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FCC Office of Engineering and Technology to host tutorial on DTV translators

The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology will host a tutorial on recent field studies of digital TV (DTV) translators March 22 at Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C.

TV translators are low-power television stations that re-transmit the program service of full-power TV stations on a different channel and are typically used to provide television service to communities located in less populated areas. DTV translators will be used to enable rural and other underserved communities to participate in the transition to digital TV service.

Highlights of the tutorial will include a presentation by R. Kent Parsons on his work with experimental digital television translator stations in the mountains of Utah. Parsons is the state of Utah TV translator coordinator and is vice president of the National Translator Association.

Tutorial topics will include:

  • Coverage achieved with very low-power TV translators. Such low-power operation will provide cost savings to translator operators and open the door for potential conversion of existing analog TV translators to digital TV operation;
  • Transport of 8-VSB signals using fixed microwave stations, UHF translator relays and on-channel boosters;
  • Retransmission of 8-VSB translator signals on a small local cable distribution system;
  • Adjacent channel operation using a combination of digital-to-digital and digital-to-analog channels. Such adjacent channel operations are likely to be a key factor in facilitating the availability of the additional channels needed for digital translators.

In addition to Parsons, Byron W. St. Clair and Gary Sgrignoli will make presentations. St. Clair is a technical consultant who frequently represents TV translator interests before the FCC and is president of the National Translator Association. Sgrignoli is a principal engineer for research and development at Zenith Corporation and holds 35 television patents, of which many are for the design of VSB television transmission.

The public is welcome and reservations are not required. The tutorial begins at 9 a.m. and will be available to Real Media owners via the Web. Visit to watch the streamed tutorial.

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