New white paper proposes ‘Transmitter Energy Efficiency Award’

What if you could look for an industry-recognized medallion on TV and radio transmitters under consideration that assures you of their efficient use of energy —something akin to the government’s “ENERGYSTAR” emblem on qualified TVs, computer monitors, refrigerators and other household electronics?

That’s exactly what a new white paper from NAB FASTROAD, prepared by broadcast engineering consulting firm Cavell, Mertz & Associates, proposes should be established.

The white paper, “Power Efficient Broadcast Facility Transmission Design,” proposes establishing a set of criteria and measurement methods that could be used to compare various transmitters to determine whether or not they qualify for the proposed “Transmitter Energy Efficiency Award” (TEEA). In theory, the seal not only would instill confidence in broadcast engineers that the transmitters they are considering meet certain efficiency criteria, but also contribute to the overall “greening” of the broadcast industry.

The paper, released Jan. 25, opens with a primer on power-efficient broadcast facility transmission design for stations considering altering existing or building new RF transmission facilities for over-the-air radio and DTV broadcasting. A variety of topics are addressed, including: the evolution of transmitter efficiency, how cooling requirements affect transmitter efficiency and a discussion of “green” energy alternatives.

NAB FASTROAD also announced it will publish a Web-based tool for broadcast station engineers and managers to use to study different scenarios for transmitter site topology decisions and their impact on operational costs. The Web tool is due out sometime in the first quarter of 2011.

NAB FASTROAD (Flexible Advanced Services of Television & Radio On All Devices) is an NAB technology advocacy program with the goal of seeking and assisting with development of new technologies to benefit broadcasters.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.