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Japan Completes DTV Transition

Analog terrestrial television shut down in Japan last Sunday, except in the three Tohoku-region prefectures hit by the Great East Japan earthquake. Off-air viewers without a digital TV set or converter box tuning into analog channels Sunday afternoon saw an information screen about the DTV transition. At midnight, these analog transmitters were shut off.

Japan launched the DTV project in 2001 and broadcasts in three major regions began in 2003, expanding to the entire country in 2006. Japan uses the ISDB-T transmission system, which is based on COFDM technology similar to DVB-T, but includes enhancements such as a longer interleaver to reduce interference from impulse noise.

RF Report reader Mike Mahan found a website dealing with Japan's DTV transition, including information on the transmitters on the Seto Digital Tower. Six of the seven stations transmit with a power of 3 kilowatts (it isn't clear whether this is transmitter power or ERP), and one uses only a kilowatt. See the Google translation here. Also see Issues remain after Japan's complete shift to digital terrestrial broadcasting in The Mainichi Daily News.

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.