CTIA-The Wireless Association and Los Angeles Television Stations KLCS and KJLA Issue Spectrum Channel Sharing Pilot Project Report Showing Successful Results

Mar 28, 2014, 10:24 ET from CTIA-The Wireless Association

LOS ANGELES and WASHINGTON, March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- CTIA–The Wireless Association® and Los Angeles television stations KLCS and KJLA released today their channel sharing pilot project report (PDF), which clearly proved channel sharing is feasible, and is a technically viable option for broadcasters with minimal impact for viewers. For stations interested in sharing a single six MHz radiofrequency channel, the results show how to successfully navigate numerous technical situations that may arise as well as real-world implications for successful channel sharing.

The report reflects the findings of the two participating stations and to the extent that similar combinations of stations arise elsewhere, this testing may serve as a baseline assessment of channel sharing. First announced January 28, 2014 and approved for testing by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) February 4 (PDF), the report findings include:

  • Physical and virtual level channel sharing is feasible. 
  • It is technically possible to combine two high definition (HD) television streams onto a single channel. 
  • Two HD streams may be combined with additional standard definition (SD) program streams. Up to two additional SD streams are possible without major impact to the quality of experience of the overall material. Additional SD streams may be possible with additional testing and analysis.
  • It may be feasible for three HD streams to be combined onto a single channel. Testing found that this combination may be technically feasible and of value for broadcasters, but each entity needs to examine the digital complexity of its material and decide if this combination is acceptable for its viewers.
  • One HD stream may be combined with a variety of SD programs. The parties tested one HD and up to seven SD streams in a single Advanced Television System Committee (ATSC) channel with good results. 
  • In order to ensure a positive viewer experience, the FCC and broadcasters must carefully plan a transition to a repacked television band that includes consumer guidance on rescanning. 

If television stations choose to engage in channel sharing as part of the FCC's upcoming incentive auction, KLCS and KJLA worked collaboratively – with support from CTIA – to provide some of the questions that stations need to answer for themselves in conjunction with potential partner(s).

"The pilot study conducted by KJLA and KLCS demonstrates that channel sharing is technically viable for broadcasters considering this option. To the extent that similar combinations arise elsewhere, this report may serve as a baseline assessment of sharing," said Alan Popkin, Director of TV Engineering, KLCS.

"Our collaboration with KLCS yielded extremely valuable and interesting data about the promise of channel sharing, without adverse effect on our over-the-air audience," said Francis Wilkinson, Vice President and General Manager of KJLA. "We hope that our pilot project and the report issued today will allow interested parties to further explore the possibilities associated with channel sharing."

"The thorough and thoughtful testing done by the engineers at KLCS and KJLA clearly validates the significant opportunities that channel sharing will provide television broadcasters without impacting their viewers. With the facts demonstrating the successful benefits of channel sharing, we are hopeful broadcasters will review the testing and consider this option for participating in the FCC's Incentive Auction. Freeing up spectrum through the Incentive Auction will, in turn, enable the wireless industry to purchase the spectrum so we may continue to meet user demands for Internet access anywhere, anytime," said Steve Largent, President and CEO, CTIA. "On behalf of the wireless industry, I appreciate the leadership shown by the executives and engineers at KLCS and KJLA to ensure a successful incentive auction process."

About CTIA
CTIA–The Wireless Association® (www.ctia.org) is an international organization representing the wireless communications industry. Membership in the association includes wireless carriers and their suppliers, as well as providers and manufacturers of wireless data services and products. CTIA advocates on behalf of its members at all levels of government. The association also coordinates the industry's voluntary best practices and initiatives, and sponsors the industry's leading wireless tradeshows. CTIA was founded in 1984 and is based in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @ctia | Blog: http://blog.ctia.org/| Facebook: http://ctia.it/LCm4Nn | LinkedIn Group: http://ctia.it/Na6cA2.

About KJLA
KJLA is a multilingual, multicultural television station operating on digital channel 49, licensed to Ventura, CA inside the Los Angeles DMA.  KJLA is the flagship station for the LATV Network, a national entertainment network serving U.S. born Latinos, which is distributed via digital primary and multicast signals.  Our multicast partners currently offer up several additional programs with diverse cultural content.  KJLA is carried in Los Angeles and surrounding counties on approximately 2.8 million cable homes and 2 million DBS satellite homes, in addition to operating over the air.

About KLCS
KLCS is a multiple Emmy Award winning non-commercial station, which is broadcast to more than 15 million viewers throughout Southern California, viewed by 8 million households monthly and by 1 out of 10 television viewers in Southern California each week. Broadcasting from Mount Wilson, the KLCS coverage area extends from Ventura County to San Diego. Los Angeles is the second largest Designated Market Area (DMA) in the United States. KLCS is owned and operated by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). KLCS' diverse audience includes LAUSD's nearly 1 million K-12 and adult students, their families and employees.

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SOURCE CTIA-The Wireless Association