NAB Show Product Review: Distribution

As the broadcast repack generates sales of transmitters, antennas and tower services, and ATSC 3.0 gains acceptance as the next-gen broadcast standard, improvements to cable and fiber now allow them to carry the astounding data rates 12G, and the development of bonded cellular has turned the remote video process on its ear. If you think about it, all these changes happened in the last 10 years—mostly in the last five years. Interesting times, indeed.

EGATEL showed its TLWH7900 transmitters series that includes a liquid-cooled 2RU 19-inch amplifier module for power output up to 17 kW. The company also highlighted its TUWH1000 and RUWH1000 compact transmitters, which reach output powers up to 125 W in a single rack unit.

Hitachi Comark Parallax solid-state liquid-cooled transmitter  

Hitachi Comark Parallax solid-state liquid-cooled transmitter  

GATESAIR unveiled HTML5-based graphical user interfaces for their Maxiva UHF (ULXTE, UAXTE) and VHF (VAXTE) transmitters that enable intuitive system navigation and monitoring from tablets and smartphones. With advanced transmitter security features, the HTML5 user interfaces prevent outside intrusions and protect broadcasters throughout the repack and ATSC 3.0 transitions.

HITACHI-COMARK debuted a VHF Band 1 (54-88 MHz) version of its Parallax solid-state liquid-cooled transmitter for ATSC 1.0 and 3.0. This new model supports power levels up to 41 kW, and shares construction and usability functions with Parallax UHF and VHF Band 3 models.

ITELCO rolled out a hybrid air/liquid cooling transmitter called the “Geyserty,” which uses the company’s Geysertek technology to ensure that RF pallet temperatures, direct and reflected power and liquid pressure are maintained at levels to provide maximum transmitter efficiency.

ROHDE & SCHWARZ showed the TLU9 GapFiller transmitter that uses the company’s smartEC key technology to permit the system to automatically adapt in real time to complex and varying echo scenarios. The TLU9 can provide up to 200 watts of power in a chassis that is just 2RU.

TEAMCAST unveiled a new software version for its Vortex II high-end ATSC 1.0/3.0 rack exciter with support for layered-division-multiplexing (LDM) modulation, multiple-PLPs and time-division-multiplexing (TDM) framing, forward error correction, redundant input switching and TX ID signaling.

THOMSON BROADCAST announced the Gigativy, an 18 kW solid-state transmitter that uses Doherty technology for maximum efficiency. Capable of both ATSC 1.0 and 3.0 operation, Gigativy is for UHF transmission.


ALIVE TELECOM featured its UHF antenna line, such as the ATC-BB100-U broadband omnidirectional model, which has a Fiberglas radome. With more than 10 dB of gain, the ATC-BB100-U is targeted at multichannel applications.

BURK TECHNOLOGY unveiled its Arcturus RF site monitoring system, which provides protection for multiplexed antenna sites. The device monitors important parameters and takes immediate action when signals reach limits, minimizing the risk of damage to RF components.

DIELECTRIC showed its new TFU-WB, a low-cost, side-mount, UHF broadband pylon antenna designed for higher-voltage handling capabilities. The TFUWB offers 75-percent less windload, lower overall weight, and exceptional cost-efficiency, in contrast to traditional broadband arrays. Post-repack, TFU-WB antennas can serve as auxiliary arrays or in single-frequency networks.

ERI launched a series of liquid-cooled RF loads for UHF operation. These new RF loads are less than 45-inches long and weigh less than 22 pounds, and models are available with 3 1/8-inch, 4 1/16-inch, and 6 1/8-inch swivel-flange female inputs.

JAMPRO announced its Futurization Technology that provides the ability for future polarization ratio adjustment without costly antenna modifications, including horizontal, elliptical, circular and vertical polarization.

RFS and MYAT partnered to produce filters for ATSC 3.0 broadcasting in a repack environment, including new cast six-and eight-pole mask filters that dissipate heat more evenly than previous soldered filters and have a lower insertion loss. MYAT will provide assembly and integration into its RF transmission systems.


AMT StreetNode portable BAS LTE backpack ENG solution   

AMT StreetNode portable BAS LTE backpack ENG solution   

AMT debuted its StreetNode portable BAS LTE backpack ENG solution that incorporates the company’s StreetNode Lite technology within a hard shell weatherized backpack. It offers bidirectional ENG connectivity from the field to the studio with advanced low delay HEVC uplink video compression technology. Also new is StreetNode Lite the company’s latest User Equipment (UE) edition to its ENGenesis BAS LTE network.

