Date posted: January 6, 2015

Company will support UHF and VHF tests for major broadcasters with onsite service and support

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, is providing its over-the-air technology and RF service expertise to broadcasters testing over-the-air TV coverage from One World Trade Center.  The company has supplied its latest high-efficiency Maxiva™ UHF and VHF transmitters for the tests, which will determine how broadcasters can maximize coverage across the nation’s largest broadcast market from the new building.

The testing of the One World Trade Center antenna system, positioned at 1700 feet above ground, will allow broadcasters to perform a complete market coverage analysis as they consider relocation to the new site.  The designated RF facility on the 89th Broadcast Level Floor has capacity for as many as 11 TV and 21 radio stations serving the New York City market.

GatesAir will aid in installation, commissioning and onsite training to ensure that broadcasters and engineers from The Durst Organization, which manages and leases space at One World Trade Center, are familiar with the design and operation of the transmitters.  The GatesAir service team will additionally undergo performance tests in advance of installation, including verification of pre-shipping tests conducted from its Quincy, Illinois manufacturing facility; and calibration of total UHF and VHF system power.  Results are expected in February.

“These tests will showcase the advantages of broadcasting from this next-generation site, and we’re enthused that GatesAir is supporting our efforts with their latest high-efficiency TV transmitters,” said John Lyons, assistant vice president and director of broadcasting for the Durst Organization.  “We believe that One World Trade Center will become the premier transmission site for over-the-air TV and radio broadcasters due to its attractive downtown location and clear line of sight.”

At 1,776 feet tall, One World Trade Center is the fourth-tallest building in the world, and has the greatest height of any skyscraper in the Western Hemisphere.  The turnkey UHF and VHF systems will include GatesAir transmitters, exciters and real-time adaptive correction software to accurately verify signal quality, compliance, receiving levels and other performance parameters across the entire region.

“These tests represent the significant role of over-the-air broadcasting to viewers in and around New York City, and will validate the benefits of wirelessly delivering free TV and radio content from this iconic new building,” said Rich Redmond, chief product officer, GatesAir.  “Our world-class products and service will ensure that broadcasters are maximizing their coverage while conducting these market-wide reception tests. Through our broadband high-efficiency UHF and VHF platforms, we are providing a highly dependable turnkey solution of transmitters and software-defined exciters with real-time adaptive correction to accurately verify signal performance parameters across the entire region.”

GatesAir will take the opportunity to measure efficiency parameters as the tests progress, providing a point of reference for customers interested in the long-term, cost-reducing benefits of Maxiva high-efficiency transmitters.  The GatesAir service team will monitor reductions in energy consumption through GatesAir’s innovative PowerSmart® 3D broadband transmitter architecture, among other performance measurements.  In addition to green energy-saving benefits, PowerSmart 3D also reduces transmitter size and weight—an important consideration in shared transmitter facilities like One World Trade Center—and simplifies operations from in-the-field channel changes to long-term maintenance.


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Date posted: November 18, 2014

GatesAir’s legacy of innovation in over-the-air TV and radio broadcasting includes two Emmy awards and more than 238 US and Global patents.  Last week, company executives recognized the innovators of GatesAir’s latest patents at a ceremony at the Oasis Conference Center in Cincinnati.

GatesAir Chief Product Officer Rich Redmond, pictured second from left, presents awards to GatesAir engineers at last week’s patent ceremony in Cincinnati

Following a keynote address from GatesAir CEO Phil Argyris, Chief Product Officer Rich Redmond led a presentation in recognition of the company’s recent patent awards.  GatesAir engineers Wayne Duello, Dmitri Borodulin and George Cabrera were among those honored at the event.

Obtaining a patent is a long and tenacious process that requires a long-term commitment, with countless hours of hard work and dedication from the innovators.  Mr. Duello received a patent for innovations in digital signal processing of digital modulations that reduce interference and strengthen robustness for over-the-air digital TV signals.  Mr. Borodulin and Mr. Cabrera received patents for advancements in broadband, high-efficiency amplification for digital radio and television signals.  These linchpin technologies will ensure continued quality improvements for viewers that receive free broadcasts powered by GatesAir digital transmission systems across radio, TV and mobile devices.

“These patents represent the very high level of innovation happening throughout GatesAir today as we advance the possibilities of over-the-air broadcasting,” said Redmond.  “Our engineers and scientists continue to break new ground and innovate to enable our global customers to wirelessly deliver content at the lowest total cost of ownership, solidifying GatesAir’s leadership position in the broadcast industry.  We’re honored to recognize these impressive achievements.”


