Grass Valley Tapped to Complete Mobile DTV Package for Charlotte Affiliate

WCCB, the FOX affiliate serving the Charlotte, N.C. region, has purchased a new Thomson mobile video transmission system from Grass Valley, based on the ATSC A/153 standard.  Grass Valley has been contracted to deliver, integrate, and commission a complete mobile DTV package that will be used to upgrade the station’s existing digital TV transmitter and launch a new wireless video service to portable devices into the market.

The basic equipment needed to begin broadcasting mobile video services via ATSC Mobile DTV includes a program encoder, a multiplexer, an Electronic Service Guide (ESG) server, and a compatible DTV transmission exciter.  Each of these devices is now available in field-tested production models.

The pre-configured solution at WCCB features the Grass Valley ViBE mobile TV video encoder, a Jade server for generating an ESG, and a NetProcessor 9030 to provide ATSC pre-processing.  The existing DTV transmitter will be upgraded with Thomson’s ADAPT-IV 8-VSB exciter, which is fully compatible with the new A/153 Mobile DTV standard and provides post-processing of the mobile DTV signal for maximum reception performance.

“Grass Valley is the only company to offer a fully integrated ATSC Mobile DTV solution – all of the key components in the system are in-house solutions, not a bunch of pieced together boxes from various vendors, so our customers know that all the equipment will work together seamlessly and that the user interface is simple, integrated, and powerful,” says Christophe Delahousse, SVP of the headend and transmissions business units within Grass Valley.

WCCB is a longtime transmission systems customer; the station currently operates a three-tube Thomson DCX transmitter, which will now also include the new ADAPT-IV exciter that has been retrofitted for simultaneous ATSC terrestrial and mobile video operation.

“We’ve always used Thomson transmission equipment because it is reliable, affordable, and easy to maintain with excellent service and support,” says Bob Davis, director of engineering for WCCB.  “We’re looking to support the next wave of viewers watching our programs on portable devices and by upgrading our transmitter with Mobile DTV equipment from Grass Valley; we are now able to do that quickly and cost-effectively.”

Thomson ATSC Mobile DTV Terrestrial Broadcast Technology is backward compatible with legacy ATSC transmission systems, enabling stations to use their existing DTV channel and the mandated ATSC 8-VSB modulation scheme. The technology uses M/H Block Coding to provide maximum capability for signal reception.