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RF Shorts - July 1, 2010

  • •In a a letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski addressing the Broadcast Engineering Forum, the NAB told the chairman that "We appreciate your assurances that any reclamation of broadcast television spectrum will be undertaken on a completely voluntary basis. We also fervently support the principle that any spectrum reclamation must not force a reduction in the number or quality of services potentially offered by broadcasters or a reduction in number of television homes served by broadcasters." The letter outlines the benefits, like mobile DTV, the DTV transition is just now beginning to deliver to consumers.
  • •RF engineers have to be amused by the iPhone 4 antenna troubles. MSNBC ran a piece Best semi-solutions for iPhone 4 reception far. It also looks like Apple is looking for a few good antenna engineers – a Google search will reveal thousands of articles like the L.A. Times' Apple puts out feelers for antenna wizards.
  • •President Obama's support of FCC proposals to reallocate broadcast spectrum to wireless carriers is discussed on in the posting President Obama endorses FCC plan for spectrum grab from broadcasters. The posting asks how voluntary is "voluntary".
  • •One of the more interesting articles is in the Financial Times. Stephanie Kirchgaessner and Kenneth Li's article Obama pledges to increase internet capacity notes companies are skeptical about the plan. Broadcasters, obviously, but the article also quotes Stifel Nicolaus analyst Rebecca Arbogast saying that, at the moment, "AT&T and Verizon had enough spectrum to increase their networks and could be alarmed at being shut out of a future auction for more spectrum."
  • • reports One World Trade Cener Rises – The memorial and office space hit its 260 foot mark this week. The article says the building will house broadcast and antenna masts, although with today's uncertainty about broadcast spectrum it's unlikely broadcasters will be rushing to sign long term leases on the mast.
  • •London's Olympic sculpture may disrupt reception for thousands of people in east London according to The article Olympic tower sculpture will break up TV signal by Matthew Beard says, "A report to the Olympic Development Authority reveals that the 'hubble bubble' tower – it resembles a shisha pipe – will have 'a slight adverse impact' on the signals received from transmitters in Crystal Palace and Croydon."

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.