GatesAir Exclusive TV Transmission Deal with Doordarshan Expands to Northern India

India’s national broadcaster will deliver six GatesAir Maxiva liquid-cooled, digital-ready UHF transmitters to equip three greenfield sites in the Jammu region

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for TV and radio broadcasters, has received a new TV transmission order from Doordarshan, India’s national broadcaster, to strengthen analog UHF television coverage in the Jammu region. GatesAir, Doordarshan’s exclusive TV transmission supplier since 2012, will deliver six digital-ready Maxiva ULX liquid-cooled transmitters by the end of 2019. The transmitters integrate GatesAir’s APEX M2X multi-standard Exciter, allowing Doordarshan to convert the transmitters to DVB-T2 or DVB-T2-Lite at any time.

GatesAir has delivered more than 30 digital-ready Maxiva TV transmitters to Doordarshan over the past seven years. The six new 10kW transmitters will be deployed in redundant 1+1 configurations at three sites in Jammu, Srinagar and Leh, and will especially improve coverage along India’s northwest border.

Doordarshan selected GatesAir due to the continued reliability of its existing transmitter fleet, which is particularly important in the Jammu region due to its dynamic climate and mountainous terrain. GatesAir was also the only vendor able to meet Doordarshan’s exacting technical requirements outlined in the tender document. The broadcaster’s testing and evaluation standards were met with 100 percent compliance upon a recent visit of Doordarshan executives to GatesAir’s Quincy, Illinois manufacturing center.

“GatesAir has been careful to meet our technical and design requirements for all transmitter deliveries to date, and their systems have worked reliably and beyond expectations since going on the air,” said Mr. D P Singh, Deputy Director General for Doordarshan. “Our recent visit to Quincy also proved the dedication of the people that work at GatesAir, and the commitment they show to their jobs and their craft. The GatesAir team clearly communicated the functionality and high quality of their transmitters during our visit, and we look forward to continuing our relationship.”

GatesAir has long had a strong transmission presence and market share in India. Beyond its long-term relationship with Doordarshan, GatesAir continues to win business associated with India’s private FM licensing initiatives. The company announced two major FM radio deals earlier this year.

“GatesAir is proud to continue its long-term relationship with Doordarshan, and is uniquely prepared to offer guidance, service and support through its continued DTV transitions while reliably supporting its analog TV initiatives today,” said Rich Redmond, President and Managing Director, International for GatesAir. “Furthermore, our high-efficiency Maxiva systems will provide Doordarshan with the lowest total cost of ownership over their lifecycle by reducing power consumption, simplifying maintenance, and optimizing performance and reliability for analog and digital broadcasts over many years.”

Qatar Media Corporation (QMC) puts their operations on the map with DataMiner

With this deployment, Skyline adds another big name to their customer list of major broadcasters around the globe.

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The DataMiner system at QMC will manage their entire current broadcast network, spanning across the various different technologies such as AM, FM, DAB+, DVB-T2, UHF, VHF, and this across their transmission sites in Doha, Khissa, Shahanyia and Arish.

“At Qatar Media Corporation, we always keep up with the latest trends and evolutions in the media industry. That’s easier said than done due to the incredibly fast pace of developments and the increasing complexity of our infrastructure,” commented Mohammed Abdulaziz Ali Ibrahim Al-Emadi at QMC. “A next-generation management and orchestration platform is therefore an absolute must to ensure a future-proof and flexible operation, and DataMiner offers the best solutions on the market to give us that guarantee.”

By achieving a single-pane-of-glass monitoring perspective, QMC unlocks tremendous operational benefits. Those range from operational optimizations in problem detection and problem resolution workflows to being able to monitor and report from a service point of view instead of a pointed siloed environment.

“With DataMiner in place, QMC is ensured to live up to their viewers’ high expectations,” explained Glenn D’Haene, Sales Director for the EMEA and APAC region at Skyline Communications. “It’s becoming common knowledge in the broadcast and media industry that we deeply integrated innovative AI-powered technology into DataMiner. As such, the platform enables QMC to keep on delivering high service quality to the consumer, no matter how complex their ecosystem is or will become. And that’s invaluable in this modern and fast-changing world. Viewers don’t expect to be hindered by sudden errors or service failures anymore. It’s so important that operators are able to resolve issues before they even occur. And thanks to DataMiner, they can.”

The management role that DataMiner takes up at QMC’s operation is meant as the first step of a larger project. In time, the intention is to extend the scope to multiple other business units of QMC. The end goal: one single pane of glass to manage and see it all.

