A giant 1,223 ft high terrestrial tower, standing on Television Hill in Maryland and which covers the Baltimore-Washington DC region switched to Europe’s DVB-T2 (OFDM) digital TV transmission for a few hours in the early hours of March 27. The 800+ kW tower beamed out using an experimental licence issued by the FCC to Sinclair Broadcasting’s WNUV-TV station as part of a study to gauge whether DVB-T2 could be the USA’s ‘next generation’ transmission system (the so-called ATSC v3.0).
“Part of that participation may intersect needs to test and evaluate various systems and technologies,” Sinclair VP Advanced Technology Mark Aitken wrote to ATSC’s president, Mark Richer. “I would like to extend to ATSC that Sinclair will make every reasonable effort to provide support for its ongoing 3.0 activities by providing for the use and access to the WNUV facility to support experimental needs…. We are committed to no specific standard or provider.”
The results were excellent, reported Aitken. “The configuration we operated gave us additional data band-width yielding 24.92 Mbps [some] 30 per cent more than standard ATSC—with a [carrier-to-noise ratio] of 15.1 dB—same as ATSC—with an [modulation error ratio] of 33.5 dB, and shoulders well within specs at -53dB or better at the output of the system,” Aitken said. “We were running and receiving HD programming. For the record, it was received over-the-air with a USB T2 receiver,” reported trade magazine TV Technology.