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Axcera Introduces distributed translator network at NAB

Axcera is one of the pioneers in DTV distributed transmission networks (DTxNs). They introduced the first commercially available DTxN at NAB 2003. (See RF Highlights at NAB2003.)

Axcera has now developed a method for applying DTxN technology to translator networks, making it possible to use a single channel for all the translators in a network.
For information on how distributed transmission networks operate, see my TV Technology articles Single Frequency Networks for DTV Part 1 and Minimizing Delays in Single Frequency Networks.

For conventional DTV translators, the company is showing a new digital translator/booster that receives and downconverts the RF signal, then re-broadcasts it on another channel. The translator will be available in both an RF-to-baseband-to-RF or RF-to-IF-to-RF configuration. Conversion down to baseband allows the new translator/booster to update the PSIP channel information and apply baseband correction for the cleanest signal. Non-linear precorrection is available in both versions. The translator/booster is frequency agile.

Rick Schwartz, Axcera's director of marketing and product management, sees translators and distributed transmission networks as crucial to the success of DTV. "By taking a leadership role in the development of advanced distributed transmission networks (DTxN), pioneering the concept of distributed translator networks, and now adding the Innovator LX translator/booster to our product line, Axcera is committed to enabling the distribution of uncompromised, intact DTV signals to all markets," he said.

For more information see the press release Axcera to Introduce Frequency Agile DTV Translator/Booster at NAB 2004.

Axcera also is introducing a new high power solid-state VHF transmitter called the Innovator HX. The exciter and driver are frequency agile and the high-gain power amplifiers are broadband, which may be useful for channel changes at the end of the digital transition when analog is shut off. Like many other transmitter manufacturers,

The company is also showing a multistage depressed collector IOT based high power UHF DTV transmitter in its Visionary Series. Louisiana Public Television recently received one of these transmitters equipped with an L-3 CEA 130D MSDC IOT for use at WLPB-DT in Baton Rouge, La.

However, Frank Kleinpeter, Director of Engineering for the Louisiana Public Broadcasting, wasn't totally confident taking a risk with a new tube technology. "We wanted to take advantage of the new high efficiency tube technology since power consumption is a substantial expense," he explained. "However, we have previously experienced problems with ongoing support of new tube technologies. By selecting the Axcera's Visionary DT, we have a much higher comfort level since the transmitter can be easily field-converted to accept various other tube types, including traditional single-collector tubes."

For more information on Axcera products at NAB, see the Axcera press release on NAB 2004. The WLPB-DT Chooses Visionary Series Transmitter press release has more information on that sale.