DISH Teams Up With Spectrum Co. on Next Gen TV Trial in Dallas

DALLAS—DISH announced that it has successfully trialed the transmission and reception of the new broadcast ATSC 3.0 standard as part of the Spectrum Consortium, LLC's "Next Gen" deployment project in Dallas. Using its 700 MHz E Block spectrum (former broadcast TV channel 56), DISH deployed on Spectrum Co.'s Garland, Texas, Single Frequency Network site, as part of the country's first major market conversion to the Next Gen broadcast standard. Spectrum Co. is a consortium of broadcasters leading the transition to ATSC 3.0.

"We're seeking innovative ways of bringing next generation technologies and services, like ATSC 3.0, to American consumers," said Tom Cullen, DISH executive vice president of Corporate Development. "This trial helps us not only pursue opportunities with 'Next Gen' TV technology, but also identify synergies with our IoT and future 5G plans, for example broadcasting data to connected cars."

[Read: Q&A: Mark Aitken On Dallas Next-Gen SFN Trial]

DISH's 700 MHz E Block is uniquely positioned to provide coverage to 95 percent of the license areas in the U.S. Additionally, DISH's uplink spectrum assets could be used to provide a unique, dedicated reverse link channel for broadcast data applications.

John Hane, Spectrum Co. President, said, "We are thrilled that one of the most innovative companies in telecom and media has joined Nexstar, Sinclair, Univision and American Tower in our Dallas SFN project. DISH's involvement underscores that ATSC 3.0 is much more than the most transformational upgrade of broadcast television technology in history. It's the foundation of a robust new ecosystem of advanced services. The wireless economy is quickly outgrowing one-size-fits-all solutions. We look forward to working with DISH, broadcasters and others to bring exciting new capabilities online."

[Read: John Hane Joins Spectrum Co As President]

Spectrum Co. is defining the requirements of the Dallas SFN deployment project. Sinclair Broadcast Group and American Tower Corporation, working within a memorandum of understanding that will help shape future joint activity, have deployed and are commissioning multiple sites that will support multiple channels as part of this SFN network. Two 6 MHz channels have been committed by market broadcasters (Univision and Cunningham Broadcasting Corporation) to Next Gen service transmission infrastructure that will also accommodate DISH's licensed E-Block spectrum. By participating in the Spectrum Co. project, DISH will be able to share in and benefit from the understanding that evolves during the operation of this pilot deployment.

Vendor partners in the Dallas "Next Gen" rollout include: Hitachi COMARK (transmitters), ATEME (encoders), Enesys (gateway resource scheduler), Digicap (ESG and signaling), Dielectric (band-pass-filters, transmission line and antennae), Monroe Electronics (EAS Digital Alert Systems), TestTree (monitoring and control), Acrodyne Services (integration), ONE Media (configuration and design) and Progira (SFN coverage modeling).

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

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.