Sinclair Powering Up for ATSC 3.0

Sinclair is getting ready for both the post-incentive auction repack and the expected FCC approval, by the end of the year, of rolling out the new ATSC 3.0 next gen transmission standard. 

Rohde & Schwarz said Wednesday that Sinclair had bought a new high-power UHF transmitter that will be part of Sinclair's post-auction station repack. Almost 1,000 stations are having to move channels over the next 39 months as the FCC frees up the 84 MHz spectrum it reclaimed from broadcasters in the auction.

Broadcasters are being moved from channels 2-51 to 2-37 (losing 14 six MHz channels) in 10 phases.

The transmitter broadcasts in both ATSC and ATSC 3.0 (COFDM) and the company says Sinclair will be able to save up to 50% in energy costs. 

"We purchased this Rohde & Schwarz transmitter as part of our planning process to get a head start on the repack project,” Harvey Arnold, VP of engineering for Sinclair Broadcast Group, said in a statement. “The compact footprint and efficiency of these new solid-state transmitters offer a very viable option for Sinclair to replace IOT transmitters [inductive output tube] no longer supported by original manufacturers during repack," he said.

The announcement comes on the eve of the NAB Show in Las Vegas, where there is expected to be a lot of talk about, and tire-kicking of, the new equipment that will be needed to power the next generation of television.

Sinclair has been a pioneer in pushing for advanced, mobile, transmission standards, and even has a handful of patents related to the new ATSC 3.0 standard.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.