The television industry is poised for great advances in, overall spectrum capacity, OTA business opportunities, and new B2B and B2C revenue streams due to the implementation of the ATSC 3.0 standard. We have seen amazing progress in its adoption in the last two years and expectations are for rapid growth in receiver availability. The new standard provides the ability for multiple streams of IP based data including “TV” to be delivered throughout a station’s coverage area. Doing this to various devices including those with small or no antennas requires high signal strength over as much of the coverage area as possible. The current single stick, high tower, high power transmission infrastructure cannot provide this type of signal strength except close to the tower. Sacrifices in spectrum capacity can be made to regain the larger coverage but this significantly reduces the return on investment of the technology. An area filled with additional signals from lower power, lower tower distributed nodes of a single frequency network is the only way to capture the benefits.
This paper will introduce the concepts above, demonstrate the tradeoffs in spectrum capacity needed to maintain coverage from a single stick, and detail what can be gained by filling a coverage area using an SFN.