Cisco's War on White Space Broadband
If They Can't Develop the Technology...No One Can
The last few years have seen no limit of often ridiculous efforts to try and shelve white space broadband, which uses the unlicensed spectrum vacated by the shift to digital television for a new wireless broadband technology. Those efforts have largely involved broadcasters using celebrities like Dolly Parton
and cartoon characters
to overstate the technology's interference potential. Public Knowledge Legal Director Harold Feld has a long but interesting read
on how Cisco has been waging war on white space broadband for years, in large part because they missed the boat in terms of bringing comperable technology to market:
Bluntly, Cisco missed the boat on TVWS and has no product in the pipeline. As a result, it faces a bunch of potentially powerful new entrants armed with a super-charged version of its current wi-fi product. By the time Cisco, currently the leading provider of wi-fi equipment, gets its own white spaces product in place, it will have lost significant market share to the new "super wi-fi" (as TVWS is popularly called) routers marketed by the likes of Microsoft and Google. So Cisco is working hard to make sure TVWS has no future, and along the way pick up some additional unlicensed spectrum that fits much more nicely with its existing business model.
White Space broadband's march to market has been glacial, though back in September the FCC started testing
the database system they've created that will allow devices to check for nearby interference.
| |TransmasterDon't Blame Me I Voted For Bill and Opus
I know how to solve this problem Just give this white space to hamradio operators we will make good use of it.
| || |said by Transmaster:Hardly. No coders were given full access to everything above 30mhz and yet repeaters remained mostly dead. They begged for HF access, got it and the VHF/UHF bands have gone mostly dead except during contests.
Just give this white space to hamradio operators we will make good use of it.
Long ago it may have been true that you give hams useless spectrum and they make use of it but not today.
Horse hockey! I am a broadcast engineer (radio and TV) with over 30 years of experience. White space as authorized can co-exist nicely with broadcast TV! The NAB and TV stations HATE anything that could possibly affect the status quo.
If you really want to know the big problem with broadcast TV, it's the fact that today's HDTV sets are NUMB!! They need signals in excess of 5 mV at their antenna terminals to even display a picture. Want proof? Try this: Take your old DTV converter and compare it to your TV set. You'll likely find that the converter picks up twice as many signals as the TV set. AND this was done ON PURPOSE! The first generation DTV sets had VERY sensitive tuners, so sensitive that with even a simple outdoor antenna they could easily pick up DTV signals from 75 miles away or more. Indeed, my friend who lived in Manchester, NH on a small hill had a rotor antenna so he could pick up the analog Boston stations well. When he hooked it to his (early generation) HDTV set, not only could he receive Boston perfectly, but could also get Providence, RI and Portland, ME DTV stations, DTV stations from Springfield, MA and even some Albany, NY DTV stations! With his new LCD HDTV on the same antenna, Boston doesn't even come in that well-and none of the others do at all.
The broadcasters got all upset with this, because it meant that viewers could watch TV stations from other markets/cities, diluting the local viewership.
The broadcasters whined to the FCC who required the manufacturers to make RF numb TV sets. My set is so numb that when I lived on a hill in Los Angeles I could not pick up channels 9 and 11 (WB and Fox) with amplified rabbit ears on an outside wall in a window-even though I could see the transmitting antennas from Mount Wilson, 15 air miles away THROUGH the window!. Yet the Zenith DTV converter in my kids room on an inside wall picked them up just fine with nothing but a 2 foot piece of wire stuck in the F connector's hole and dangling behind the TV.
Re: Horse hockey! I own three generations of digital TVs, two CECBs and several PC tuners. The newer tuners are definitely better. 5th and 6th gen address one of the biggest problems - multipath. You should know that multipath is a far bigger problem than signal strength ever is, especially in urban environments.
Signal strength is not as big an issue.
My biggest problem with white space devices is who gets to decide what a white space is. I have a death ray (16 bay bowtie + 10element VHF yagi) plus a super low noise LNA (PHEMT) just to get the big four in my DMA. On the ground there is hardly any signal to work with, so I will get clobbered by local white space devices because for all intents and purposes there are Lots of white spaces here.
Yes I have cable but after Irene and the freak october snow storm I had no TV except OTA broadcast. Cable goes out 30 mins after power goes out.
| I can't see the trans tower and I'm 50 (air)miles away. I get all Chicago channels in just fine. I would to even if I was 75 miles away. All on brand new tv's mind you. One I bought 4 months ago.|
I have a very directional wineguard antenna though (biggest they made in the 90's) and I can pick up other markets easily too... It's only on a 20 ft pole and on a rotor with a small amp.
All these things are cheap and easy to install. If you want multiple market tv.
edit: Most websites say chicago stations aren't even doable from where im at...
| Yes, with the 8-VSB system we have multipath is a problem-AND it's the TV stations' fault-they could have done what the REST OF THE WORLD did-gone with COFDM modulation. But they got greedy and wanted to save on their power bills, so we got saddled with a known inferior system.|
White space will be handled this way:
There will be a database that the white space device will access. The white space unit will have GPS built in, so it knows where it is. Once it knows that, it will access the database and determine where the licensed stations that it needs to protect are located. Finally, it will select a frequency where there is no known problem.
No offense, but if you have to have a setup like this just to pick up the Empire stations then you have made my point for me! With that kind of setup you should be able to pick up not only NYC, but Allentown and Philadelphia as well. I'm sure that you probably used to pick up Empire just fine in analog with but a simple suburban outdoor TV antenna.
Re: Horse hockey! Actually I need that setup because I'm 60 miles away from empire. With analog I got some stations on VHF, but little to nothing on UHF with the antenna mounted on a 20 foot pole. Up on the tower, sure it gets a lot better but my experience with analog is about the same as it is with digital.
And yes I do pick up Allentown and Philly rock solid with antennas pointed that way. I even get Binghamton and Albany on occasion.
8VSB is actually just fine for the US, especially given our geography. We are more spread out than Europe. Multipath is not as much of an issue with 6th gen chips. Even 5th gen handles them fine. I have a new LG LED set that works beautifully on ATSC. My HDHomeRun works wonderfully too.
Contrary to popular mythology, ATSC is just fine. But when you cram stations into a much tighter space there is bound to be issues with co-channel and adjacent channel interference. It will get a lot worse when the FCC takes away even more TV spectrum.
As for the databases, I have a feeling that they aren't going to give much of a damn about deep fringe viewers. Their answer will be "talk to the cable company. You'll get more channels."
San Jose, CA
Cisco often maneuvers to block Internet progress Cisco has a vested interested in expensive Internet equipment, so when solutions to big routing tables emerged, Cisco and Sprint coordinated to block it, because they wanted an expensive router and low-backbone-company-count Internet to emerge. They largely got their way due to their maneuvering.
There's billions to be lost in the eyes of Cisco, and they will lobby hard to halt progress yet again. If Cisco is against it, you can be sure it is good for the planet and the people, and bad for Cisco.
White Space Devices will not happen on consumer level They will be used for rural ISP, backhaul, etc.
Re: White Space Devices will not happen on consumer level
said by DaveRickmers:I agree with you-at least for the first few years, the cost of these units will be very expensive due to the technology involved, the need to have a built in GPS, the ongoing cost of maintaining the database, etc.
They will be used for rural ISP, backhaul, etc.