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Date posted: November 6, 2014

Presentations, open discussion tackles topics around spectrum repack and the reverse FCC auction, while exploring emerging technologies to address future challenges

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for TV and radio broadcasters, summoned nearly 100 industry thought leaders and experts to its Mason, Ohio headquarters for the company’s second Repack Summit.  The two-day event addressed the concerns and challenges of U.S. broadcasters as they prepare for a variety of uncertain scenarios and exciting new opportunities, offering well-defined, problem-solving insights and solutions for this clearly transitional period.

Technical Advisor Jay Adrick discusses how to best prepare for the impending spectrum repack

Held this past Thursday and Friday (October 30-31), the Repack Summit 2014 facilitated a dialog between broadcasters, the FCC, NAB, ONE Media and industry vendors including GatesAir, Dielectric and ERI.  Executives and engineers from Cox Media, Cordillera Communications, Hearst-Argyle Television, Raycom Media and Sinclair Broadcast Group were among those in attendance, representing many of the industry leaders in U.S. TV broadcasting.

“There are still way more questions than answers about what’s coming down the road, what we may or may not be forced to do, and what our options are as broadcasters,” said Andy Suk, vice president of technology, Cordillera Communications.  “This event was significant in that it created a great deal of dialogue across key industry figures, leading suppliers and representatives from the FCC.  GatesAir needs to be commended for putting together this event and get some reality behind what is happening.  It presents a real opportunity to our industry, especially as we look forward to ATSC 3.0 and other emerging opportunities.”

Martyn Horspool of GatesAir discusses the costs of new transmitter investment versus extensive RF plant modifications

The event opened with compelling presentations from GatesAir and the FCC.  Martyn Horspool, TV transmission product manager at GatesAir, first discussed UHF channel change planning and weighed options for RF plant investment, including how broadcasters can accelerate ROI through new high-efficiency transmitters versus major modifications of the end-to-end RF infrastructure.

Pamela Gallant, associate division chief of the video division, media bureau for the FCC, followed with an in-depth look at the FCC’s reimbursement program for broadcasters affected by spectrum repack and new channel assignments.  Additionally, two NAB thought leaders—Sam Matheny, executive vice president and CTO, and Victor Tawil, an NAB engineer—explored various transition scenarios as broadcasters prepare for ATSC 3.0 in the midst of the repack.

Day Two was equally engaging, focusing on next-generation opportunities for mobile convergence and the spectrum repack.  Kevin Gage, executive vice president and CTO of ONE Media, opened the day with a discussion on eliminating the technical limitations of conventional mobile TV standards.  Gage pointed to examples of next-generation broadcast platforms and standards that provide strong opportunities to effectively penetrate the mobile device marketplace.

GatesAir technology Advisor Jay Adrick followed with an insightful presentation on the latest events surrounding the U.S. spectrum repack.  A highly respected expert in FCC matters as they relate to over-the-air broadcasting, Adrick delivered a summary of key points in the FCC’s Report & Order on the spectrum auction—notably, how stations should prepare for the spectrum repack along with a timeline of events.

Joe Seccia, manager, TV transmission market and product development strategy at GatesAir, closed the event with a look at how mobile convergence can drive new business opportunities for broadcasters.  This included a detailed examination of GatesAir’s LTE Mobile Offload solution for transmitting LTE-compliant TV signals to tablets and smartphones.

“Collectively, the innovative minds of our industry have an opportunity to influence the future direction of over-the-air broadcasting,” said Phil Argyris, CEO, GatesAir.  “Our second Repack Summit proved a beneficial educational experience for everyone involved, offering real-world solutions to existing business and technology challenges; and exploring new opportunities in mobile convergence and next-generation standards that will advance the future of TV.”

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Date posted: November 3, 2014

North Carolina FM station installs Intraplex® IP Link for dual-path STL connectivity, leverages built-in Opus codec for pristine audio quality

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, has transitioned a low-power FM station in North Carolina to an IP transport architecture for studio-to-transmitter link (STL) connectivity.  With the GatesAir Intraplex® IP Link as a foundation, the intelligent networking solution solved the challenge of efficiently moving program audio and data over a studio-to-transmitter path that offered no line of sight for traditional fixed RF STL connections.

WRLY-LP in Raleigh made the switch following its studio relocation to more accessible commercial space, creating a greater distance to the transmitter facility.  Unlike higher power stations, low-power stations typically do not transmit signals off high towers, making RF STL links impractical.  Transitioning to IP proved the most budget-friendly option for the station.

