ATSC approves recommended practice on Synchronized Multiple Transmitter Networks

October 4, 2004

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) has approved a new recommended practice: A/111, “Design of Synchronized Multiple Transmitter Networks.”

The document provides guidance on the design of specialized transmission facilities that utilize multiple transmitters to cover a station’s service area. Single Frequency Networks (SFNs) and Multiple Frequency Networks (MFNs) can be used to address specific signal coverage issues, including those relating to difficult terrain.

As described in A/111, these networks can be implemented using Digital On-Channel Repeaters (DOCRs), Distributed Transmission (DTx) systems, or Distributed Translators (DTxRs). A/111 focuses on the design aspects of SFNs.

Merrill Weiss, who led the ATSC effort to develop the new Recommended Practice, said A/111 is required reading for anyone interested in the design of Single Frequency Networks.

Benefits of the SFNs described in A/111 inlcude:

  • More uniform signal levels throughout the area being served
  • Reduced interference
  • Fewer terrain limitations
  • More reliable indoor reception

A/111 was developed in the ATSC Specialist Group on Transmission (T3/S9). The document is a companion publication to ATSC Standard A/110, which describes the means to synchronize the emissions of multiple DTV transmitters. This capability is necessary to making a Distributed Transmission system practical.

A Recommended Practice is a document that typically provides guidelines for operation and performance. The ATSC has adopted a variety of recommended practices for different industry segments in the DTV field.

A copy of the approved standard is available from the ATSC.

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