BPR-4 — Application Procedures and Rules for Television Broadcasting Undertakings
Section D: Preparation of Technical Submissions Supporting Applications for Low-Power Television (LPTV) Broadcasting Stations
This section outlines the procedure to be followed in preparing and submitting technical information required in support of applications for low power television stations using standard television channels on an unprotected non-interfering basis (such a low power television assignment is considered to be a secondary station).
D-1.2.1 An application for a broadcasting certificate shall be made on departmental Form IC-3051A, Application for LP or VLP Undertaking or for Auxiliary Transmitter. The applicant may also submit a separate engineering brief in accordance with Section D-2. An application form for a broadcasting licence can be obtained from the CRTC. The two applications should be filed simultaneously.
D-1.2.2 All necessary forms may be obtained from any departmental regional office (Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Moncton) or departmental headquarters in Ottawa.
D-1.2.3 A complete technical submission shall include the following:
- one copy of departmental Form IC-3051A should be submitted when applying for a new station or a change of technical facilities for an existing station. Form IC-3051A also contains an abbreviated technical submission which should be presented as the engineering brief if the minimum separation distances of Appendix 9 are complied with. Otherwise, a complete engineering brief (five copies) should be submitted in accordance with Section D-2;
- one copy of departmental Form IC-3052B, Commitment Form, advising the Department of the retention of a broadcast engineering consultant in respect to technical design and brief preparation should be submitted by the applicant, prior to the filing of the application. The Department will, if advised in writing by the applicant, also process engineering briefs prepared by qualified technical staff (BPR-1, Section 1.2).
This will show the submission title, type of station proposed, name and address of applicant, name of the technical representative, transmitting channel proposed, location of proposed broadcasting station and submission date.
This will consist of a general statement of the purpose of the brief relative to the application. The programming source(s), method of programming feed and network affiliation shall be indicated.
A brief interference analysis in support of the transmitting channel selected should be included in the brief, with particular reference to its relation to existing television assignments and allotted channels under the Canadian Television Channel Allotment Plan. This analysis should demonstrate that no interference will be caused by or to the service of authorized stations using standard parameters or low power stations now being received in the area. Moreover, every effort should be made to protect the off-air receiving systems of neighbouring broadcasting undertakings.
An analysis shall be provided to demonstrate the suitability of the received signal level. If the station to be received is in operation, the analysis shall include an assessment of the quality and reliability of the received signal by such means as field strength measurements combined, where possible, with a subjective analysis using a television receiver. Detailed point-to-point propagation and interference analyses using recognized engineering methods should also be supplied.
A description of the major components of the system, including a block diagram, shall be provided.
D-2.6.5 Scrambling Equipment - A description of the encoder/decoder system should be included with block diagrams showing the interface requirements in the transmitting and receiving systems. Scrambled TV systems shall meet the technical requirements of Telecommunications Regulation Circular 59 (TRC-59).
Coverage prediction and a service contour map, prepared as outlined in Section E-3, shall be submitted.
A statement shall be made concerning the quality and reliability of the proposed service as evaluated per Section E-2.top of page
Section E: Technical Requirements for the Establishment of Low-Power Television Stations on Unprotected Channels
A low-power TV (LPTV) station is a secondary assignment operating on an unprotected channel.
The transmitting antenna height (HAAT) is the height of the radiation centre of the antenna above the arithmetic average of the elevation of the terrain in the coverage area. The HAAT may be determined using the average elevation of the terrain measured in metres from zero to five kilometres along four standard radials at 0, 90, 180 and 270 degrees from true north.
The output power of the transmitting equipment shall not exceed a maximum peak visual output of 50 Watts on VHF and 500 Watts on UHF band channels. The transmitter power is the peak power output during the transmission of a synchronizing pulse.
