GatesAir and Foccus Digital Upgrade ISDB-Tb Transmitters for TV Record in Brazil

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for TV and radio broadcasters, has closed another large ISDB-Tb digital TV deal in Brazil with Foccus Digital, GatesAir’s in-country partner. Foccus Digital will integrate and commission nine GatesAir ULXTE liquid-cooled transmitters for TV Record, one of the Brazilian’s largest broadcast networks, in key broadcast markets including Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Deliveries will begin in mid-April, with all nine transmitters on the air by May 1.

TV Record sought to improve operational efficiencies and performance across its ISDB-Tb network — characteristics that are lacking with transmitters from another vendor in use today, according to Cesar Donato, president of Foccus Digital. He adds that GatesAir’s careful design and professional engineering ensures that one attribute is not sacrificed for the other.

“Many transmitter vendors have built efficient transmitters that sacrifice performance, but GatesAir has brought a true convergence of efficiency and performance to market,” he said. “TV Record has been using transmitters from another vendor with a very low-efficiency rating of 13 percent. The ULXTE transmitter delivers a 300 percent improvement in efficiency, which will bring TV Record incredible savings in electricity, and provide a much more robust signal with exceptional MER (modulation error ratio) performance. There is really no comparison.”

The choice of liquid-cooled transmitters will bring additional cost and performance benefits. The medium and high-power transmitters, ranging from 3 kW to 11 kW, will substantially reduce cooling loads and air conditioning bills in Brazil’s high-temperature climate. GatesAir integrates a pump system with the ULXTE architecture to efficiently circulate liquid within the transmitters, and remove heat to the building exterior.

According to Donato, installation and commissioning will move swiftly thanks to the ULXTE’s modular design. This will ensure that Foccus Digital engineers can quickly build and test the transmitters on site, adding that GatesAir’s PowerSmart Plus architecture will significantly reduce weight and footprint.

“These are very compact transmitters compared to the current models installed, which take up four to six racks of space,” he said. “The ULXTE generates the same amount of power in a single chassis while also meeting their MER requirements of 40dB. This equates to exceptionally good over-the-air signal coverage in a very space-efficient package.”

Foccus Digital and GatesAir will also work together on training initiatives for TV Record engineers, with Foccus Digital providing in-depth education on transmitter operation and maintenance. GatesAir’s PowerSmart Plus architecture will minimize maintenance requirements for these engineers, however, thanks to a streamlined, highly redundant architecture with hot-swappable modules and power supplies. Foccus Digital will also assist with a common spare parts supply that be shared across the network, and provide onsite technical service as needed.

“GatesAir and Foccus Digital have developed a very strong partnership that has resulted in a large number of TV and FM radio installations across the country that continues to grow,” said Rich Redmond, President and Managing Director, International, GatesAir. “GatesAir is uniquely equipped to support the demanding technical characteristics of large ISDB-Tb networks, while also ensuring that customers reap the benefits of exceptional efficiency, high performance and low total cost of ownership. TV Record is renowned for their strong technical expertise, and we are grateful to have been selected as their long-term digital TV partner following extensive, competitive evaluations. We look forward to working with Foccus Digital and TV Record to continue upgrading and enhancing their broader ISDB-Tb network.”

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GatesAir to Emphasize ATSC 3.0 and NextGen TV Momentum at 2019 NAB Show

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for TV and radio broadcasters, comes to the 2019 NAB Show in Las Vegas next week with fresh momentum behind its ATSC 3.0 innovations for NextGen television – specifically in the area of Single Frequency Network (SFN) architectures.

Gates_Air-Maxiva2GatesAir last year announced its participation in the Phoenix Model Market project, a collaborative trial led by the Pearl TV consortium. The project involves one dozen Phoenix, Arizona area broadcasters, with technology supplied by GatesAir and other key industry supplies to support testing. GatesAir last year supplied a low-power Maxiva™ UAXTE air-cooled transmitter for the initial phase, which used a single transmitter for over-the-air tests.

Pearl TV today announced that the test bed will expand to multiple transmission sites, establishing a true SFN architecture. GatesAir will supply a Maxiva ULXTE-10, 6.6 kW liquid-cooled transmitter for this second phase to help broadcasters evaluate the benefits of SFN transmissions in a NextGen ATSC 3.0 system.

Single Frequency Networks use two or more transmitters within the same market to improve signal coverage and fill in challenging coverage gaps. SFN architectures are key to moving beyond the principal of signal coverage to the signal capable of providing service, and successful in-home and on-the-go service is paramount to NextGen TV’s success. GatesAir supports many of the largest SFN deployments worldwide, including digital TV networks in Brazil (ISDB-Tb) and Asia (DVB-T2); as well as MaxxCasting SFN systems for FM radio in the United States.

