back to article We're on the same wavelength! TV stars cosy up to flog spare Hz

A pair of TV stations in Los Angeles, California, will squeeze into the same frequency band in a test that clear the way for better wireless broadband. KLCS and KJLA have agreed to share a single over-the-air stream to broadcast standard-definition and HD video, freeing up spectrum space in the process. If that works out, it …

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So what

So two broadcasters are going to get together to mulitplex thier services in one bit stream and on one frequency? If so, its been done before. Frankly it sounds like the US regulators and broadcasters need to look overseas, see its been done already and get on with it

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FAIL

Re: So what

Not so fast, guys, there are a couple of things many do not completely understand - from a broadcasters perspective.

1) If two (or more) competing stations in the same TV market agree to combine their signals on a single stream, what protects those that give up their current channels from being screwed in the future. Doing so, you put your future in the hands of your competition, and while the brain dead MBAs might think that is a GOOD THING, seasoned broadcasters would not be so trusting.

2) Also, you have put your future in the hands of a competitor, whose ownership may change in the future; and while now, all things are 'peachy keen', all it takes is one corporate asshole at a NEW OWNER to fuck you straight up the ASS!

3) The only technical reason why a station might agree to such a 'combination' would be if they currently had suckass coverage, and combining would improve their coverage. But 1 and 2 still apply.

The part that the MBAs like is that you reduce CAPEX (maintenance of broadcast transmission equipment), and somewhat reduce OPEX (expenses incurred in broadcasting like electricity, tower site maintenance, etc.) The $64,000,000 question is simply: "Can you TRUST your competition NOT to FUCK you over, once you sign the contract." Because once you give up the frequency, you MAY NEVER BE ABLE TO GET IT BACK!!!!!

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Re: So what

Can you TRUST your competition NOT to FUCK you over, once you sign the contract

Over here we've had a separate organisation running all the transmitters for many years. Mind you there was some odd shenanigans over satellite coverage a few years back. Due to temporary capacity issues the BBC 'subleased' some capacity to another broadcaster. That agreement might have been interesting since that particular satellite is operated by SES and was highly valued because the footprint was basically UK only.

It can be a funny world in broadcasting so if you don't have an overarching authority or independent referee these agreements can be tricky.

So thumbs up :)

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Re: So what

In the broadcast markets I've worked in, there has been that overarching authority.

Maybe the US works in a different way as the market reigns and when disputes happen, the only winners are the Lawyers? Maybe in the US ,broadcasters could have tower owners seperate from the broadcasters and allow tower and even antenna sharing? Have the FCC discussed how they are going to restack properly or will they just keep throwing money at it till something works?

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ABC and NBC have been broadcast on the same HDTV 'channel' for a couple years now in the Monterey/Salinas/Santa Cruz , NBC on 8.1, ABC on 8.2

I don't see how this is news.

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The difference is neither ABC or NBC own or operate that Channel.

Both "Streams" are KSBW which is owned by Hearst. They contract with NBC and ABC for the content.

This is a "Duoploy" in US marketing terms. Its not the same thing as two local broadcasters with seperate local broadcasting equipment agreeing to split one frequency.

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MJI
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NBC

So that is where Edmonds went!

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Isn't this exactly how DVB-T/T2 here (i.e. Freeview and OnDigital/ITV Digital before it) works?

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Boffin

Isn't this exactly how DVB-T/T2 here (i.e. Freeview and OnDigital/ITV Digital before it) works?

Yup. And satellite. Technologically there's nothing clever about it and I'm sure it's already being used in the US.

I assume the 'clever' bit here is that two separate companies have worked out how to cooperate to help each other out. Guess that's exciting. Here in the UK I don't think any broadcasters own their own transmitters. I forget who runs the terrestrial transmitters (used to be Crown Communications I think) and it's the satellite operators who own the satellites.

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I forget who runs the terrestrial transmitters (used to be Crown Communications I think)

Finally got around to doing the research (not my line of work so forgive me :) ). It's Arqiva who own the transmitters now.

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single-def?

"KLCS and KJLA have agreed to share a single over-the-air stream to broadcast single-definition and HD video, freeing up spectrum space in the process."

So what is this new single-defintion video the author is talking about? I have STANDARD definition and high definition, but this must be new!

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Pint

Re: single-def?

Thank you. Saved me the typing.

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Re: single-def?

Ditto. I though maybe it was a new broadcast method whereby each channel sends one line of pixels so you can watch 1080 channels all at once.

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Stupidity

Yes Stupidity.

It's not going to bring real broadband to the masses. Another step in crippling Terrestrial TV to benefit SIGs

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