NAB Show Product Preview: Distribution

GatesAir Maxiva VAXTE air-cooled transmitter

GatesAir Maxiva VAXTE air-cooled transmitter

ATSC 3.0 continues its march toward acceptance as the television transmission standard in the U.S., with many products boasting of compatibility. In addition to ATSC 3.0 getting nods of approval by both the FCC and industry groups, the television repack continues apace, and that is also driving development of new products.


GATESAIR will highlight its Maxiva VAXTE air-cooled transmitter, for Band III and low-band VHF, with support for power levels up to 38kW. The VAXTE is driven by the XTE software-defined exciter featuring real-time adaptive correction and ATSC 3.0 capability.

HITACHI-COMARK will show its E-Compact transmitter, optimized for the US repack market in ATSC 1.0 and upgradeable to 3.0, with power output as high as 10 kW. Also on display will be the EXACT-V2 DTV exciter that allows easy migration from ATSC 1.0 to 3.0 with a simple license upgrade.

Hitachi Comark EXACT-V2 DTV exciter

Hitachi Comark EXACT-V2 DTV exciter

ROHDE & SCHWARZ will show the THU9evo high-power transmitter that provides broadcasters a scalable upgrade path to ATSC 3.0. The THU9evo delivers maximum energy savings even during channel changes and output power adjustment.

TEAMCAST will feature the latest version of its Vortex II exciter for ATSC 3.0, now featuring layered division multiplexing to provide greater data bandwidth for conditions with an outdoor antenna, while maintaining a robust core signal for mobile and challenging reception.


ALDENA will feature its UHF antenna line that includes broadband panel antennas (horizontal, vertical, circular, slant or elliptical polarization) and super-turnstile antennas.

ALIVE TELECOM will show its slot, panel and pylon antennas, available for both VHF and UHF applications. The company’s antennas support low-, medium-and high-power transmitters, with coax input sizes up to 6 1/8-inch.

Dielectric TFU-WB UHF pylon antenna

Dielectric TFU-WB UHF pylon antenna

DIELECTRIC will spotlight its TFU-WB low-cost, side-mount, UHF broadband pylon-type antenna designed for higher voltage handling capabilities that also offers 75 percent less wind-load, lower overall weight and greater cost-efficiency compared with UHF panel antennas.

RFS will show a range of antennas that are frequency- and polarization-agile, including its SBB series of wideband slot antennas and PEP Lite antennas that provide both low wind-load and allow operation on any UHF channel.


BURK TECHNOLOGY will show its Arcturus product line of RF protection components, suitable for complex RF plants that include antennas, transmission lines and RF combiner systems.

ERI will introduce a line of adjustable coaxial directional couplers that feature externally terminated sample ports and are available as 3 1/8-inch, 4 1/16-inch and 6 1/8-inch sizes with one-to-four sampling ports.


In the past 10 years, the growth of IP technology and cellular networks created a revolution in how signals are sent from a remote camera back to the studio. Where you once had dedicated lines (expensive), satellite feeds (expensive) and microwave links (expensive), now relatively cheap internet service or cellular wireless links can do the same with much more flexibility at a tiny fraction of the price.

We’re almost at the point where a well-equipped cell phone and a solid 4G wireless connection can do most of what it used to take a microwave truck to do. And it doesn’t require a license… or insurance.


AMT will feature the StreetNode portable LTE camera transmitter and SkyNode helicopter transmitter for its ENGenesis LTE microwave system.

BMS will discuss the MTxx24VHD unmanned COFDM microwave link that offers low-latency wireless HD video in a small, light footprint targeted at UAVs and other unmanned systems. The MTxx24VHD provides secure HD video transmission using AES encryption and H.264 compression.

IMT, which recently acquired satellite equipment manufacturer Vislink, will show its HCAM 4K HEVC camera transmitter. Targeted at broadcast, sports and event production, HCAM supports IFB audio and remote camera control.



MARSHALL ELECTRONICS and IMT will show their combined wireless video solution for live broadcasts and sporting events. The integrated bundles include one of IMT’s ultra-miniature wireless video systems (IMTDragonFly or MicroLite 2 HD COFDM wireless video transmitter), as well as a Marshall Mini-Broadcast POV camera such as the CV502.

MOSELEY will show its mobile and fixed microwave line, including the DTV Link- A STL systems. The DTV Link-A works in any microwave band from 1.5 GHz to 13 GHz and it can carry data loads as high as 155 Mbps.

