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New UHF Antenna for UHF Mobile TV From Ethertronics

Ethertronics announced a new actively tuned antenna for UHF DVB-H (474-870 MHz) and FM radio (87.5-108 MHz) that should work fine for planned ATSC mobile TV services as well.

Ethertronics said its Tavvel embedded tunable DVB-H antenna “delivers on the key needs of today’s portable media product designers by delivering high performance and low power consumption for small form factors including mobile phones, notebook computers, portable media players and other video products. Designed to operate on the entire DVB-H range of frequencies, from 474 to 870 MHz, Ethertronics’ tunable DVB-H antenna has been optimized to deliver average efficiency of 40 percent with current consumption of less than 100uAmps with a compact footprint of 50x13x1mm. In addition, the antenna element can be implemented in a variety of device form factors and requires a simple DC control voltage between 0 to 2.8V to tune the antenna to a specific frequency (channel) within the DVB-H band.”

The new Tavvel embedded active FM antenna is about one cubic centimeter in size and delivers performance within 1 to 1.5 dB, compared to traditional headset lead-wire antennas. It tunes to specific channels using a DC control voltage from 0 to 2.7 volts. Since many broadcasters will be returning to high VHF channels for DTV after the analog shut down, mobile/portable antennas that can cover VHF as well as UHF will be needed. I see no reason why the active FM antenna could not be modified to work in the 174-216 MHz spectrum.

“With more than 50 percent of all handsets expected to incorporate FM tuners along with Bluetooth headsets, and with a rapidly emerging mobile TV marketplace, we are providing mobile and media device manufacturers with solutions to incorporate high-performance antennas in their designs,” said Jeff Shamblin, Ethertronics vice president of advanced technology. “A device’s ability to maintain high levels of reception coupled with an aesthetically pleasing form factor are key drivers for the commercial success of these products and their respective services.”

Ethertronics has a Technology Overview that provides more information on how the antennas work.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.