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Amateur television has long used the NTSC (analog) television standards to transmit video and audio. Several years ago, the digital broadcast television transition made higher-quality television signals possible. Can amateurs acquire and use digital television (ATSC or DVB) transmission equipment?

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FCC Regulations, Title 97.307(f)(8) says yes, you can transmit with ATSC modulation in the US, BUT you can't use frequencies which match US ATSC channels. You would need to find a receiver (maybe PC controlled?) flexible enough to listen to amateur frequencies.

As to DVB-T or DVD-S, well, they'll work with about 2MHz of bandwidth instead of the 6MHz slice required for ATSC. Again, a flexible receiver is called for.

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  • $\begingroup$ You have to use 6 MHz to do ATSC? What if you only want to transmit one video stream with <32 Mbit/s? $\endgroup$ – Geremia Jan 9 '17 at 20:36
  • $\begingroup$ Good answer, assuming the US. (ATSC is used in several other countries, where FCC regulations will not apply.) $\endgroup$ – Jim MacKenzie VE5EV Mar 8 '18 at 19:22
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Software defined radios (SDRs) that can transmit can certainly do this. In the GNUradio software, for example, there are blocks for receiving and transmitting ATSC; cf. this blog post for how to receive and decode ATSC with a SDR.

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