes operational at the end of the year.

DTV - Lucent Technologies Launches First DTV Receiver Chip for U.S. Market (Nov. 12)
Lucent Technologies' Microelectronics Group joins the parade of companies offering chips for the U.S. DTV market. Lucent today announced its AV8100, "a complete system on a chip that can receive terrestrial broadcasts of high definition television (HDTV), multichannel standard definition television (SDTV), and broadcast data. Lucent claimed "it is the first commercially-available single-chip vestigial side-band (VSB) receiver compliant with the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) standard."

The AV8100 is being tested with Mitsubishi's RF tuner system, video-audio decoder and display processor components. Volume production of the AV8100 will begin in the second quarter of 1998. Commercial samples should be available early in 1998. The chip is packaged in a 160-pin, plastic quad flat pack and uses 3.3 volt CMOS process technology.

More information on Lucent's semiconductors for consumer electronics can be found at http://www.lucent.com/micro/concom.html. The AV8100 data was not on this site when this issue was published, but it should appear later. Additional information is available in the Lucent Press Release.

DTV - 1998 CES will Showcase Product and Plans for HDTV Sales (Nov. 11)
In a Press Release issued today, the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) announced that "Virtually every major television manufacturer will exhibit consumer HDTVs for the very first time and announce pricing and delivery plans for the retail market for the 1998 Holiday selling season." KLAS-TV will be broadcasting HDTV in Las Vegas during the show.

CES has added an interesting array of sessions at the show, including presentations by Joel Brinkley of the NY Times; Philip Farmer, chairman, president and CEO of Harris Corporation; James Meyer, CEO and executive VP of Thomson Consumer Electronics, Craig Mundie, Microsoft; an unidentified senior executive from CBS; Gary Chapman, CEO of LIN Television Coproration; Frank Gardner, Sr. VP, Broadcasting, Scripps Howard Broadcasting; Jim Keelor, president, Cosmos Broadcasting Corp. and Chairman of MSTV; a senior representative from Sony Electronics, Inc.; and many others.

More details are available in the Press Release or at http://www.cesweb.org. Note that this web site requires a recent browser with Java or ActiveX enabled. If you don't have such a browser or prefer to keep some Java shut off for security, you may have better luck (and faster response) going directly to http://www.cesweb.org/mainpage/index.cfm. Also see 1998 International CES Brings the Digital Frontier to Las Vegas (Nov. 5) and Engineers to See and Hear About the Latest Technologies at the 1998 International CES and Digital Engineering Conference (Nov. 5). I didn't have a chance to include those in last week's RF Current.

SATELLITE - Globalstar Reschedules First Launch (Nov. 11)
Globalstar, L.P. said it had rescheduled the launch of its first four satellites. These are part of a Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) system that will eventually consist of 56 satellites, the last of which will be launched in early 1999. Bernard L. Schwartz, chairman and CEO of Globalstar said, "The postponement was adopted in order to assure an adequate period of time to complete testing of Globalstar's TT&C function prior to the initial launch and was not related to any segment performance issues. All other elements of the project... remain on schedule and meet or exceed critical performance criteria.

Commercial service is scheduled to begin no later than the first quarter of 1999. Four terrestrial gateways are already completed and construction on the remaining 34 continues on schedule. Globalstar is led by Loral Space & Communications in partnership with QUALCOMM Incorporated, AirTouch Communications, Alcatel, Alenia, DACOM, Daimler-Benz Aerospace, France Telecom, Hyundai, and others. More details are available in the Loral Press Release.

SCIENCE - Scientists Create Molecular Antenna to Harvest Light (Nov. 11)
Scientists at the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new class of large demdrimer supermolecules which could be using for generating electricity or as microscopic optical sensors that change color when exposed to trace amounts of chemicals. Dr. Raoul Kopelman, Professor of Chemistry, Physics and Applied Physics at U-M, said "Normally, light energy disperses randomly throughout a molecule. But these molecules have a specific tree-like structure which allows them to funnel light energy through the branches and direct it to a central point."

