Innovative, cost-effective strategies and product designs accelerate deployment of broadband ring antennas, filtering systems at existing or new transmitter sites
RAYMOND, Maine – Sept 14, 2016 – At the 2016 Radio Show—taking place in Nashville, TN from Sept. 21 to 23, 2016—Dielectric will offer FM radio broadcasters innovative, cost-effective strategies for weathering TV Spectrum Repack challenges utilizing its vast array of low- and high-power broadband FM and HD Radio antennas, RF systems and transmission lines.
As a pioneer in purpose-engineered TV/radio antennas and RF systems, Dielectric will detail the benefits of its side-mounted, circularly polarized broadband ring antennas – including its recently introduced DCR-U Series – that can be quickly deployed to provide reliable, uninterrupted FM radio transmission. This innovation, along with several new filter and combiner options that will be on display at Booth 11, allows radio broadcasters to seamlessly shift their operations to temporary antennas while adjacent TV broadcasters retrofit their equipment for new DTV channel assignments.
Approximately 1,200 shared TV/radio tower sites house more than 2350 FM stations, all of which face potential disruption of over-the-air service as DTV stations move to lower UHF channels. While the TV Spectrum Repack is expected to take about 39 months (ending in 2019), in reality, it might actually take five to six years due to the limited availability of qualified TV tower crews and specialized equipment that every TV station needs. During this time, TV broadcasters that typically command the top-mounted position on the towers now need to establish a temporary antenna to accommodate their new channel frequency. This typically requires installing a side-mount antenna that best replicates the coverage they had in the top-mounted position.
“Compared to big panel FM antennas, our ring-style antennas are easier to install, manufacture and deploy, and qualified tower crews can get them up in days rather than weeks,” said Keith Pelletier, Vice President and General Manager, Dielectric. “They integrate a single row of radiators that reduce the complexity and offer long-term savings, which makes them a very economical alternative to conventional side mounted panel antennas. The highly engineered design offered by Dielectric has advantages over the competition, especially the efficiency (low VSWR) of the system which translates to less power coming back into the transmitter, resulting in lower operating costs for the FM broadcasters.”
“Depending upon what their TV broadcast neighbors decide to do, the FM radio tenant sharing the tower may need to move its side-mounted FM radio antenna to a lower elevation on the tower, or in the case of significant tower work, relocate its entire RF transmission operation to a different tower altogether,” said Pelletier. “They may also need to install other RF components, such as mask filters or a combiner, to prevent undue signal interference in situations where multiple stations now operate on a temporary site. Overall, we can save FM and HD Radio broadcasters as much as 60 percent in costs using our ring-style antennas and new filters.”
Dielectric has invested heavily in the development of economical antenna and RF solutions for FM broadcasters. On the filtering side, Dielectric’s new Manifold Combiner is an ideal solution for any RF facility feeding a master antenna that combines four or more signals. Its manifold design enables quick deployment thanks to minimal components, while performance is heightened based on its precise signal isolation for multichannel systems.
Out on the tower, the Dielectric DCR-U broadband, circularly polarized ring antenna, minimizes footprint while supporting the capacity and high-voltage requirements of multi-station operations. The DCR-U is also engineered to accommodate the peak powers associated with elevated HD Radio side bands of -10dBc.
Dielectric’s key FM and HD Radio products will be on display at Booth 11 in the exhibit hall of the Omni Nashville Hotel, in Nashville, TN. The company also plans to have members of its engineering team—including Derek Small—on hand to discuss viable strategies with radio broadcasters to help them deal with the unfolding challenges posed by the TV Spectrum Repack.
“We recommend that radio broadcasters communicate with the TV broadcasters that share their tower site to get a good understanding of their RF plans,” said Pelletier. “They should also consider conducting a coverage study to understand how their coverage patterns may shift relative to changes in tower position. Our Dielectric Antenna Systems Planning (DASP) software can help broadcasters and their RF consultants build a model to simulate how a shift in azimuth pattern could impact their overall coverage, saving them valuable time in the ramp-up to the TV Spectrum Repack.”
Based in Raymond, Maine, Dielectric LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinclair. Dielectric is a leading provider of innovative broadcast products. From remote stations to major markets, Dielectric has been delivering solutions for every need since 1942. Dielectric is an innovative, customer-centric organization with a long history of engineering excellence in designing and manufacturing high-quality broadcast solutions. The Company is a trusted partner of broadcasters worldwide. More information can be accessed at www.dielectric.com
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