News Satellite & Transmissions

Dielectric Develops Low-Band VHF Systems for Repack Initiatives

New solution packages existing ring-style FM antenna with specialized filters to fulfill UHF-to-VHF orders.

Dielectric, the leading manufacturer of purpose-engineered antennas and RF systems for TV and radio broadcasters, announces the immediate availability of new low-band VHF systems specific to Channels 4 and 5.

The complete solution packages Dielectric’s circularly polarized DCR-Q FM ring-style antenna with newly developed band-tunable filters, and the company’s highly durable rigid transmission line.

Dielectric-DCRQ_Antenna

The systems fill an industry void for broadcasters opting out of the UHF band and voluntarily relocating to these two channels, particularly on the filtering side where there is a clear lack of low-band VHF options. The DCR-Q meanwhile provides a far more affordable option than panel antennas that typically serve Channel 4 and 5 broadcasters, while the more compact footprint significantly reduces installation time.

“Panel antennas that typically serve low-band VHF frequencies are very large,” said Cory Edwards, OEM Sales, Dielectric. “The DCR-Q provides Channel 4 and 5 broadcasters with a much lighter option that vastly reduces loading and physical space. The circular polarization of the DCR-Q brings additional value to Channel 4 and 5 broadcasters by improving indoor reception. This has been a significant challenge of low-band VHF delivery in the digital TV age.”

The DCR-Q is a side-mounted broadband antenna that was initially developed through a customer request to support nine FM stations. The wideband characteristics and high power handling that makes the DCR-Q ideal for multichannel FM also apply to low-band VHF broadcasters that typically install panel antennas to achieve these same benefits. Its low weight and windload are also helpful for broadcasters seeking to avoid the costs and challenges of tower reinforcement to support heavier panel models.

Dielectric’s new specialized Channel 4 and 5 filters borrow the same efficient design characteristics as the company’s tunable waveguide filters introduced in 2017. An industry first, Dielectric’s innovative design reduces filter size and heat production inside the transmitter building, while maintaining high voltage safety margins. Once installed, the design adapts to environmental changes such as temperature and humidity, maintaining channel tuning as signals move through the RF filtering process.

Edwards expects that the affordability and durability of the solution will also attract low-power broadcasters moving to low-band VHF following the repack period. He adds that Dielectric offers the complete solution, including either rigid-line fed to reduce maintenance, or flex line that easily installed on towers.

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