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Tester Developed at Harvey Mudd College for DIRECTV Goes From Prototype to Pre-production in Only a Year; Device Makes Checking Satellite Signals for TV Easy, Quick and Cheap.

Business Editors & Education/Television Writers

CLAREMONT, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 5, 2000

DIRECTV had a problem. The nation's leading satellite television provider wanted to find an easier way to check the digital signal quality and the RF signal amplitude of a television signal after it was received from one of its satellites and distributed throughout a building or single-family home.

Enter Harvey Mudd College (HMC) and its innovative Clinic Program, in which teams of students get hands-on experience working with companies and agencies to solve "real world" technical challenges encountered in the private or public sectors.

DIRECTV asked a team of Harvey Mudd College students to develop a portable meter that could be easily used by a technician and can measure both digital signal quality and amplitude.

In less than a year, the students produced a working prototype of a hand-held digital signal meter. DIRECTV was so pleased with the result that they contacted several manufacturers to explore production of the meter based on the original HMC design prototype and approach.

"The HMC project's outcome was better than we had expected," said Dave Kuether, an engineer at DIRECTV. "A couple of meter manufacturers have committed manpower and resources to developing the meter based upon the HMC design. One manufacturer is planning to start production this year."

Kuether added, "We received a lot of positive feedback from the installers when they saw the pre-production prototype." The meter will be priced to be affordable to professional satellite installers.

Harvey Mudd College (www.hmc.edu) is a coeducational institution of engineering, science and mathematics that also places strong emphasis on humanities and the social sciences. The college's aim is to graduate engineers and scientists sensitive to the impact of their work on society.

HMC ranks among the nation's leading schools in percentage of graduates who earn Ph.D. degrees. It is the pioneer of the internationally known Clinic Program, established in 1963. DIRECTV has sponsored four clinic projects at HMC, with plans to sponsor another project for the 2000-2001 academic year.

Harvey Mudd College is a member of The Claremont Colleges Consortium, the first consortium of colleges in the United States, which offers students the expansive physical facilities and wide selection of courses, faculty, student services and extracurricular activities of a university, and the small classes and personalized education of a small private college.

The Consortium includes Pomona College (established in 1887), Claremont Graduate University (1925), Scripps College (1926), Claremont McKenna College (1946), Harvey Mudd College (1955), Pitzer College (1963) and the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Science (1997).

DIRECTV Inc. is the nation's leading provider of digital satellite television entertainment, with more than 8.6 million customers. DIRECTV is a registered trademark of DIRECTV Inc. a unit of Hughes Electronics Corp. Hughes Electronics is the world's leading provider of digital television entertainment, and satellite and wireless systems and services. The company's Web site is www.directv.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 5, 2000
Words:486
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