FCC Spectrum Repack Information
FCC Incentive Auction and Spectrum Repack
Over the last 18-24 months Hitachi-Comark has been preparing for the upcoming FCC spectrum auction and UHF channel repack with a full portfolio of equipment and services.
The FCC band plan scenarios are shown in chart on the right. The auction process started in March 2016 (Stage 1) with the FCC targeting to reclaim 126MHz of UHF broadcast spectrum in the reverse auction and sell 100MHz to wireless carriers. Stages 1, 2, and 3 all failed to meet the requirements of the auction. Stage 4 was successfully concluded as of early February, 2017, reallocating 84MHz from broadcasters to wireless service providers. Once the FCC repack is complete (39 months timeline), the remaining DTV UHF channels will be D14 through D36.
New DTV Transmitters
For DTV transmitters, Hitachi-Comark and its sister organization Hitachi Kokusai Linear have introduced two highly efficient Doherty solid state UHF transmitter designs; PARALLAX® and E-Compact . These solid state technologies are ideally positioned to meet any Tx power required under repack. Contact your sales representative to request a quote for a new DTV transmitter.
Existing DTV Transmitter Retrofits / Retune
In addition to new DTV transmitters, Hitachi-Comark has performed many transmitter upgrades and retrofits to our fielded products. The chart on the right is a list of DTV transmitter models and recommendations for changing RF channels due to potential repack requirements. Note; if your transmitter model is not listed, contact customer service email@example.com for additional information and options.
The repack window as specified by the FCC is 39 months. Considering all of the possible stations that may require new equipment, tower work, permits, etc., broadcasters may want to look at either an existing or new auxiliary DTV transmitters, tuned to the new RF channel to smooth over the bump of the 39 month repack window. Implementing an aux transmitter may help smooth the transition to a new RF channel.
Post-Repack Interference Scenarios
Currently DTV broadcasters are spread out within the existing UHF band of 14-51 due in part to previous simulcast of both analog and digital TV transmitters during the original conversion to DTV. After repack, station RF channels especially in the major metropolitan areas (NY, LA, DC, etc.) will be located much closer together. Therefore, the potential interference scenarios after repack will likely be much worse than today due in part to adjacent channel, co-channel, 600MHz inter-service interference (ISIX), potential “white space devices”, vacant channel proceeding, etc. Be sure that your RF mask filter system is properly specified and designed to minimize possible interference to your RF neighbors.
The FCC Band Plan Scenarios