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WTVE, Axcera Partner in SFN, Mobile Trial

WTVE Television, a Reading, Pa. RNN affiliate, and transmitter manufacturer, Axcera, have teamed together to deploy on a trial basis the nation’s first ATSC –M/H Mobile DTV transmissions in a single frequency network (SFN) environment.

WTVE has been operating the eight synchronized transmitter SFN configuration since 2007, providing service to the Reading-Philadelphia-Wilmington, Del. Viewing area on Channel 51. The station and Axcera have converted this SFN for A/153 ATSC M/H operation to meet the ATSC A/110B DTS standard and to demonstrate the effectiveness of multi-transmitter single frequency networks.

The system employs an Axcera ATSC “Axciter” Intelligent Modulator at each of the transmitter sites, and is fed with processed video delivered through equipment furnished by Expway and Harmonic. Both consumer and professional gear from Kenwood and LG Electronics is being used for signal monitoring and evaluation. System coverage analysis and the distributed television system design were provided by the Merrill Weiss Group, LLC.

“Since handheld devices are typically just a few feet off of the ground and can be moving at very high speeds throughout the coverage area, Mobile DTV requires a much more dense signal than broadcasting to home receivers,” said Todd Stewart, general manager of WTVE. “ATSC M/H offers excellent performance in the mobile environment, and combining this with DTS technology will allow us to ensure the best coverage possible to our viewers.”

Testing of the system will continue into early 2010 and results of that testing will be provided to the television industry.