Digital ATV Activity

Most up to date info can be found at the following:

Mid Atlantic ATV page on the groups.io web site.
https://groups.io/g/MidAtlanticATV

A summary of info will be kept here.




The SBE Central Pennsylvania Chapter 41 Ennes Workshop on “Transitioning to ATSC 3.0”
Post seminar discussion:

 

August 31, 2021:

With the requested software changes, this could be a great way to combine multiple antennas into a single receiver. No need to worry about cable lengths, phasing, or impedance matching harnesses. On the receive side of a repeater, you wouldn’t need to use an omnidirectional antenna wasting coverage and adding interference. You could point a couple of yagis in different directions at specific locations of interest – where the ATVers are, population centers, etc. – and combine those antennas into one receiver.

Food for thought . . .

Dan Rapak – WA3ATV


As is, it will handle a CATV Ch. 60 signal on the cable input spigot, filter it and apply AGC and amplify it for distribution.

If they make the requested software changes, it will take 438-444 on an antenna input, filter it, apply AGC and allow you to convert it to a standard broadcast frequency allowing any off-the-shelf TV to tune it. It will do that for any format the TV is capable of receiving, including NTSC.
On 8/31/2021 7:30 PM, Dave Stepnowski – KC3AM via groups.io wrote:

Sorry I could not attend, what a bummer.

Sounds interesting for those who have a digital system.
For those of us with analog it doesn’t seem to be worth anything.
Although within Dan’s text here he does say any format so does that mean it will receive 439.250 AM,CATV 60, just as is?

Dave KC3AM

Dan Rapak – WA3ATV


Rich,
On 8/31/2021 8:47 AM, Rich Reese – KR3EE wrote:

My thoughts.
As an attendee to this seminar, I was excited to see this product, and at such a low price.  In a very brief conversation with Javier, I also inquired about coverage for the amateur bands.  I would also promote extending them to 1300 Mhz, even if the output drops off.  Perhaps a software patch can perform this task.
Over the weekend I downloaded the instruction manual and checked it’s technical specifications.  This has lead to another question.  If it strips the carrier frequency and modulates the transport stream back on a new carrier, what modulation is the output?  I suspect that it is “what comes in is what goes out.”

 

It does NOT do a demod-remod. The signals are never converted to base band audio or video. It digitizes the incoming RF waveform and performs DSP, much the same way SDRs perform their filtering functions. In this case, it filters, applies AGC and if desired will frequency shift. But this all occurs in a digitized RF domain. So yes, what goes in is what comes out, just cleaned up and AGC’ed. If you feed it a DVB-T signal on the input, a DVB-T signal will come out. It cannot translate from one modulation scheme to another. Think MATV system: a bunch of antennas feeding a bunch of filters and individual channel amplifiers with AGC and possibly one or more channel converters, all of which get combined together into one amplified output.

 

When setting up an MATV  systems, all of the outputs need to be of the same type so that the scan function on the TV tuner accepts every channel.  In the short term, operators could be receiving signals OTA from ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 sources plus various cable feeds and maybe even DVB-S from satellite.

That depends on the TV set. I have an LG that can maintain both cable channels and off-air channels in it’s channel list at the same time. If I was able to receive an NTSC or ATSC 1.0 amateur televison signal here, I could put it’s cable channel number in the set’s channel table and punch it up along with the broadcast stations.

Dan Rapak – WA3ATV


My thoughts.

As an attendee to this seminar, I was excited to see this product, and at such a low price. In a very brief conversation with Javier, I also inquired about coverage for the amateur bands. I would also promote extending them to 1300 Mhz, even if the output drops off. Perhaps a software patch can perform this task.

Over the weekend I downloaded the instruction manual and checked it’s technical specifications. This has lead to another question. If it strips the carrier frequency and modulates the transport stream back on a new carrier, what modulation is the output? I suspect that it is “what comes in is what goes out.”

When setting up an MATV systems, all of the outputs need to be of the same type so that the scan function on the TV tuner accepts every channel. In the short term, operators could be receiving signals OTA from ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 sources plus various cable feeds and maybe even DVB-S from satellite.

