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NAB Show Product Review: Transmission

If there were any television transmitters on the NAB Show floor that used IOTs or other tubes, I did not see them. The industry has completed its transition to solidstate VHF and UHF transmitters, and is now working to increase their efficiency—which is already about as good as the best MSDC IOT devices.

Meanwhile, ATSC 3.0 was at the forefront of transmission products at the show. Even passive components such as antennas had claims of improved performance with ATSC 3.0, and the standard looks to be inevitable in at least some form.

highlighted its MTX transmitter series, which uses solid-state Doherty designs to achieve higher efficiency. Each component of the transmitter is equipped with a display and keypad for local control, and the system has an IP interface through to permit control remotely.

GatesAir Maxiva VAXTE VHF transmitter

CONTINENTAL ELECTRONICS showcased its CTX Series UHF TV transmitters, the first utilize the advanced energy efficient GaN devices in each of its liquid and air-cooled transmitters. This can result in up to 50 percent efficiency for UHF channels.

EGATEL spotlighted the TLWH7900 Transmitter series that include a liquid-cooled 2RU amplifier for output power up to 17 kW per rack. The TLWH7900 uses Doherty amplifier design and the latest LDMOS 50V transistors for maximum efficiency.

Hitachi-Comark Parallax VHF B3 solid-state liquid-cooled VHF DTV transmitter

GATESAIR featured its Maxiva ULXTE liquid-cooled UHF transmitter with PowerSmart Plus, which includes the XTE software-defined exciter with advanced real-time adaptive correction and a simple upgrade path to ATSC 3.0. The company also highlighted the features of its efficient Maxiva VAXTE air-cooled VHF transmitter.

HITACHI-COMARK featured its Parallax VHF B3 solid-state liquid-cooled VHF DTV transmitter that provides up to 50 percent efficiency using Doherty amplifier design. The system can provide up to 23 kW in a single-rack system, or more than 25 kW per rack in a multi-rack system.

ONETASTIC launched its MultiTastic C2 VHF 7+1 ATSC transposer, which combines up to 7+1 (or 6+2) transmitter modules in a single 4RU chassis. Each transmitter module can be equipped with various input interfaces (satellite receiver, ASI, ETI, EDI, GigE or RF), and an internal matrix switches a spare transmitter module automatically to take the lead in case one fails. RF amplification system can be independent per each transmitter or also common.

Rohde & Schwarz SDE900 software-defined ATSC 3.0 exciter

ROHDE & SCHWARZ launched the SDE900, a plug-in rackmount module for the R&S Tx9 generation of transmitters, creating an upgrade path to ATSC 3.0. The SDE900’s software-based encoder generates the I/Q modulation data on its high-performance IT server. The company’s TCE900/TCE901 exciter generates the COFDM waveform based upon the I/Q data.

RVR-ELETTRONICA featured its Blue-Video television exciter, which can provide up to 10W (with an external precorrector) and can be used independently as a translator or low-power transmitter. Blue-Video covers the UHF band, and can select its channel with 25 Hz precision.

Teamcast Vortex II Dualcast ATSC1.0/3.0 exciter

TEAMCAST showed its Vortex II ATSC 3.0, a new dual-cast ATSC 1.0/3.0 exciter that can be switched between either standard. The Vortex II exciter meets all requirements for upgrading a DTV transmitter to ATSC 3.0, while preserving the ability to operate in the legacy ATSC1.0 format.

Dielectric ATSC 3.0-ready APT panel antenna DIELECTRIC unveiled its APT panel antenna. Designed with the spectrum repack in mind, the APT features adjustable vertical polarization. It also features Dielectric’s FutureFill technology, which makes it ATSC 3.0-ready.

ALIVE TELECOM showed its ATC-BCSE, an elliptically polarized cavity slot antenna, with a UHF wide-band antenna option that allows multiple pattern configurations at various elevation gains and beam tilt designs. Custom designs are available for unique azimuth, null fill or beam-tilt requirements.

RADIO FREQUENCY SYSTEMS (RFS) announced a customized planning tool to help broadcasters build their new television antenna systems in preparation for the U.S. spectrum repack. RFS’ Antenna and Analysis System Planning (AASP) software package allows users to configure their TV broadcast system and file with the FCC.

JAMPRO showcased its Prostar high-power UHF slot antenna. Featuring power ratings up to 5 MW, the Prostar can have custom patterns, and horizontal, circular and elliptical beam polarization.

discussed its range of filters, combiners, switches and other RF components, including an eight-pole UHF mask filter capable of handling 5kW. Compared to a more typical six-pole mask filter, the eight-pole version can be used in adjacent-channel situations and allow less interference to the channels above and below it.

ELECTRONICS RESEARCH INC. (ERI) introduced the UF35000, a tunable waveguide UHF band pass filter with power handling capability of up to 50kW for the liquid-cooled version. All ERI UF series band pass filters include multiple cross couplings to increase rejection of transmitter out-of-band emissions, and six- and eight-pole designs are available for 8VSB, ISDB-T and COFDM applications.

MYAT introduced the DT Star UHF Gysel power combiner, which eliminates expensive phased lines and complex switching schemes needed to maintain output during faults. The result is substantially better fault tolerance than other systems, so users maintain greater signal strength and can often perform on-air maintenance in the event a component fails.

V-SOFT COMMUNICATIONS featured its TVStudy for Windows software, which combines the FCC’s program for determining interference between TV stations with an easy-to-use Windows launching vehicle. The basic TVStudy program was developed by the FCC for assigning channels during the repacking process, but it runs only on Linux or Mac. V-Soft modified it to run on Windows 10 and simplified the install process by providing the program and its data on a flash drive.

International Tower Lighting’s ILS-3600 tower light and its controller

introduced the DVLC-1 Lightning Strike Counter that detects and counts lightning strikes sustained by transmission towers, thereby giving site operators better situational awareness of the conditions at their sites.

INTERNATIONAL TOWER LIGHTING highlighted its ILS-3600 dual-LED lighting system that uses LEDs and precision optics to provide a low-power, low-light pollution, dual-tower lighting system. The system’s electronics are accessible at ground level reducing the need for costly tower climbs, and the flash head contains only LEDs and a multistage surge-suppression network.