WSMV-TV Expands Partnership With Comark PARALLAX Additions

(Image credit: Comark)

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—WSMV-TV has been a fixture in Nashville for more than 70 years and we have been very proud of our reputation as a key broadcasting presence in the community. Recently we recognized that our current RF equipment was beginning to show its years and since it was past the typical service life we began to look for something that we could depend upon again to carry our transmission without fail with a support team to back it up. 


We’ve had a longstanding relationship with Comark dating back to September 2002, and there is a reason we stick with them. Our prior transmitter, an Optimum TDV2-7K50 LV two cabinet, was also supplied by Comark and for nearly two decades of operation, they provided helpful and reliable customer service. Given their reliability, we sought out our trusted partner to see what they had to offer for today’s broadcaster.

Considering all the accolades their PARALLAX series has received, we decided on an HPTV-PRLX-V6 model, a single cabinet VHF that houses six power amplifiers rated at 8.7 kW TPO rated and 6.35 kW while running. In operation we are putting out a tremendous signal at 45 dB SNR with 61 dB shoulders. We’ve also employed the EXACT-V2 exciters in the PARALLAX transmitter and we are seeing excellent synergy within the system. The front panel user interface is both simple and informative, allowing us to dig down to the individual transistor’s operating parameters.


Despite our conveniently located transmission site, there are always sweat and tears that go into the work of replacing such large and complex machinery, but the Comark and WSMV Engineering team was more than prepared. 

The turnkey installation was a breeze and we were up and running on the PARALLAX system in less than a week, ensuring that we did not experience any down time transitioning from our old transmitter to our updated system.

The PARALLAX liquid-cooled transmitter touts its cooling system as simple and effective when it comes to removing waste heat evenly with the utmost efficiency, and despite it being installed in December, we immediately noticed a difference. 

With the conspicuous reduction in consumed energy we saw a subsequent reduction in our energy bills. Within weeks of installation we recognized that our new system was helping to pay for itself with its impressive efficiency. 

The “WSM” of our call signs hearkens back to the motto of the National Life and Accident Insurance Co. that was based in Nashville: “We Shield Millions.” While National Life has resettled themselves into the history books, we seek to embody that motto with our work, broadcasting for the greater Nashville area and with the help of Comark’s equipment and customer service we can assure our service will continue uninterrupted. 

Dana Lyons is director of engineering & operations of the WSMV engineering team, using over 17 years of practical and leadership experience to lead his maintenance and operational staff in the technical department. Lyons takes great pride in the station’s operations and improvements including all IT electronics and broadcast equipment as well as building-related enhancements. He can be reached through 

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