ITTC Project

Quantifying the Impact of Unlicensed Devices on Digital TV Receivers

Project Award Date: 09-01-2006


The Federal Communications Commission proposed in Docket 04-186 to allow sharing of underutilized TV broadcast spectrum by unlicensed devices that could determine that the spectrum in question was not used. Even sophisticated unlicensed devices may under certain circumstances have incidental emissions in TV bands. Although the primary emissions from these devices--those used for communicating--would not be in an active TV band, incidental out-of-band emissions (resulting from the limits of radio technology) might fall in an active TV channel. Limits on this need to be clearly established.

The fundamental cause of this problem is that TV receivers are designed to meet conflicting requirements: they must be very sensitive, must cover a large tuning range, and must be sold at moderate cost. Of necessity, design compromises must be made to meet these goals, and as a result such receivers generally have little resilience to undesired signals in the TV band. Unlicensed devices using the white spaces in the TV spectrum will need to be designed within limits appropriate to this environment.

Interference with a user's digital television viewing is likely only when there are a substantial number of unlicensed devices transmitting simultaneously in the vicinity. ITTC researchers will develop a proposed limit for unlicensed devices in TV spectrum. They will create a simple and reproducible testing method to verify that a proposed unlicensed device meets the limit.


Faculty Investigator(s): Joseph Evans (PI), James Roberts

Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): New America Foundation

Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

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