GatesAir to Unveil Expanded TV Transmission Product Family

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, will unveil a broadened family of TV transmitters at IBC2019 resulting from the company’s recent acquisition of ONEtastic, operating forward as GatesAir S.r.l. in Brescia, Italy. The expanded portfolio both strengthens GatesAir’s low-power TV range and introduces several engineering innovations that will be new to GatesAir customers. GatesAir exhibits at Stand 8.D60 from September 13-17 at the RAI Conference and Exhibition Center in Amsterdam.

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While GatesAir has long offered low-power UHF and VHF air-cooled solutions through its Maxiva Compact series, the acquisition fills important power level gaps in the low-to-medium DTV product line. This includes ultra-compact 1RU transmitters at six power levels from 15 to 150 W; 2RU systems up to 400 W; 3RU systems up to 700 W; and 4RU systems up to 1100 W, with all systems available for analog TV.

At IBC, GatesAir will demonstrate the high-efficiency 1RU and 3RU systems, along with a new outdoor pole-mounted DTV solution that can house multiple UHF or VHF transmitters and/or remux up to four satellite feeds into a single transport stream for transmission. The high-efficiency, DC-powered pole-mount design eliminates all moving parts and air filters, dissipating heat to the pole’s surface. The tower becomes the heat sink, eliminating the need for fans and cooling systems — making it a true outdoor solution. The transmitter is completely sealed by a telecom-grade weatherproof enclosure, ensuring continuous operation even in the harshest outdoor elements.

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GatesAir will also show a new “intra-mast” transmitter, designed for installation inside a cylindrical tower. It comprises a very compact chassis which and can house up to six 70 W UHF or VHF transmitters. Each transmitter can also be individually configured as a transposer or on-channel gap filler, offering customers a broad variety of options to fulfill all requirements for regional and national networks.

“GatesAir is extraordinarily positioned to equip today’s largest national DTV networks with complete, fully integrated solutions,” said Bruce Swail, CEO, GatesAir. “These networks require a significant number of transposers and gap fillers to address challenging coverage areas, especially in the valleys that experience blockage from hills and mountainous terrain. Our expanded product range also brings clever design philosophies that introduce new time- and cost-saving benefits to our customers, strengthening our ability to deliver high-efficiency, high-performance, and competitively-priced transmission solutions.”

These new design innovations and feature sets to the GatesAir transmitter family include no-cable, plug-in architectures that accelerate assembly and maintenance, reduce clutter and maintenance, and increase system reliability. Furthermore, these transmitters expand configuration options with extensive modularity, including plug-in input cards to support satellite reception, ASI, IP and other transport streams.

GatesAir will also demonstrate its existing range of medium-to-high power ULXTE (liquid-cooled) and UAXTE (air-cooled) transmitter families. These transmitters, along with the expanded low-power range, including cutting-edge echo cancellation and optimized modulation error ratio (MER) technologies that far outperform competitive solutions. The two technologies deliver a more robust broadcast signal for viewers, providing better reception in regions with challenging terrain.

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GatesAir Brings Over-The-Air Leadership Message to BroadcastAsia 2019

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for TV and radio broadcasters, returns to BroadcastAsia with a broader product portfolio foremerging low-power and digital broadcasting opportunities throughout the region. In addition to its existing range of Maxiva and Flexiva transmitters, the company will also highlight new TV and DAB Radio transmitters procured through its acquisition of ONEtastic. New innovations include the debut ofa weatherized pole-mounted TV transmitter built to deliver high-performance, low-power and gap-filler solutions in challenging outdoor environments.

BroadcastAsia 2019 also marks the regional debut of new Maxiva TV (10 W to 2kW) and Flexiva FM radio transmitters (7.5 kW) introduced at NAB in April. GatesAir will demonstrate a broad range of its high-efficiency UHF, VHF, DAB and FM transmitters across all power levels, with an emphasis on guiding broadcasters through complex digital transitions and refreshing analog infrastructure. The company’s software-defined Maxiva XTE exciter will be at the center of all digital TV demonstrations, offering broadcasters a path to any digital standard while optimizing performance and stability.

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GatesAir will round out its BroadcastAsia 2019 presence with its latest Intraplex audio contribution and distribution solutions, including its new IT-based Ascent Audio over IP platform. Receiving its regional debut, Intraplex Ascent represents the latest in broadcast and IT convergence, and is GatesAir’s first Intraplex system to live on a COTS x86 server. Ascent provides broadcasters with a highly scalable, redundant and cloud-based transport platform for multichannel contribution and distribution. Designed for centralized control and maximum interconnectivity, Ascent is compliant with the AES67 standard, today’s leading AoIP networking solutions, and most Intraplex Audio over IP codecs.

GatesAir’s problem-solving approach will be a common theme across all exhibits and demonstrations, with a focus on helping customers reduce operational costs, add new services, and transition to more efficient platforms. Chief among these include embracing the flexible capabilities of single-frequency networking (SFN) for TV and radio broadcasting, and leveraging IP as a primary transport method for audio and data.

