Webs scale taller tower for DTV

Tobu spending $450 million on Tokyo structure

TOKYO — Japan’s five commercial networks and pubcaster NHK have inked a preliminary deal with Tobu Railway to use its New Tokyo Tower for beaming radio and TV signals when digital broadcasting begins in July.

Tobu will spend Y50 billion ($450 million) building the tower in Tokyo’s Sumida Ward, while the nets will pay service charges. Building is skedded to begin in 2008 and finish in 2011.

The new 1,830-foot high building will be twice as tall as the landmark Tokyo Tower, currently the webs’ main signal transmitter. However, it isn’t tall enough to beam digital broadcasts to the same Tokyo metro area it is now covering with analog signals. The webs will use it as a back-up transmitter.

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