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 June 7 - Issue 168

June 14, 1999 - Issue 169 Final Edition

CHIPS - Microtune(TM) Announces Single-chip Broadband Tuner-Receivers for Multiple TV Standards (June 14)
Microtune(TM) announced its first single-chip broadband tuner-receivers and said it would be demonstrating the tuners at the National Cable Television Association in Chicago this week. The tuner chips demonstrated will include an NTSC MicroTuner(TM), a Multi-standard PAL MicroTuner and a combination NTSC/PAL MicroTuner. The company said the chips are high-performance, dual conversion tuners suppurting standards like NTSC, DOCSIS, VSB, DVB, and DAVIC. They should find uses in TVs and DTVs, cable modems, set-top boxes and PC/TVs.

Microtune emphasized its MicroTuner(TM) technology is ready to handle the increased spectrum congestion and interference in the TV broadcast bands created by digital broadcasts. Doug Bartek, chairman and CEO of Microtune, said "Our goal was to develop highly-integrated, universal solutions for high-speed media delivery that could be implemented globally across worldwide broadband systems. In the process, we created very small, powerful tuner-receivers that reduce the costs of components, increase the quality and reliability of designs, and address the problems of migrating consumer products from analog to digital environments."

MicroTuner2000(TM)versions for PAL and NTSC/PAL are slated for delivery at the end of the year at prices of $19.95 and $24.95, respectively, in quantities of 10,000.

More information may be obtained at the Microtune web site and in Microtune's News Release.

SATELLITE - NAB to Hold Eleventh Satellite Uplink Operators Training Seminar (June 14)
The National Association of Broadcasters announced it would hold its Satellite Uplink Operators Training Seminar at NAB Headquarters in Washington D.C. from October 4-7, 1999. Norman Weinhouse of Norman Weinhouse Associates will conduct the course. NAB said "Mr. Weinhouse has over 30 years of experience in the design, construction and management of satellite communciations systems." Mr. Weinhouse also wrote the 300-page text book used as a basis for the course. In addition to instruction on satellite communications systems, equipment, operating guidelines and safety and interference management techniques, this year's seminar will also cover HDTV and satellite DVB digital transmission.

More information on the course and how to register for it may be found in the NAB NAB Satellite Uplink Operators Training Seminar web page. Additional information is available in the NAB News Release.

FCC Grants Earth Station Applicants STA to use New Skies Satellites (June 11)
When Intelsat decided to transfer some of its satellites to the private company New Skies Satellites, N.V., satellite operators in the U.S. faced the possibility of not having FCC authorization to access these satellites. The FCC advised operators to file applications to continue to use the New Skies satellites and since then, the FCC has granted Special Temporary Authority (STA) to U.S. earth station operators providing fixed satellite services (excluding DTH) using these satellites. Since then, the FCC has received requests to access these satellites from other U.S. earth station operators that had not used these satellites before. The Commission granted the STA requests of U.S. Electrodynamics, Crawford Communications, MCA Research Corporation, Globecomm Systems, and DCI II to use access these satellites until June 30, 1999. The FCC cautioned these "authorizations are temporary only and do not prejudice Commission action on the underlying applications for regular authority to operate with the New Skies satellites."

For more details, including information on interference and service constraints on these STAs, refer to the FCC Order and Authorization (da991093).

FCC Initiates Public Access Via the Internet (June 10)
The FCC announced it had "adopted a Report and Order enabling the public to access application and licensing information in the Universal Licensing System (ULS) via the Internet." The Order makes it possible for anyone with Internet access to research and review applications and licensing data in the ULS. The FCC said "The public will also have access via the Internet to the ULS Geographic Information System, which enables users to create customized maps of licensing data." Out of concern for security and reliability, parties participating in electronic bidding or filing applications will have to dial directly into the FCC's WAN to access ULS or the auction database.

For more information, see the FCC News Release (nrwl9025). The full text of the Report and Order was not available on-line when this was written.

FCC Adopts Fourth Annual Report on State of Wireless Competition (June 10)
The FCC issued its Fourth Annual Report on the State of Wireless Communication. The Report covers commercial mobile radio services such as mobile telephony, paging/messaging, dispatch and mobile data. The Report noted that there are at least five mobile telephone providers in each of the 35 largest Basic Trading Areas (BTAs)and at least three mobile telephone providers in 97 of the 100 largest BTAs in the U.S. Paging/messaging remains competitive, with the estimated number of pagers in service increasing to 50.5-54.2 million units comparied with 48.2 million units in 1997. However, with regard to the mobile data market, the FCC said it "remains in a developmental stage, making competitive assessments difficult." The FCC noted, however, that "over the past year, the mobile data sector has seen numerous companies announcing plans to offer a variety of new products and services in the coming months and years."