Now if I am wrong and the device can translate this stream to a difference modulation standard, then we have found a very affordable DVB-T / ATSC 3.0 modulator and receiver which would also permit reception of analog NTSC, digital ATSC 1.0, or DVB-T on the same receiver and without switching and being able to pass them through to the modulator. Basically a repeater in a box ! [Assuming we can program co-channel outputs.]

By the way 55 dBmv is +13 dBm or about 20 mw available to drive a power amplifier; I believe that the HiDes 320E is +5 dBm max.

Rich Reese – KR3EE

 


Yep. At the SBE NextGen workshop, one of the speakers put up a map showing ATSC 3.0 coverage. Expected to be 30% of the country expected to have at least one station available by the end of the year.

More than three dozen NextGen TV sets now on the shelves from LG, Samsung and Sony.
https://www.crutchfield.com/shopsearch/nextgen_tv.html?&pg=2

This is rolling along faster than expected!

On 8/31/2021 12:03 AM, Mark Thompson – WB9QZB via groups.io wrote:
ATSC Annual Meeting Focuses on 3.0 Rollout | TV Tech
 

Dan Rapak – WA3ATV

August 30, 2021

All,

The SBE Central Pennsylvania Chapter 41 Ennes Workshop on “Transitioning to ATSC 3.0” was held this past Friday, August 27th. The speakers did an excellent job of presenting the fundamentals of the new, NextGenTV standard for over-the-air broadcasting in the US approved by the FCC just a few years ago. The workshop was very well attended, including members of our Mid-Atlantic ATV group; Gary Black – WA3CPO, Jeff Elliot – W3JVU, Rick Reese – KR3EE and myself – WA3ATV. As one would expect there were also several other ham operators among the broadcast engineers, so our hobby was well represented.

One of the speakers was Javier Ruano of Televes USA who spoke on the various pieces of test equipment broadcasters will need to maintain a top quality NextGenTV signal. For those not familiar, Televes makes both broadcast quality and commercial (hotel, hospital, bar, etc.) grade MATV equipment. They are a European company that has been around for decades and has a good reputation. Here I need to stress that I have no relationship with Televes, no financial interest in their products and nothing to gain by passing this information along.

Having said that, one of the items in particular that caught the attention of those of us from the DATV world is a device called the AvantX “Head End in a Box.”

This is a remarkable device that takes signals from up to four off-air TV antennas, plus an FM radio antenna as well as a CATV input all at the same time! It processes the signals digitally (much like a wide-band SDR.) The box filters out the LTE signals that were dropped into the middle of the UHF television band and then provides up to 32 individual, programmable filters that can be applied to the inputs independently. The output of each filter then has AGC applied to it. The output of each filter can then be individually frequency shifted to another physical channel! The output level is up to +55 dBmV which makes it suitable for use as an MATV distribution amplifier. The box can do all of this from 54 to 1220 MHz. All of this is in a rugged package that is less than 3-1/2” x 2” x 1” and it is NOT made in China! If this were being done with traditional cable TV processing amplifiers, channel filters, combiners and converters it would take up several racks and would cost thousands of dollars. This box? $400 on Amazon!

What really caught the attention of us ATV guys was the ability to filter and frequency shift individual channels. After the workshop I spoke with Javier at length, asking whether the box could frequency shift channels outside the standard US television channels into a US television channel. I explained that ham operators were using frequencies in the 420 to 450 MHz and 902 to 928 MHz for digital television and the ability to filter and frequency shift signals in those bands would be very useful in ATV applications. I asked Javier whether the box could do that. His answer was no, not a present (the channel selection can only be made by channel number and CATV channels cannot be shifted) but he felt it would simply be a matter of a software change to add that capability.

Today we exchanged a few emails. Seeing a potential niche market for the product he has submitted the idea to the Televes R&D department to see what the feasibility might be. The question is whether there would be enough of a market to make the software alterations worthwhile. If this feature were added, it would be possible to filter, shift and amplify any ATV channel – no matter what format – to another frequency. It would, for example, be possible to shift your local analog or ATSC 3.0 ATV Repeater to a standard off-air TV channel, mix it in with signals you are receiving by antenna or by cable TV and watch it on any set in your household, watch it on multiple TV sets in an Emergency Operations Center or on multiple sets at an ATV demonstration.

