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Dielectric Introduces Innovative Auxiliary UHF Antenna Ideal for TV Spectrum Repack

New Dielectric TFU-WB Series, part of a 4K UHD over-the-air demo with Sinclair at NAB, is an economical, broadband UHF antenna with low wind-load and exceptional bandwidth for UHF RF channel flexibility

RAYMOND, Maine – April 6, 2016Dielectric, a pioneer in purpose-engineered antennas and RF systems for TV and radio broadcasters, will showcase its innovative TFU-WB Series Auxiliary UHF Antenna at the 2016 NAB Show (April 18-21, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth C2213). This economical, off-the-shelf auxiliary antenna is well-suited to high-power UHF applications from channels 14 to 51, including the emerging ATSC 3.0 standard and 4K UHD TV.

With its reliable streamlined design for side mounting on existing structures, this broadband antenna reduces wind-load by 75%, making it an economically compelling alternative to more costly, complex panel antennas. While broadband typically implies panel type antennas, the TFU-WB Series, or WB Antenna, has several advantages over panel antennas. It is more efficient, with lower wind-load and a slot cavity design, compared to panel designs, which are larger, more expensive antennas with elaborate feed systems and greater wind-load. Reduced wind-load can result in lower, if any, tower reinforcement costs. Along with its lower weight, the antenna’s design benefits overall aerodynamic efficiency and tower load capacity.

The Dielectric WB Antenna installed atop Black Mountain in Henderson, Nevada, as part of the planned ATSC 3.0 demo with Sinclair Broadcast Group and ONE Media during the 2016 NAB Show
The Dielectric WB Antenna installed atop Black Mountain in Henderson, Nevada, as part of the planned ATSC 3.0 demo with Sinclair Broadcast Group and ONE Media during the 2016 NAB Show

The WB Antenna is ideal for broadcasters needing an off-the-shelf solution for quick installation of an auxiliary antenna while their main TV tower equipment is modified, relocated or replaced during the TV spectrum repack. As a result of this complex DTV industry transition, many U.S. stations must relocate their channels down to the lower end of the UHF spectrum to free higher UHF frequencies for wireless services.

For broadcasters that plan to relocate to lower UHF channels—or to co-locate with other stations on a single UHF antenna—the WB Antenna offers many operational advantages. As a broadband antenna, it can transmit multiple, combined channels simultaneously. It has a rating of 20kW per 8-bay section, and when two or three sections are stacked, it can accommodate input powers of 40kW per 16-bay and 60kW per 24-bay sections, respectively.

“In situations where a DTV stations will transmit multiple channels, the WB Antenna allows them to transmit their combined signals using this single broadband device,” said John Schadler, Vice President of Engineering for Dielectric, headquartered in Raymond, Maine. “For channel sharing, the number of channels the stations could air would depend upon their unique power requirements. So, you could have three 20kW TPO stations operating effectively from a 24-bay configuration.”

Another advantage to the WB Antenna’s cost-effective, patented design is its simplicity. Since each cavity consists solely of a waveguide to coax transition, there are very few parts, which translates into increased reliability.

“The antenna’s cavity, its basic building block, is structurally secured with an I-Beam, which enables us to use fewer parts. This results in a simpler, more streamlined design, while delivering very robust power and voltage handling,” Schadler said. “For ATSC 3.0, greater transmission power results in a higher quality viewer experience.”

The WB Antenna can be configured horizontally or elliptically polarized, using either a directional or wide cardioid azimuth pattern. Elliptical polarization is required for next-generation applications, such as mobile broadcasting. The directional skull shape pattern is meant to focus radiated power in one particular direction off the tower, while the wide cardioid pattern serves a hemispherical (or semicircular) coverage area.

As an off-the-shelf system, the WB Antenna is readily available, made in the USA, and easily configurable to sites in the U.S. and abroad. While its initial mission is to serve as an interim solution that keeps broadcasters on the air during the TV Spectrum Repack, the broadband capability of the WB Antenna means that it can also be used on the new post-Repack channels as a backup to the permanent antenna.

At the 2016 NAB Show, the Dielectric WB broadband antenna—along with a Dielectric high-power spectrum mask filter and transmission line—will play a pivotal role in an ATSC 3.0 demonstration by Sinclair Broadcast Group and its technology partner, ONE Media. The demo is designed to promote the new capabilities of the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard, including 4K-picture quality, superior compression and an IP-friendly workflow.

During the demo, 4K UHD TV signals will be broadcast over the air from Black Mountain, the tower site of Sinclair station KSNV in Henderson, Nevada, to 4K UHD TV receivers and displays in the Las Vegas Convention Center and ONE Media’s suite at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas.

As the market leader in broadcast TV antennas, Dielectric has a 70% share of the high-power UHF broadcast TV antenna market—and has been awarded more than 100 patents in RF technology—due to the innovative engineering and unique expertise behind its fully-featured comprehensive product line. This brand reputation continues with the development and introduction of the Dielectric WB Antenna.

About Dielectric

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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