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RF Shorts: Other Items of Interest – April 2, 2010

I discussed Signal FM's broadcasting in Haiti after the earthquake and was happy to read that NAB will be honoring the station at NABEF's Service to America awards in Washington DC June 14.

"Signal FM reached nearly three million Haitians, providing them with information that helped unite families and save lives," said NAB Education Foundation president Marcellus Alexander. The tireless efforts of the station's staff truly exemplify the crucial role that broadcasters play in providing information and resources to millions of people during times of crises."

WIRED writer Eliot Van Buskirk has an interesting take on the tug-of-war between wireless providers and TV broadcasters for the UHF TV band in his article Broadcast Spectrum or Broadband Spectrum? We Want Both. Unlike some other commentators, Buskirk understands that broadcast's one-to-many transmission method uses a lot less spectrum to distribute programming than one-to-one streaming over the Internet. He also presented an idea that could improve the experience for both broadcast and Internet users.

"…if Nielsen, wireless networks, app developers and other entities noticed that a significant number of viewers are watching a particular show over the internet, the show's signal could eventually flip to over-the-air broadcast," Buskirk said in the article. "If niche broadcast shows have fewer viewers in a given area, it could eventually change to Internet and mobile data connections. Users wouldn't even need to notice or care which way it's delivered, so long as the same software played it back, which would be simple from a technical perspective."

Your comments and news items are always welcome. Drop me a note

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.