RF Shorts for August 29, 2014

DVB-T2/HEVC Trial in Berlin
In Jörn Krieger’s article, Media Broadcast to launch DVB-T2/HEVC trial in Berlin on BroadbandTVNews.com, he writes, “German transmitter network operator Media Broadcast wants to shortly launch a trial for the technical testing of the new digital terrestrial television standard DVB-T2 in combination with compression system HEVC in Berlin to review the whole system chain and determine suitable parameters.”

The Berlin testing will start later this year and continue into summer 2016. Krieger reports Media Broadcast wants to begin regular DVB-T2 transmissions in metropolitan areas in Germany in mid-2016 and convert from DVB-T to DVB-T2 nationwide by mid-2019. He said public broadcasters want to continue distributing their channels free-to-air using DVB-T2 while the commercial channels plan a mainly encrypted, fee-based offering.

According to the article, a project group has been formed in Bavaria to examine the convergence of mobile and broadcast technology. “Headed by broadcast technology institute Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT), the consortium wants to explore and test in the next two years how a corresponding standard (LTE 5G) can be realised.”

New Silicon Labs Tuner for Car Radios

Silicon Labs announced its Si4790x automotive receiver family, August 25. The tuners use on-chip DSP to allow the receivers to be configured to receive not only conventional AM/FM radio, but HD Radio, DAB, and DMB digital radio, including those using L-band

The Silicon Labs press release boasts, “The superior linearity of the Si4790x tuner’s integrated RF front-end, combined with comprehensive AM/FM firmware running on a high-performance on chip radio DSP, sets a new bar for key automotive radio metrics such as sensitivity in weak signal environments, selectivity in the presence of blockers, and immunity to multipath fading and distortion.”

James Stansberry, senior vice president and general manager of Silicon Labs' Internet of Things and broadcast products said, “The Si4790x tuner ICs set a new standard of excellence for car broadcast reception and RF performance. Designed to be a truly global automotive radio solution, the Si4790x family supports all leading broadcast standards worldwide, and our scalable architecture enables infotainment system suppliers to leverage their investments across multiple product lines ranging from entry-level car radios to cutting-edge multi-tuner, multi-antenna radios for premium vehicles.”

The tuner family can support longwave (LW), shortwave (SW), and NOAA weather band reception. Unfortunately. I didn't find any car radios with shortwave reception being offered new in the U.S. One portable radio that has been attracting attention lately is the Tecsun PL-880, one of a line of Tecsun radios using Silicon Labs tuners.

Doug Lung

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.