GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for TV and radio broadcasters, has supplied its Maxiva™ XTE exciter to prominent Australian broadcast entities — TX Australia, Broadcast Australia, and Free TV — for DVB-T2 field trials on Australia’s Gold Coast, just south of Brisbane. Following a trial in Sydney earlier this year, the capabilities of DVB-T2 will again be tested, including in an extended single-frequency network (SFN). DVB-T2 is being considered as a technology to replace the current DVB-T standard for television, which has been in operation since 2001.
“GatesAir has a long history of field trial support in advance of digital transitions worldwide, and this Gold Coast initiative represents an important step in Australia’s consideration of migration from DVB-T to DVB-T2,” said Rich Redmond, President and Managing Director, International for GatesAir. “With its 4K picture quality, IP-based transmission, and superior, broadband capabilities, DVB-T2 offers over-the-air broadcasters and viewers many programming advantages. This collaboration between TX Australia, Free TV Australia, and Broadcast Australia is a prime example of the innovation and first-class engineering skills within the Australian broadcast industry.”
A key objective of these field trials is to test and verify interoperability between third-party systems used in both classic transmission and SFN configurations.
According to Redmond, “The GatesAir Maxiva XTE Exciter platform has already demonstrated reliable, seamless transmission performance in multi-vendor DVB-T2 installations across Europe and Asia.”
This latest DVB-T2 trial will originate from a Gold Coast re-transmission site located on Mount Tamborine, which is managed by TX Australia, a joint venture company of the Seven, Nine, and Ten broadcast television networks. TX Australia, which provides transmission services to a wide array of TV and FM broadcasters and networks across metropolitan Australia, has been collaborating closely with Free TV Australia, an industry body that represents all of Australia’s commercial free-to-air television licensees. Another key party to the field trials, Broadcast Australia, is responsible for delivering digital television and radio services for Australia’s national broadcasters.
The Gold Coast field trial utilizes the same video and audio content provided to the Sydney trial by members of Free TV. It also seeks to replicate the characteristics measured and analyzed in Sydney, including assessment of the service threshold across the target coverage area when operating in extended SFN mode.
TX Australia Executive Chairman Paul Mullen expressed appreciation for GatesAir’s contribution in a previous announcement. He also noted the importance of these trials for evaluating new technologies, and ensuring “the best quality content is available to the viewer.” More than 20 million Australians — 99% of the population — rely upon free, over-the-air television for live news, sports, and entertainment.
The Maxiva XTE includes native IP inputs and a software-defined modulator for seamless transition between analog and digital broadcast standards. The XTE design eliminates the need to retrofit transmitters to enable network connectivity for next-gen TV standards (DVB-T2, DVB-T2 Lite, ATSC 3.0), giving broadcasters an out-of-the-box solution to simplify the input and output of multimedia services via a local- or wide-area IP network. The XTE-driven modulation reduces costs and power consumption by lowering wattage requirements at the amplification stage, without affecting signal strength.