2013 NAB Product Review: Transmission

Jeff Heldman (L) with UBS talks to Lennox Looby from CNS about the Axcera Innovator CX digital television transmitter.

With channel repacking and auctions in the wind, there’s much debate on the future of over-the-air transmissions. And yes it’s true—some trusted names in the transmission arena have gone by the wayside. However, there was really no shortage of transmission gear at the NAB Show this year.

Whether it was high-power, low-power, SFN, or gap filler devices you were looking for, there was plenty of gear to go around. Reliability is at an all time high, and solid-state appears to be taking the lead in all power levels.

Axcera showcased its Innovator CX series of VHF/UHF transmitter, which uses the company’s frequency agile exciter and LDMOS transistors for broadband operation across the entire operating band.

Comark Communications showed off their new MPTV-8000 series of solid-state medium power TV transmitters. They incorporate Doherty amplifier technology and include Comark’s ATSC-8000 exciter.

DekTec B.V. showcased their DTA-2115 Ultimate PCIe modulator. It modulates all standards up to a 72 MHz bandwidth across the VHF, UHF, and L-bands. Also showing was the DTA-2131 SDR receiver for VHF/UHF and the PCIe card for advanced RF monitoring.

Egatel S.L. demonstrated its line of TUH3000 transmitters, which provide efficiencies of up to 38 percent. Also displayed was their MTD7000 series designed for cost-effective low-power broadcasting, and the TE9000 series of medium-power transmitters and TLE6800 high-power transmitters.

Martyn Horspool (R) of Harris shows the new small size of the Platinum VAX PowerSmart 3D VHF transmitter to Rhadames Castellanos of Telemicro in the Dominican Republic. Eurotek Srl brought their new family of Eurotek transmitters, and introduced scalability and modularity applied to medium and high power transmitters. The use of 150 Watt rms power modules in parallel configurations allows the construction of units with outputs of as much as 4,800 Watts rms.

Harris Broadcast displayed their Platinum VAX VHF transmitter line which included the Compact Class. The units cover VHF transmissions at power levels from 10 to 100 Watts in a 2RU space. Also shown were the Maxiva UAX Compact Class family of UHF solid-state transmitters and the new DVB-T and ISDB-Tb digital terrestrial tuner integrated within Harris Broadcast Apex M2X exciters.

Larcan showcased their Cool-Dock solid-state UHF and VHF liquid-cooled multistandard digital transmitter series as well as the company’s complete end-to-end ATSC M/H mobile DTV system.

Nautel debuted its first TV transmitter, the NT100, intended for low-power UHF applications. It boasts wide band operation (470 to 860 MHz), 2 to 100 W output, and operation on the all major digital standards, including ATSC, DVB, DVB-T2 and ISDB-T.

Rohde & Schwarz showed their high-efficiency R&S THU9 with Doherty amplifier technology, scalability and a high-power density per transmitter rack space. Also shown was the R&S SFC-U USB compact modulator that provides economical multistandard signals. Screen Service Broadcasting Technologies showed off their SDT Ultra High Efficiency Transmitter Series which features high-performance amplifiers and drivers specifically designed for broadcasters. The transmitters provide an efficiency of as much as 43 percent without decreasing performance.


ABE Elettronica brought along their “LB” series of VHF and UHF antenna panels and transmitting arrays which feature rugged construction and design. Also on display was the “MTX” series of multistandard, multimode digital and analog terrestrial TV transmitters. Features include digital processing, and high-efficiency power amplifiers spanning the 1 Watt to 20 kW power range.

Aldena Telecomunicazioni displayed their EMLAB evaluation toolset which now includes the ISDB-T standard. Also on display were the AQP040442x, a new VHF B.III antenna with 4 dipoles, and the new ATS160892x turnstile broadband UHF antenna with an 8.5 dBd gain and omnidirectional pattern.

Sarah Tavares of Larcan takes a really close look at one of the company's VHF liquid-cooled power amplifier modules. Electronics Research Inc. exhibited a variety of new and existing products, including the expanded AL Series low-power UHF television antenna and the CF2001 UHF mask filter.

Jampro Antennas displayed their JVD-X-U1 UHF model for medium-power operation and the JAT U superturnstile with a radome enclosure, the JUHD broadband panel antenna, the JAT-U UHF superturnstile, the Prostar JA/MS-BB broadband UHF slot antenna and the 8-inch RCEC mask filter.

Myat showed their 7/16-inch DIN coaxial transfer switch featuring low VSWR; high isolation between ports; high power handling capacity; mechanical and LED switch position indicators; and manual override. The switch is also available for 3-1/8, 1-5/8, and 7/8-inch transmission lines.

Broadcast Devices
displayed their RF Dashboard Global Monitor Software, an SNMP technology that users to monitor hundreds of BDI’s DPS-100D RMS power sensors. Also being shown was the SSM-200 Smart Switch Mini, an SNMP motorized RF switch controller interface for use with motorized RF switches.

Burk Technology showed off their ARC Plus Touch transmitter remote control, which featured a full-color LCD touchscreen for on-site monitoring and control. Included are built-in macros, virtual channels, and a Web/smartphone interface. Also displayed was the X RP-8 adapter that connects as many as eight existing Sine RP-8 interface panels via LAN/WAN.