With well over one thousand repack proposals delivered and a significant amount of that business secured, Dielectric will emphasize the breadth and value of its repack solutions and services on the show floor
RAYMOND, Maine – March 20, 2018 — Dielectric, the leading manufacturer of purpose-engineered antennas and RF systems for TV and radio broadcasters, will come to the 2018 NAB Show having issued initial technical proposals to 917 of the 987 repack-affected stations, many of those stations receiving auxiliary as well as main antenna proposals. At its NAB booth (C2613, April 9-12 Las Vegas Convention Center), the company will demonstrate how it is comfortably securing a leading market share through the industry’s broadest, most comprehensive portfolio of antennas and RF systems.
Designed with repack-affected broadcasters in mind, Dielectric’s latest UHF and VHF TV antennas cover power levels from 1 kW to 240 kW, ensuring a solution for every broadcaster. Dielectric will highlight the company’s broad range of antenna types, including: high-power and low-power, broadband, narrow-band, center-fed and end-fed designs. Products on display include the company’s most recent innovations, now shipping:
• The TFU-WB, a low-cost, side-mount, UHF full band pylon antenna designed for higher voltage handling capabilities that also offers 75% less windload, lower overall weight, and exceptional cost-efficiency in contrast to traditional broadband arrays. Post-repack, TFU-WB antennas can serve as an auxiliary array or in a Single-Frequency Network (SFN). The array is available in either HPOL or EPOL.
• A new lightweight aluminum, top-mount version of Dielectric’s TFU-GTH Series UHF slot antenna, offering an “electrically center-fed” design that provides superior frequency response across a single or dual channels; and a VSWR rating of 1.08: 1 across the channel for exceptional RF performance. It is also available as an end-fed design when a site requires increased beam tilt to serve the population. The end-fed design eases the manufacturing and test time required at the factory.
• Dielectric’s latest tunable RF filters—waveguide-designed for exceptional power rating up to 60 kW and air-cooled for operational efficiency. Higher power options are available in CIF (constant impedance filters) configurations.
• Custom-tailored transmission line and components to ensure the strongest possible signal transmission from tower sites.
Based on the strength of these solutions and its software-defined, automated proposal and antenna design programs, Dielectric has to date won over 300 repack antenna orders. The company expects to manufacture and ship more than 1,300 UHF antennas and 80 miles of rigid transmission line over the course of the repack period.
“With the opening of our new 33,000 square foot Lewiston, Maine manufacturing facility, and our freshly optimized engineering, design and production workflow, we’re well positioned to build and deliver whatever custom-designed antenna systems our customers need, ahead of their spectrum repack deadlines,” said Jay Martin, Vice President of Sales for Dielectric. “Our message at NAB is that Dielectric has the capacity to accommodate any level of repack business, and without limiting broadcasters to a specific few antenna designs. Our philosophy is to provide broadcasters the optimal antenna solution for their unique market requirements.”
The company also hired 55 new employees, and renegotiated with its key suppliers to ensure that there will be ample supplies of steel and aluminum poles, Invar, Teflon and the 80,000 flanges needed to ensure smooth, high-volume production.
Prepared Under Deadline
Unlike the DTV transition of the 1990s, when broadcasters had more than 10 years to switch to the ATSC broadcast standard, this spectrum repack only gives them 39 months to relocate to their new channel assignments. Martin points out that while there’s only one phase deadline in 2018, there are six phases in 2019, and three in 2020.
“If we waited to tackle those six phases during 2019, we would need to build and ship roughly 900 antennas in just one year, which would be logistically impossible,” Martin said. “To meet the tight construction deadlines of this intense 10-phase schedule, we have implemented a phased rollout approach that allows us to have product ready for our customers three-to-six months before their construction deadlines.”
“Rather than having to wait for their antennas to come off the assembly line,” Martin added, “stations will have their new antennas sitting in storage, already reimbursed by the Commission, and ready for tower crews to retrieve and install.”
Dielectric staff will be on hand to discuss the company’s post-sales support strategy for repack customers. The company also has agreements with a dozen of the broadcast industry’s most respected field service engineers. With these resources, they can typically get an engineer to a customer site within 48 hours to conduct an emergency inspection or perform a VSWR (Voltage Standing Ratio Wave) sweep.
“We’re committed to making sure that our RF and antenna components offer exceptional performance and ship ahead of schedule so that broadcasters can keep their valuable programming on the air for an uninterrupted broadcast experience,” concluded Martin.
Based in Raymond, Maine, Dielectric LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group. Dielectric is a leading provider of innovative broadcast products. Now celebrating its 75th year of operation, 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