Four single frequency network sites in the Dallas-Fort Worth market are ready for testing

DALLAS—Construction and connectivity work on the ATSC 3.0 Single Frequency Network (SFN) being installed in the Dallas-Fort Worth Designated Market Area, American Tower announced in January.

n-DFW SFN_7a

The SFN, a collaboration of American Tower, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Univision Local Media, Nexstar and Spectrum Co., consists of four existing American Tower sites located around market in both metro and suburban sites to maximize signal strength across the DMA.

“The construction phase went quite smoothly,” said Ed Tiongson, Director, Product Innovation for American Tower. “With these ATSC 3.0 deployments, it’s critical to draw on expertise to synchronize SFN towers effectively, including integrating the network components, such as antennas, transmitters, and radios for optimum signal delivery.”

[Read: Dallas ATSC 3.0 SFN Buildout Nears Completion]

The towers, electrical power, fiber network and transmitter buildings at sites in Fort Worth, Denton and Garland, Texas, were upgraded for TV. A pre-fab building was also added in Garland, and a point-to-point microwave link between the Denton and Fort Worth sites was also installed, the company said.

The work included upgrades to networking, internet exchange, fiber and data center connectivity as well as three-phase power. Comark transmitters and exciters also were added at each site, the company said.

The main transmission tower site in Cedar Hill, Texas –currently the main 1.0 transmission site—received an upgrade of ATSC 3.0 transmission equipment, rounding out the four-site SFN, American Tower said.

With the 3.0 SFN infrastructure in place, validation testing of RF design and link budget will begin. Evaluating operational workflows is also on tap. “Once the RF measurements are validated, we will be able to scale for additional sites in the future as business needs dictate,” said Jim Leifer, Senior Manager, Broadcast Operations at American Tower.

March 1 is targeted as the date the SFN will light up, said Mark Aitken, Sinclair vice president of Advanced Technology and President of ONE Media LLC, in a recent Q&A with TVTechnology.

“The holdup on this one is the MVPD notification process, and the FCC is a stickler on making sure we run out the 120 days,” said Aitken.

For comprehensive source of TV Technology’s ATSC 3.0 coverage, see our ATSC3 silo.