Vendor Spotlight: Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark

Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark marks half century of serving the broadcast community.

Celebrating 50 years of providing state-of-the-art terrestrial broadcast TV transmitters and related technology, Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark has established its market position as an innovator of DTV transmitters (HP, MP, LP), ATSC encoding, and ATSC 3.0 systems for local TV stations across North America and the Caribbean.

Among its many customer wins, in January 2022 Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark supplied a fully integrated solution to help TV Jamaica get on the air with the country’s first ATSC 3.0 signal.

“Hitachi-Comark can deploy end-to-end ATSC 3.0 solutions, from encoding all the way through the transmitter system,” said Joe Turbolski, Vice president of Sales & Marketing.

Key product lines include the PARALLAX – liquid-cooled solid-state VHF Band1, VHF B3, and UHF medium / high-powered DTV transmitters and E-Compact – air-cooled solid-state UHF low, medium, and high-powered DTV transmitters. The company also maintains Comark Digital Services (CDS), an engineering-focused commissioning division that helps customers deploy end-to-end ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 solutions.

The company’s latest product introduction is the improved E-Compact EC700HP-BB3 series of high-efficiency air-cooled solid-state UHF DTV transmitters. The “BB3” version is the third generation in the high-powered product line and supports the US post-repack channels 14-36.

Joe Turbolski, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark.

Joe Turbolski, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Hitachi Kokusai Electric Comark.

The product line is available with a single final power amplifier or up to 12 x PA’s in parallel, producing from 1.1kW to up to 13.2kW respectively. These output power levels are measured after the mask filter.

“Broadcast customers are still looking to replace their older IOT transmitter systems that remain after the FCC repack program completed,” said Turbolski. “With ATSC 3.0 deployments, customers are investigating datacasting capabilities and need to deploy more advanced encoding solutions to free up bandwidth from the video services to make room for the datacasting.”

He added that CDS, based in the company’s 53,654 sq. ft. facility in Southwick, Mass. (where all production and system testing prior to shipment occurs), deploys advanced encoding platforms to maximize spectrum usage. CDS is uniquely positioned because they bridge both IT and DTV encoding solutions for ATSC 1.0/3.0 systems. Hitachi-Comark can typically deliver new equipment in 30-60 days once a station places an order.

COMARK, which was bought by Hitachi Kokusai Electric in 2015 after a management buyout in 2011, has pioneered many developments including IOT & MSDC-IOT technology, transistorized solid-state technology, Digital Adaptive Pre-correction (DAP), and has also won multiple Emmy® Awards. It also holds several patents in technologies that have become fundamental to OTA broadcasting.

Through the years COMARK has conducted business under several brand names including COMARK, Thomcast, Thales Broadcast & Multimedia, Grass Valley, Thomson Broadcast and currently Hitachi Kokusai Electric.

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