ATSC 3.0 Activities and New LPTV Models

GatesAir will also participate in key ATSC 3.0 demonstrations around the NAB show floor, including a North Hall SFN demonstration sponsored by the NAB Science and Technology department. GatesAir will provide one of four transmitters powering live, on-air broadcasts for the network. Visitors to the GatesAir booth (N3303) can see the operational Maxiva UAXTE along with the live, real-time ATSC 3.0 broadcast. An active demonstration at Booth N2512 as part of ATSC’s “Ride the Road to ATSC 3.0” campaign will also allow attendees to experience the North Hall SFN demonstration, and explore the many opportunities that the ATSC 3.0 standard and NextGen TV offer to local broadcasters.

GatesAir will additionally introduce a new range of ATSC 3.0-ready, low-power Maxiva ULXTE transmitters at NAB. Covering LPTV requirements from 10 W to 2 kW, the new compact transmitter designs have been developed to serve global customers with limited real estate and high operating expenses, as well as low-power U.S. broadcasters moving to new channel assignments in future repack phases. These new models will be demonstrated alongside GatesAir’s broader range of high-efficiency ULXTE and UAXTE transmitters covering all power levels.

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GatesAir and Sonotec Transition Bolivian Broadcaster to Digital TV in Two Cities

With the multi-year analog sunset now underway in Bolivia, GatesAir, working closely with regional partner Sonotec, has successfully transitioned private broadcaster ATB Bolivia to ISDB-Tb digital television in the cities of Cochabamba and La Paz, fulfilling the first government mandate to deliver DTV programming in these two cities and the city of Santa Cruz within a six-month window.

GatesAir supplied its latest-generation, high-efficiency Maxiva ULXTE liquid-cooled transmitters to support the transition in Cochabamba and La Paz, with an accelerated delivery timeline that enabled Sonotec to install and commission both systems in advance of the June deadline.

The Government of Bolivia adopted the ISDB-Tb standard in 2011, and is now in phase one of a gradual, country-wide transition that will be completed in 2024. ATB chose GatesAir for the Cochabamba and La Paz projects due to the longevity, reliability and performance of GatesAir analog TV transmitters in service for many years throughout the country. The new DTV systems transmit one ISDB-Tb HD channel and one mobile channel to populations within and near the city limits, with satellite relay to TV service providers in rural areas in compliance with Bolivian government regulations. ATB anticipates that a third DTV channel will be added to the network shortly, noting that the ULXTE’s exceptional bandwidth will help to maximize ISDB-Tb spectrum.

“While the Santa Cruz site had an existing analog TV transmitter we were able to convert in the field, the Cochabamba and La Paz sites were very challenging as we needed new transmitters that could work with the existing RF infrastructure,” said Javier Fernandez, ATB’s CTO. “We have so far experienced a remarkable improvement in signal quality and expanded coverage throughout these regions with the GatesAir system, along with a flexible architecture that readily supports the introduction of new channels and services. These high-performance, digital TV workflows will dynamically change the business of television in Bolivia, as it represents a great economic and financial effort for our nation’s broadcasters.”

ATB specifically selected the Maxiva ULXTE transmitter due to the efficiencies of its liquid-cooled design. According to Fernandez, this design greatly lowers air conditioning usage, reducing overall energy consumption. That will eventually translate to much lower power bills when the current air-cooled analog TV transmitters are fully phased out.

Fernandez adds that the ULXTE design additionally delivers stronger efficiencies across other operational and maintenance aspects.

“The compact size and modularity of these transmitters simplified all installation logistics, which was of high importance due to the challenging timeline for this phase of the DTV transition,” said Fernandez. “Additionally, the ULXTE runs very quietly, and has significantly reduced noise pollution in the transmission environment. The user-friendly modularity will also make it very simple to swap our parts and make adjustments and repairs, though we trust that will be not be necessary for several years given our positive experience with the GatesAir brand.”

To ensure a smooth installation and commissioning process, regional GatesAir sales engineers held local training seminars, followed by on-site visits — efforts fully recognized and appreciated by both the Sonotec and ATB Bolivia teams.

“We’re very thankful for the opportunity to work with ATB in these early stages of an important transition that will delicately balance the delivery of analog and digital TV services over the next seven years,” said Rich Redmond, President and Managing Director, International for GatesAir. “We are confident that the performance and efficiency of our Maxiva transmitters and ULXTE liquid-cooled architecture will reap benefits for ATB Bolivia for years to come, at once reducing labor and expenses for both organizations, while also enabling new DTV services for the Bolivian population.”

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