R&S highlights SFN solution, edge mux as critical pieces of mobile DTV solution

Mobile DTV is one of the biggest buzzes at the NAB Show, and Rohde & Schwarz is hoping to capitalize on that with a full line of transmission-related products aimed at getting broadcasters on the air with a mobile signal and making it easier for them to monetize that effort.

Following the Open Mobile Video Coalition breakfast April 20, which in itself was filled with significant mobile DTV announcements, including the selection of Washington, D.C., as a product showcase market for mobile DTV technology, establishment of Atlanta and Seattle as technical mobile DVT research and development markets and the unveiling of a mobile DTV-enabled Dell Netbook computer, Rohde & Schwarz got in on the mobile DTV action at its press conference.

The company announced new solutions, including an MPEG-4 AVC encoder, multiplexer, exciter and transmitter, for mobile DTV. R&S also said it was involved with two mobile DTV demonstrations going on during the show. The first was delivering mobile service from KVCW, the Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned station in Las Vegas, and the second, a single frequency network demonstration involving the local NBC Universal Telemundo station.

The SFN demo involves transmitting from three sites in Las Vegas –Black Mountain, the top of the Stratosphere Casino & Hotel and the Mobile DTV Pavilion on the floor of the Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The SFN demonstration seeks to show broadcasters how they can take advantage single frequency networks to compensate for terrain and architectural conditions that might cause gaps in coverage. According to Eddy Vanderkerken, R&S director of broadcast sales for North America, the company’s SFN also offers “a unique, simple and low complexity” approach to transmitter synchronization.

During the press event, the company also highlighted a new edge mux designed to make it simple for stations to insert content into their mobile DTV streams at the transmitter.

I spoke with Vanderkerken about R&S’s SFN technology and the edge mux after the press conference.