By most accounts, transmitter manufacturers and suppliers of antennas and RF components are doing a good job so far of keeping up with the rapid spike in demand caused by the repack. But weather problems are causing major problems for tower crews and delaying a growing number of projects. And repack insiders fear a more significant backup this summer and fall.
Manufacturers of transmitters, antennas, transmission line, filters and other RF components are already busy with repack orders but say the additional funding included in the government’s recent spending bill should greatly ease the process, particularly for mid-to-small-market stations that have been slow to invest due to fears about compensation. Above, a Dielectric APT panel antenna. Click here to access TVNewsCheck’s NAB 2018 Resource Guide listing transmitters, antennas and other RF gear or here to download it as a PDF.
TV broadcasters have a lot on their minds this year at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. New efficiencies enabled by IP video transport as well as IT technology and next-gen TV made possible by ATSC 3.0 are near top of mind. But no issue facing over-the-air TV broadcasters at this year’s gathering tops the FCC-mandated repack of the television spectrum. Above: Few transmitter sites will require dealing with logistical issues as complicated as those that had to be overcome at One World Trade Center in New York. (Photo: ©2016 John M. Lyons. Used with permission.)
The FCC-mandated TV spectrum repack and ATSC 3.0 will be the biggest trends in RF developments at the 2017 NAB Show. However, that simple statement glosses over the complexities involved in making both a reality. This year’s convention will mark the first major industrywide opportunity broadcasters and RF vendors have had to dive into the nitty-gritty of making these major changes a reality. Photo: RFS. Click here to access TVNewsCheck’s NAB 2017 Resource Guide listing of RF consultants, vendors and products or here to download it as a PDF.
Since it looks like the FCC will have to repeat its two-part incentive auction process to balance the money promised to broadcasters with what is raised from wireless carriers,broadcasters and their technology suppliers remain in the dark longer about which stations will have to move in the repack and to which channels. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It could help sync up the repack with an ATSC 3.0 rollout and provide more time to create the 36-month repack schedule. Some vendors say they could use the extra time to prepare for the expected demand. Read the second part of this Special Report here.