Equipment meeting the requirements of BETS-4 for low power category A or B equipment without sufficient margin with respect to the frequency stability parameter may be precluded from use under certain demanding conditions such as:
- multiple transmitter chain systems;
- stations which propose the use of frequency offsets to minimize co-channel separation;
- equipment exposed to wide temperature variations.
E-1.1.4 Service and Coverage
An LPTV station may provide service within its Grade A contour or within its Grade B contour.
As a guide, a Grade A signal is considered to be the signal strength desirable to provide satisfactory service in an urban area. For a low noise environment or where an outdoor antenna is used, a Grade B signal may provide satisfactory service to a rural or a low density population residential area.
The effective radiated power (ERP) in any direction shall not exceed the value required to establish the Grade B contour at 12 km when the HAAT is 30 metres, i.e. 100 Wfor channels 2-6, 400 Wfor channels 7-13 and 5000 Wfor channels 14-69. The ERP is equal to the transmitter power supplied to the antenna multiplied by the gain (relative to a dipole) of the antenna in a given direction.
The Grade B contour shall not normally extend beyond a distance of 12 km in any direction from the antenna site.
E-1.1.5 Special Applications
In mountainous terrain locations, where the transmitting antenna height is more than 300 metres above the elevation of the community to be served, it may not be possible to provide an adequate service under the conditions in Sections E-1.1.2 and E-1.1.3. In such cases, a broadcast consultant should be retained to demonstrate that the existing stations and allotments shall be protected from interference. The analysis shall be based on the protection ratios specified in Section E-1.3.2. The protected contour of television undertakings in these cases is the Grade B contour.
E-1.2.1 LPTV stations will be considered as secondary assignments. In other words, the operation of the station shall be established on an unprotected basis. Should the operation of a station established in accordance with this section cause interference to stations operating on allotted channels, whether established before or after the low-power station, or to other radio services, remedial measures would have to be taken even to the extent of closing down the station if another suitable channel cannot be used. Conversely, an LPTV station is not entitled to protection from interference from stations on allotted channels. LPTV stations are only entitled to protection from other low-power stations, authorized at a later date and from Very Low-Power Television stations (refer to Section F).
E-1.2.2 Interference to and from existing stations and allotments is not deemed to exist if the technical criteria for protection set forth in Section E-1.3 are met. The desired-to-undesired (D/U) ratios may be determined from F(50,50) field strength curves for the desired signal and F(50,10) field strength curves for the undesired signal, or by any acceptable engineering method.
E-1.2.3 The Department may require an LPTV station to take remedial action if the calculated protection ratio at the protected contour of an existing station is not provided, or if a change in channel allotments results in the prediction of interference to the new allotment from the LPTV station. Normally, it is expected that only a frequency change by the LPTV station would be necessary but cessation of operation by the LPTV station would be required if no other suitable remedial action is practicable. An LPTV station would not be expected to cease operation to protect a vacant allotment.
E-1.2.4 Where a new primary station or one which has changed parameters, causes interference to an LPTV station but does not receive any, the latter may either accept the interference or make application to change its operation to alleviate the interference.
E-1.2.5 LPTV stations are not required to provide protection to Very Low-Power Television stations.
E-1.3.1 Channels for TV broadcasting are assigned as per Section C-1.1.8. The protection ratio for co-channel is the ratio of the desired Grade B signal calculated using F(50,50) curves and the undesired interfering signal calculated using F(50,10) curves (D/U).
UHF 1st adjacent channel:
the protection ratio is -16 dB, except that two LPTV stations could be co-located with similar parameters.
UHF ± 2, ± 3, ± 4 adjacent channel:
there is to be no overlap of the 100 dBu F(50,50) contours, except that both LPTV stations could be co-located with similar parameters.
UHF ± 7th adjacent channel:
there is to be no overlap of the 74 dBu F(50,50) contours.
UHF ± 14th adjacent channel:
the protection ratio is -28 dB.
UHF ± 15th adjacent channel:
the protection ratio is -10 dB.
