Major Broadcasters Launching SFN System in Dallas

On the heels of the release of the ATSC 3.0 suite of standards, Nexstar, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Univision announced that they are working with American Tower to construct and operate a Single Frequency Network (SFN) system in Dallas, Texas.

They call this “the first step toward a national launch” that will harness a key capability of ATSC 3.0 – to coordinate signals in a given market with multiple broadcast towers to further enhance deep indoor and mobile reception.

Designed to allow for testing, validation and deployment of advanced next-generation TV broadcast services, the Dallas SFN is expected to help drive the transition from ATSC 1.0 to 3.0 and the eventual deployment of other SFN markets across the country.

“The combination of our broadcast and wireless assets, industry expertise, coupled with these three television broadcast leaders will help to make ATSC 3.0 a reality for broadcasters,” said Steven Marshall, president of the U.S. Tower division of American Tower.

Among the consumer benefits of the SFN approach, according to a joint statement from the companies involved, is “dramatically improved over-the-air reception, immersive audio, deep-indoor reception, mobile reception, zoned programming/advertising, automotive services and advanced emergency alerting.”

Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley said, “With the FCC’s approval of the ATSC 3.0 standard, broadcasters are eager and ready to demonstrate its many capabilities, business opportunities and consumer benefits.

“This is an exciting time for television broadcasters,” he adds, “as we deploy new technologies that will allow us to provide advanced nationwide business models that benefit consumers and allow us to remain competitive.”

Previously, Sinclair, Nexstar and Univision announced a consortium that will promote spectrum aggregation, innovation and monetization and enhance their abilities to compete in the wireless data transmission sector.