WRAL-TV Launches Experimental ATSC 3.0 Channel Using GatesAir High-Efficiency Maxiva Transmitter

Initiative marks the latest groundbreaking WRAL project featuring GatesAir over-the-air technology for the first scheduled full-simulcast delivery of ATSC 3.0 content.

A GatesAir transmitter is broadcasting the first ATSC 3.0 full-simulcast television, courtesy of WRAL-TV. The Capitol Broadcasting-owned Raleigh-Durham NBC affiliate has a history of groundbreaking innovations in TV content delivery. It includes the industry’s first HD channel launch in 1996, the first HD newscast in 2000, and early launches of Mobile DTV and Mobile Emergency Alert System (M-EAS) systems, all supported with GatesAir over-the-air technology.

GatesAir is providing its latest Maxiva TV technology, optimized for ATSC 3.0 content delivery, including a 7kW ULXT liquid-cooled UHF transmitter and its XTE exciter. The Maxiva ULXT, featuring GatesAir’s latest PowerSmart Plus transmitter architecture and ultra-efficient liquid cooling, integrates next-generation LDMOS power amplifiers to reduce power consumption and transmitter footprint, and support industry-high AC to RF efficiency (50-percent ATSC).

The Maxiva XTE software-defined exciter provides the advanced signal processing, throughput and IP transport capabilities required to efficiently deliver ATSC 3.0 signals (including 4K and UHD content) and data, including advanced emergency alerts, to fixed and mobile devices.

WRAL launched the Channel 39 ATSC 3.0 channel on 29 June 2016 under an experimental FCC license. The channel will be broadcast and tested market-wide for education and continuing improvement of equipment and system design in support of future ATSC 3.0 channel launches. WRAL will work with GatesAir and other vendors supporting the project to share findings and further refine the end-to-end architecture, including LG Electronics ATSC 3.0 receiving gear, Harmonic signal encoding and Triveni Digital signaling & transport generation and ATSC 3.0 analysis equipment.

“We are very excited to be able to break new ground again with GatesAir. Over the years, our partnership has allowed both of our companies to grow and create new products and services for our viewers,” said Peter Sockett, WRAL Director of Engineering and Operations. “It’s a great time to be in this industry as we explore the opportunities that an IP-based system will afford us.”

“We are thrilled to participate in yet another forward-looking project from WRAL-TV, a broadcaster that clearly invests and believes in the future of over-the-air television based on a long track record of broadcast innovation,” said Phil Argyris, CEO, GatesAir. “We will continue to work closely with the WRAL team and other supporting vendors to enhance and further the possibilities of what the ATSC 3.0 standard and Next Generation TV offers to broadcasters and consumers alike, including advanced 4K and UHD content, stronger building penetration, mobile and broadband delivery, improved over-the-air reception, and opening up new services and business models moving forward.”

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