Dielectric To Introduce Reconfigurable Manifold Combiners At NAB Show

Dielectric product to be shown at NAB show
(Image credit: Dielectric)

RAYMOND, Me.—Dielectric will unveil reconfigurable manifold combiners that are adaptable for FM radio and UHF television at the 2023 NAB Show, April 15-19, in Las Vegas.

The design introduces new system expandability to manifold combiners, which have long only been expandable by adding constant impedance filter (CIF) units. The solution is particularly attractive for new master broadcast antenna installations, enabling them to add new tenants in the future without the space constraints and assembly labor required when using a CIF-based expansion strategy, Dielectric said.

Dielectric’s reconfigurable manifold combiners are essentially modular fixed units built to specification. For example, a site owner with five broadcasters today and a goal of seven total tenants can specify a manifold combiner with seven ports. Dielectric builds the initial system with five filters and protects the two open slots with shorted ports, or “shorts.” Shorts are removed as filters for new tenants, which Dielectric can also build in advance and added to the manifold combiner, the company said.

The company provides calculations that consider how site owners can add other broadcast frequencies in the market in various combinations that exceed what the site owner may have originally envisioned for the maximum number of tenants, it said.

“We first provide an analysis of the market that confirms how many potential stations in the market can logically join the master antenna system,” said Keith Pelletier, president of Dielectric. “We may find that number to be 10 broadcasters.

“The site owner ultimately decides how many broadcasters they want to accommodate immediately, and how many they want to add in the future. Using our High Frequency Simulation Software (HFSS) tools, we can calculate how each possible frequency will affect the combiner’s output splines. New tenants are added quickly and easily by simply removing a shorted port, plugging in a new filter and changing some transmission line.”

Manifold combiners are also recognized for their consistent electrical specifications across all stations on the system with similar loss and electrical characteristics across the chain. That means stations further from the antenna in the combiner chain will not be affected by higher group delays or signal loss that can ultimately degrade signal quality, it said.

See Dielectric at 2023 NAB Show booth W3601.

More information is available on the company’s website (opens in new tab).

Phil Kurz

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.