E-1.3.3 Proposals predicated on operation with a normal frequency offset of ± 10 kHz shall use transmitters with a frequency stability of ± 1000 Hz or better.
E-1.3.4 The application of the above technical criteria results in the minimum distance separations given in Tables 1 and 3 in Appendix 9 for the types of stations operating with the noted parameters. Proposals which would not provide these minimum distance separations to other broadcasting transmitting undertakings may be given special case consideration. However, applicants shall support their case for such reduced separations based on accepted engineering practices and giving such reasons as the use of actual rather than maximum allowable station parameters and local terrain factors or geographical conditions and also demonstrate that no interference to existing stations would result.
E-1.3.5 Although not mandatory, an applicant may choose to apply the technical criteria for protection to the proposed channels of the system. To assure minimum interference within the Grade B service area, the separation distances given in Table 2 or 4 in Appendix 9 are required between low power and other classes of stations operating with the parameters noted.
E-1.3.6 The transmitting system shall be co-sited for multichannel low power TV broadcast operations, i.e. either a single, broadband, multichannel antenna system shall be used for the transmission of all signals to be distributed in the community or, if more than one antenna is used for the transmission of the signals, then these antennas shall be located within a circle having a radius of 40 metres.
E-1.3.7 For a low-power UHF or VHF rebroadcasting station proposing to use a block of UHF or VHF television assignments, the channels selected should satisfy the technical criteria for protection as stated in Section E-1.3.2.top of page
E-2.1 An applicant for a broadcasting LPTV station shall provide assurance that the transmitted signal will be of acceptable technical quality.
E-2.2 In order to provide an adequate signal to the service area, a prediction of the degree of impairment of the signal due to ghost images resulting from nearby structures shall be made in accordance with the requirements of Section C-7.
E-2.3 If the program material is to be provided by a microwave link or satellite feed, an estimate of the signal-to-noise ratio is required. For microwave program links, application should be made to the appropriate Regional Office.
E-2.4 If more than one rebroadcasting station is involved in a chain of stations, the signal-to-noise ratios at each preceding stations in the chain shall be taken into consideration.top of page
E-3.1 Estimates shall be made of the predicted coverage and submitted with the application. The F(50,50) field strength curves in Figures 1, 2 and 3 in Appendix 4 shall be used to determine the distance to the Grade B contour as follows:
- in areas of relatively smooth terrain, the distance to the contour should be determined in the direction of the four standard radials and one radial in the direction of the principal centre to be served using the transmitting antenna height in the pertinent direction;
- in areas of mountainous terrain or in the proximity of other natural obstacles, the distance to the Grade B contour should be determined in at least the four standard directions plus one each in the direction of the centres to be served using the transmitting antenna height in the pertinent direction.
When a directional antenna is proposed, the ERP in the pertinent direction should be used.
E-3.2 Suitable point-to-point type field strength calculations may be used to replace or supplement the above paragraph E-3.1(b) where the irregularity of the terrain justifies the use of such techniques.
E-3.3 The coverage predictions should be presented in tabular form and on a suitably detailed map with the transmitting site marked and the Grade B contour labelled. The map referred to in D-1.2.4 would be suitable, supplemented by a map of the adjacent area if necessary.top of page
Section F: Preparation of Technical Submissions Supporting Applications for Very Low-Power Television (VLPTV) Stations in Small Remote Communities
Very low-power television stations shall only be established in those communities which are both outside major urban/suburban areas and which are remote in the sense of lacking access to a complete range of Canadian broadcasting services. These stations shall use TV channels on an unprotected non-interfering basis.
An application for a broadcasting certificate shall be made on departmental Form IC-3051A, Application for a LP or VLP Undertaking or for Auxiliary Transmitter. Two copies of this form should be submitted. An application form for a broadcasting licence can be obtained from the CRTC. The two applications shall be filed simultaneously.top of page
Section G: Technical Requirements for the Establishment of Very Low-Power Television (VLPTV) Stations in Small Remote Communities
The transmitter power shall not exceed 2 Watts for VHF channels and 10 Watts for UHF channels.
