News

Antenna TechSpecs and Signal Area Map

With the upheaval in the broadcast industry - channel sharing, channel moving, and antenna rescans are becoming common occurrences for the viewing public - educating and informing viewers about these changes is essential.  In addition to the direct efforts of each broadcaster, there are other initiatives underway to support broadcasters and viewers during the repack.

One of these initiatives is NAB’s www.tvanswers.org web site.  This initiative has been carefully crafted by the NAB to address viewers in demographics and geographics most likely to need to rescan in order to maintain channels.  Focus groups provide input, and content and videos provide instructions.

Another project is TitanTV’s www.antennaweb.org web site.  This site is co-sponsored by the NAB and the CTA.  It is informed by a variety of data sources, but among the most important is the Antenna TechSpecs application.  This utility allows station engineers to update the signal parameters of their broadcast, which in turn directly updates the information provided on antennaweb.org as well as titantv.com.  This free utility allows stations to easily see what a signal area looks like on a map to visualize where their viewership can receive a signal.  Finally, TitanTV and the NAB are sharing information regarding repacks and rescans to help ensure timely information is reflected on both sites.  Stations are urged to keep these organizations informed so that they can effectively support you – and your viewership – during these changes.

Contact TitanTV today via titantvinc.com to request free
access to Antenna TechSpecs and Signal Area Map for your station.

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FCC Frees Up More Money for TV Station Repack

The FCC has released its status report on the post-broadcast incentive auction TV station repack, which involves most of 1,000 full powers and 2,000 low powers in a 10-phase plan, and as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai signaled last week, the commission is ahead of schedule. It is also freeing up more money for the TV station transition.

"We are pleased to report that the transition is off to a very strong start on all counts, and that the Transition Scheduling Plan and the Commission’s rules, procedures, and systems are operating as designed and anticipated," the Incentive Auction Task Force and Media Bureau said. "[T]he transition is ahead of schedule both in terms of the number of stations that have already vacated their pre-auction channels and the amount of 600 MHz spectrum that has been cleared and therefore made available for use by wireless auction winners. 

The FCC said that among the wireless carriers, T-Mobile, the auction's biggest winner, said it has already launched service using its broadcast spectrum in more than 1,500 cities in 37 states and Puerto Rico.

Read more here.

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Elimination of Requirement that Broadcasters Post Their Licenses Becomes Effective

As we wrote here, at the FCC’s December meeting, the FCC was scheduled to adopt an order eliminating the requirement that broadcasters post a physical copy of their licenses and other instruments of authorization at their control points or transmitter sites. In fact, the Commission adopted that order before the meeting, and it today published the order in the Federal Register, meaning that it is effective as of today. This order was adopted as part of the FCC’s Modernization of Media Regulation initiative. As a station’s licenses are now generally available online, the FCC stated that they saw no reason to require that they be posted at station locations not normally accessible to the public. So there is now one less regulatory requirement for broadcasters to worry about.

From Broadcasting Law Blog

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Program Scheduling Software

For many years, LPTV broadcasters have relied extensively on simple spreadsheet program like Excel to manage and plan program schedules.  However, today’s specialized scheduling software programs offer tremendous benefits over those traditional, labor-intensive, and unwieldy solutions.  While simple spreadsheet tools like Excel can be cost effective for some, a quality scheduling software solution can pay dividends in terms of labor saved, accuracy of schedules, and ability to schedule one/publish everywhere. 

Scheduling software can interface smoothly with broadcasters’ other scheduling services, such as EPGs, PSIP data feeds, sales tools, ratings agency reporting, and so on, enabling the ability to manage, edit, update, and publish program schedules quickly and easily, from a single source.  Faster and easier than spreadsheets, this approach also ensures that program schedules are accurate and up to date everywhere viewers find them.

Among other benefits, scheduling software can do the following:

  • Allows LPTV broadcasters to manage and update local programming, such as the ability to provide value that isn’t currently there when it simply tells viewers that “paid programming” is on.  Instead, customize titles and descriptions to provide real value to your paid programming sponsors and your viewers. 
  • Compare their channel(s) to any other channel in the country to see how programming matches up. 
  • If a broadcaster manages the same content on multiple channels, the software allows them to make scheduling changes once and quickly distribute to multiple channels.
  • Create linear OTT lineups, and push them to their EPGs to drive viewership.

TitanTV offers two versions of its MediaStar program scheduling software and works with broadcasters to determine the best fit for their needs.   TitanTV has been a proud supporter of the LPTV industry for many years.  Please contact us to discuss the right scheduling software solution for your station. 

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The Best Indoor Antennas of 2019

Picking the right antenna can be confusing. There are hundreds of antennas out there and picking the right one for is no easy tasks. One of the most common questions I get is what is the best antenna. That is a huge topic especially when it comes to indoor vs outdoor antennas. So we decided to break that out into indoor and outdoor antenna posts. Today we take a look at the best indoor antennas of 2019.

Before we go any farther though you really should first visit AntennaWeb.org to make sure an indoor antenna will work where you live. That will help prevent you from buying the wrong antenna.

Disclaimer: Every antenna on this list is an antenna I have personally tested and can recommend. This list is also in no particular order so don’t think the antenna listed first is any better than the last one listed.

Read more here.

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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

What does that future look like?  Not only the amazing possibilities of ATSC 3.0 but the landscape of a nation of people who are increasingly cutting their cable cords and looking for free, over the air, broadcasting content.

That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

Soon as an ATBA member, you will be eligible to start tapping into not only this brain trust through unique services available only to our members but regular news updates regarding our collective broadcast future.  We are exploring new ways to tap into information from Washington as well as important updates that will benefit you right there where you live.

The need for the ATBA has increased with the new opportunities that are becoming available for those of us who still know that the future of LPTV, Class A and Translators is bright!  Are you selling your station to local sponsors?  Are you maximizing your spectrum to the advantage that you truly can?  Are you struggling with FCC rules and regulations that you either don’t understand or can’t get explained?

The ATBA is developing a database of information to help you find the answers you need! 

In addition we are still working with the true decision makers in Washington.  Your ATBA has earned the respect and the ear of the true movers and shakers that continue to shape our collective broadcasting future.

So what can you do to get involved and begin to take advantage of these, and many other, benefits?  Join the ATBA today!  Your membership benefits will include:

  1. Members only access to hundreds of years of LPTV experience through our new “Brain Trust”
  2. Early entry to our annual NAB LPTV evening event with access to our special event guest(s)
  3. Exclusive digital content regarding real world information you need to know
  4. Eligibility for recognition for your hard work through our ATBA LPTV Awards
  5. Access to equipment manufacturers with discounts available especially for ATBA members!

To be honest you can’t afford not to be a member of the ATBA! 

We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link https://www.broadcastingalliance.org/join-us/ to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.

Respectfully,

The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance