Baltimore, MD (March 22, 2016) – Through the grant of Special Temporary Authority by the Federal Communications Commission, experimental facilities covering the Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD markets began broadcasting yesterday using the first-ever “Next Gen” Single Frequency Network (SFN). ONE Media and TeamCast jointly developed, built and deployed the experimental SFN to demonstrate a higher quality of service to a broadcaster’s community of license. In addition, the SFN validates, in a real world environment, the operation and performance of new and innovative concepts relative to an ATSC 3.0 SFN deployment, such as deploying a full range of Next Gen services including fixed, portable and mobile capabilities. This is the first of hundreds of SFNs Sinclair Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: SBGI) and other broadcasters will roll out in adoption of the Next Gen technology.
The testing, using a full power, multi-site test platform, using channel 43 in both markets, is designed to illustrate future opportunities such as addressing services and content to zones (geographically smaller areas of service), verifying SFN timing and distribution methodology (leading to standardization), impacting of SFN deployment on over-the-air (OTA) services to mobile, portable and indoor reception environments, and confirming various modeling techniques.
Under ONE Media’s direction and Acrodyne Services project management, the initial SFN network consists of two transmitters (one in Washington, D.C. and one in Baltimore, MD), each driven by the latest state-of-the-art TeamCast ATSC 3.0 exciter, integrated for U.S. applications by COMARK. These specific coverage field-tests will be used to support the finalization of the ATSC 3.0 Studio Transmitter Link (STL) document, defining the stream interface regimens to feed ATSC 3.0 SFN transmitters.
With the support of several participating partners and members of the industry’s standardization process, the success of this effort will drive many of the future business enhancements that can be realized through the deployment of Next Gen broadcasting. ONE Media and TeamCast extend their thanks to: Acrodyne Services which provided system design, installation and logistical support; Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. which provided the Baltimore, MD transmitter (an Acrodyne 60kW IOT) and tower facilities; Dielectric which provided filters, feedlines and antennae; COMARK Communications, LLC (ATSC 3.0 exciter integration); GatesAir which provided the Washington, D.C. transmitter (Maxiva Series ULXT-12 Solid-State transmitter); American Tower Corp which provided the Washington, D.C. site; Signal Above LLC (channel 43 permitee in Washington, D.C.; and LGE which provided the ATSC 3.0 receivers.
“With the build-out of a first-of-its-kind SFN platform, ONE Media’s ATSC 3.0 technology will be used to drive an understanding of the value new tools bring to broadcasting,” stated Kevin Gage, EVP of Strategic Development and CTO of ONE Media. “We intend this new platform to be a place where the broadcast industry can unite to launch new and exciting consumer and B2B products and services.”
“We are proud to contribute to this worldwide first over-the-air SFN implementation, which constitutes a clear recognition of our unmatched experience in implementing technologies for the distribution and the modulation of terrestrial Digital TV standards,” stated Eric Pinson, Business Unit Manager at TeamCast. “One of the key challenges for us has been to design and to implement a very innovative and unique solution to prepare and to transport the ATSC 3.0 stream dedicated to feed the transmission sites operated in SFN.”
About ONE Media, LLC:
ONE Media was established as a joint investment between Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. and Coherent Logix with a vision to build the “Next Generation Broadcast Platform,” enabling broadcasting to be competitive across all platforms. To learn more about ONE Media and the developments occurring in the development of the Next Generation Broadcast Platform go to www.onemediallc.com.
About Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.
Sinclair is one of the largest and most diversified television broadcasting companies in the country. Including pending transactions, the Company owns, operates and/or provides services to 171 television stations in 81 markets, broadcasting 475 channels and having affiliations with all the major networks. Sinclair is the leading local news provider in the country, as well as a producer of live sports content. Sinclair’s content is delivered via multiple-platforms, including over-the-air, multi-channel video program distributors, and digital platforms. The Company regularly uses its website as a key source of Company information which can be accessed at www.sbgi.net.
TeamCast is a renowned and highly active member of the Digital TV ecosystem worldwide, with innovative technology offerings based on a solid expertise in Satellite and Terrestrial Digital TV transmission.
Created in 2003, and based at Rennes in France, TeamCast is deeply involved in the development, definition and verification of numerous broadcasting standards including ATSC 3.0. TeamCast is an active member of the ATSC forum and actively participated to the definition of the ATSC 3.0 physical standard.
Today, major clients in the Broadcasting Industry from 50 different countries invest their confidence in TeamCast and its products. TeamCast has offices in Elmira (New York) and in Singapore to support the development of its business in North America and Asia, and to provide local sales and technical support services to its customers. For more information, please visit www.teamCast.com.