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DTG R-book tackles Radio Equipment Directive challenge

European_flag_in_Karlskrona_2011_Wikimedia CommonsThe UK’s Digital Television Group has released a new version of the R-Book, the guide for installing digital-terrestrial and satellite systems, with a section devoted to the EC’s recently announced Radio Equipment Directive (RED).

The RED, published on June 13, aligns the EC’s previous Radio and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment Directive with new legislation designed to ensure that all RF equipment, including set-top boxes, TVs, amplifiers and routers, makes the most efficient use of available spectrum.

The directive is designed in effect to ensure a single market for radio equipment by setting requirements for safety and health, electromagnetic compatibility and the efficient use of the radio spectrum. This applies to all products using the radio frequency spectrum.

Alex Buchan, principal RF engineer at the DTG, told Digital TV Europe that the directive would have a major impact on all equipment that used RF spectrum.

Manufacturers have to show that equipment meets the new ETSI standards for TV and radio equipment.

Buchan said that the industry faced a number challenges in ensuring compliance with the directive across the board.

“For DTT receivers there is a harmonised standard. Receiver manufacturers can test against that. That is in place also for antennas and satellite receivers. Them main problem is radio receivers, and there has been a lot of discussion between manufactures about that,” said Buchan.

Buchan said that as a result of implementation of the directive, it was possible that a number of cheaper set-top boxes and other equipment may not be sold any more.

In addition to informing installers and retailers about the directive, the new R-book also includes a section on requirements for clearance of the 700MHz spectrum, currently used for DTT broadcasts.

“There are going to be a large number of aerials that will need repointed. If people want to receive a particular region they will need to move their aerial. Some aerials will need replacing completely,” said Buchan. “There is quite a bit of work to do in the next few years.”

Digital UK estimates that between 40,000-100,000 aerials will need to be repointed, while between 100,000-160,000 may need to be replaced.

The R-Book 7, which also includes instructions on installation of the Sky Q box, can be downloaded from the DTG website.