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Harris to Receive Technical Emmy for RF Filters

Harris will receive a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for developing special transmission filters that help broadcasters improve quality and reduce the costs of operating digital television signals.

Harris will be presented the award for developing the ATSC Broadcast Transmission System RF Filters at a ceremony Jan. 7, 2008, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

The ATSC RF filter technology, which was awarded a U.S. patent in 2005, was pioneered by Robert J. Plonka, then-principal engineer (now retired) with Harris to overcome potential quality and interference problems stemming from operating adjacent analog and digital channel assignments.

The resulting band-pass RF filters maintain highly reduced side-band emission levels to eliminate interference with other signals in adjacent channels, particularly when broadcasting at full power DTV with dual-purpose capability to use that same filter as an adjacent channel combiner. When used as an adjacent channel combiner, the RF Filters provide the necessary mask filtering and merge the two adjacent channels together into a single transmission line feeding the antenna. This concept reduced broadcasters’ installation costs, tower reinforcement costs and maintenance costs associated with running a second transmission line and antenna.

In November 2000, KFSN, the ABC affiliate in Fresno, Calif., became the first station to employ the technology in its broadcast operation, broadcasting its digital signal on VHF Channel 9. Today, the ATSC Broadcast Transmission System RF Filters have become an industry-standard component deployed across a variety of ATSC DTV transmission platforms by third-party vendors.