Minutes of Broadcasting Technical Advisory Committee (B-TAC) — Final Minutes of the Meeting Held on November 15, 2010
|Paul Vaccani-Chair||IC-DGEPS-DBE||Wally Lennox||Astral|
|Don MacMillan-Secretary||IC||Cathy Edwards||CACTUS|
|Ahmad Youness||IC||Harrie Jones||CHUM Radio Ottawa|
|Alain Leduc||IC||Michel Mathieu||Communications MM|
|Jack Dadourian||IC||Jack Hoeppner||Corus Entertainment|
|John Dexter||IC||Kerry Pelser||DEM Allen & Assoc.|
|Martin Dumas||IC||Stuart Hahn||Hahn Broadcast|
|Howard Wang||IC||Shelley Robinson||NCRA|
|Khiem Lê||IC||Pierre Labarre||PLA Ltd.|
|Jean-Marie Boilard||IC||François Gauthier||Spectrum Expert|
|Michel Boulay||IC-Moncton||Joseph Sadoun||YRH|
|Aymen Ben Salem||IC||Maurice Beauséjour||YRH|
|Wayne Stacey||Brdcst TCC – Secretary|
|Jeff Conrad||CRTC||Gerald Bergin||Consultant|
|Michèle Guillet||CRTC||John Feltmate||Consultant|
|Mitch Jevtovic||Nav Canada||Arie Lubienietzky||Consultant|
|Martin Levert||CBC/Radio Canada||Doug Macaulay||Consultant|
|Julie Bergeron||CBC/Radio Canada|
All attendees introduced themselves.
2) Chairman's Opening Remarks
Paul Vaccani welcomed all attendees.
Within the 31 mandatory markets, CRTC confirmed Aug. 31, 2011 as the DTV cutover date and the shutdown of channels 52-69. Outside the mandatory markets, analog will be allowed to continue. Based upon this, Industry Canada has had to change the BPR.
The new DTV briefs are coming in on schedule and the staff is busy processing them. We are well on the way to achieving the goal. At this point, we are beginning to move to the second phase, the cutover. Joseph Sadoun has submitted a discussion paper on this topic, which we will deal with later in this meeting.
On the radio side, briefs keep coming in. There is a lot of activity in the radio section.
Recently, Vaccani and Dadourian attended Broadcasting Study Group 6 at the ITU in Geneva. New applications being worked on are 3D-TV, Ultra-High Definition TV, advanced audio systems, e.g. DAB, Eureka-147, IBOC, DRM and a new Japanese ISDB (Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting) whose website is: http://www.nhk.or.jp/strl/open99/de-2/shosai-e.html.
3) Approval of Agenda:
With the addition of the following 3 items as Other Business, the agenda was approved:
- 7.1 DSB-SP vs. SSB-SP (Jack Hoeppner)
- Concerning the L-R portion of FM, this is supposed to improve the multipath characteristics, as well as the noisefloor.
- 7.2 IBOC in Canada (Jack Hoeppner)
- Why is Canada not doing HD Radio? What is a proper response? Is there a technical component to this issue?
- 7.3 AM Interference from man-made noise, cable modems or power lines (Joseph Sadoun)
4) Approval of Draft Minutes
Minutes of previous B-TAC meeting (May 18, 2010, prepared by Don MacMillan) were approved as circulated with the following corrections:
- Section 4.1: Comment re the May 3 & 14 CPAWG teleconference was removed.
- Section 5.1: Final comment by Wayne Stacey was reworded.
- Section 6: Appended was a question by Cathy Edwards and response by Dadourian.
5) Business Arising:
5.1) Public Alerting System (Pelmorex)
All were alerted that this item is being handled by another directorate in Industry Canada. Wendy Wu of the National Emergency Telecommunications Services has responsibility for this file. Wendy is an HQ employee, but is located in the Edmonton office (email@example.com). DBE will retain its role as advisor in the area of broadcast spectrum engineering.
5.2) AM Discussion Paper and Formation of AM Subcommittee
Prior to today's B-TAC meeting, MacMillan circulated a paper entitled "Draft B-TAC Discussion Paper on AM", dated 11 Nov. 2010. This will be considered by the Committee.