VIDOVATION will demonstrate ABonAir’s AB512 radio system. Built on a bidirectional radio channel between transmitter and receiver, ABonAir’s wireless video links acknowledge the correct acceptance of each group of pixels with only a 7ms delay for applications in which latency of 2-6 frames or 30-90 ms is unacceptable.


COMREX will showcase LiveShot, which delivers live, two-way HD video and audio over a range of IP networks at latencies as low as less than 200mS.

LiveU LU600

LiveU LU600

DEJERO will feature CellSat, a system that works with the company’s EnGo mobile encoder to combine cellular networks with Intelsat satellite connectivity, increasing reliability and coverage. CellSat simplifies transmission using multiple connection paths so field crews can capture live news and events with confidence.

LIVEU will highlight its flagship LU600 portable transmission solution with the HEVC Pro card. Combined with the 4K HEVC Pro card, the LU600 allows broadcasters and content creators to benefit from high video performance and bandwidth efficiency in a small package.

TVU Timelock

TVU Timelock

TVU NETWORKS will introduce TVU Timelock, which enables remote events to be produced from a control room in a separate location. With the solution, TVU transmitters can synchronize together at a set latency, allowing mobile and wireless at-home/REMI prodocutions without being tethered. Also new is the TVU Transcriber, an AI-based audio-to-text transcribing service that uses voice recognition technology. The company will also introduce improvements to its existing line of IP video workflow solutions, with enhancements to its video acquisition, transmission, production, distribution and management technologies.


AKAMAI will showcase its liveOrigin platform, which combines broadcast-quality ingestion, low-latency, a “self-healing” network and performance monitoring/reporting to support the same level of quality for live and linear video streaming that’s expected of traditional broadcast TV. Akamai is complementing its delivery capabilities with demonstrations of its Broadcast Operations Control Center (BOCC) and its Broadcast Operations Support System (BOSS), media analytics tools that are designed to provide operational insight and telemetry from origin to viewer, offering control of and visibility into video operations and performance.

ARTEL will feature its DigiLink line of IP distribution products, including the DL4360x modular 3RU 12-slot chassis that can support multiple channels of video and Ethernet traffic.

DVEO will highlight the T-Mux IP/IP multiport multiplexer/demultiplexer that is used to combine or uncombine any number of incoming MPEG-2/H.264 IP transport streams, SPTS or MPTS.


BARNFIND will introduce the BTF1-41 series, the company’s first signal transport product with 12GB capacity and built-in SDI to IP. The series will use the BarnStudio control system and offer the same third-party control as the existing BarnOne 3G system.

CAMPLEX will highlight its Fiber Multiplexer and Demultiplexer series that allows a single fiber to add channels that save space and the expense of deploying new fiber. The new line is available in a choice of models offering a variety of channels and wavelengths.

COBALT DIGITAL will debut the 9414DAEO/OE-12G multichannel fiber extension cards that can transport 12G-SDI video over optical cable. The 9414DAEO/OE-12G installs in an openGear frame that can hold up to 10 cards, providing 20 channels of 12G transport.

Comrex EarShot IFB audio system

Comrex EarShot IFB audio system

COMREX will debut EarShot, which provides telephone-based live studio program and IFB audio to field-based remote broadcasts. Up to 30 users can listen to program or IFB feeds by calling into EarShot with a mobile phone, and EarShot can handle up to four program feeds, or two IFB feeds.

MULTIDYNE will debut the latest version of its SilverBack signal transport system: Silverback-12G, which provides a full-bandwidth fiber-optic link between two cameras and a production truck or control room. The company will also showcase the VF-9000, which addresses the growing need for higher signal density, format flexibility and operational versatility in a fiber transport frame and is available in 18- and 36-channel versions.


Now that production and editing in 4K is common and virtually no more expensive than HD, cables, connectors, patch panels and terminal gear is increasingly built to support uncompressed 4K transmission. If you are putting new cable and infrastructure into a facility, it makes sense to future-proof it by going the 4K route (also known as “12G”). Expect to see lots of 12G fiber and cabling solutions at the 2018 NAB Show.


BELDEN will feature its new 4694R RG6 precision video coax designed for 4K indoor riser applications. Rated out to 12 GHz, 4694R meets SMPTE 2082-1 (12 Gbps) and SMPTE 2081-1 (6 Gbps), as well as HD-SDI.

CLARK WIRE & CABLE will show its RCC2V2A1C6HDE hybrid A/V multi-core cable with RG-6, audio and Cat-6 data strands for remote production and ENG applications.

