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TSG, Vislink Support ATSC 3.0 Upgrade for Alabama Public TV

WBIQ tower Alabama Public Television
(Image credit: Alabama Public Television)

BATON ROUGE, La.—Alabama Public Television (APT) is getting an update to its stations for ATSC 3.0 transmission, selecting Technical Services Group (TSG) and Vislink to handle the statewide project. 

The upgrade, which is billed at $2.8 million, covers 30 locations with bi-directional, high-speed IP components from Vislink that will enable support for ATSC 3.0 transmission on Alabama’s microwave distribution system. The current system has been in place since 2010 and is only capable of supporting ATSC 1.0.

APT’s network uses nine transmitters and 21 repeaters for its statewide coverage. The master signal originates from the network operations center at APT’s Birmingham station, WBIQ. To achieve bi-directional connectivity and full redundancy across the entire network, TSG says that it will install 120 of Vislink’s IPLink 3.0 transceivers, four at each site.

Vislink’s digital video microwave system will enable APT to transition from traditional ASI transport to an IP-centric system architecture. The new system also will have Simple Network Management Protocols (SNMP), which will monitor and manage the overall health of the APT Network, per Vislink.

Work on the project is expected to begin in early summer, with the goal of completing it by the end of the year. APT believes that with the built-in redundancy, it should be able to minimize or avoid signal disruption during the upgrade.

PLUS: ATSC 3.0 Deployments: Where and When Will NextGen TV be Available? 

APT also plans to develop a separate fiber network for ATSC 3.0 to help connect the 30 transmission sites. This is still in the planning stage.

“ATSC 3.0 is the next step in the evolution of broadcast television. With their emphasis on infrastructure, Alabama Public Television is in front of the curve,” said Bo Hoover, CEO of TSG. “APT’s transition to ATSC 3.0 is going to serve as a model for other statewide networks, and we are excited to work with Vislink to deliver this solution.”