RAYMOND, Maine—ARK Multicasting has selected Dielectric as its main antenna provider, relying on the company to build and store Powerlite Series antennas for nearly 50 of its mostly UHF stations affected by the FCC low-power repack, Dielectric announced this week.
Dielectric is also providing ARK with antennas for two repacked VHF station and 150 single TUA panels for non-repacked UHF stations, the company said.
“Because Dielectric has applied its technology and experience from the full power repack to LPTV, we’ve been able to design and build ARK’s antennas way ahead of their needs,” said Cory Edwards, director of OEM, distributor and Southeast Asia sales at Dielectric.
“And knowing those antennas are already in process helps ARK plan better for their upcoming installations. We also worked closely with ARK to make the FCC reimbursement process more efficient for their business and operational needs, which was critical to meeting their repack deadlines.”
ARK’s 300 LPTV stations reach about one-third of U.S. households. The FCC repack displaced almost 60 of ARK’s stations. Those stations will be assigned new broadcast frequencies by September 2022. Within three years, ARK plans to upgrade the affected stations to ATSC 3.0 operation and offer datacasting services as well as its current religious programming, Dielectric said.
ATSC 3.0-ready Powerlite slot and panel antennas are designed specifically for U.S. LPTV broadcasters.
For the ARK antennas, Dielectric recalibrated its automated pole fabrication machine, originally built for full-power broadcasters impacted by the repack, to accommodate low-power, pre-production workflows, making it possible to build antennas more efficiently and for broadcasters to bring their displaced stations online more quickly, the company said.
Dielectric will ship antennas to ARK stations around the country in coming months. The company worked with ARK engineers to develop custom antenna patterns for each station based on coverage and market conditions, it said.
“Dielectric has been an important partner for ARK Multicasting as we navigate the broadcast repack,” said ARK Multicasting CEO Josh Weiss. “The ability for Dielectric to anticipate and meet our antenna needs has allowed ARK Multicasting to more efficiently navigate the myriad of supply chain challenges confronting low power broadcasters impacted by the repack.”
More information is available on the Dielectric website (opens in new tab).
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Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.
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