For more information on the physics behind this device, including descriptions of "nanostars" and excitons and a color diagram of the molecule, see the Universtiy of Michigan News Release.

OTHER Items of Interest


November 10 - Issue 94 Final Edition

DTV - Sarnoff and Motorola Joint Initiative Targets Cost-Effective DTV Chipset (Nov. 10)
Motorola and Sarnoff today announced a joint initiative to provide chipsets for DTV. Three of the "semiconductor solutions" are already in development. One is a digital Standard Definition TV (SDTV) chipset for "affordable,. entry-level television sets providing digital display quality and a movie style aspect ratio." A converter-box chipset solution is also being developed. A separate HDTV Q&A from Sarnoff said "we believe the market consensus price of $150 for a set-top box is realistic." The third chipset is a "functionally robust solution for HDTV sets delivering five times the picture resolution of SDTV." All the chipsets will include six channel DolbyTM Surround Sound.

The press release said development boards for the SDTV chipset solutions will be available in the first quarter of 1998. The HDTV chipset is targeted for the fourth quarter of 1998. The two companies plan to offer data capabilities such as Web surfing, electronic shopping and video conferencing for TV sets.

TECHNOLOGY - Bell Labs Web Site Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Transistor (Nov. 5)
Bell Laboratories today announced the launch of its LIVES-ON (Lucent Innovation's Virtual Experience for Students on the Net) web site celebrating the 50th anniversary of the invention of the transistor. A Lucent Press Release said "The LIVES-ON tour guides visitors to museums across the globe to explore the history and innovative uses of the transistor."

TECHNOLOGY - NASA Solar-Powered Aircraft Begins Science Mission in Hawaii (Nov. 4)
NASA has begun flying "Pathfinder", its solar-powered, remotely piloted aircraft, on the island of Kauai. NASA chose the Barking Sands, Kauai Pacific Missile Range because of "available airspace and radio frequency". High levels of solar irradiance also entered into the the decision.

Pathfinder has a wing span of 99 feet. Solar panels on the upper wing surface can provide as much as 7,200 watts of power for the craft's six electric motors and six-million pixel digital camera. While the flights in Hawaii will be conducted between 22,000 and 49,000 feet, Pathfinder is capable of flying at altitudes over 71,500 feet.

More information on this interesting aircraft is available in the NASA Press Release.

OTHER Items of Interest


November 3 - Issue 93 Final Edition

DTV - ATSC Begins Standards Work on DTV Satellite Formats and Application Software (Nov. 3)
The ATSC has begun work on defining the parameters for a voluntary ATSC standard for satellite transmission of DTV signals. The goal of this work is to make it possible for service providers to share signal feeds and allow manufacturers to build equipment for satellite DTV which will be interoperable with equipment made by other manufacturers.

The first step in this process is the ATSC Satellite Transmission Request for Information, available on the ATSC web site.

ATSC has started work to standardize DTV application software. This is the software that will allow interactive services such as stock-tickers, personalized news, home shopping, commercials enhanced with product information and web site addresses over broadcast DTV. A paper by Aninda DasGupta of Phillips Research, Standardized DTV Application Software, describes the need for a standard run-time environment which guarantees that all interactive applications authored by compliant service provides will run on all ATSC-compliant receivers. The document also suggests ways to achieve these standardization goals.

More information on this project is available from the ATSC DTV Application Software Environment Group web site.

SATELLITE - Fractal Antenna Announces New Antennas for Space Communications (Nov. 3)
You are probably familiar with the concept of an isotropic antenna. That is an antenna that radiates equally well in all directions. This hypothetical antenna is at the heart of many the formulas used in antenna design. Now, imagine an actual antenna that duplicates the point source properties of the isotropic radiator. Fractal Antenna Systems, Inc., based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, says it has created such an antenna - the patent pending 'isotropic FRACTENNAź'.

The company said the antenna provides a "very simple, compact solution which matches well to 50 ohm transmitter or transceiver systems and should prove a robust performer." One use is on microsats, small, inexpensive satellites which tumble in their orbit, with no defined orientation. Company spokesman Phil Salkind acknowledged that reflections from nearby objects destory the symmetry when the antennas are used on the ground, but he believed they would be useful in airborne environments and perhaps in factory environments.