The Intraplex IP Link codec incorporates Ogg Opus audio coding for exceptionally high-quality, low-latency streaming for STL and other networked audio applications.

WRLY selected the IP Link based on its feature-to-price ratio, including support for the emerging Ogg Opus audio codec.  GatesAir was the first broadcast codec adopter of Ogg Opus audio coding, which incorporates technology from the Skype-developed, speech-oriented SILK codec and CELT, a low-latency, next-generation music codec.  Broadcasters benefit from Opus’ combined strengths of high-quality audio and very low delay, which distinguishes it from audio codecs that excel in one area but fall short in the other.

“I’m very budget-constrained as a low-power station.  IP was readily available, more cost-efficient than an enterprise T1 solution, and eliminated the challenges of erecting rooftop structures in a commercial zone,” said Steven White, owner of WRLY-LP.  “I was an early adopter of voice over IP technology, and had been monitoring the capabilities of Opus from an audio quality perspective.  Much of our music library has been encoded in high-end formats, so I needed a codec that wouldn’t over-compress the audio and develop artifacts in the stream.  GatesAir was the only codec supplier that built Opus into the feature set, and since there was no extra expense for Opus, the overall costs remained low.  The flexibility of the IP Link and its software-driven features struck the right balance of features, cost and quality.”

WRLY is also benefiting from built-in redundancy that shares IP packets across a dual-path stream.  Called Dynamic Stream Splicing, this IP Link feature allows the primary stream to borrow data from the secondary stream in the event of dropped packets en route to the transmitter.

“The IP Link provides excellent statistical information that show if, and where, packets have dropped,” said White.  “The dual-path architecture of the IP Link ensures that instances of dropped packets that make it through are very, very rare, and never noticeable on the air.  The reliability is exceptional.”

“Intelligent networking solutions are proving their value for broadcasters across all power levels, as radio stations large and small recognize the cost- and operational benefits of transitioning audio and data connectivity to IP,” said Joseph Mack, vice president of sales, Americas.  “Our low-power customers like WRLY are building a networked foundation that begins with simple STL connectivity, and opens the door for advanced contribution and distribution applications thanks to a scalable and cost-efficient architecture.”

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Date posted: October 9, 2014

Radio station reduces monthly power bills, maintenance requirements with high-efficiency Flexiva™ solution

GatesAir, a global leader in wireless, over-the-air content delivery solutions for radio and TV broadcasters, is helping a Minnesota FM station slash monthly bills and long-term operating expenses to enhance total cost of ownership.  The station, KFMC(FM) in Fairmont, has significantly reduced energy use and utility costs since installing a GatesAir Flexiva™ high-efficiency transmitter this summer.

The 30kW solid-state Flexiva transmitter replaces an aging tube model from another vendor that was increasingly more costly to operate.  Since installing the Flexiva transmitter, the station has reduced its projected annual energy consumption by over 28kW, resulting in a more than $3000 power bill reduction.  These savings, along with vastly simplified maintenance procedures, deliver exceptionally low total cost of ownership over the transmitter lifecycle.  Due to the evidence of significant long-term energy reduction with the GatesAir Flexiva transmitter, KFMC was also granted a rebate from its local utility company exceeding $1200.

“Our previous transmitter was nearly three decades old, requiring constant maintenance made more difficult by a dwindling supply of spare parts,” said Woody Woodward, general manager of KFMC and sister station KSUM(AM).  “The money we were putting into maintenance exceeded the value that the transmitter delivered.  The Flexiva solid-state transmitter is affordable even at higher power levels, and we no longer have to worry about replacing tubes every three years.  The PA modules are plug-and-play and the spare parts are minimal, further simplifying maintenance.  The dollar savings from reduced energy use and maintenance offer a clear economic incentive that will help us reap more benefits in the long term.”

Flexiva transmitters are based on GatesAir’s ultra-efficient PowerSmart® 3D architecture, with broadband designs that eliminate complex maintenance requirements.  Hot-swappable module and power supply replacement ensure that stations continue to operate at high power while supporting a simple exchange of components to enhance safety and working conditions.  The PowerSmart 3D architecture also delivers the highest transmitter power density in the industry, reducing size for more efficient real estate use.  In the case of KFMC, the compact footprint also improves cooling and circulation.

