Nucomm Receives Patent for Digital Transmission Via Analog Microwave Systems

Nucomm has been awarded a U.S. patent for “Digital Transmission of Broadcast Signals, including HDTV signals, over a Microwave Link.” The patent covers Nucomm’s Analog Coder product line.

Many broadcasters are using Nucomm’s Analog Coder modulator/demodulator system to transmit digital signals via existing analog microwave systems. The current system allows transmission of data rates as high as 30 Mbps using the baseband inputs/outputs available on most microwave equipment. The first use of the technology was at KAKE-TV in Wichita, Kan., where the Analog Coder was used to pass HDTV signals over 26 analog microwave repeater links.

“This newly patented method is another example of Nucomm’s mission to develop affordable solutions for today’s broadcasters,” said Dr. John Payne, Nucomm CEO. “Prior to our newly patented concept, TV stations and other providers were left with no choice but to replace their analog microwave links with digital microwave ones at considerable expense. With our new Analog Coder strategy, which consists of two 1 RU boxes, one box can be placed at the transmitter end while the second box can be based at the receiver end of the link, eliminating the need for replacement.”

The Sprint-Nextel 2 GHz relocation plan only covers 2 GHz equipment in broadcast auxiliary service links. It does not provide equipment for converting the intercity relay links using other frequencies to allow digital transmission. Nucomm’s Analog Coder could allow stations with complex ENG return links to get HDTV back to the studio without the need to replace a lot of microwave gear. However, there are some tradeoffs in data capability and/or robustness when an analog baseband system is used to deliver digital data.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.