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RF Shorts: Other Items of Interest - Dec. 3, 2009

An article in Ad Age, The Future of TV is an interesting read in conjunction with the FCC Public Notice which asks broadcasters to justify their use of the TV spectrum. The article focuses primarily on alternatives to broadcast TV, but includes this comment on mobile DTV. "Apple sold 7.4 million iPhones in its recently completed fourth quarter, each capable of playing video representing seven percent unit growth over the year-earlier period--just one indication of the potential growth of mobile video." Look for ATSC mobile DTV receivers that interface with the iPhone very soon--perhaps even before the end of 2009.

The Consumer Electronics Show is a bit over a month away and some interesting gadgets are already starting to appear. has information on the new ViewSonic WinXP MID. This small handheld device has a built-in tuner and antenna. No word if there is or will be an ATSC Mobile DTV compliant receiver. Chinon launched the AVi iPod speaker system with monitor. The neat thing is the package not only connects to your Apple media device to provide bigger speakers but also displays ATSC DTV on the built in screen. It would be really nifty if the device recorded ATSC over-the-air programs for viewing on the "i" device as well as displaying DTV.

Many readers are familiar with the Fourier transform. It allows any signal/waveform to be defined by a number of individual frequencies. In case you are not familiar with it, or would like a refresher, check out Explained: The Discrete Fourier Transform by Larry Hardesty at MIT. The Web site includes some nice graphics and explains clearly how DFT (discrete Fourier transform) works.

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.