If you think this is something you might find useful, here is a link to a pdf of the AvantX product sheet:
https://www.televes.com/downloadfile/PLA11200000_TUSA_76038.pdf/L_AVANTX_532180_EN_USA_PLA11200000.pdf

If you’d like to see the AvantX have the ability to frequency shift channels in the ham bands to regular TV channels and filter ATV channels and would like to add your voice, feel free to pass along your thoughts to Javier Ruano at:
jruano@televes.com
Mention that you received information about the AvantX on one of the ham radio lists and are curious as to whether it can shift channels in the ham radio bands of 420 to 450 and 902 to 928 or something to that effect.

Maybe this is not something members of our niche hobby are in fact interested in, but if it is I suspect Javier could use the additional ammunition to convince his R&D department to go forward with the software change.

Personally, I will eventually purchase one these for my home, software change or not. I can receive signals from several TV markets and have been looking for a cost effective way of combining the signals from several antennas into one MATV stream. This box fits the bill rather nicely.

Please feel free to share this info with any other ATV lists you may be a member of.

73,
Dan Rapak – WA3ATV


June 28, 2021

All,

Below is an announcement about a really terrific opportunity for anyone interested in learning the basics of the new ATSC 3.0 digital over-the-air broadcast transmission standard. The Society of Broadcast Engineers Chapter 41 (the Central Pennsylvania Chapter) is hosting an in-person seminar to introduce broadcast technical personnel to the new format. The seminar is intended to cover the basics and is also open to non-SBE members.

The presenters are very high caliber. They are some of the people involved in developing and rolling out the new standard. If anyone can explain what’s going on, these are the guys! The information will no doubt cover topics that are not directly applicable to DATV, but if you want to get your feet wet this is a good opportunity. Topics will include the basics of COFDM modulation (which is also used in DVB-T,) single-frequency networks that allow multiple transmitters to operate on the same channel to reinforce one another rather than interfere with one another, portable / mobile DTV reception, new capabilities for emergency alerting functions and more.

What’s equally important, at $50 this workshop (including breakfast and lunch) is dirt cheap! The registration fee for professional workshops of this caliber are usually well into the hundreds of dollars range. The exact venue is TBD as it will depend on the number of registrants, but it will be in the Harrisburg area, making it an easy drive for most members of our group. Consider taking advantage of this opportunity to learn more about NextGenTV!

73,
Dan Rapak – WA3ATV

Mark Your Calendar and Plan on
Attending the SBE Chapter 41
Ennes Workshop: “Transitioning to ATSC 3.0”
on Friday, August 27 in Harrisburg, PA
The Cost is $40 for SBE Members and $50 for Non Members
Continental Breakfast and Lunch is included in the Registration for the
day-long event which opens at 8:30 am, with the program beginning at 9 am and lasts until 5pm. The Harrisburg, PA location is to be announced.
Planned Presentations:
NextGen Broadcasting
  • Fred Baumgartner, CPBE, CBNT, ONEMedia
NextGen Broadcasting is both TV and radio as we know it — and a major departure. NextGen is seemingly everything – mobile, OTT-OTA, Ultra High Definition, Digital Ad Insertion, radio and someday, maybe, virtual reality. Most important is that NextGen is “extensible.” So flexible that all but a tiny piece can be reinvented and repurposed.
Fred will discuss this aspect of the technology as well as one of its first applications in Advanced Emergency Alerting and Informing. This is the basis for interactive and a critical piece of mobile NextGen broadcasting.
  • Javier Ruano, Telecommunications Engineer and
Televes USA General Manager
Javier will join the discussion on NeSCxtGen Broadcast, as we looking at re-building receive antenna systems. The discussion includes the advent of “headend in a box” we can combine antennas channel by channel, eliminate LTE interference, and produce a Master Antenna System. Available test gear will be discussed. Javier will show us how we can maintain and analyze the ATSC 3.0 transmissions we are deploying.
PLP’s, OFDM and Other Key Aspects of ATSC 3.0
  • Perry Priestley, COO/CSO, Broadcast Electronics/Elenos Group
The presentation explains Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplex (OFDM) as compared to the single carrier system; 8VSB which is currently used in ATSC standard today, as well as the structure and purpose of Physical Layer Pipe’s (PLP’s). The paper discusses some choices for certain transmission scenarios and goes on to discuss how these can easily be set within a modern ATSC3.0 transmitter (exciter). The paper will refer to ATSC document A327-2018-Physical-Layer and explain the meaning of some of the key aspects of OFDM and PLP’s within the ATSC3.0 standard.
Industry Conversion from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0
  • Mark Aitken, Senior Vice President, Advanced Technology and President ONE Media 3.0
Mark will address the industry conversion from ATSC 1.0 to ATSC 3.0, its future and lessons learned from the front lines of NextGen Broadcast. NextGen Broadcast offers business plans and opportunities new to broadcasters. What role will previously impractical mobile coverage and smart phones play? What of data distribution as a service? Does Next Gen Broadcasting intersect with 5G and the Internet of things? What is life like after linear broadcasting?
Additional Presentation
  • Phil Larson, Vice President, Airborne Division, QForce
Need Overnight Accommodations? A block of rooms has been reserved at the Radisson Hotel Harrisburg, 1150 Camp Hill Bypass, Camp Hill, PA (phone: 717-763-7117) at the SBE rate of $95. This cut-off date for this block of rooms is August 5.
Questions? Contact Education Director Cathy Orosz at corosz@sbe.org.