IMT-VISLINK spotlighted its NewsLink system that integrates a mobile vehicle with a station’s studio using a bidirectional data link. NewsLink provides the studio’s Internet access to the mobile vehicle, as well as IFB, remote control and even prompter script updates.

MARSHALL ELECTRONICS partnered with IMT to show a remote video solution that uses Marshall’s CV502 mini POV camera. On the IMT side, it used the IMTDragonFly COFDM wireless video transmitter that’s good for a few hundred meters of wireless transmission.


COMREX showed its LiveShot Portable, a system that delivers live, two-way, HD video and audio over a range of IP and cellular networks at latencies as low as 200ms. The lightweight 3G/4G-compatible system has a two-way cue channel (IFB), and can be mounted on a camera back for easy portability.

DEJERO demonstrated CellSat, which combines bonded cellular connections with a satellite uplink to provide highly reliable remote feeds. CellSat uses the company’s network blending technology and an Intelsat satellite feed to carry the necessary data for clean signals with no breakup. Also new was the GateWay M6E6 router, which allows crews working on location to access their newsroom or media asset management systems, send and receive large files, access cloud services used for collaboration, and communicate with their colleagues back at the studio.

Dejero GateWay M6E6 router  

Dejero GateWay M6E6 router  

LIVEU debuted the LU600 camera-mount IP data system that can deliver a bitrate up to 20 Mbps and file transfers up to 80, using a bonded cellular connection that tops out at 100 Mbps. The LU600 is field upgradable to H.265 HEVC and is controlled using an integrated fiveinch touchscreen.

TVU NETWORKS announced that its TVU One newsgathering transmitter, TVU MLink/MLink 4K encoding solution, TVU Anywhere mobile transmitter apps and the TVU Grid live video switching, routing, and distribution system, now all support HEVC.

VIDOVATION featured the new AviWest PRO380-RA HEVC 3G/4G bonded cellular video transmission system that uses eight internal modems. The lightweight unit can be camera mounted, and its two H.265 (HEVC) codecs provide HD and 4K links using the lowest possible bandwidth.

 VidoVation’s AviWest PRO380-RA HEVC 3G/4G bonded cellular video transmission system  

 VidoVation’s AviWest PRO380-RA HEVC 3G/4G bonded cellular video transmission system  


AKAMAI announced new security features for its platform, including improvements for cloud services as well as new enterprise security features, including integrated application security controls, more relevant and actionable threat intelligence, and streamlined analysis and incident response.

ARTEL featured its Quarra line of PTP Ethernet switches, which meet the proposed SMPTE 2110 standard for IP video. The Quarra line uses the IEEE 1588 precision time protocol that can synchronize device clocks to within nanoseconds across a large network with many hundreds of nodes.

DVEO highlighted its MiniStreamer HDSDI/IP single-channel H.264/AVC TS encoder. MiniStreamer supports most industry standard protocols such as UDP or RTP with unicast or multicast. The unit encodes a single IP stream at 0.1 to 60 Mbps, at resolutions up to 1080p 30/1080i 60.


BARNFIND launched the BTF1-41 series, its first BarnOne product with 12G capacity and built-in SDI-to-IP transcoding. The series includes the BarnStudio control system, and offers the same third-party control as Barnfind’s existing products.

Barnfind BTF1-41  

Barnfind BTF1-41  

CAMPLEX rolled out the HF-TS24 24-channel single-mode tactical fiber optic cable with a polyurethane jacket can be used for temporary deployment directly on the ground. The cables meet outdoor tactical needs for broadcast and pro-audio applications that require outdoor-rated crush and impact resistance, and cables are available with LC, SC or ST connectors and in a variety of lengths.

MULTIDYNE featured its FiberSaver 12G product line, which offers wavelength agnostic inputs that can to multiplex any digital optical signal over one fiber in either direction. In addition, the FS-12G works as optical repeater, since each signal is internally regenerated in its appropriate wavelength, which allows transmission distances up to 80 kilometers.

SWIT ELECTRONICS displayed the CW-SH150 3G-SDI and HDMI wireless transmission system, which consists of a camera-mounted transmitter and portable receiver. Good for up to 150 meters, the CW-SH150 provides uncompressed transmission with only 1 ms of latency.


BELDEN debuted new Stadium Cables for indoor and outdoor use. The Stadium Cable series is available in coax versions (RG6 and RG11), in triax camera cable versions (RG59 and RG11) and SMPTE Hybrid cable versions.

