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RF Shorts – June 23, 2011

More Information on Tracking Ocean Currents by Radar

In a recent RF Report I described the use of radar to measure ocean currents, but wasn't able to find what frequencies the radar used. An ARRL news item released earlier this month, US Proposes WRC-12 Allocations For HF Radars describes spectrum under consideration. All are below 50 MHz. Amateur radio operators are concerned the radar may interfere with their communications, at least on some bands. Another news release, Radio waves help track Pacific currents 24/7 describes radar transmitters installed by San Francisco State University and includes a photo of the one at Crissy Field, in San Francisco.

CN Tower Celebrates 35 Years of Innovation

On June 26, 2011, the CN Tower will mark the 35th year since it opened to the public in 1976. If you are in Ontario, you may want to join in the celebration starting Sunday. The CN Tower is recognized as one of the seven wonders of the modern world by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The article focuses on tourism and the tower itself and doesn't even mention its role in broadcasting.

Google Buys SageTV

This week Google announced it had acquired SageTVa developer of PVR software operating on Windows, Mac and Linux PCs. Neither Google or SageTV has indicated what will happen to the software and SageTV's web site contains only an announcement that Google has acquired the company. All links to the store, downloads and support are gone. Forums are still available. SageTV was popular with over-the-air TV viewers because it provided a way for them to time-shift viewing. SageTV also allowed streaming live or saved content to other devices connected over a local network or the Internet. This "place-shifting" technology may be one of the things that attracted Google to the company, possibly for enhancement of its Google TV product.

Will Dish Network Acquire TerreStar Networks?

Bloomberg News reporter Don Jeffrey writes Dish Network Wins Right to Be 'Stalking Horse' Bidder at TerreStar Auction. As you may recall, TerreStar is one of the mobile satellite service companies with spectrum previously used for 2 GHz broadcast ENG. Andy Young has background information on Dish and TerreStar in the Denver Post article Pursuit of wireless spectrum raises possibilities for Dish Network.

'Broadcasters Don't Innovate'

Geoffrey Morrison questioned Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) CEO Gary Shapiro about reports that CEA was trying to get rid of over-the-air TV broadcasting completely. Read the interview to see how Shapiro completely dismisses the need for TV broadcasting while at the same time saying "Over-the-air TV will continue to be a very important part of television experience." He noted that most online video was also "free". When Morrison says, "broadband service isn't free. You have to subscribe to it. So I think people are upset about these potential changes, because the public will be losing access to a source of information and entertainment that, aside from commercials, is free." Shapiro responded that people can go to libraries to get free broadband. Somehow watching Nightly News in a library after dinner doesn't seem the same to me.

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.