Dielectric Achieves Milestone Of 500th Repack Antenna

RAYMOND, MAINE—Dielectric today announced it has received an order for its 500th antenna for the ongoing FCC-mandated repack of TV spectrum.

KSHV-DT, a Nexstar Media Group-owned station serving Shreveport, La., will install its new TUA-P4-4/10H-1 SM broadband, side-mount auxiliary antenna in Q1 2019, Dielectric said.

The station, part of Phase 2 in the FCC repack schedule, can use the antenna on its existing channel and for its future UHF channel assignment.

“Since reaching our 500th antenna milestone with long-time customer Nexstar, we’ve taken at least 42 more orders for spectrum repack arrays, and we’re shipping about 100 antenna systems per quarter. Business is moving at a fast and furious pace,” said Dielectric Vice President of Sales Jay Martin.

KSHV-DT’s new antenna will transition the station from channel 44 to its new assignment on channel 16 when the antenna array is in place, the company said.

Dielectric designed the antenna to radiate in a unique, directional, peanut-shaped pattern optimized for coverage of Shreveport and Texarkana, Texas and Ark., it added.

Dielectric opened a second, repack-focused production facility in December 2017 to accommodate the influx of repack business.

While the new capacity has helped the company meet the aggressive deadlines of its customers affected by the repack, a shortage of tower crews for antenna installation remains, said Martin.

“There is a serious shortage of qualified crews to work on complex installations on tall towers that will likely cause an installation bottleneck in the field, perhaps even before the end of 2018,” he said.

The Dielectric TFU-WB antenna and Powerlite series side-mounted designs can be installed more quickly, offering broadcasters that run the risk of missing their phase deadline a way to meet the schedule, he added.

More information is available on the Dielectric website.

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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.