MOGAMI, part of MARSHALL ELECTRONICS, featured its 2534 quad cable for high-performance studio audio applications. Designed to fight hum and RF interference, Mogami 2534 provides an improvement in signal to noise of 10-20 dB over equivalent twisted pair cables.

SOMMER CABLE featured its Transit MC 3202 HD combo cable, a multi-strand cable that contains three coax cables, two shielded twisted pairs and a larger pair of wires for power transmission. Designed for 4K applications, Transit MC 3202 HD is flexible yet meets the needs of rugged professional applications.


APANTAC displayed its SDI-FIB-Tx/Rx fiber transmit/receive system, which converts an HD-SDI signal for fiber transmission. The compact SDI-FIB-Tx/Rx modules support transmission up to 18 miles using single-mode fiber.

 Apantac SDI-FIB-Tx/Rx fiber transmit/receive system  

 Apantac SDI-FIB-Tx/Rx fiber transmit/receive system  

GRASS VALLEY demonstrated its Lumo high-density 1RU frame with 36 SFPbased fiber converters, targeted at large 3G distribution systems. Lumo reduces cabling concerns by putting fiber connectivity on one side of the unit and coax electrical on the other. Cards are hot swappable and the unit has remote system health monitoring for all key components, including optical signal strength.

LINK ELECTRONICS showed the PFO-100-T&R fiber transport system for 3G-SDI or ASI transmission, which operates with single-mode fiber optics cable, or multi-mode fiber can be requested. The Link PFO series has signal jitter elimination circuitry to ensure high-quality signal transmission over long distances.

OPTICAL CABLE CORP. introduced the SMPTE-Essential, a SMPTE hybrid fiber cable. Intended for controlled environments, OCC’s SMPTE-Essential is fully SMPTE 311 compliant and 98-percent braided shield coverage.

STUDIO TECHNOLOGIES showed its Live-Link Mini remote camera interface system, which allows a camera to be run at a distance from a production truck. Using a single strand of fiber for bidirectional signals, the Live-Link Mini handles return video, intercom and tally signals, and provides two high-quality audio inputs for talent feeds from the camera end.


CLARK WIRE & CABLE debuted new DT12 connectors that are rugged and weather resistant for both indoor and outdoor broadcast environments. The new connectors feature aluminum back shells that are virtually crush and corrosion proof, and the male connector has a stainless steel mating thread coupling that is dent resistant. The electrical contacts are made from gold plated, screw-machined copper.

LEMO introduced its new 3 GHz 75-Ohm coaxial contact connection system that can be used in broadcast connector applications and combines multiple HD-SDI BNC connectors into one module. The product is well suited for 3x coaxial (HD), 4x coaxial (4K) and 10x coaxial (8K) applications.

NEMAL highlighted its FOCC24 series SMPTE 311 HDTV camera cable, which has been approved by all the major camera manufacturers. FOCC24 includes versions for studio use, outdoor use, fixed installation applications with either single or multiple cameras, and an ultra-flexible miniature version.

NEUTRIK featured its new opticalCon MTP 24 fiber optic connector, which has a ruggedized and dirt-protected 24-channel fiber optic connection system based in a multi-fiber-push-on (MTP) shell. The connector can be cleaned without any tools, and it is also rated at IP65 for dust and water, if properly seated in a sealing connector.

Neutrik opticalCon MTP 24 fiber-optic connector  

Neutrik opticalCon MTP 24 fiber-optic connector  

SAM WOO ELECTRONICS showed a variety of connectors, including the SW series that’s targeted at professional camera applications. SW connectors are rated at IP67 for water and dust resistance.


BITTREE spotlighted its 12G+ Mini-WECO video patchbay, which has 2x32 jacks in a 1 RU configuration. The 12G+ is tested to 24 GHz and will work with HD/SDI, UHD/SDI, 4K, 8K, and HDR applications, and is SMPTE 292M, 424M, 2081-1 and 2082-1 compliant.

CANARE showed its 32MCK-ST, a 75-Ohm mid-size video patchbay capable of handling 12G-SDI signals. The patch panel has a return loss of 4dB or greater at 12 GHz, and uses standard BNC rear connections.

SWITCHCRAFT demonstrated its Ultra VideoPatch line that includes a 4K video patching solutions. It Mini-WECO single jacks, and meets SMTPE ST 2081-1 and ST 2082-1 standards with a life cycle of 30,000.

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."