New ATSC guide offers broadcasters help in setting up DTV single frequency networks

The benefits of SFNs include more uniform signal levels, reduced interference, fewer terrain limitations and more reliable indoor reception
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The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) approved a new recommended practice for the design of synchronized multiple transmitter networks.

With the announcement of Recommended Practice A/111 Sept. 25, the ATSC issued a guide for television stations using multiple transmitters to cover their service areas.

Single Frequency Networks (SFN) and Multiple Frequency Networks (MFNs) can help broadcasters deliver digital signals to viewers in areas where specific aspects of local terrain or other issues make reception difficult or impossible.

SFN and MFN can be deployed using Digital On-Channel Repeaters (DOCRs), Distributed Transmission (DTx) systems, or Distributed Translators (DTxRs). A/111 focuses on the design aspects of SFNs.

The benefits of SFNs include more uniform signal levels, reduced interference, fewer terrain limitations and more reliable indoor reception, according to RF consultant Merrill Weiss, who led the development of A/111.

The A/111 recommended practice was developed in the ATSC Specialist Group on Transmission (T3/S9). The document is a companion publication to ATSC Standard A/110, which describes the means to synchronize the emissions of multiple DTV transmitters. This capability is necessary to making a Distributed Transmission system practical.

For more information, visit www.atsc.org.

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