KLCS and KJLA Issue Channel-Sharing Report

(Editor's Note: This is straight from CTIA. It will be updated when the report is reviewed.)

LOS ANGELES and WASHINGTON—CTIA–The Wireless Association and Los Angeles television stations KLCS and KJLA released today their channel-sharing pilot project report, which clearly proved channel sharing is feasible, and is a technically viable option for broadcasters with minimal impact for viewers. For stations interested in sharing a single 6 MHz radio-frequency channel, the results show how to successfully navigate numerous technical situations that may arise as well as real-world implications for successful channel-sharing.

The report reflects the findings of the two participating stations and to the extent that similar combinations of stations arise elsewhere, this testing may serve as a baseline assessment of channel sharing. First announced Jan. 28, 2014 and approved for testing by the Federal Communications Commission Feb. 4, the report findings include:

· Physical and virtual level channel-sharing is feasible.
· It is technically possible to combine two high-definition television streams onto a single channel.
· Two HD streams may be combined with additional standard-definition program streams. Up to two additional SD streams are possible without major impact to the quality of experience of the overall material. Additional SD streams may be possible with additional testing and analysis.
· It may be feasible for three HD streams to be combined onto a single channel. Testing found that this combination may be technically feasible and of value for broadcasters, but each entity needs to examine the digital complexity of its material and decide if this combination is acceptable for its viewers.
· One HD stream may be combined with a variety of SD programs. The parties tested one HD and up to seven SD streams in a single Advanced Television System Committee channel with good results.
· In order to ensure a positive viewer experience, the FCC and broadcasters must carefully plan a transition to a repacked television band that includes consumer guidance on rescanning.

If television stations choose to engage in channel sharing as part of the FCC’s upcoming incentive auction, KLCS and KJLA worked collaboratively, with support from CTIA, to provide some of the questions that stations need to answer for themselves in conjunction with potential partners.

“The pilot study conducted by KJLA and KLCS demonstrates that channel sharing is technically viable for broadcasters considering this option. To the extent that similar combinations arise elsewhere, this report may serve as a baseline assessment of sharing,” said Alan Popkin, director of TV Engineering for KLCS.

“Our collaboration with KLCS yielded extremely valuable and interesting data about the promise of channel sharing, without adverse effect on our over-the-air audience,” said Francis Wilkinson, vice president and general manager of KJLA. “We hope that our pilot project and the report issued today will allow interested parties to further explore the possibilities associated with channel-sharing.”

“The thorough and thoughtful testing done by the engineers at KLCS and KJLA clearly validates the significant opportunities that channel sharing will provide television broadcasters without impacting their viewers. With the facts demonstrating the successful benefits of channel sharing, we are hopeful broadcasters will review the testing and consider this option for participating in the FCC’s Incentive Auction. Freeing up spectrum through the Incentive Auction will, in turn, enable the wireless industry to purchase the spectrum so we may continue to meet user demands for Internet access anywhere, anytime,” said Steve Largent, president and CEO of CTIA. “On behalf of the wireless industry, I appreciate the leadership shown by the executives and engineers at KLCS and KJLA to ensure a successful incentive auction process.”