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.

Issues are dated each Monday, although recently I've needed an extra day or two to complete each issue. Articles may be posted earlier if time permits or if there is a major, breaking story.

<<< Back to April 26 - Issue 163

May 3, 1999 - Issue 164 Final Edition

FCC - FCC Commissioner Tristani - TV Translators - "there's nothing 'secondary' about them" (May 3)
In remarks before the New Mexicom Broadcasters Association in Albuquerque, New Mexico last Friday, FCC Commissioner Gloria Tristani commented that "Translators may be 'secondary' as a matter of law, but to the people who depend upon them to receive broadcasting service, there's nothing 'secondary' about them." Commissioner Tristani oulined the challenges facing translators over the next decade. The first problem is loss of channels for the full power TV transition to DTV and the impending loss of channels 60-69. Most of the steps the FCC has taken to minimize displacement are well know. Tristani pointed out, however, that stations can keep operating on their current channel until the channel is needed for primary operations and a conflict arises. "I'd encourage you on channels designated for public safety to coordinate with your local officials. They should understand the valuable service you provide to the community. You may be able to find a way to keep your service on the air during the transition period."

As an indication of the displacement problem, Tristani said the FCC received over a thousand translator and LPTV applications for replacement channels on June 1, 1998, the first day translator and LPTV stations could file for displacement channels. Of these aplications, 280 were mutually exclusive. Mutually exclusive applications that can't be resolved through engineering solutions will be decided by auction. Entities with no or very few other media interests will be able to obtain bidding credits between 35 and 25 percent. Translators and LPTV stations will not count as other media interests.

With regards to Class A status for LPTV stations, Tristani asked if some types of translators "should be given primary status vis-avis new entrants. As translators struggle to survive and to continue serving their communities, I think it's a question well worth asking."

The second challenge the Commissioner outlined for translators was transition of translators to digital. "My sense is that not enough research and development work has been done on how translators will make that transition. What are the unique technical issues that need to be resolved for translators to go digital?" She did not offer any answers, but emphasized we need to start asking the questions.

Refer to the full text of Commissioner Tristani's Remarks to read more about this and other topics.

MICROWAVE - California Microwave's MRC CodeRunner(TM) Receives Awards at NAB 1999 (Apr. 28)
California Microwave (now Adaptive Broadband, effective Apr. 29) announced its MRC CodeRunner(TM) digital ENG microwave product (see the April 19, 1999 RF Current), was awarded Television Broadcast magazine's "Pick of the Show" at NAB '99. In addition, Broadcast Engineering magazine termed the product one of the "Pick Hits of NAB '99". According to the Adaptive Broadband Press Release, this "award acknowledges unique products that will help broadcasters and video professional[s] move their facilities into the 21st century.

Details of the Television Broadcast magazine award were outlined in an earlier California Microwave / Adaptive Broadband Press Release. It noted the "Pick of Show" award is selected by a team of industry professionals, led by editor-in-chief Michael Silbergleid. Before a product or technology can receive the award, the judges must unanimously agree on it.

SATELLITE - GE Americom Announces Plans to Expand Satellite Capacity (Apr. 28)
GE American Communications (GE Americom) said Wednesday the GE-4 satellite is scheduled to be launched and operational by the end of the year, replacing Spacenet 4 at 101 degrees West Longitude. GE-4 will carry 24 36 MHz C-band transponders with 20 watts power each and 24 36 MHz Ku-band at 110 watts. Both bands will cover all 50 United States and also provide coverage into Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean area and Latin America. The satellite will join GE-1 at 103 degrees West Longitude. GE Americom has designated these two satellites the GE Americom Cable2 Neighborhold. It currently reaches over 41 million household cable subscribers. The GE Americom Press Release claimed this made it "America's fifth largest and fastest growing neighborhood both in subscribers and networks coming aboard." GE initiated an ambitious antenna program for the GE-1/GE-4 combination designed to reach up to 90 percent of America's household cable subscribers.

GE also announced plans for two new satellites - GE-7 and GE-8, to replace Satcoms C-1 and C-5. These satellites will be built on the Lockheed Martin A2100A platform. Arianspace will launch the satellites. GE-7 will be located at 137 degrees West Longitude and is expected to be operational by the second quarter of 2000. The GE Americom Press Release on GE-7 and GE-8 is somewhat confusing on how GE-7 will be used. While it states GE-7 will provide both analog and digital video services, will distribute cable programming and is technically superior to C-1, the release says "GE-7 is expected to serve primarily as an in-orbit spare."

GE-8 is scheduled to be operational by the first quarter of 2001. It will replace Satcom C-5 at 139 degrees West Longitude and will be used for distribution of radio network programming and carriage of data and private networks.

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990430.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
WPXH 45 Paxson Comm. Gadsden, AL 225 324 Dielectric TFU-18DSC C170
KPXF 48 Paxson Comm. Porterville CA 190 822 Dielectric TFU-10DSC C170
KWHY 42 Harriscope Los Angeles CA Modif. 917 Dielectric TFU-26GTH-RS2180
KMEG 39 Waitt B'cstg. Sioux City IA 1000 611 Dielectric TFU-24GTH-R 04
WISH 9 Indiana B'cstg Indianapolis IN 19.5   Modif - change ERP
WCLJ 56 Trinity B'cstg Bloomington IN 500 297 Andrew ATW22H3-HSO-56S
KOLR 52 VHR B'cstg Springfield MO 1000 573 Andrew ATW30H4-HSO-52S
WAXN 50 Kannapolis TV Kannapolis NC 200 352 Dielectric TUP-04-12-1
WNYW 44 Fox Television New York NY 990   Modif. to change ERP
WFMZ 46 Marantha B'cstg. Allentown PA 200 314 Andrew ALP-24-OC (mod.)
KUPX 29 Robert's B'cstg Provo UT 530 Mod. to change ERP
WAVY 31 WAVY B'cstg. Portsmouth VA 1000 280 Dielectric TFU-30GBH-R 08
WUND 20 Univ. of N.C. Columbia NC 543 489 Dielectric TFU-30GTH-R-04
WVTA 24 Vermont ETV Windosor VT 30 693 Dielectric TUP-04-10-1

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990429.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KPAZ 20 Trinity B'castg Phoenix AZ 500 489 Andrew ATW24H3-HTOU-21H
WTBY 27 Trinity B'castg Poughkeepsie NY 200 373 Andrew ATW22H3-HSO-27S
KBEH 50 African-American Bellevue WA 240 719 Andrew ATW25H3-HTC2U-51H
WQO 5 Shockley Comm. Eau Claire WI 200 280 Dielectric TUP-SP4-8-1

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION ACTIONS - See ac990428.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KPTV 30 Oregon Television Portland OR 741 528 Dielectric TFU-28GBH-R06
KSL 38 Bonneville Holding Salt Lake City UT 256 1267 Kathrein K773928

DTV - Additional NAB 1999 DTV News
The following are news releases that I either missed or were not available on the Internet until after the April 26th RF Current was published.

ADC Telecommunications, Inc.
Technology for Communications International (TCI)
OTHER Items of Interest

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Last modified May 10, 1999 by Doug Lung dlung@transmitter.com
Copyright 1999 H. Douglas Lung