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09-Apr-2007 Print page

Final transition to digital in focus for RFS at NAB 2007

At the annual NAB exhibition in April this year, broadcast RF technology group, Radio Frequency Systems (RFS), will explore the challenges facing low-power television (LPTV) broadcasters as the US approaches its final transition to digital television (DTV). With the Federal Communication Commission’s February 2009 deadline fast approaching, RFS has refined its broadcast solution set to assist the country’s many thousands of LPTV broadcasters through this important conversion. The LPTV market has, according to RFS Principal Broadcast System Sales and Area Product Manager, Andrés González, been somewhat neglected--both by the authorities and certain suppliers--in terms of planning and technical support. “The authorities have unfortunately left the LPTV market till last, with little time to spare,” González said. He contrasted the country’s high-power stations’ conversion timeline (1756 stations, which started conversion in the late 1990s), with the 2227 LPTV stations that are only now rushing to meet the 17 February 2009 deadline. “There really isn’t a great deal of time. Our advice to the LPTV market is put your conversion plans in place now--don’t leave it till the last minute,” he said. According to González, the technology required to support the LPTV digital transition demands special attention. “While other technology groups try to apply a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, RFS is well-aware that a tailored approach is required in the LPTV market,” González said. A case-in-point is the company’s renowned RD cavity-slot antenna--an important exhibit at the RFS booth at this year’s NAB. The wideband RD cavity-slot antenna family offers a solution for just about every digital or analog broadcasting scenario. While ideal for LPTV applications, the RD family also features power-handling capabilities up to 220kW. In addition, RD cavity-slot antennas operate over particularly wide frequency ranges (typically around 10 to 20 channels). This contrasts with competing antenna products that provide only limited single-channel support. “The RD antenna is ideal for the LPTV sector and has long been a market favorite,” González said. Founded on the well-known Bogner series ‘B’ antenna, the contemporary RFS RD antenna is, according González, “the best of the Bogner design, with RFS’s wideband capabilities and powerful modular design attributes”. Also on display at the RFS NAB 2007 booth will be the company’s ‘MS series’ RF Monitor system, which provides a complete range of RF equipment monitoring functions, plus functionality superior to any others on the market. It features 50 configurable inputs, and can support up to 16 transmitters, plus an antenna system with four main feeders. Ideal for monitoring forward/reflected transmitter power and displaying switch configurations, the MS Series also has the ability to analyze and store a wide range of collected data for up to three years. Furthermore, its microprocessor-based system enables it to independently evaluate non-linear multi-channel systems. The company will also exhibit a vital building block of its broadband UHF antenna solution set--the renowned PHP broadband panel. Providing a uniquely modular approach to the development of antenna arrays ranging from the simple to complex, RFS’s horizontally polarized PHP panels support the entire UHF band (470 to 860MHz). Fully re-engineered for DTV, the RFS PHP panels can provide an almost infinite variety of horizontal patterns, with or without vertical beam tilt and null fill. The PHP panels are provided in a corrosion-resistant aluminum construction (or optional stainless steel) with fiberglass radome. A world leader in flexible coaxial transmission line technology, RFS will present a comprehensive display of its broadband HELIFLEX air-dielectric coaxial transmission line, globally available in sizes of 3/8 to 9-inch. Installed in continuous lengths, flexible transmission line is much quicker to install than rigid line, plus minimizes discontinuities and achieves consistently low return loss over the entire bandwidth. To learn more of RFS’s wide-ranging digital and analog broadcast solution set, visit RFS at NAB 2007, booth number C1913, Central Hall 1, Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC), Las Vegas, Nevada, 16 to 19 April 2007.

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