A brief discussion ensued. Some of the topics will be the extended band and its critical hours, vacant allotments throughout the AM band, etc.
A B-TAC Subcommittee on AM Broadcasting was formed. The B-TAC members who expressed interest in joining were: Mathieu, Macaulay, Stacey, Sawyer, Pelser, Dexter, Boilard, Robinson, Arfaoui, Youness, Hoeppner and MacMillan (convener). It is expected that this committee will function principally by email. Some of the items to be discussed will be: Leniency in using vacant AM allotments for Canadian stations, the extended band (critical hours, propagation model used, power limitations), daytime skywave.
The initial task will be to define the mandate. MacMillan will prepare a draft.
6.1) CRTC Updates
A hearing was held in October on the Humbolt market (near Saskatoon) where there were 2 competing applications. This decision is expected soon.
There has been a policy document that has come out since our last B-TAC meeting: this was a follow-up to a recent hearing where DTV was discussed. This was launched in March 2010; comments were received in early summer. Subjects were:
- the number of Canadians that would potentially be affected
- consumer educational efforts
- the need for a potential selection of a trial market
- authorization permitting BDUs to distribute a package of local services as a replacement for Canadians who make use of over-the-air services.
Homing in on consumer education, the Commission has set March 2011 as the date; it is expected that broadcasters, BDUs and other licensees should cooperate in a maximal effort. The CRTC may take regulatory measures if that is deemed to be appropriate.
Winnipeg has been confirmed as a suitable "test market." Quebec City has been added as a second suitable test market. The CRTC has not mandated any test market or the timing for that conversion. The CRTC expects that broadcasters will collaborate on the timing and the use of the most appropriate market.
Decision 2010719: A list has been published of the 176 stations that are in the 31 mandatory markets, with an additional 17 stations that are full-power in non-mandatory markets, but operating on 52–69. Total = 193. None of the stations are offered financial compensation.
Decision 2010782: There has been a decision on the Shaw transaction to purchase CanWest. As part of that, there were 2 components of tangible benefits that were approved. The first is $23 million that will be devoted to the conversion of 67 transmitters that were previously not part of their conversion plans. Effectively, they will convert all of their over-the-air assets. Also included is an additional $15 million towards a "local television satellite solution." This is aimed at ensuring that Canadians who use over-the-air service can maintain access to this service. Shaw will offer the dish, the receiver and installation free of charge (for the term of the licence) to Canadians who were not BDU subscribers. Once the licence term is up, there will be other discussions. Their efforts will be focussed on non-mandatory markets in the beginning. The package will be offered 3 months prior to the conversion deadline. In this decision, CRTC noted Shaw's willingness to entertain multiplexing of signals.
Decision 2010840: The CRTC will extend this authorization to any BDU in Canada to offer a similar "local television satellite solution" to their customers.
Tower Sharing Policy: This topic came up as a question from Cathy Edwards to the CRTC. Wayne Stacey stated that the broadcast towers were NOT part of the Tower Sharing Policy. In fact, they were specifically excluded. This needs to be clarified. [Refer to Section 5.1 of the B-TAC minutes from the meeting on May 5, 2011.] The full document can be found on: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf08890.html.
The Commission has received from BCE and CTV an application for transfer of ownership. This will be published in December.
The CRTC has received applications for 125 transmitters of which 76 have been approved, 23 will be approved very shortly. Of these 125, one hundred (100) were in mandatory markets. Post-transitional authorizations are 76.
The CRTC is publishing for comment any application that deviates from the plan, or has a market change to the contours, as compared to analog.
A hearing is set for spring 2011 for renewal of English language private broadcaster groups. As part of that, we have asked for their consumer education plan, as well as plans for experiments in one or more test markets.
BDU regulations for distributors will be published in December 2010/January 2011, leading up to them coming into force in August 2011.
Tomorrow (November 16), there will be a hearing on Direct-to-Satellite (DTH) rules. The two items that will be discussed will be: carriage requirements specific to local television stations and simultaneous substitution.
The CRTC has published the Pelmorex licence renewal. As part of this, there will be a hearing scheduled for February 1-2, 2011.
