ARK Multicasting Taps Dielectric For LPTV Repack

ARK Multicasting is taking low-power television (LPTV) to the next level with ATSC 3.0, and ARK has selected Dielectric as its main antenna provider.

Dielectric has built and stored Powerlite Series antennas for nearly 50 ARK stations, most of which operate on UHF frequencies impacted by the low-power FCC Repack phase. The deal also includes antennas for two repacked VHF stations, and 150 single TUA panels for non-repack UHF stations.

ARK’s 300 LPTV stations reach about one-third of U.S. households across the country. In an effort to make room in the broadcast spectrum for wireless broadband services, the FCC Repack displaced almost 60 of ARK’s stations. Those stations will be assigned new broadcast frequencies by September 2022. Within three years, ARK plans to upgrade the affected stations to ATSC 3.0 operation and offer datacasting services as well as its current religious programming.

Dielectric’s new range of ATSC 3.0-ready Powerlite slot and panel antennas has been designed specifically for U.S. LPTV broadcasters. To meet ARK’s need for antennas, Dielectric recalibrated its automated pole fabrication machine, originally built for full-power broadcasters impacted by the FCC Repack, to accommodate low-power, pre-production workflows. As a result, low-power antennas can be built more efficiently and broadcasters can bring their displaced stations back online more quickly.

“Because Dielectric has applied its technology and experience from the full power repack to LPTV, we’ve been able to design and build ARK’s antennas way ahead of their needs,” explained Cory Edwards, director of OEM, distributor, and Southeast Asia sales, Dielectric. “And knowing those antennas are already in process helps ARK plan better for their upcoming installations. We also worked closely with ARK to make the FCC reimbursement process more efficient for their business and operational needs, which was critical to meeting their repack deadlines.”

Dielectric will ship DLP Series slot antennas and TUL Series panel antennas to ARK stations across the country in the coming months. Dielectric worked closely with ARK engineers to develop custom patterns for each station based on coverage areas and market conditions.

Edwards adds that ARK is already lining up installation companies with experienced crews to manage the equipment installations next year.

“Dielectric has been an important partner for ARK Multicasting as we navigate the broadcast repack,” said ARK Multicasting CEO Josh Weiss. “The ability for Dielectric to anticipate and meet our antenna needs has allowed ARK Multicasting to more efficiently navigate the myriad of supply chain challenges confronting low power broadcasters impacted by the repack.”

Dielectric’s Powerlite Series DLP antenna is an economical, single-channel choice for LPTV, DTV and gap filling. The DLP features standard mounting brackets for 1-1/4” to 4-1/2” OD pipes, slot covers for environmental protection, and a 2.5 kW average power rating. Available in horizontal, circular, and elliptical polarizations, this Powerlite antenna series feature five standard elevation gains and offers eight standard azimuth patterns. Custom patterns are available on request.

You might also like...

2022 NAB Show Review, Part 1

Many annual NAB Shows have become milestones in TV broadcasting history. The presence of the 2022 NAB Show marked the first Las Vegas NAB Show since 2019.

NAB 22 BEIT Conferences Detail TV Engineering Progress

People visit NAB Shows for many reasons. Some are there to investigate and examine new solutions. Some are shopping with a budget ready to spend. Others visit to gather ideas and figures for next year’s budget. Many visit to a…

5G-MEC Helps Propagate NextGen TV Signals For Mobile Broadcasting And OTT In Korea

With help from their U.S. counterparts at Sinclair Broadcasting Group (SBG), the second-largest television station operator in the U.S., South Korean broadcasters are working on a terrestrial ultra-high-definition (UHD) 4K broadcasting network to be deployed in 2023. It’s a…

As New Transmitters Turn On, NextGen TV Forges Into Uncertainty And Beyond

On the morning of March 9th, Bill Macbeth, Chief Engineer at local Fox affiliate KBSI hit the switch on the station’s Rohde & Schwarz THU9evo liquid-cooled UHF transmitter and, in a video posted on social media, uttered the w…

5G Service’s Use Of C-Band Frequency Causes Interference With Aviation

Although 5G service providers AT&T and Verizon have agreed to delay the launch of more powerful wireless transmissions sent within the C-band spectrum obtained in government auctions from broadcasters around airports—due to concerns over interference with airplane a…