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RF Shorts – April 21, 2011

  • •The FCC granted a request for an extension of time for reply comments in the proceeding on "Innovation in the Broadcast Television Bands: Allocations, Channel Sharing and Improvements to VHF" from April 18, 2011 to April 25, 2011 (seven days). In granting the request from several broadcasters, the FCC noted that the original deadline was during this year's NAB Show.
  • •The Los Angeles Times reported on plans to deliver local TV broadcasts, received over the air, anywhere a broadband connection is available. See Bamboom takes over-the-air TV over the top. The founder of Bamboom, Chaitanya Kanojia, former chief executive of Navic Networks, observed that at most times during the day, some 50 percent of pay TV viewers were watching local TV stations." The service is being offered as an alternative to cable and satellite TV.
  • •Researchers at MIT have found that by using portable devices' built-in motion sensors they can improve data rates on wireless networks. MIT Professor Hari Balakrishnan explains, "Let's say you get off at the train station and start walking toward your office. What happens today is that your phone immediately connects to the Wi-Fi access point with the strongest signal. But by the time it's finished doing that, you've walked on, so the best access point has changed. And that keeps happening." The new protocol selects an access point based on the user's inferred trajectory. "We connect you off the bat to an access point that has this trade-off between how long you're likely to be connected to it and the throughput you're going to get."

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.