G-1.1.2 Antenna Parameters
The maximum antenna height above ground shall not exceed 30 metres. The maximum gain of the antenna shall not exceed 12 dB.
Recommended minimum technical standards for the transmitter are outlined in Broadcasting Equipment Technical Standard 9 (BETS-9).
Because of the nominal cost and the limited capability of the equipment, the quality of the signal provided may be limited.
In selecting a channel, care should be taken to minimize the disruption of the existing pattern of off-air reception of distant stations in the community. The channel selected shall comply with the minimum distance separations shown in Table G-1. The separations are based on providing protection to other TV stations and allotments.
The frequency of the transmitted signal shall correspond to the carrier frequency specified for allotted channels.
|Table||Frequencies Relationship||Separation between Stations (km)|
|VLPTV to VLPTV||VLPTV to LPTV||VLPTV to PTV7|
|± 2, ± 3, ± 4||110||2||18|
|± 7th Adjacent||4||9||55|
|± 14th Adjacent||410||13||71|
|± 15th Adjacent||6||14||72|
G-1.3.1 Interference to and from Other Stations
Very Low-Power TV (VLPTV) stations are not protected from interference caused by primary stations nor from LPTV stations. VLPTV stations shall not cause interference to any new or existing stations, and such stations are only entitled to protection from other VLPTV stations established in accordance with this section.
G-1.3.2 Remedial Measures
Should the operation of a VLPTV station established in accordance with this section cause interference to existing broadcasting stations or to other radio services, remedial measures shall be taken by the licensee even to the extent of closing down the station if another suitable channel cannot be found. These remedial measures also apply to the protection of future broadcasting stations established in accordance with new or existing allotment plans.
The signal strength normally required to provide a satisfactory service to low density population areas is the Grade B contour. As a guideline, for a 2 Watt transmitter on VHF channels and a 10 Watt transmitter for UHF channels using a specified antenna at a height of 30 metres above ground, the distances from the transmitter to the Grade B contour are estimated as follows:
|Service||Distance (km) to the Grade B contour|
|TV Channels 2-6:||Directional Antenna (7.6 dB Gain)
Non-directional Antenna (0 dB Gain)
|TV Channels 7-13:||Directional Antenna (8.4 dB Gain)
Non-directional Antenna (0 dB Gain)
|TV Channels 14-69:||Directional Antenna (8.5 dB Gain)
Non-directional Antenna (0 dB Gain)
- 1 TV assignments other than low power and very low power stations (refer to Section C-1).
- 2 The calculated Grade B contour remains at the same location when equivalent parameters are used.
- 3 The applicant should send the letter and the copy of the brief early enough so that the affected licensee can reply at the latest 10 days before the start of the Public Hearing. Should the 30-day response time fall beyond this deadline, the Department will not send technical comments to the CRTC. It is to be noted that, in this case, the applicant is taking the risk of having the application withdrawn and assumes the responsibility for it.
- 4 The applicant should send the letter and the copy of the brief early enough so that the affected licensee can reply at the latest 10 days before the start of the Public Hearing. Should the 30-day response time fall beyond this deadline, the Department will not send technical comments to the CRTC. It is to be noted that, in this case, the applicant is taking the risk of having the application withdrawn and assumes the responsibility for it.
- 5 Any populated area defined as city, town, locality etc. as per Natural Resources Canada maps.
- 6 It is expected that technologies utilizing digital modulation techniques will be implemented in the future in the land mobile bands to increase the spectrum utilization efficiency. These technologies may increase immunity to interference between television and adjacent band land mobile services.
- 7 Primary television stations and allotments.
- 8 These distances may be eliminated if stations are co-sited.
- Date modified: