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ATSC 3.0 Transmission Proposal Gets Field Test

CLEVELAND – The latest field tests of a complete transmission technology for Ultra HD digital-TV broadcasts “are even more encouraging” than previous tests last fall, said backers of the tested Futurecast technology.

“All of the results were more encouraging [than fall tests in Madison, Wisc.] because of the terrain and improvements in the system,” said LG spokesman John Taylor. System improvements include improved signal acquisition for mobile TV reception in fast-moving vehicles in downtown, suburban and rural locations up to 50 miles from a transmitter.

For the Cleveland tests, Futurecast developers LG, GatesAir and Zenith held demonstrations for broadcast engineers, members of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC), the senior technical team of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), broadcast equipment companies, and others.

The latest tests of the transmission technology, also called the physical layer, included reception in more challenging reception areas such as Cleveland’s urban core, where Futurecast “proved robust” in withstanding multipath reflections caused by tall office buildings, Taylor said. The tests were also conducted 24/7, thanks to the use of an unused TV channel, enabling the proponents to collect more data than they did during the Wisconsin tests. The Wisconsin tests were limited to only a few nighttime hours over a commercial TV station that stopped broadcasting its regular programming to test Futurecast.