Vendor Spotlight: Dielectric

Dielectric eases the transition for broadcasters.

Founded over 80 years ago, Dielectric has supported radio and TV broadcasters, from low to high power, through their respective transitions from analog to digital and beyond. Based in Raymond, Maine, the company’s products address everything in the broadcast chain from the transmitter output to the tower top.

Dielectric’s broadcast systems are designed and manufactured under one roof. This includes antennas, filters, combiners, RF switches, transmission line, RF support products like coaxial elbows, and monitoring systems including the RFHAWKEYE.

A broad antenna product portfolio includes single-station and broadband solutions for diverse TV and FM power levels, along with a variety of filters and combiners to support everything from single-station sites to multi-station facilities with large master antenna systems. Dielectric also offers an extensive suite of software solutions, from virtual AI antenna modeling software to IP-based remote RF monitoring and advanced analytics.

“Dielectric’s products are unique because they address future needs within product designs created for what broadcasters need today,” said Kim Savage, Director of Marketing and Business Services at Dielectric. This includes helping its TV and FM customers understand how their antenna and RF systems are performing from remote locations.

“For example, we recently expanded a range of TV antennas and single-mode filters that supports broadcasters’ need to establish an ATSC 3.0 infrastructure to support future broadcast services—even if they only operate in ATSC 1.0 mode for a period of time.”

The company is also making the RF engineer’s job of visiting transmission sites easier by offering its RFHAWKEYE system that can be used virtually wherever they can get a good network connection. This allows them to monitor systems performance without having to personally visit sites.

“Customers can use RFHAWKEYE to identify problems before they happen, which is now made even more powerful with our Apollo analytics software. It provides detailed insights and reports on performance trends over time,” said Savage.

She also said that the sunsetting of ATSC 1.0 is coming for its customers in North America, so they need to be ready when it does happen.

“Nothing is concrete, and it could be years, but broadcasters need to prepare,” she said. “What happens if ATSC 1.0 signals go dark before a broadcaster has a viable ATSC 3.0 infrastructure in place?”

Dielectric has addressed this challenge by developing products that allow broadcasters to operate in both modes, including single-mode filters that account for the different peak power requirements between ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0. We also have ATSC 3.0 single-frequency networks in mind, which will require a series of lower power antennas to serve a market in addition to the single high-power stick, or “lighthouse” deployment.

“We are really thinking of innovative ways that we can help broadcasters with challenging DTV transitions worldwide,” said Savage, “and accommodate different network configurations, signal patterns, and expanded programming needs as ATSC 3.0 signals come online. With our software, we are helping broadcasters save time and money by identifying, troubleshooting and resolving problems over IP connections before they turn into expensive repair projects.”

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