RF Shorts for March 1, 2013

UHDTV Broadcast at Mobile World Congress

Julian Clover outlines the Spanish view for UHDTV in his BroadbandTVNews.com article posted Tuesday. At the Mobile World Congress being held in Barcelona this week Spanish public broadcaster RTVE is transmitting what is being promoted as the “first Ultra-High Definition1 (UHDTV 1) DVB-T2 broadcast.”

Clover has this quote from EBU Technology and Innovation Director Lieven Vermaele: “The EBU is committed to exploring the potential of new transmission technologies and new video formats. Through our support for this demonstration we are helping to ensure that the needs of public service broadcasters are taken into account as together we shape the future of television.”

The UHD-1 3840x2160 pixel program is encoded in H.264/AVC at 35 Mbps and is being shown on an 84-inch screen. In addition to the UHD-1 transmissions, the demonstration partners are also taking the opportunity to test the performance of DVB-T2-Lite, which is optimized for mobile terminals. Other partners in the demonstration include Abertis Telecom, SAPEC, Sony, Apuntolapospo, UPM and URL La Salle

IEEE Spectrum Article Examines Tunable Antennas

As wireless broadband consumes spectrum over a growing range of frequencies, device manufacturers are looking to tunable antennas as a way to cover the disparate bands and deal with increasing interference. Kim Krieger has a good overview of the technology in the IEEE Spectrum article Spectrum-Stretching Tunable Antennas to the Rescue – Smart receivers seek out quiet spots in the noisy, overcrowded airwaves.

Krieger writes, “New types of antennas that are smart enough to dodge interference and stretch the usable radio spectrum are slipping into our cellphones--and just in time. Mobile customers’ demand for e-mail, streaming video, and apps is pushing telecom’s existing bandwidth capacity to the brink. The big U.S. wireless companies are falling over each other trying to buy up more radio spectrum, but they also need to use the spectrum already at their disposal more efficiently.”

The article says a tunable antenna is already included in the Samsung Galaxy S II smartphone being sold in Japan but, so far, models for the U.S. market don't use the technology.

Comments and RF related news items are welcome. Email me at dlung@transmitter.com.

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.