6.2) Digital TV and BPR-10
Dadourian reported that a provisional version of BPR-10 was published in 2009. Last summer we issued the first official version of BPR-10.
One new item that has been added is protection of FM from DTV and protection of DTV from FM based upon older BPR-7 criteria. As we think that some of it may be outdated, we plan to conduct a series of lab tests at CRC to see if these requirements are still valid. No timeline has yet been set.
Jack also talked about gap fillers for those moving to ATSC-M/H (i.e. synchronized onchannel gap fillers). Presently, we don't have rules to address them. If there are applications for this, we will process them on a case-by-case basis.
Other discussion during this agenda item:
Cathy Edwards: How does a small community station obtain spectrum when all of the available channels are already assigned to incumbents? We seem to be losing out in the digital dividend, as 17 channels are being auctioned off.
Stacey responded: Have you requested to be put on the multiplex of an existing station?
It seems that this potential has not been explored very rigorously by the community stations. Michèle Guillet: You need a 6 MHz channel to get a full HD signal. If the licensee chooses to not transmit a full HD signal, then there will be available space on the multiplex. Cathy: If an analog in a non-mandatory market chooses to not implement DTV, can a new DTV entrant intervene and seize the channel?
Jack: IC has not made a decision yet.
6.3) DTV Cut over Issues
Joseph Sadoun presented a paper entitled of: In anticipation of the on-air date of TVN stations. What is going to happen during the couple months before (or after) August 31, 2011? In summary, he reported that the biggest roadblock to meeting the conversion deadline is the lead time for delivery of the new transmitter and a new antenna. Furthermore, the required riggers are in short-supply.
The letter argued that after shutting down analog TV stations, it is impossible for the broadcasters to have technicians and engineers at all of the stations in the mandatory markets, on that precise date, to start DTV services. He therefore suggests carrying out the transition to the digital broadcasting mode gradually during a period of time that could finish on August 31st 2011, or go beyond this date by a number of months.
Some members indicated that it can take up to 9 months to acquire all of the necessary equipment to covert to DTV. Others find it difficult to obtain experienced personnel (e.g. riggers and engineers) to install the equipment.
The CRTC noted that it is OK with broadcasters shutting down analog TV stations in mandatory markets a few months prior to August 31, 2011. In addition, the CRTC may exceptionally allow, but is not predisposed to allowing, an analog TV station to operate in a mandatory market for a limited period of time past the deadline.
Dadourian indicated that IC is OK with stations shutting down analog and converting to digital service prior to August 31, 2011. However, they cannot cause any additional interference to analog and transitional DTV stations. While there is a need to shutdown analog on Aug. 31, there is no parallel need to initiate DTV by Aug. 31, 2011.
B-TAC decided to set up a sub-committee to address the "DTV Cutover" matter and make recommendations on how to manage DTV transition in the months before/after the analog TV shutdown date. Dadourian will convene.
6.4) FM Measurement Issues
Dadourian led this item.
This was brought by Stacey a few weeks ago. There was a conflict between Industry Canada and some broadcaster in the West about how to measure frequency deviation for FM. It appears that there is no Department measurement standard. For example, what would be the time period considered for a transient? We had an internal discussion (HQ and Regions) on this. I regret to say that we don't yet have agreement on this. Within the coming weeks, we will resolve this and communicate to you, via the B-TAC Secretary.
Stacey: In the meantime, could you ask the inspectors to stop citing stations from overdeviation when their frequency monitor shows that everything is OK and the spectrum analyze measurement shows that it's over-deviating.
Sylvain Faucher says that in his region, they cite a station for over-modulation only when their over-deviation is a continuous reading, not simply a transient. Also, the inspectors take into account the presence of any FM sub-carriers.
Hoeppner: We also need to harmonize our method with the one used by the U.S. stations.
Jones: How can you ensure that multipath is not playing a role in what you are reading? Where are you doing the measurement (i.e. the far-field or the near-field or right inside the transmitter hut)?
Dadourian will action.
6.5) BPR Updates
Jean-Marie Boilard led this discussion.
