MTVA Gets Approval for NYC Distributed Transmission System

The Metro Television Alliance LLC, which includes New York area TV stations WCBS, WNBC, WNYW, WABC, WWOR, WPIX, WNET, WPXN, WNJU and WXTV, is working on plans to locate many of these stations' transmitters at the Freedom Tower being constructed on the former World Trade Center site. All of these stations at one time or another had WTC facilities. The new Freedom Tower site is not expected to be operational until years after the 2009 analog TV shutdown, and many MTVA members are concerned viewers in the New York City area that use indoor antennas will have difficulty receiving DTV signals from the sidemounted antennas being used at the Empire State Building. One solution may be the use of multiple low-power transmitters to provide stronger signals in specific areas. This week, the FCC granted MTVA's request for an experimental license to operate a distributed transmission system on channels 12, 33 and 65 in New York City.

The FCC conditioned the grant, with the requirement that health-care facilities had to be notified and the group would have to work with facilities to resolve problems should there be any interference to medical devices. The experimental authority was granted for a six-month period, starting May 23, 2007. The technical specifications in the letter authorizing the operation show a maximum effective radiated power of 1 kW at each of the five sites.