High-efficiency Solid-State Transmitter Promised at IBC Show

For several months I've gotten hints from multiple companies that new, much higher efficiency. UHF solid state TV transmitters were coming soon. It looks like "soon" may be IBC 2011, starting Sept. 8 in Amsterdam.

I didn't see any transmission topics listed in the IBC 2011 Conference Programme, but a recent release from Thomson Broadcast on DigitalTVEurope.net and other websites says its Futhura Plus transmitter offers transmitter efficiency as high as 35 percent. This is comparable in efficiency to the IOT (Inductive Output Tube) amplifiers used by many broadcasters today for high power transmitters. Thomson notes this efficiency is a 50 percent improvement over current standard solid-state transmitters on the market. There is no detail on how this efficiency improvement is achieved, other than the statement that the Futhura Plus transmitter features "drain modulation technology."

If the price is right, this technology could be a good replacement for the many single and two tube IOT transmitters that have been in service for the last 10 years or more. It seems unlikely that even with these improvements solid state transmitters will be able to replace higher power, higher efficiency MSDC transmitters, at least for a while.

As soon as I have more information I'll post it in RF Report with a more detailed description in my RF Technology column in TV Technology magazine.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack.
A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.