Digital ATV Test Beacon

Most up to date info can be found at the following:

Mid Atlantic ATV page on the groups.io web site.
https://groups.io/g/MidAtlanticATV

A summary of info will be kept here.


May 4, 2020

This email message is a notification to let you know that the following files have been uploaded to the Files area of the MidAtlanticATV@groups.io group.

Uploaded By: wa3atv <DanRapak@verizon.net>

Description:
Article on the status of the rollout of ATSC 3.0 (NextGenTV) from the newsletter of the (cancelled) National Association of Broadcasters national convention..


May 4, 2020

All,

As you probably know, the new U.S. standard for digital, over-the-air television transmission standard allows for Single Frequency Networks (SFNs.) This allows broadcasters to operate multiple transmitters on the same television channel to fill gaps within their markets. The multiple transmitters augment rather than interfere with one another. There are now 20 different models of television sets being produced that are capable of receiving the new ATSC 3.0 (aka NextGenTV) standard, including models by LG and Sony. This means it will be possible to use off-the-shelf consumer television sets to receive signals from Digital ATV stations that transmit with the ATSC 3.0 format.

To those of us involved in Digital ATV, the concept of SFNs would allow networked repeaters to operate on a single, common output frequency with the repeaters augmenting one another’s coverage. Operating on a common output frequency would also conserve ham radio spectrum in any given geographical area.

GatesAir, a manufacturer of television broadcast transmitters, will be holding free, one hour webinars on SFNs on Thursday, May 14th. There are two sessions; one at 10 a.m. EDT and one at 10:30 p.m. EDT. I see nothing on their web site restricting these events to broadcast professionals. Therefore I’m passing this information along to the group.

It will be some time before SFN technology will be available at a reasonable cost to experimenters like ourselves, but with all of us hunkered down at home this is an excellent opportunity to learn more about the future of DTV in the US and stay ahead of the game.

If you’d like to learn more about SFNs and NextGenTV, the URL for GateAir’s Virtual Events is:

https://go.gatesair.com/virtual-events.html

Scroll down to, “TV Network Planning: Gap Fillers / SFN Application and Design Guidelines and click on the event time most convenient for you to register for the webinar.

I hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity to learn and I hope the information will stimulate some thinking and prove useful down the road.

73,

Dan Rapak – WA3ATV


February 1,2020

All,

The new standard for over-the-air digital television in the U.S. continues to advance.

Sixty television stations in forty markets are expected to be on the air with the new standard by the end of 2020.
Twenty television sets with ATSC 3.0 tuners were shown at the recent 2020 Consumer Electronics Show.
Several stand-alone tuners (set top boxes) were also shown, but not formally announced.
Stand by for more updates and announcements after the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas coming up in April.

