Transmitter Consultant Lightens Load With Rohde & Schwarz ETL

I no longer have to worry about a critical instrument getting lost or misdirected.
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Chuck Britt
RALEIGH, N.C.—I launched Chuck Britt and Associates in 2004 to provide broadcasters with a knowledgeable and reliable installation and maintenance company with a very specific target—high-powered broadcast television transmitting equipment. Our work takes us to some very remote locations all around the country to service transmitters, including mountain tops and other places that can be very hard to reach.

I've been in the broadcasting industry since the mid-1960s and really appreciate the concept of being able to travel light. The less test equipment and other gear that I have to ship, or drag along with me, the happier I am—especially these days, when airlines are assessing large charges for extra baggage.

EVERYTHING IN A SINGLE PACKAGE

We provide transmission system proof of performance testing, so a device that could do everything required from one box is a very appealing concept. I found all of that in Rohde & Schwarz's ETL. The one box concept makes life easier, and I have even taken my ETL in the optional soft bag as carry-on luggage when I travel by air to a worksite.

The Rohde & Schwarz ETL test set has a universal multistandard platform for analyzing television signals, and combines the functionalities of a TV test receiver, and spectrum analyzer, along with a bit-stream analyzer in one very portable instrument, while maintaining high measurement accuracy.

The unit's bitstream capabilities include measurement and logging of seven parameters of the MPEG transport stream, and up to 14 parameters of the ATSC/PSIP signal. The ETL also provides the total bit-rate, along with information on how that bit rate is divided up among the various services being transmitted. In addition, the ETL provides picture and sound for each of the channels encoded in the stream you're looking at, and that's really all you need to troubleshoot in this day and age of digital television.

As with most test equipment nowadays, training is generally in your own hands after you receive the device from the manufacturer. The ETL package was no exception; however, every once in a while it's necessary for me to reach out for help, and I was very impressed with the service I that I've experienced in my contacts with the R&S personnel.

Recently I was out at a site and found myself unable to do some of the measurements, so I called my Rohde & Schwarz sales person, Tom Jordan, and he easily walked me through a complicated measurement.

CUTS ON-SITE TRAVEL COSTS

The ETL is also cost-effective. As the unit replaces several different devices that I had to transport around previously, I no longer have to worry about a critical instrument getting lost or misdirected, and the unit is so lightweight that it's a breeze, to both ship and carry around.

I was already an R&S fan, as I've purchased and used other Rhode & Schwarz test equipment before acquiring the ETL. I've owned the new unit for about a year now, and have had it upgraded to include bit-stream analysis capability. The ETL has performed superbly and served the company well.

When I carry the ETL with me, people take note of what I am carrying and comment on its size and weight. It's easy to recommend because it does its job so well.

Chuck Britt may be contacted at cbritt@chuckbrittandassociates.com.

For additional information, contact Rohde & Schwarz at 410-910-7800 or visit www.rohde-schwarz.com.