Overcoming Obstacles to Design a Robust Single Frequency Network in San Francisco

Date: May 13, 2020
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Abstract: Designing an ATSC-3.0 single frequency network (SFN) in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose DMA is challenging on many levels. The San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose DMA has hilly and mountainous terrain, significant urban development, limited options for transmitter sites due to hillside scenic regulations, and onerous permitting processes, all of which significantly impede system design. In addition, both first-adjacent channel facilities with protected contours from neighboring DMAs that encroach well within the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose DMA and in-market adjacent channels pose a challenge for 3.0 SFN designs. In a post-repack environment, there will be sixteen full-power stations – five VHF, and eleven UHF – and three Class A stations.This paper will present the various obstacles encountered in engineering an SFN in the San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose DMA, and the solutions we’ve created to overcome those obstacles to create a robust, FCC-compliant SFN design. We will describe the process we’ve undertaken to design ATSC-3.0 SFNs on both UHF and VHF and how we arrived at the proposed SFN designs. Finally, we will discuss the futility of SFN design without proper propagation software deployment.

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