Press releases

Columbia, MD 06-Mar-2017

Rohde & Schwarz Posts “Go 2 Repack” Survival Guide to Completing the Transition

Premier transmitter, test and measurement and studio equipment manufacturer, Rohde & Schwarz USA, has completed “Go 2 Repack,” an Expert Guide to Technology and Logistics, which is available for download here: www.rohde-schwarz.com/tx9

The 15-page “Go 2 Repack” Guide was written by experts from Rohde & Schwarz, antenna manufacturers, RF consultants, and industry leaders and offers an in-depth “survival guide” for broadcasters and technical personnel involved in transitioning a TV station to a new channel due to the FCC Spectrum Act. (The Act mandates that 1,200 repacked U.S. TV stations be fully operational with a new transmitter in 2019. Repacking refers to the process of reassigning broadcast TV channels to a smaller portion of the TV band to free up spectrum for wireless use.)

“As a leading global supplier of solutions along the entire broadcast chain, our mission is to help broadcasters plan for this process, keep their transition on track and turn a long-term investment in RF equipment into a revenue generation stream,” said Erik Balladares, Director of Broadcast & Media Division, Rohde & Schwarz. “We’ve included information about the repacking process and ATSC 3.0, as well as details about the latest antenna and transmitter technologies, so broadcasters can make the best equipment and infrastructure choices.“

The “Go 2 Repack” Guide appears online in conjunction with the start of Rohde & Schwarz series of Repacking Advanced Technology Events (RATE), starting today, March 6, in Columbia, MD and continues on March 8 and 9 in Dallas and Burbank, CA.

“There’s tremendous opportunity with the repack, just as there was with the analog-to-digital ATSC switch,” added Balladares. “ATSC 3.0 enables broadcasters to offer innovative programming and services using IP to connect with computers and mobile devices. Still, upgrading broadcast facilities is a complicated and expensive proposition, and affected stations will be racing against a 39-month clock to complete the transition. And every affected station needs to focus on permits, construction and installation, interim transmission facilities, coordination with other local broadcasters, RF systems, antenna and transmitter selection, and budgets. We believe this guide will answer many questions for anyone in the repack.”

One topic discussed within the “Go 2 Repack” guide is that of amplifier technology as a crucial component in determining new transmitter cost of ownership. Because most transmitters operate a reduced output power, Rohde & Schwarz counsels that it’s important to verify system efficiency at 10%, 25% or 30% reduced output power. Modern transmitters experience a significant reduction in efficiency at reduced power. Intelligently designed amplifiers allow optimized efficiency at reduced power levels. Software-based tools that ensure transmitters are operating at optimum efficiency are a must-have for today’s broadcasters.

In addition to transmitter technology, other repack considerations outlined in the “Go 2 Repack” paper are:

  • Permits and logistical considerations
  • Installation preparation
  • Repack impact on LPTV and translators
  • Planning to replace RF systems
  • Antennae selection for repack and beyond
  • Key elements of ATSC 3.0 and its impact on antennae selection

Rohde & Schwarz

The Rohde & Schwarz technology group develops, produces and markets innovative information and communications technology products for professional users. Rohde & Schwarz focuses on test and measurement, broadcast and media, cybersecurity, secure communications and monitoring and network testing, areas that address many different industry and government-sector market segments. Founded more than 80 years ago, the independent company has an extensive sales and service network in more than 70 countries. On June 30, 2017, Rohde & Schwarz had approximately 10,500 employees. The group achieved a net revenue of approximately EUR 1.9 billion in the 2016/2017 fiscal year (July to June). The company is headquartered in Munich, Germany, and also has regional hubs in Asia and the USA.R&S® is a registered trademark of Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co.KG.

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