Fractal Antenna Systems also said it had a patent pending on a 'fractalized helix' antenna. This antenna could be used for highly directional antennas. Salkind explains "the helix was known as a worse performer than a dish of the same largest dimension. So the coils had to be longer to equal the performance, making huge corkscrews. The fractalized helix substantially shrinks the size of the coil, now making it a practical alternative. Imagine the foot and a half direct to satellite dishes replaced by a far lower profile antenna which fits inside the dimensions of a soda can."

Fractal Antenna Systems said the new designs will be commercially available in early 1998. It will either license the designs or commercially fabricate them. I couldn't find a web site for the company, but I found an article in PC Today that talks about some of the work the company is doing and explains how the antennas may be used in other applications.

TV - Oren and Rockwell Announce Chips for NTSC TV Receivers (Nov. 3)
You may remember my reports on Zoran's ghost cancelling chip over a year ago. Oren Semiconductor has continued to refine the chip and today announced its OR43200 ghost cancellation chip, which includes internal DSP, a 576-tap digial filter, video sync detection and a 10-bit D/A converter. Oren said the chip has applications not only in TV sets, but in PC-based TV tuner cards. The adaptive equalization in the chip significantly lowers bit-error-rates on data encoded in the TV vertical blanking interval (VBI). Oren says the digital filter technology in the chip is adaptable to HDTV. A demonstration board is available from Oren for $750. An earlier version of the chip was used in the Magnavox ImageLockTM. My tests of this box showed that it performed well when given a clean video input. However, deep notches caused by severe ghosting tended to increase the noise in the picture and in some cases appeared to shift the black level. Another problem was that the instructions with the box suggested it be hooked to a VCR to obtain a baseband video input signal.. Unfortunately, if you followed this advice, the E-E video from most consumer VCR's added significant frequency response and group delay distortion, which hid any benefit the box could provide. The real application of this chip will be inside TV sets or tuners.

Rockwell's Fusion family of chips doesn't do ghost cancellation. They do, however, provide broadcast media technology for applications such as videoconferencing, video email, video and still editing, stereo PC TV and radio and data services. The devices are designed to connected directly to a PC's PCI bus. Full information on this chip set, including information on an evaluation board, is available at http://www.brooktree.com/techinfo/infotainment/PCI_Decoder/index.html.

FCC Adopts Report And Order on 39 GHz. Band - ET Docket 95-183 (Nov. 3)
In a previous RF Current I reported on Sky Station International's bid for frequencies in the 39 GHz. band for a stratospheric communications systems based on floating communcations platforms high above major population centers. In its Second Report And Order on ET Docket 95-183, the FCC appears to have adopted a much more conservative approach. While it will allow point to multipoint transmissions in the 39 GHz. band, it will auction the spectrum by BTA (basic trading area). The FCC said repacking exisitng 39 GHz. terrestrial licensees to accommodate new satellite operations would be difficult and it would not, at this time, change the spectrum designation to allow satellite services only.

Refer to the Second Report And Order for more information, including technical requirements and permissible operations.

DTV - Sharp and Oregon Public Broadcasting Test Real World HDTV (Oct. 30)
One of the questions surrounding DTV is how well it will work in the real world. Sharp Laboratories is working with Oregon Public Broadcasting to find the answer to this question. A press release issued today announced they "have begun the first in a series of tests to evaluate the real world transmission and reception of HDTV video, audio and data signals using the new digital broadcast spectrum." The tests began October 11th. Gary Feather, business development manager for Digital Video, Sharp Labs of America said "DTV is about theater quality sound, data retrieval, interactivity, entertainment and education. By conducting these real world tests, Sharp will be able to develop products that provide the best images and sound and exploit these advanced services when they become available."

OTHER Items of Interest

Other Issues Available:



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Last modified November 27, 1997 by Doug Lung dlung@transmitter.com
Copyright © 1997 H. Douglas Lung