2016 NAB Show Product Preview: Transmission

It’s a transitional time for the transmission category. These are well-built and long-lasting products that need replacement only infrequently, so the big action occurs when there is a change of standards or major technological shift.

Thus, in addition to creating gear for replacement as existing products wear out, vendors of transmission equipment are supporting the ATSC 3.0 initiative with encoders, and providing products for the ongoing channel repack in the U.S. Tower vendors are in the thick of this, as mobile technology continues to grow— and needs towers to support it—and the channel repack requires advanced tower engineering to make it work.

ABE Elettronica will feature its range of multi-standard TV transmitters (up to 20 kW), MPEG encoders, microwave and satellite links (2 to 23GHz) and antennas. The MTX series of transmitters from ABE can function as transposers, gap-fillers and standalone transmitters for digital and analog television broadcasting.

Aldena Telecomunicazioni will have the U.S. debut of its ATS series turnstile UHF antennas for digital or analog TV applications. ATS antennas have an omnidirectional pattern, are top-mounted and simple to set up, have low VSWR, weight and windload, and are available with power input and gain up to 5 kW and 8.5 dB.

American Tower will highlight its role as a tower owner and management company that operates across the United States and internationally. The company’s portfolio includes more than 99,000 owned or managed sites on five continents.

DekTec will feature its tiny DTU-315 modulator, which plugs into a USB port on one side and produces an RF signal from 36 to 2,150 MHz on a connector on the other side. Suitable for cable distribution in buildings, an ATSC 3.0 version of the DTU-315 is in the works.

Dielectric will introduce the TLSV-BB series antenna for high-band VHF broadcasting. An economical broadband antenna covering Channels 7-13, the lightweight TLSV-BB is an affordable alternative to panel antennas, reducing windload by 75 percent in comparison.

Electronics Research Inc. will be at the show with its recent LAL series of low-power UHF antennas. The LAL series is a lightweight coaxial slotted-array single-channel antenna for any single UHF channel.

GatesAir Maxiva ULXT liquid-cooled and UAXT air-cooled TV UHF transmitterHitachi-Comark, which recently absorbed the Linear transmitter line into its operation in Southwick, Mass., will highlight its DualCast Exact-ATSC 1.0/3.0 digital TV exciter. Capable of being upgraded to ATSC 3.0, the DualCast Exact-ATSC exciter has dual transport stream inputs (SMPTE-310M or ASI) to provide seamless A/B input redundancy.

Itelco-Electrosys will spotlight its Northia line of liquid-cooled medium/high-power transmitters. The line delivers 2.5 kW to 10 kW in DVB-T/H (up to 20 kW analog) and fits in a single 19-inch rack.

GatesAir will unveil PowerSmart Plus. Designed for the green economy, PowerPlus can raise transmitter efficiency up to 50 percent for ATSC. At this level, GatesAir Maxiva ULXT liquid-cooled and UAXT air-cooled TV UHF transmitters can operate with 20 percent more efficiency than the leading competitive offerings.

Jampro will highlight its popular UHF broadband panel antenna line, including the JVD-U and JCD-U broadband antennas for UHF Bands IV and V. The company will also show its RCEC family of mask filters for TV broadcasting and its range of RF coaxial components.

Nautel’s NT low-power UHF transmitterMagnum Towers will promote its tower erection and engineering experience. The company manufactures and installs guyed, free-standing and monopole towers, and can provide a range of services for existing towers.

Nautel will bring its NT line of lowpower UHF transmitters that combine a modulator, amplifier, remote control, adaptive pre-correction and mask filter in a compact enclosure. The NT150/250 is targeted at lowpower TV broadcasting, retransmission or gap-filler applications, and the updated NT500/NT1 use enhanced adaptive pre-correction for maximum power efficiency.

Rohde & Schwarz  has expanded its energy-efficient R&S Tx9 transmitter line with low-power UHF transmitters that support the DVB-T, DVB-T2 and ISDB-TB digital standards. 

The air-cooled R&S TLU9 features output powers from 1W to 200W. The transmitter is equipped with an integrated exciter backup battery that prevents transmitter reboots when mains voltage interruptions of up to 10 seconds occur. Other features include transport stream over IP (TSoIP) functionality, adaptive digital predistortion and DVB-T to DVB-T2 switchover at the press of a button.

Rohde & Schwarz low-power TV transmitter R&S TLU9

RVR-Elettronica will have a variety of transmission products, including the company’s new Blue-Video DTV exciter. With a synthesized oscillator that’s precise to 1 Hz, the Blue-Video exciter can be used in a high-power system or provisioned as an analog or digital repeater.

In addition to tower design and erection, Sabre Industries has an array of services that include prefabricated equipment enclosures, platforms and engineering for any vertical requirement. At NAB Show 2016, the company will highlight its engineering services as well as towers and monopoles for gap-fillers and translators.

TeamCast will spotlight its exTra3.0 ATSC exciter, which is targeted at the emergent demand from ATSC 3.0 early adopters to perform transmission performance testing as well as field trials. Team- Cast says that the exTra3.0 is the first terrestrial TV exciter dedicated to the ATSC 3.0 standard.

Stainless Towers , now owned by FDH Velocitel and based in Lansdale, Pa., will be at the show to promote its engineering services for the ongoing television channel repack. Stainless designed and installed a large number of broadcast towers throughout the United States and has the original engineering documents to enable efficient upgrades and tower re-loading.

Bob Kovacs

Bob Kovacs is the former Technology Editor for TV Tech and editor of Government Video. He is a long-time video engineer and writer, who now works as a video producer for a government agency. In 2020, Kovacs won several awards as the editor and co-producer of the short film "Rendezvous."