GatesAir Prepares Brazil’s Rede VTV For Digital Transition

Systems integrator Foccus Digital builds turnkey high-efficiency single-frequency network with 31 GatesAir transmitters across Sao Paulo State.

GatesAir is preparing Brazilian TV broadcaster and Rede VTV, a SBT Network an affiliate, for a full ISDB-Tb DTV transition ahead of the country’s 2018 analog TV shutoff deadline. Systems integration firm Foccus Digital is rolling out a turnkey over-the-air solution, a single-frequency network (SFN) comprised of multiple high-efficiency GatesAir Maxiva UAX air-cooled UHF transmitters. The network allows Rede VTV to serve both analog and digital TV viewers with GatesAir enabling the multichannel benefits of ISDB-Tb DTV at the lowest total cost of ownership.

The GatesAir SFN solution synchronizes 31 transmitters of varying power levels (up to 50kW) from the coastal areas of Sao Paulo through the deep interior, with interoperability across satellite and IP microwave platforms for regional distribution. Flexible GatesAir SFN architecture enables Rede VTV to manage ASI, L-Band and IP input sources across the network, which is a significant operational benefit given the complex nature of managing many analog and digital signals across long distances.

GatesAir’s SFN architecture simplified both the initial rollout and commissioning of the network, allowing Rede VTV get the new transmitters on the air quickly. GatesAir’s approach eliminates the intensive transmitter software programming associated with most other SFN solutions to remove signal overlap and interference network-wide. The SFN required consistent phasing, in perfect synchronicity, across very long distances. It solved the problem of synchronizing multiple transmitter sites across a large single-frequency network with conflicting, close-proximity coverage spots.

The GatesAir SFN network enables a quick return on investment in part due to exceptionally low maintenance requirements. The ability to use a single set of spare parts across the entire network, along with the redundant, modular and hot-pluggable architecture of Maxiva UAX transmitters, will help Rede VTV maintain exceptionally low labor costs over the lifetime of the network.

Though Brazil has set a national analog TV shutoff for 2018, the main Rede VTV coverage cities of Campinas and Santos will turn off analog programming in 2017. Foccus Digital designed a turnkey system for hybrid analog and ISDB-T programming to prepare them well in advance. The SFN design includes ERI filters and combiners to marry analog and digital signals in common antenna systems, as well as Selenio networking/encoding systems from Imagine Communications to support high-quality, multichannel DTV programming with outstanding bandwidth efficiency.

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