Media General Broadcast Group has selected Harris Corporation to convert seven of its stations to full-power digital television transmissions beginning in early 2008, completing the work in time to meet the FCC’s February 17, 2009 shut-off date for analog broadcasts.
Under the deal, Harris will install a new Platinum-i digital transmitter at WSPA Spartanburg, S.C. and perform digital upgrades of existing Sigma UHF and Platinum VHF analog transmitters at six other Media General stations: WMBB Panama City, Fla.; WJHL Johnson City, Tenn.; WBTW Florence, S.C.; WNEG Taccoa, Ga.; WJTV Jackson, Miss.; and WVTM Birmingham, Ala.
Five of those six stations are moving their digital assignments as part of the FCC channel election process, while WNEG, which has yet to begin DTV broadcasts, will be making a "flash-cut" from analog to digital, says Bob Richardson, director of engineering for Media General.
As part of its overall digital conversion, Media General is also using Harris to relocate several existing Harris analog transmitters to new sites, where they will be "channel-changed" and upgraded to digital by installing Apex digital exciters. All of Media General’s transmitters will also be outfitted with Harris’ eCDi transmitter network control and remote monitoring system.