Dielectric is coming to the 2021 NAB Show with NextGen TV on the mind – and a new product line that is ready to ship. Announced last year, the Powerlite TFU-WB-LP Series is built with the unique parameters of NextGen TV in mind, with a series of elevation gains, azimuth patterns with high front to back ratios, and software tools to provide broadcasters maximum flexibility in designing and deploying ATSC 3.0 single-frequency networks (SFN).
Dielectric developed the series while working with consultants on theoretical plans for SFN deployments. Although its recently introduced antenna products were ATSC 3.0-ready, customers were requesting products specifically designed for the SFN business model.
“After extensive calculations and design process changes we launched our repack product portfolio with ATSC 3.0 power requirements in mind, but optimized for high-power broadcasting,” said Keith Pelletier, Vice President and General Manager, Dielectric. “There is more to the SFN than being robust enough to get the ATSC 3.0 signal out there. They require even bit distribution from two or more transmission sites throughout the broadcast market. That means supplying antennas with exceptional accuracy to ensure that coverage gaps between transmission sites are properly filled, and that signal strength is uniformly increased in the market.”
Dielectric has expanded its all-in-one Powerlite Series to provide customers with complete systems that help broadcasters maximize their NextGen TV investments. Like all Powerlite systems, the series brings antennas, transmission line, tunable filters and RF components into one affordable, all-inclusive package.
As ATSC 3.0 SFNs will comprise multiple low-power transmitter sites, Dielectric’s Proposal Generator software will help broadcasters configure systems that meet very specific network designs. Broadcasters can select the proper power level, directional pattern, height above ground level, and other pertinent design criteria for each location. These flexible parameters will help broadcasters make the most of their NextGen TV bit distribution, according to Pelletier.
“There are vast opportunities around how broadcasters can use their data bits, and this is completely novel compared to ATSC 1.0,” said Pelletier. “There is potential to support radio streams, enhanced emergency alerts, and additional TV and streaming services that together can communicate a stronger brand with local appeal. These new NextGen TV services will dramatically change and improve the over-the-air business model. We’re now introducing an expanded NextGen TV product line to help broadcasters maximize emerging opportunities that the ATSC 3.0 standard offers.”
The Powerlite TFU-WB-LP antennas are built in four-bay increments, with a maximum ERP of 100 kW for each antenna (higher power options are also available). The new series is adaptable to multi-frequency networks, and can serve both narrow-band and broadband RF configurations. The series can also work in concert with more traditional high-power high-tower antennas, which many broadcasters will want to keep in operation.
“Many broadcasters will leverage their primary antenna as the lighthouse, and will need to optimize their coverage by establishing higher power densities throughout the DMA,” said Jay Martin, Vice President of Sales, Dielectric. “Powerlite TFU-WB-LP antennas will operate seamlessly with the existing higher power antennas, but will be located near the perimeter of the DMA oriented back towards the main antenna. This antenna is designed specifically with that in mind, utilizing high front to back ratios. Also, the antennas are available in horizontal, elliptical or full CP versions. ”
Broadcasters can essentially design SFN antennas to optimize service within their respective DMAs, complementing the service provided by their primary antenna in these cases. “After they design systems using our intelligent configuration software, they can cleanly export the azimuth pattern files to a network planning software program, such as Progira Plan, to complete, evaluate and optimize the SFN system performance,” said Martin. “We will work with all customers to consider the best coverage and service options for their business models.
Dielectric will demonstrate the Powerlite TFU-WB-LP Series at its 2021 NAB Booth (C7215) from October 10-13 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.