Seven of the group owner’s stations to undergo full-power DTV conversions in 2008-09.
Harris Corp. has been awarded a contract to convert seven Media General Broadcast Group television stations to full-power digital TV with Harris DTV transmitters beginning in early 2008. Media General Broadcast Group operates 23 television stations in the U.S, and has exclusively used Harris TV transmission solutions for its DTV conversion.
The latest project includes digital upgrades of Harris Sigma UHF and Platinum VHF analog transmitters at six stations plus the installation of a new Harris Platinum-i digital transmitter at WSPA Spartanburg, S.C. The six stations scheduled to receive upgrades are WMBB Panama City, Fla.; WJHL Johnson City, Tenn.; WBTW Florence, S.C.; WNEG Taccoa, Ga.; WJTV Jackson, Miss.; and WVTM Birmingham, Ala. The project is targeted for completion by the FCC’s Feb. 17, 2009, analog shut-off date.
Bob Richardson, director of engineering for Media General Broadcast Group, said, “Harris has always done its homework from a research and development standpoint, which made us feel very comfortable in continuing our exclusive relationship with them as we moved into our early phase of DTV conversion. Most of all, we have always felt that Harris offered excellent customer support, a very important part of the relationship between broadcaster and manufacturer.”
Harris will help relocate several Media General-owned Harris analog transmitters to new sites, where they will be channel-changed and upgraded to digital with the addition of Harris Corp.’s Apex digital exciter. All transmitters also will be outfitted with the Harris eCDi transmitter network control and monitoring system for maintaining transmitter health. Additionally, the broadcast group recently installed a Harris NetVX networking system at WALB Alexandria, La., for HDTV video encoding of CBS and NBC programming over the same digital channel.