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FCC Encouraging Mobile DTV Deployment

All TV receivers marketed in the United States are required by Section 15.117 of the FCC's Rules to be able to receive both analog and digital television broadcast on all TV channels. For the reasons I described in an earlier RF Report article (Mobile DTV Receiver Manufacturers Ask for Analog Waiver), providing analog receiver capability in cell phones and other mobile DTV devices, in addition to not working very well in a mobile environment, would increase device power consumption, size and complexity.

On July 15, in Order DA 10-1313 the FCC granted the request for a waiver of the analog tuner requirement for devices that have A/153 mobile DTV reception capability, are designed to be used in motion, and provide "notice on the packaging, and, when the responsible party is acting as a retailer at the point of sale, of which types of television broadcast signals the device cannot receive."

The FCC denied a request to extend the analog reception waiver to certain DTV receivers without A/153 capability, as requested by Elgato Systems, LLC and Silicondust USA.

None of the 31 comments received in the proceeding opposed the waiver and "virtually all" vigorously gave it their support.

In the order, the FCC stated its support for deployment of mobile DTV.

"We strongly encourage the CE industry and broadcasters to make the benefits of mobile DTV available to viewers throughout the nation, by expanding the number of available signals and producing at least some MDTV devices that include analog tuners," the order said.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.