Spectrum Evolution to Go To War With the Army They Have


Staff member
Important advances in mobile-DTV receiver chipsets and devices, as well as assurances that such receivers won’t block reception of clear-to-air mobile-DTV signals are two positive developments coming out of the 2012 International CES, said Greg Herman, an LPTV operator and head of the SpectrumEvolution.org advocacy group...

In his capacity as an LPTV owner, Herman’s comments would be no more or less important than the thoughts of any other broadcaster. However, as the head of the SpectrumEvolution.org advocacy group, his positive remarks mark a subtle shift in strategy.

SpectrumEvolution.org spent much of last year unsuccessfully trying to convince the FCC that it should changes its rules to allow television broadcasters to choose the modulation scheme of their own liking. The group was looking for a way to let broadcasters adopt OFDM-based modulation in support of CMMB transmission, which currently is in use in China. Hundreds of CMMB receivers are already commercially available outside the United States, and adopting the new modulation scheme would give broadcasters and the nation a relatively quick and painless way to realize the goal of the FCC for greater wireless broadband coverage and bandwidth, the group contended.

Herman’s positive comments about ATSC A/153 developments at CES reflect an acknowledgement that mobile DTV can be a pathway to the ultimate goal of letting broadcasters use their spectrum to head off the wireless spectrum crunch, if allowed to do so by the commission.

“As much as I would believe that at this stage of the game that America should have the best standards available for the American people, I am also a firm believer that you have to go to war with the army you’ve got,” he said. “If we are up against a brick wall of regulatory challenges to try to do the things we’ve worked on to bring new services forward and new more sophisticated modulation techniques into reality in the United States — if we can’t do that — the one thing we can do is work with what we have.

“The most important thing is that broadcasters use their spectrum in a way that it becomes relevant, and I am talking about their spectrum — not their content — in a way that becomes relevant in the daily lives of Americans,” said Herman.
Read More: Mobile DTV development draws kudos from unlikely quarter