More detailed information is available in the FCC News Release (nrwl9024). The full text of the Report was not available on-line when this was written.

SCIENCE - Scientists Unravel Mysteries of Lightning (June 11)
Most people who work around transmission sites have mixed feelings about lightning. The displays of electrical power are impressive, but the damage they can cause may be expensive. In conjunction with the quadrennial International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity taking place June 7-11, 1999 in Guntersville, Alabama, NASA has collected an extensive list of lightning related links and news. Once of the findings of current research on lightning is that lightning tends to avoid the most violent regions of the storm. James Dye, a research at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, explained, "It seems that lightning channels themselves are not in the most intense updrafts, but in the weaker updrafts and downdrafts."

If you are interested in lightning, you can find more information on Dye's research, links to other lightning web site, information on sprites and much more at http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/essd11jun99_1.htm.

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990611.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
WXPX 42 Paxson Bradenton FL 1000 449 Non-directional
WKOI 39 Trinity B'casting Richmond IN 500 281 Andrew ATW22H3-HSC1-39S
WNPX 36 Paxson Cookeville TN 1000 379 Dielectric TFU-18DSC S190
KTBW 14 Trinity B'casting Tacoma WA 500 473 Andrew ATW18H3-HSC1-14S

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990610.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KTTV 65 Fox Television Los Angeles CA 1000 n.c. Andrew ATW22H6-ETO-65H (mod)
WXIX 29 Raycom National Newport KY 227 (mod) n.c. Dielectric TFU-14GBH/VP-R 6T190
WKBD 14 Paramount Detroit MI 58.7 269 Dielectric TLP-24H Custom
WOIO 10 Raycom National Shaker Heights OH n.c. n.c. Harris TAC-4HB-3/12 (mod)

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION APPLICATIONS - See ap990608.txt for more information
Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
WFXT 31 Fox Television Boston MA 154 330 Shively 2200 Super-Turnstile
WGVU 11 Grand Valley State U. Grand Rapids MI 3.2 249 Non-directional
WNJT 43 NJ Public BC Auth. Trenton NJ 46.0 261 Non-directional

DIGITAL TELEVISION STATION ACTIONS - See ac990610.txt for more information
Applications granted for license or license modification to cover CP:
KTLA-DT CH-31 Los Angeles CA
WTHN-DT CH-10 New Haven CT
WHDH-DT CH-42 Boston MA
WXYZ-DT CH-41 Detroit MI
KCTS-DT CH-41 Seattle WA
WDIV-DT CH-45 Detroit MI

Call (DT) Ch. Licensee Location ERP (kW) HAAT (m) Antenna
KOLR 52 VHR Springfield Springfiled MO 1000 573 Andrew ATW30H4-HSO-52S
KDOC 32 Golden Orange B'cstg Anaheim CA 200 960 Dielectric TFU-10DSC-R C170
KSCI 61 KSLS Long Beach CA 148.8 948 Andrew ALP12M7-HSWR-61
WGIQ 44 Alabama Ed. TV Comm. Louisville AL 168.8 243 Dielectric TFU-10DSC-R P310BNT
WIIQ 19 Alabama Ed. TV Comm. Demopolis AL 50.0 313 Dielectric TFU-10DSC-R P220
WJW 31 WJW License Cleveland OH 625 317 Andrew ATW22H2-ESO-31H
KARE 35 Gannett Minnesota Minneapolis MN 774 435 Harris TAD-32UDA-5/80
WCCO 32 CBS B'cstg Minneapolis MN 1000 433 Harris TAD-32UDA-5/80
KSTP 50 Hubbard B'castg St. Paul MN 1000 433 Harris TAD-32UDA-5/80-MRST
WBOC 21 WBOC Salisbury MD 173.8 302 Harris TAD-38UDA-4/56-MRT

OTHER Items of Interest

Next - June 21 - Issue 170

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Last modified June 20, 1999 by Doug Lung dlung@transmitter.com
Copyright 1999 H. Douglas Lung