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“GatesAir has spent the last six months aggressively growing its global presence, both throughinternational team expansion and the strategic acquisition of ONEtastic,” said Rich Redmond, President and Managing Director, International for GatesAir. “We are excited to bring our message of low total cost of ownership, innovative problem-solving, and strong service and support toBroadcastAsia as we prepare our customers for the next generation of over-the-air broadcast opportunities worldwide.”

GatesAir exhibits at Stand 4Q3-01 at BroadcastAsia 2019, which takes place June 18-20 at Suntec Singapore.

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GatesAir Continues Spectrum Repack Dominance with 300th Transmitter Shipment

GatesAir today fortifies its market leading repack transmitter position with the delivery of its 300th repack transmitter. WPCB-TV, a Cornerstone Television station serving the Pittsburgh market, took delivery of its new Maxiva ULXTE-50 liquid-cooled transmitter late last week.WPCB has been repacked from Channel 50 to Channel 28, and will transmit at 31.7 kW from its new frequency beginning August 2.

GatesAir’s leadership in repack sales and shipments continues unabated. To date, GatesAir has shipped 11,273 power amplifiers, which represents more than 6.4 Megawatts of transmission power.GatesAir has successfully met all shipping deadlines to date thanks to careful staffing and manufacturing initiatives put into place by Vice President of Operations Bryant Burke.

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GatesAir CEO Bruce D. Swail notes that GatesAir has also logged nearly 38 million amplifier in-service hours of repack projects, which provides a strong measurement of reliability and performance for GatesAir customers. All GatesAir transmitters are made in the USA at the company’s Quincy, Illinois manufacturing center.

“With the most cutting-edge power amplification tech in the market, our Maxiva transmitters have accumulated an impressive number of in-service pallet hours that continues to climb, solidifying ourreputation for high performance and unmatched reliability,” said Swail. “Combined with on-time deliveries, transmitter site consultations and unparalleled customer service, GatesAir continues as the leading and most trusted supplier of repack transmitters and services.”

WPCB was granted a power increase for its Phase 4 repack assignment. Steve Johnson, VP Operations for Cornerstone Television, points to GatesAir’s customer support and high-efficiency solid-state technology as key deciding factors. The transition from tube to solid-state will eliminate costly tube maintenance, and provide a high-efficiency platform to offset utility costs from the station’spower increase.

Johnson also purchased a Maxiva VAXTE-6L air-cooled transmitter for WKBS-TV in the Altoona/Johnstown, PA market. WKBS, a full satellite of WPCB, will be repacked from UHF Channel 46 to low-band VHF channel 6 in Phase 6.

“GatesAir is one of the few vendors to offer reliable repack transmitters for low-band VHF, and our engineers can leverage a common user interface to remotely monitor and manage both Maxiva transmitters,” said Johnson. “We are impressed with the strength of their customer service, and the heritage and longevity of the company. Support is always a phone call away in Quincy, which has made a positive and lasting impact. We look forward to a long relationship with GatesAir.”

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Dielectric Combines Multiple Repacked UHF Broadcasters into Common RF Architecture

As Dielectric builds on its market-leading share of US repack antenna business, the company celebrates the launch of a unique ATSC 3.0-ready multi-channel combiner and waveguide switching system installed at DTV Utah’s community TV transmission facility. Dielectric won the challenging multi-station repack project because of the quick turnaround of a complex system that met all size and performance specifications, including mask requirements on three adjacent channels in the system, resulting in a clean signal for each of the stations.

DTV Utah is the owner and operator of the facility, which houses transmission systems for nine Salt Lake City-area stations. Eight stations, six of which were repacked to new channel assignments, broadcast from specialized multi-channel antennas (two main and one backup). James and James Consulting managed the project, including the design, integration, and commissioning of the Dielectric system. The owner of the consultancy, Greg James, was a former director of engineering for one of the repacked stations (KSL-DT) and intimately involved with the original DTV Utah facility design.

“The DTV Utah site is an interesting mix of public, commercial and independent stations, most of which operate on a common antenna system that changed with the repack,” said James. “The site is located 3500 feet above average ground level (9050 feet above sea level) and transmits across the challenging Wasatch Front terrain, north and south of Salt Lake City, with specialized antennas built for the original system in 1999. We had no way to retune the RF system for all these newly repacked channels, which meant we had to replace the combiner system. Dielectric was the one vendor who could meet all of the challenging requirements across timeline, technical specifications and within space limitations.”

Available space was particularly important, given that the previous combiner — also a Dielectric system — had to remain operable during the transition. The old combiner system and mask filters were located in the ceiling of the building, and could not be removed. This inspired Dielectric to innovate its most compact combiner to date.

