Dielectric Prepares For NEXTGEN TV Transmissions

New Dielectric Powerlite TFU-WB-LP Series support multiple SFN antenna variations and patterns, and include filters and transmission line to build a complete ATSC 3.0 system.

Dielectric will strengthen its global Powerlite brand with new systems built specifically for NEXTGEN TV broadcasting based on the ATSC 3.0 standard. The new Powerlite TFU-WB-LP Series addresses the unique requirements of ATSC 3.0 single-frequency networks (SFNs). The series offers multiple variations, patterns and software-defined proposal generators to help broadcasters develop perfectly defined, multi-site, low-power antenna systems.

Low-V Solutions

One characteristic of antenna design is that lower frequencies require larger antennas, and low-band VHF TV (channels 2 – 6) antennas are typically the largest. The required metal and associated interconnections also add to the cost of the antenna system. In some situations, a low-band VHF antenna is too large to use on an existing tower. The company introduced a lighter, smaller form factor VHF antenna that can be side-mounted or top-mounted on towers, including structures once deemed inadequate to support low-band VHF systems. Additionally, the adaptation of the DCR Series ring-style design offers excellent circularity. VHF signals generally experience lower building penetration, and adding circular polarization with the DCR-Q improves indoor reception. 

UHF Solutions

Dielectric originally developed the Powerlite Series to address low-power TV and FM radio budgets. Powerlite systems combine antennas, transmission line, tunable filters and other RF components into a single affordable, all-inclusive package. They’ve proven particularly popular in Asia and Latin America.

The Powerlite TFU-WB-LP Series is the first to specifically target NEXTGEN TV, covering US broadcasters and international regions that adopt the ATSC 3.0 transmission standard. The series evolves from Dielectric’s popular TFU-WB family, a range of main and auxiliary UHF antennas, first developed for the US spectrum repack. The new Powerlite TFU-WB-LP Series offers a solution for low-power UHF broadcasters in the upcoming LP repack phase, and they are optimized for use in ATSC 3.0 NEXTGEN TV SFNs.

“The TFU-WB-LP antennas, as well as our low-power antenna options, will all provide low-power broadcasters with repack-related reimbursement opportunities,” said Jay Martin, Vice President of Sales, Dielectric. “However, the Powerlite TFU-WB-LP Series is built with ATSC 3.0 in mind and designed to prepare and transition broadcasters to NEXTGEN TV. Beyond supplying a complete antenna system, we’re offering online Proposal Generator software to help broadcasters configure systems that meet very specific network designs.”

The Powerlite TFU-WB-LP antennas are built in four-bay increments, with a maximum ERP of 100 kW for each antenna. Higher power options are also available. As ATSC 3.0 SFNs will comprise multiple low-power transmitter sites, Dielectric’s Proposal Generator software will help customers design an antenna for coverage needs specific to each site. This means that broadcasters can select the proper power level, directional pattern, height above ground level, and other pertinent design criteria for each location.

“Our customers can essentially design SFN antennas to optimize service within their respective DMAs, complementing the service provided by their primary antenna,” said Martin. “After they design systems using our intelligent configuration software, they can cleanly export the azimuth pattern files to a network planning software program, such as Progira Plan, to complete, evaluate and optimize the SFN system performance.”

The Powerlite TFU-WB-LP Series will be adaptable to multi-frequency networks, according to Martin, and can serve both narrow-band and broadband RF configurations. “Depending on the network configuration, we will provide either a bandpass filter or a combiner, for example. In any configuration, this will be a single-source solution customized for each broadcaster.”

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