If you haven’t been thinking about the ATSC 3.0 digital television format, you may want to give it some consideration. This is going to be the new digital broadcast standard in the U.S. It utilizes COFDM and it is FAR superior to ATSC 1.0 in terms of signal coverage and capabilities, including I.P. protocol, 4K video and enhanced emergency broadcast features. Further, if you operate an ATV repeater you would be wise to retain your 6 MHz channel allotments. Although European DVB can be operated at less than 6 MHz channel widths, I am not aware of any provision in the ATSC 3.0 standard to do so.

Here is a link to a report from the CES that was provided by Rich Reese, KR3EE.
https://www.cnet.com/news/want-free-4k-from-an-antenna-heres-the-2020-tvs-with-next-gen-tv-tuners-built-in/

73,
Dan Rapak – WA3ATV


March 9, 2019

Summary of MidAtlantic ATV Meeting  2019-03-09


September 12,2018

Society of Broadcast Engineers Webinar on ATSC 3.0 – “Introduction to ATSC 3.0”

Viewed at  WA3ATV QTH


June 18, 2018

I’ve posted the spec sheet on the new beacon antenna in our group’s Files section. The antenna has a gain of 11 dBi; with a 55 degree beam width
Using that data, I’ve updated the predicted coverage model and posted that in our group’s Photos section.

Dan – WA3ATV


June 17 2018

There’s been an upgrade to the antenna for the beacon in Summerdale. What started out as Dick picking up a bag of goodies he left here when the beacon was first installed turned into a cookout which turned into an antenna replacement. The Big Wheel omni-directional antenna eleven feet AGL has been replaced with a Yagi that has been mounted on the tower.

It is 55′ AGL
It is believed to have a gain in the 7 to 8 dB range.
The azimuth is about 175 degrees – not quite due south.

This eliminates power wasted over the mountains to the north and also gets the antenna above the tree line. Dick and Jeff both report significant improvement in the signal strength at their home QTHs. I’ll leave it to them to give you their particular numbers as to previous signal strength vs. new signal strength.

If you’ve already made a reception test, please repeat it and post your findings as a reply to this thread. Things are looking promising!

Happy Fathers’ Day!
Dan – WA3ATV

Yagi at 175 deg and 10 w – Wider view.png


June 15, 2018

There is a group of ham radio operators in the mid-Atlantic region who have begun experimenting with Digital Amateur Television. They are using the DVB-T (European) broadcast standard as it has proven to be far more robust than the US broadcast standard – far more forgiving of multi-path and other types of interference. It also performs better at the lower power levels allowed on the ham bands.

There is currently a beacon on the air at the WA3ATV QTH near Harrisburg (Summerdale) for propagation test purposes. The DVB-T beacon can be received by low cost “receiver dongles” that some hams already own and are experimenting with. The dongles plug into the USB port of a computer and are controlled by software. As an alternative, the RF signal can viewed and measured on most spectrum analyzers. There are also low cost receivers and transmitters available on the web at prices comparable to an HT.

If you do not have hardware capable of looking at the video or RF but are interested in experimenting with Digital ATV, contact Dan – WA3ATV at sears.stuff @verizon.net to arrange for a reception test at your QTH. The beacon is slated to be operational for the next week or two to allow propagation testing. Once testing is completed here in the Harrisburg area, it will be relocated to a site near New Freedom for additional testing.

If you do have hardware and are interested in taking a look, here are the particulars for the beacon:

40 19′ 35.90″ N / 76 55′ 07.62″ W
956′ AMSL
554′ HAAT
11′ AGL

Call sign: W3JVU
Center Frequency: 429.0 MHz
Mode: DVB-T
Bandwidth: 2 MHz
Power: 10 watts
Antenna: Big Wheel Omni-directional
Polarization: Horizontal
Gain: 3 dBd

Video: Test Pattern with W3JVU call letters
Audio: None

Photos of the beacon installation are attached, including two maps of predicted coverage.
Anyone interested in following the project can join the Mid Atlantic ATV page on the groups.io web site.
https://groups.io/g/MidAtlanticATV

73,
Dan Rapak
WA3ATV