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Dielectric DTV Utah Combiner Channel Systems

“We had a 17×20-foot space for a tenth transmitter that wasn’t installed, and Dielectric designed a 14×16-foot system that could combine all of our channels and leave room for the tenth transmitter,” said James. “Of most importance, we had to install the combiner before integrating the new repack transmitters. Dielectric was the only company that could deliver such a complex system, and on time.”

“The technical challenges were also substantial,” according to James. “The three adjacent channels required sharply tuned filters, allowing the full use of each channel’s bandwidth. While the group delay measurement is increased slightly from a more broadly tuned filter, the new GatesAir and Rhode & Schwarz transmitters in the facility provide the necessary correction, making the group delay at the channel edge negligible.”

In addition to the RF, Dielectric provided the waveguide switching on the combiner’s input, allowing for various combinations of main and backup antennas.

“The switching network was complex and had to fit into a small space,” said James. “Dielectric designed a new compact waveguide switch for our requirement. The combiner is not trivial, because switching between three antennas across any combination of transmitters is very complicated to achieve. The performance across all transmitters and antennas is optimized and adaptable to any condition. Overall, the system that was installed and commissioned by Marsand, Inc., offers a very sound and high-performance solution to a very unique operating environment.”

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Dielectric Designs VHF Antenna System for Sutro Tower Repack Project in Compliance with Stringent Earthquake Code

As a leading maker of innovative TV/FM broadcast antennas, Dielectric has completed the design of a technically complex, stacked antenna array for San Francisco DTV broadcasters KGO-TV and KRON-TV. The stacked array—a specialty of Dielectric’s—is slated for installation later this year atop Sutro Tower in downtown San Francisco.

KGO-TV, the market’s ABC owned-and-operated affiliate currently broadcasting on VHF channel 7 will be repacked to channel 12. KRON-TV, the Nexstar Media Group-owned MyNetworkTV affiliate now broadcasting on UHF Channel 38 (Virtual Channel 4) will be repacked to channel 7, once vacated by KGO.

Dielectric THV Series directional pylon antennas have been customized to each station’s unique needs. The stacking of KGO’s antenna on top of KRON’s required a careful design process to factor in earthquake compliance and other critical, environmental considerations.

“This is one of our most complex repack antenna designs, in large part due to the strict earthquake code that applies to antennas installed in the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Keith Pelletier, vice president and general manager, Dielectric. “Our mechanical engineering team also ensured that KRON’s antenna could support the weight of KGO’s antenna. These design considerations called for a grade of steel that is much thicker and stronger than that which is customary for antenna construction. By design, the stack will be capable of handling the extra weight, and compliant with all earthquake restrictions.”

According to Pelletier, the final designs are currently being reviewed by a third-party structural engineering firm in San Francisco to ensure that they meet the earthquake code. The antenna array will then be constructed during the second quarter of 2019.

“Sutro Tower is scheduled for Phase 9, which means that the installation must be completed by May 2020,” said Pelletier. “We will be ready to ship in June of this year, and install the system by the end of 2019. This will ensure that the new stacked array is up and running before the strict repack deadline.”

Challenging Installation Planned

The stacked antenna array will be affixed to one of the three “candelabra” arms extending from the top of 977-foot tall Sutro Tower. In order to meet the earthquake code the stacked array is being reinforced with guy wires which are anchored at the top of the candelabra platforms. Dielectric specializes in tower top and tower stacks but the guy wire requirement is unique to Sutro Tower. The installation grows trickier given the densely-packed downtown residential neighborhood and busy streets surrounding the tower – a job that only a handful of specialized tall tower crews can accommodate.

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Each station chose to customize top-mount (slotted coaxial) designs to avoid possible interference between the antennas and the tower that could affect radiated patterns and power levels. Pelletier notes that the design offers the industry’s lowest windload – yet another critical consideration for this project.

Dielectric will also supply its auxiliary antenna (TLSV series) antenna, as part of an effective strategy to ensure a clean repack process with no off-air time.

“Since KGO is already operating in the VHF band, we will install an auxiliary antenna lower down on the tower that allows them to operate on channel 7,” Pelletier said. “That frees up the tower top and allows us to install KRON and KGO new antennas on top of the tower and allows KGO to remain on the air. Once that’s completed, KGO can move to its permanent antenna on top and Sutro Tower will remain outfitted with an auxiliary VHF antenna.”

Pelletier adds that as many as 50 of the 900 TV stations that Dielectric is assisting with repack have selected Dielectric’s stacked antenna array designs, which he calls a “Dielectric-developed specialty.” Dielectric will demonstrate its range of VHF repack antennas, including the THV Series, at the forthcoming 2019 NAB Show from April 8-11 in the Las Vegas Convention Center. Dielectric exhibits at Booth C2213.