In the first three parts of our 4-part series, we looked at how spectrum repacking and the Incentive Auction will likely impact the broadcast industry, including estimating construction costs and timelines for new transmitters and tower site equipment. This process was introduced in the FCC’s latestReport Order issued June 2, 2014.
In this final blog entry, we’ll discuss how GatesAir can help our customers meet the challenges of this spectrum repacking and the Incentive Auction, and the channel relocation that follows. Our sales team is prepared to help customers by providing all the information they need to make decisions in a timely way. If you’d like to meet with us, don’t delay since many stations will need the same services you do at the very same time.
Channel relocation will likely require new hardware, including an antenna, transmitter, channel mask filters as well as possible replacement of the transmission line. Since stations will be reimbursed for their expenses from the $1.75 billion fund allocated by Congress—and based on the proceeds of the Incentive Auction—this is an opportunity to upgrade to the latest transmitters.
At GatesAir, we provide transmitters with high-energy efficiency, easy operation, remote monitoring via IP, broadband operation allowing channel agility and relatively little maintenance. And in many cases, we can replace aging IOT or tube-type transmitters with solid-state technology, giving customers power capabilities and other benefits that weren’t there during the DTV transition.
While the next-generation ATSC 3.0 standard is on a fast track toward adoption, it’s still in development. And there’s no telling if it will be ready in time for stations that are upgrading due to spectrum repacking.
ATSC 3.0 is vital to the future of DTV broadcasting because it facilitates Mobile DTV, a very appealing new business model for stations that want to reach viewers watching video on mobile devices as part of their multi-platform delivery. It also offers greater capacity for more bandwidth intensive program content, such as Ultra High-definition TV and additional multi-channel services.
But for right now, the most important thing is for broadcasters to get moving on developing a proposal for construction costs and timelines, getting price quotes in writing, and consulting broadcasting experts to get the information needed to maximize this spectrum repacking and channel relocation opportunity.
Since the spectrum repacking and channel relocation process is very dynamic, with many updates and clarifications expected over the next six to nine months, our hope is to keep our readers informed about new developments in our upcoming blogs.