It's Official: Axcera Backs A-VSB

On Monday, David Neff, president of Axcera, told me off the record that his company was planning to announce its endorsement of one of the three technologies -- Harris/LG's MPH, Rohde & Schwarz/Samsung's A-VSB, and the Thomson/Micronas solution -- being considered by the ATSC as a digital mobile TV standard. I deferred to his request to keep this information hush hush, but couldn't help blurting out, "I bet it's A-VSB. You mentioned the benefits of Single Frequency Networks several times today." In response, Neff would only say, "You are quite perceptive."

Of the three candidate standards, A-VSB makes the most explicit use of SFNs. I'm sure there is nothing about the other candidate standards that precludes the use of SFNs, but it seems Rhode & Schwarz and Samsung have been the most vocal about using these kinds of set-ups to ensure adequate signal coverage. So this is how I guessed it was A-VSB that Axcera would endorse. I'd love to chalk this up to my being the queen of broadcast technology, but I'm afraid it's more that I'm a journalist and therefore good at picking up on patterns.

Last night, Axcera made it official: It's endorsing A-VSB, and is developing transmission solutions for the commercial deployment of single frequency networks. According to Neff, his company decided to go with A-VSB because it has the longest track record of development (it's been around since 2005) and is being developed through a collaborative and open process. In addition, third generation chipsets have been implemented for handsets and mobile devices that are compatible with A-VSB.

The company is holding demonstrations of A-VSB at booth C1307 in the Central Hall. If you can stop by before the show floor closes at 4pm today, you'll be able to view what A-VSB pictures look like on some of the latest mobile handsets and devices.