USDA Public Broadcaster DTV Grant Application Deadline Nears

Public television stations serving rural areas have slightly more than a month to submit applications for a Public Television Digital Transition grant before the July 7, 2014 deadline. The grants are provided by the United States Department of Agriculture under its Rural Development program.

Funds can be used to "acquire and install facilities and software necessary for the transition" and may also be used for "associated engineering and environmental studies." Eligible equipment includes digital transmitters, translators, and repeaters as well as power upgrades of existing DTV equipment, including "replacement of low-power digital transmitters capable of delivering the final authorized power level." Associated equipment, including STLs, master control equipment, digital program production equipment, multicasting and database equipment and the cost of leasing facilities, if any, for up to three years is covered.

For additional information, visit the USDA Public Television Digital Transition Grant Program webpage.

Earlier this year, USDA announced grants to Idaho Public Television to upgrade translators, to the Kentucky Authority for Educational Television to replace analog microwave links with digital microwave links; to Eastern New Mexico University to buy two translators; to Ana G. Mendez University in Puerto Rico to buy digital equipment for educational, social and cultural programming to remote locations; to West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority to convert its digital production studio in Charleston from analog to HD video; and to Bethel Broadcasting in Alaska to help KYUK there buy digital production equipment and convert an LPTV transmitter from analog to digital.

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.