New York’s WMBC Preps for ATSC 3.0 With Rohde Upgrade

(Image credit: TSG)

BATON ROUGE, La.—Technical Services Group (TSG), a provider of broadcast engineering and commercial AV solutions, has installed two new Rohde & Schwarz transmitters for WMBC-TV at One World Trade Center in New York, becoming the latest broadcasting tenant for the Durst Organization on the One World Trade’s master antenna system. 

Last year, Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) extended its existing antenna and combiner infrastructure at One WTC, which allowed WMBC-TV the ability to upgrade to ATSC 3.0 broadcasting. Owned by Mountain Broadcasting Corporation, WMBC-TV is an independent, full-power TV station serving the New York metropolitan area. 

WMBC-TV is broadcasting from two new R&S THU9evo-40 transmitters (Image credit: TSG)

As the owner representative and design-build contractor for the project, Advent Industrial Corporation, together with Technical Systems Engineering and Marc Musgrove of the Durst Organization, collaborated on the design of the RF and support systems for WMBC-TV. Advent Industrial Corporation prepared the tenant space and integrated the electrical, mechanical and RF systems into the building’s master state-of-the-art broadcast infrastructure. Bo Hoover, CEO of TSG, said Advent was instrumental in facilitating and coordinating all the skilled union trades people for the project, the company said.

This project marked a return to One WTC for Advent Industrial Corporation. AIC had previously built a significant number of the major TV transmitter facilities in the original North Tower prior to 9/11, and was also involved in the post 9/11 emergency return to on-air broadcasting at the Alpine Tower in New Jersey. 

“There’s a lot of advanced prep and coordination that needs to be done to get personnel and equipment clearances to work in One World Trade Center,” Hoover explained. “When we arrived on site, we worked with Advent’s president, Michael Christatos, and his team to verify and test electrical, mechanical, and cooling systems—with only final modifications to ensure the broadcast systems would run at optimal efficiency. It was a rare and remarkable effort by all to show up on a Monday and work together to facilitate going live on Friday.”

Once the physical components were in place, TSG worked closely with RFS’s Todd Loney, who managed the filter tuning and optimization of the master combiner, while TSG handled the commissioning, startup, and proof of the remaining system equipment. WMBC-TV is broadcasting from two new R&S THU9evo-40 transmitters (main and auxiliary), which can be used seamlessly with either the upper (RFS PEP96) or lower (RFS PEP40L) antenna main and auxiliary systems at One WTC.

“The One World Trade facilities master RFS antenna system is second to none in the world,” said Hoover. “This move has allowed WMBC-TV to significantly improve its signal coverage and position itself for an ATSC 3.0 future. A true team effort—and we appreciate WMBC-TV, Advent, R&S, RFS, and especially Marc Musgrove of the Durst Organization for the confidence in choosing TSG to be part of this complex, high-profile broadcast project.”

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.