BPR-10 was reissued. This was discussed in para. 6.2 on "Digital TV and BPR-10." Jean-Marie indicated that BPR-2 would be edited slightly in Section B-7.1 on "Supplementary Proofs Of Performance" to respond to the need for some clarifications, as suggested by some B-TAC members:
- IC will be the one requesting the SPOP;
- the request should normally come every five years.
A special note pointing to these modifications will be placed before the BPR on the IC website. On BPR-3, Jean-Marie indicated that the proposed changes to the BPR, following Gazette Notice SMBR-003-08 on changes to the domestic protection criteria for FM stations that took effect in January 2011, would be circulated to the members before the next BPR meeting.
7) Other Business
7.1) DSB-SC 38kHz (L-R) in FM Stereo
Jack Hoeppner reported on a paper which he received from Frank Foti of Omnia Audio (Telos Systems in Cleveland) as presented at CCBE in September (rwonline.com/article/107858). By removing the upper sideband and switching to SSBSC, Foti's claim is that this will improve the multipath characteristics, as well as improve some of the noise factors within the FM transmission (about 4 to 6dB). This issue is not fully accepted. Bob Orban of Orban Corp.wants to see more investigation with respect to the possibility of excessive peak modulation when SSBSC is used.
Stacey: It is likely that the NRCS will take on this topic as a study project. Also, the downside of all this is that older FM receivers (pre-1973 ±), which did not use a PLL discriminator, may not like this.
7.2) IBOC in Canada
Jack Hoeppner led this agenda item and recounted a conversation he had with Ibiquity: When Ibiquity learned that the DRCG had invited DRM to present its technology at the DRCG meeting on Nov. 16, Ibiquity expressed interest in making an HD-Radio presentation at a future meeting.
Ibiquity asked Hoeppner: Why hasn't Canada moved to adopt HD-Radio?
Hoeppner: There is no interest on the part of the general public. We don't have any receivers here. In Jack's opinion, HD-Radio in its current development is a flawed technology, as it is a compromise of analog and digital. If we wish to jump to digital, we should bite the bullet. We notice that the globe is moving into digital. So let's bite the bullet and move there quickly. You are trying to accommodate the infrastructure that is there right now, but long-term, you are going to lose out. We have an opportunity right now. There may be space available on the vacated TV channels 5 and 6. Let's not fight each other; let's look at ways that we can get this together. As Canadians, why have we not moved to digital? Largely because in the U.S., you protect the 1.0mV/m contour; in Canada, we protect the 0.5mV/m contour. Thus, we would have a different way of deploying HD in Canada, within our set of regulations.
In the U.S., you have a much noisier noise floor than in Canada. In Canada, at this stage, we have a clean noise floor and we would like to keep it that way.
Jack: "Have I said something wrong?"
Stacey: There is one other factor, the cost. It is a fair investment involved for a large station to go HD. The potential revenue that you would earn is speculative at best. Jack proposed that Canada consider using channel 5 and 6 as a way to transition analog FM to digital FM.
This provoked a lots of discussion.
7.3) Man-made Noise in AM Broadcasts
Sadoun brought up the topic of the fact that the cable modems and household wireless devices were causing interference to the reception of AM broadcasts. What steps have been done to get these devices EMI-approved?
Also, spurious emission coming from windmill farms can kill the reception of AM within 200 meters. Sadoun proposed a sub-committee to regulate this.
Stacey: There is a RABC sub-committee that is currently looking at this.
Boilard: In IC, a spectrum engineer, Hughes Nappert, leads a committee that deals with this topic (firstname.lastname@example.org).
7.4 Technical Coordinating Committee (TCC)
Stacey: With the down sizing of the CAB, about 11 to 12 of the largest broadcasters have formed a technical committee which is picking up technical work left by the CAB. Regular meetings are held. There is a TV and a Radio sub-committee. Wayne is Secretary. The email address of this committee is: email@example.com.
8) Next Meeting
After the adjournment of this B-TAC meeting, the next B-TAC was set for May 5, 2011. We will meet in Room 0949A at 235 Queen Street (same room as today's B-TAC).
Spectrum 2020 will be held on Tuesday, May 3, at the Hampton Court Hotel. On Wednesday, May 4, the consultants will host their own meeting. All are in Ottawa.
- Date modified: