Advanced Television

DISH hails ‘next-gen’ broadcast trial success

April 10, 2018

In a significant convergence of wireless and broadcast technologies, pay-TV connectivity specialist DISH has successfully trialled the transmission and reception of the new broadcast ATSC 3.0 standard as part of the Spectrum Consortium’s ‘Next Gen’ deployment project in Dallas, Texas.

Using its 700 MHz E Block spectrum (former broadcast TV channel 56), DISH deployed on Spectrum Co.’s Garland, Texas, Single Frequency Network (SFN) site, as part of the country’s first major market conversion to the Next Gen broadcast standard. Spectrum Co. is a consortium of broadcasters leading the transition to ATSC 3.0.

“We’re seeking innovative ways of bringing next generation technologies and services, like ATSC 3.0, to American consumers,” said Tom Cullen, DISH executive vice president of Corporate Development. “This trial helps us not only pursue opportunities with ‘Next Gen’ TV technology, but also identify synergies with our IoT and future 5G plans, for example broadcasting data to connected cars.”

DISH says its 700 MHz E Block is uniquely positioned to provide coverage to 95 per cent of the licence areas in the U.S. Additionally, DISH’s uplink spectrum assets could be used to provide a unique, dedicated reverse link channel for broadcast data applications.

“We are thrilled that one of the most innovative companies in telecom and media has joined Nexstar, Sinclair, Univision and American Tower in our Dallas SFN project,” declared John Hane, Spectrum Co. President. “DISH’s involvement underscores that ATSC 3.0 is much more than the most transformational upgrade of broadcast television technology in history. It’s the foundation of a robust new ecosystem of advanced services. The wireless economy is quickly outgrowing one-size-fits-all solutions. We look forward to working with DISH, broadcasters and others to bring exciting new capabilities online.”

ATSC 3.0 technology is designed to provide multiple benefits to consumers including dramatically improved over-the-air reception, immersive audio, deep-indoor reception, mobile reception, targeted programming/advertising, automotive services and advanced emergency alerting.

Spectrum Co. is defining the requirements of the Dallas SFN deployment project. Sinclair Broadcast Group and American Tower Corporation, working within a memorandum of understanding that will help shape future joint activity, have deployed and are commissioning multiple sites that will support multiple channels as part of this SFN network. Two 6 MHz channels have been committed by market broadcasters (Univision and Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation) to Next Gen service transmission infrastructure that will also accommodate DISH’s licensed E-Block spectrum. DISH is participating in this important Spectrum Co. project, and will be able to share in and benefit from the understanding that evolves during the operation of this pilot deployment.

Vendor partners in the rollout include: Hitachi COMARK (transmitters), ATEME (encoders), Enesys (gateway resource scheduler), Digicap (ESG and signaling), Dielectric (band-pass-filters, transmission line and antennae), Monroe Electronics (EAS Digital Alert Systems), TestTree (monitoring and control), Acrodyne Services (integration), ONE Media (configuration and design) and Progira (SFN coverage modelling).

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