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RF Shorts for April 15, 2013

U.K. 4G Interference Possibly Not As Bad As Feared

Michael Passingham at reports 4G less harmful to Freeview reception than first feared.

He writes: “In February, the regulator Ofcom set aside £180 million to resolve television reception issues caused by the 4G rollout, predicting two million Freeview blackouts. However, initial testing in the West Midlands has seen only 15 reported signal dropouts caused by the 4G signals, compared with the 120 that were predicted.”

The testing found that out of 100 complaints about Freeview reception, only 15 were associated with 4G masts and all of the complaints were from viewers using “signal boosting amplifiers.” All cases were solved by installing a filter between the aerial and the amplifier.

Belgium Switches to DVB-T2 Transmission

Robert Briel reports on Belgium switches to DVB-T2. Transmitter company Norkring Belgium is switching off DVB-T transmitters in the northern part of that country and was planning to have the new DVB-T2 transmitters operational between April 11 and April 20.

Briel writes: “The switchover only concerns the Teletenne service, which is marketed as a low pay service by Telenet in Flanders. The two muxes from public broadcasters VRT (Flemish) and RTBF (French language) are not affected and will continue to be available in DVB-T.” Teletenne was launched last June and consisted of 13 channels, although with the move to DVB-T2 the number of channels can be increased.

Current owners of the Teletenne DVB-T receiver will receive a free DVB-T2 replacement receiver, allowing Telenet to do a hard switchover without any simulcast, although viewers will lose the signal for a few days as the transmitters are being replaced.

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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.