The industry’s first “switchless switch” gives TV and FM engineers a way to proof and troubleshoot transmission feeds from the filter without a dedicated RF switch
RAYMOND, Maine – April 4, 2023 — Dielectric’s busy NAB pre-season continues with a third new product innovation that reimagines the RF filter topology as an analysis and troubleshooting point for TV and FM radio engineers. New for NAB Show 2023, Dielectric will introduce its new Advanced Filter Topology solution, allowing broadcasters to proof feeds within the filter as they exit the transmitter and approach the RF load or the antenna.
Designed primary for low-power broadcasters, Dielectric’s innovation eliminates the traditional RF switch and other interconnections between the filter and transmitter. This novel “switchless switch” approach creates a single unit that is easy to install, easy to manage, and easy on budgets.
“The LPTV repack phase gave us a new perspective on the challenges that low-power broadcasters face with the footprint, costs and maintenance of their RF systems,” said Cory Edwards, Southeast Asia Sales and OEM Manager, Dielectric. “We heard from many of our customers that a single solution to send TV and FM feeds directly into the antenna and dummy load would make their lives easier. We began developing a solution that would meet this demand.”
This switchless switch does more than reduce costs and footprints — and in fact, many lower power broadcasters already operate RF systems without the switch to save costs. The RF switch, required in most higher power systems, brings value when proofing the transmitter. If a problem with the transmitter and/or feed is detected, the RF switch allows the engineer to troubleshoot and take quick, decisive action.
“The absence of a coaxial or waveguide switch means that the broadcaster cannot isolate the load and determine the problem,” said Edwards. “Our advanced filter topology builds these capabilities into the filter design. Even without a dedicated RF switch, the broadcaster can now isolate the load and pinpoint whether the problem is in the transmitter, the transmission line or the antenna. “
The benefits of eliminating the RF switch are immediately noticed upon evaluating the technology. The RF switch is an active device with moving parts and electronics. The reliability of the new system grows dramatically once these components are removed and replaced with a passive RF device.
Edwards notes that this is not just a US low-power TV and FM solution, as most broadcasters outside North America operate at lower power levels. And no matter where the broadcaster is located, the costs and complexity are substantially reduced. In addition to eliminating the dedicated switch, Dielectric’s solution eliminates plumbing systems and interconnecting components that absorb space inside the facility.
“The broadcaster is not only saving money from fewer components — the broadcaster can now problem-solve on the spot,” said Edwards. “That means fewer troubleshooting calls to suppliers, and a much lower chance of expensive disaster recovery missions that require outside engineering assistance.”
In addition to Dielectric’s demonstration of the technology at its NAB Show 2023 booth (W3601), Dielectric Electrical Engineer Mike Spugnardi will present a paper on the topic as part of the Broadcast Engineering and IT Conference. Spugnardi’s presentation, Utilizing Advanced Filter Topology as Your New Switch, takes place Tuesday, April 18 in 10:40am in Rooms W216-218. NAB Show 2023 takes place April 16-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
Based in Raymond, Maine, Dielectric LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group. Dielectric is a leading provider of innovative broadcast products. The company builds and delivers antennas and RF systems optimized for every TV and FM radio broadcast 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. As a trust partner of broadcasters worldwide, Dielectric maintains its legacy of advanced, precision RF solutions while building in features that prepare broadcasters for the future. More information can be accessed at www.dielectric.com
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