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As broadcasters look to exploit the full potential of the ATSC 3.0 (or NextGen TV) standard, one option is using single-frequency networks (SFNs), comprising multiple transmitters strategically dispersed throughout a market, to ensure robust coverage. Almost two years ago, a new company was formed to directly address that opportunity by building SFNs nationwide and then leasing access to stations looking to launch 3.0. Think of it as “transmission as a service.”
Public Media Group (PMG), a public-benefit corporation, was started in May 2019 as a partnership between Public Media Venture Group, a coalition of 31 noncommercial license-holders that represent 117 stations reaching more than 230 million Americans, and Cleveland-based Osborn Engineering. Other investors include clean-energy company BioStar Renewables and an unnamed private investment vehicle.
Since then, PMG has performed engineering and design studies in several major markets; formed a strategic partnership with tower owner American Tower; and bolstered its software expertise, all while working to identify potential applications for broadcasters’ 3.0 data pipe. It got a boost in January when the FCC clarified its rules on SFNs (formally called Distributed Transmission Systems, or DTS) in regard to 3.0. Earlier this month, PMG also changed its name to Signal Infrastructure Group. To learn more, TVNewsCheck Contributing Editor Glen Dickson caught up with Signal Infrastructure Group President Erik Langner.
An edited transcript.
You recently changed the name of your company from Public Media Group. Can you explain the reason for the rebrand?
Our mandate is to support the entire industry, commercial and