Tokyo’s Skytree was to be the answer to radio interference for broadcasting companies. Up until Skytree’s completion in May,  Tokyo Tower was the tallest tower around, standing at 333 meters.  Skytree, nearly double that height, stands at 634 meters.

The transfer of radio wave transmission from Tokyo Tower to Tokyo Skytree was originally planned for January of next year, but has been delayed due to an unexpected level of radio interference that will take time-consuming measures to be dealt with. 

Some broadcasting companies, including NHK, have considered shutting down Tokyo Tower transmission during mid-day peak viewing periods in order to grasp the extent of the problem with transmission from Skytree. in which case, viewer confusion concerning broadcasting is to be anticipated.

TV companies broadcast from Tokyo Tower to a large area of the Kanto region.  In the past 50 years since Tokyo Tower was first built, many high-rise buildings have sprung up around the tower, causing radio signal interference.  To get rid of this problem and create a new and exciting tourist attraction, 65 billion yen, or $812 million US were spent on building the Skytree tower.

Skytree is over 200 meters taller than Tokyo Tower, a height that towers over the tallest buildings so that radio signal interference from surrounding buildings would, in theory, be greatly reduced.  However, NHK and other private broadcasting companies cooperated in testing signals off of Skytree to get a sample of what areas could receive them.  Because the radio waves were too strong, or because of antenna placement, some households received no signal, which had nothing to do with the direction or area they were in.

In order to understand the whole picture of what is going on with Skytree transmission and how to fix it, NHK would have to conduct signal testing by shutting down transmission from Tokyo Tower during daytime peak viewing times, which would cause an enormous inconvenience to viewers.

An NHK executive says, “the January transfer from Tokyo Tower to Skytree is not possible.  Unlike the change over from analog to digital broadcasting, the transfer will take place in one night and testing of reception transmission has to be completed.  It would be nice to be finished by May, but the excess cost is enormous.”  He struggled to hide his embarrassment.  The Kanto general communications Bureau’s spokesperson commented that the reception area needs to be determined and the transfer made as soon as possible.

Source: Mainiche Select News