SOMMER CABLE will highlight its composite cables for 4K and 8K, such as the Transit MC 3202 HD combo cable. The MC 3202 has three 75-Ohm coax strands, two 16A WG power strands and two balanced audio strands for digital audio.


APANTAC will display its SFP-FIB-SDI-CONV-Tx/Rx transmitter/receiver pair that will transmit a 1080p 3G video signal up to 10 km using a ST-terminated single-mode fiber. The units provide re-clocking to ensure clean signals.

ARTEL will highlight its new InfinityLink ATSC 3.0 fiber-based transition solution that provides SDI/ASI connection from the studio to the transmitter tower. Barnfind will roll out its CAM-CCU transport solution that supports up to 18 cameras on a single fiber for bidirectional traffic over long distances.

CAMPLEX will debut a new 24-channel, small-diameter tactical fiber cable series for harsh environments where size and weight are a concern. The singlemode fiber-optic cable with polyurethane jacket can be used for temporary deployment directly on the ground in all terrains. They are available with LC, SC or ST connectors and in a variety of lengths. Camplex will also spotlight its HF-FCFF-CM-T SMPTE fiber tactical hybrid camera cables that meet SMPTE 304M and 311M standards. Terminated with Canare FCFA to FCMA connectors, the lightweight cables are designed with an abrasion-resistant polyurethane jacket targeted at temporary installation where quick retrieval and recurrent use is necessary.

GRASS VALLEY will show off its Viper family of fiber-optic connectivity product, including the Viper 1 that provides two-way video, audio, intercom and data transport.

LINK ELECTRONICS will spotlight the PFO-100-T&R, a compact 3G/HD/SD-SDI or ASI fiber optics transmission system. The unit can be ordered with either single- or multimode fiber capability, and the system a built-in equalizer, cable driver and re-clocker.

MULTIDYNE will feature its LightCube fiber-optic system that supports up to 80 HD-SDI signal paths and 225 AES audio channels. Built in a 14-inch cube, LightCube also carries Ethernet, serial data, IFB and intercom.

OPTICAL CABLE CORP. will feature its extensive line of SMPTE 311 composite cable that includes both fiber and copper strands in the same jacket.

STUDIO TECHNOLOGIES will discuss its Live-Link Mini remote camera interface system that offers one 3G-SDI path in each direction, an integrated party-line and four-wire intercom support, and line-level and powered talent cueing (IFB). The units interconnect through one single-mode fiber for quick field deployment.

Swit Electronics S-4607 bi-directional video link module

Swit Electronics S-4607 bi-directional video link module

SWIT ELECTRONICS will show its S-4607 bi-directional SDI optical converter, which provides a two-way HD-SDI link in a single box. The S-4607 uses single-mode fiber for distances up to 20 km.


LEMO will debut a 3GHz 75-Ohm coaxial contact that can be used in various broadcast connector configurations and combines multiple HD-SDI BNC connectors into one. It is well suited for 3x coaxial (HD), 4x coaxial (4K) and 10x coaxial (8K) applications taking multiple HD-SDI BNC type connectors into one integrated connector.

NEMAL will have its extensive line of audio, video and fiber-optic connectors on display, including multi-pin audio snake connectors such as the DT12 37-pin cable mount connector. DT12 cable-mount male connectors are available in either standard or steel-insert versions and come standard with a 6-inch strain relief.

Neutrik rearTwist high-frequency BNC connector

Neutrik rearTwist high-frequency BNC connector

NEUTRIK will feature its rearTwist UHD-BNC connector designed for video service up to 8K. The rearTwist UHD-BNC provides precision 75-Ohm impedance that minimizes return loss and maximizes signal flow.

SAM WOO ELECTRONICS will show its ranage of conectors, including 75-Ohm BNC connectors for all popular cable types. The company’s connectors can be specified for operating frequencies as high as 3 GHz.


BITTREE will introduce the PS96DB25F audio patchbay, a front-programmable model that features 96 TT (bantam) connectors in a 2x48, 1.5RU rackmount formfactor. The PS96DB25i, a 1RU version with the same connectivity, is internally-configurable. Bittree will also show its 12G+ mini-WECO coaxial video patchbay.

CANARE will roll out its 12G-SDI video patchbay, which the company says is the first fully normalled patchbay that does not require patch cords or looping plugs to complete a 12G-SDI signal path.

SWITCHCRAFT will shine the light on its UHD video patching solutions, including the MVP32K1UHD that has mid-size/mini-WECO jacks in a 2x32 configuration that fits in a 1RU patchbay. The MVP-32K1UHD patch bay is rated to work on digital video from SD-HDI to 4K.

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."