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Linear Industries Exciters Aid ZGS DTV Path

Eduardo Zavala ARLINGTON, VA.—ZGS Communications is an Hispanic-owned company with a profound commitment to serving the local communities where it conducts business. It currently operates 13 television stations located in Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Hartford, Conn., Providence, R.I., Richmond, Va., Fresno, Calif., Orlando, Ft. Myers, and Tampa Bay, Fla., and also San Antonio and El Paso, Texas. We are the largest group of independently owned stations affiliated with the Telemundo network.

ZGS Communications’ goals are to drive our audiences, be local, serve the community and grow revenue. To achieve these goals we have to be strategic, use our resources wisely, pursue opportunities to expand our local presence and continue to develop our brands. It is very important for us to be able to provide consistent and formidable broadcast programming and entertainment to our audiences, and also maintain our business model.


In order to provide both quality and cost-effective DTV service, ZGS Communications elected to reuse many of the existing analog transmitting facilities we owned by flash-cutting the installed analog transmitters over to DTV operations with the addition of high-performance digital exciters.

Our engineering leaders evaluated a lot of products in this area, looking for an exciter that would provide high-quality pictures for our audiences, as well as one that would be dependable and well supported by its manufacturer. We also were watching the bottom line—the technology we sought had to be cost effective, too. After much evaluation, our team selected the AT8001 digital exciter from Linear Industries as the product of choice.

By installing Linear AT8001 exciters, ZGS Communications was able to reuse transmitters at seven of our analog television transmitter sites. This allowed us to move to digital operations with a much lower capital expenditure. In replacing the existing analog exciters at the selected transmitter facilities, our engineering staff dealt with several different types of transmitters. The flash cut project with the AT8001s took place with very few difficulties, and we were able to optimize performance with a minimum amount of test equipment.


In making the transition to digital, one of the things that impressed our engineering team was the performance of the AT8001 in the area of FCC mask filter specifications. We knew from the start that we were going to have good results. After everything was in place, we experienced excellent modulation error-ratio performance. Linear’s precorrection software made it easy to optimize the signal and put the transmitters on-channel quickly and easily.

With the flash-cutting of these analog transmitters and the deployment of new digital transmitters at our other sites, ZGS Communications has now successfully entered into DTV broadcasting. Our deployment strategy enabled us to accomplish this with very minimal impact on our viewers. The new Linear AT8001s were key in achieving our goals and our experience with the company’s other products has been equally good. We’re proud to be able to serve our communities of license with a DTV signal.

Eduardo Zavala is vice-chairman and president of Digital, Broadcast and News Operations at ZGS Communications. He may be contacted

For additional information, contact Linear Industries at 847-428-5793 or