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RFS installs ATSC 3.0-ready equipment atop One World Trade Center

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Radio Frequency Systems, a global wireless and broadcast infrastructure specialist, has expanded its antenna and combiner infrastructure atop One World Trade Center to enable delivery of NextGen broadcasting to 7.45 million households across the New York City area.

RFS equipment is currently being installed to deliver an ATSC 3.0 signal over the complete metropolitan New York area by the end of 2022, the first high power ATSC 3.0 signal for New York.

This will enable broadcasters to take advantage of ATSC 3.0 features, including HDR, interactivity and transmission to mobile and hand-held devices.

RFS has worked with One World Trade Center since 2015, installing the latest equipment to meet the needs of broadcasters.

In this latest upgrade of the facility, an additional ATSC 1.0 channel, WMBC Channel 18, is being added to the existing RFS main and auxiliary antenna and combiner systems.

The new equipment incorporates future-proofing features that will allow WMBC to adapt to future demands and technology changes.

In addition to the combiner add-on equipment, the system incorporates 12 pole mask filter systems for both main and reserve operations that are combined with an RF switching system to provide high levels of redundancy and flexibility.

“The aim of this project is to deliver the best for our customers in a timely and efficient manner. Working with RFS, tapping into its knowledge base, technical expertise, and experience in the industry, especially at One World Trade Center, is allowing us to achieve this. We believe the future looks bright for the industry and the general public, as ATSC 3.0 allows us to meet changing and growing demands,” said WMBC’s Victor Joo in a statement.


In addition to the new equipment, the RFS patented Variable Polarization Technology antenna installed in 2017 to address the immediate spectrum repack challenges, but with NextGen TV adoption in mind, is ready to support ATSC 3.0.

VPT technology is incorporated into the equipment to allow any of the stations operating into the system to optimize their radiated power by setting preferred polarization ratios for each of the main and auxiliary systems.

For WLIW21 (Channel 32), a station already on RFS’s One WTC combiner-antenna system, the recent optimization of its VPT input now provides circularly polarized radiation, which is vital for numerous ATSC 3.0 applications.

This channel will ultimately serve three major PBS member stations in the New York metropolitan area as the host station for their ATSC 3.0 broadcasts: Thirteen and WLIW21, along with sub-channels to be defined.

“We want to be a leader in the broadcast space and ATSC 3.0 adoption is a key part of this. The system designed by RFS has the flexibility that will allow us to be nimble and adapt to several scenarios with this deployment,” said Frank Graybill, senior director of engineering and technology at The WNET Group, in the statement. 

“We see One WTC as the premier facility in New York City and to maintain that status, we have to keep pace with the latest industry developments. From deployment support to the system design itself, RFS is a key partner in ensuring we deliver this with a solution that adapts with broadcast evolution,” said Marc Musgrove, director of broadcast communications for The Durst Organization at the One WTC site, in the statement.

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