RF Shorts for Sept. 27, 2012

Simple.TV DVRs Ready to Ship

Rachel Cericola reported last week on ElectronicHouse.com that the Simple.TV DVR Starts Shipping Next Week.She writes, “We see a lot of interesting things go up on Kickstarter, never to be heard from again. Well, Really Simple Software Inc. not only raised over quarter of a million dollars to fund the Simple.TV DVR, but the company plans to start shipping the product next week. On Thursday, September 27, Really Simple Software Inc. will start shipping the Simple.TV DVR to Kickstarter and pre-order customers in the U.S. They will also take additional orders via the Simple.TV online store.”

The Simple.TV DVR receives off-air broadcast TV, transcodes it to MPEG-4, and streams it to networked devices, from that big TV in the living room to notebooks, tablets and smartphones inside or outside the home.

The website says, “Simple.TV was created with a single mission: get great broadcast TV to connected screens.” I find this concept appealing as it appears to be the easiest way to transition off-air broadcasting from the original ATSC standard to an as yet to be determined non-compatible standard for ATSC 3.0. Devices such as the Simple.TV DVR could provide the functionality needed to receive the new broadcast format while making it available to the ever increasing number of screens with IP connectivity. 

Dish Rejects Sprint 2 GHz AWS Spectrum Proposals 

Phil Goldstein, in his article Dish accuses Sprint of glossing over spectrum issues on FierceWireless.com this week covers the battle between Sprint and Dish about the AWS spectrum in the 2 GHz band. This is part of the spectrum previously allocated to the broadcast auxiliary service, and is typically used for on-the-scene live news. Dish has spectrum at 2000-2020 MHz and Sprint wants it shifted up 5 MHz to 2005-2025 MHz, immediately adjacent to current BAS 2 GHz channel A1. Sprint says a 5 MHz shift would help its LTE operations by freeing up more PCS spectrum for auction. Goldstein reports “Dish said that Sprint's assertion that substantial 3GPP standard-setting work will be needed for the AWS-4 band regardless of whether there is a 5 MHz shift is misleading, and that a shift would require new standard-setting work.” 

He includes this analysis from TMF Associates analyst Tim Farrar, “If an announcement does come next week, then it will also come as a major shock to most wireless industry observers, because almost no attention is being given to the possibility of a tie-up between Dish and Clearwire. However, this may be the last chance for Dish to pressure the FCC not to shift their uplink spectrum, and a major announcement of network plans could tip the scales in their favor. As a result, I suspect that Ergen's speech could well contain an announcement of a network deal, a partnership or perhaps even both."

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.