“The Flexiva is about 45 inches less in length, which allows us to move around the building and work more efficiently,” said Woodward.  “The compact footprint enables more airflow for cooling, which results in better transmitter performance and lower bills over the long haul.  In the winter months, we’ll recirculate the transmitter heat within the building to reduce demand on our furnaces, saving additional energy.”

In addition to the cost- and energy-reducing benefits, Woodward reports that the Flexiva transmitter, with its built-in GatesAir FAX exciter, has delivered a noticeable sound quality improvement.

“The audio quality has been amazing since we put the Flexiva on the air,” he said.  “We sat out in my vehicle after turning on the transmitter, switched between KFMC and our competitors, and adjusted the output for the best presence on the dial and the best possible sound quality.  We are filling the signal to its maximum capacity without the compressed sound that you experience with a lot of rock stations on the air today.  The FAX exciter has a lot to do with that, and it also gives us an all-in-one package with its built-in Orban processor card, RDS display and remote monitoring capabilities.”

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Date posted: September 10, 2014

Two western Maryland FM stations overcome significant terrain challenges with proprietary, scientific MaxxCasting™ formula for market-wide signal penetration

GeoBroadcast Solutions announces that a MaxxCasting™ deployment for West Virginia Radio Corporation has significantly improved market-wide signal penetration for two FM stations in Cumberland, Maryland.  MaxxCasting systems combine radio broadcast and mobile cellular technology to reduce interference between main transmitter and booster sites, enabling broadcasters to maximize network topology for the purpose of increasing coverage and revenue potential.

Located in western Maryland, the Cumberland market is home to West Virginia Radio stations WZDN-FM and WQZK-FM, with transmitters located well outside of city limits.  Both stations have had considerable challenges with terrain shielding, particularly on major interstates running through the region.

“We deployed a traditional booster for WZDN many years ago that wasn’t able to minimize interference across all the locations we targeted, and in fact created significant issues on I-68.  We also had virtually no direct coverage within the boundaries of Cumberland for WQZK,” said Chris Moran, director of technology, West Virginia Radio Corporation.  “We also needed to improve coverage across the main corridors that run through Cumberland.  MaxxCasting was the only solution where we could optimize coverage across these trouble spots while steering away interference.  GBS’ predicted coverage increases in advance of the upgrade have proven to be remarkably accurate.”

The MaxxCasting formula is superior to traditional booster systems due to its proprietary modeling software and cutting-edge distribution architecture, featuring high-efficiency transmitters and intelligent IP networking solutions from GatesAir.  The scientific formula considers the distance between transmission points, heights above average terrain, and time differentials between locations.  GBS produces a detailed software modeling solution for each station based on these and other measurements, determining the areas of concern and specifying booster site locations – along with antenna heights and power ratios – to maximize signal penetration in the customer-defined target coverage areas.  The GBS coverage analysis can be optimized by benchmarking coverage against population and ratings measurement data to further help the station target its key audience.  The designs are then implemented and fine-tuned in the field.

West Virginia Radio is also benefiting from the simplicity of the MaxxCasting architecture, which is made possible through cost-effective IP signal distribution.  Using GatesAir Intraplex® IP Link 200 codecs, the MaxxCasting network can drive two stations from a single system, with built-in real-time adaptive  synchronization across booster sites courtesy of Intraplex SynchroCast® time precision delay technology.  Low-power GatesAir Flexiva™ transmitters and Jampro JAVA log periodic antennas complete the distribution network.

“MaxxCasting made perfect sense for the Cumberland market based on the terrain,” said Moran.  “We deployed highly directional antennas very low to the ground, which allowed us to really target areas we wanted to cover while minimizing interference from the boosters to areas that the main site reaches.  It’s been a remarkable improvement.  We’ve eliminated six miles of interference on a stretch of I-68 west of Cumberland for WZDN, and the WQZK signal now covers the downtown area.  The minimal interference that does exist has been pushed to unpopulated areas thanks to GBS’ precise software modeling.  The design and prediction mapping that GBS brings to the system, along with the cost-effective and compact IP and transmission technology from GatesAir to embed timing information makes MaxxCasting unique.”

According to Moran, response from the community has been “extremely positive,” adding that a major advertiser has shared that he can now hear the station clearly.  “You can’t put a dollar figure on that kind of perception,” said Moran.

Hal Kneller, VP Global Sales and Business Development, GBS, adds that while the main purpose of MaxxCasting is to improve the listener’s signal, the benefits expand to the business side of over-the-air radio.

“MaxxCasting systems increase visibility with potential advertising clients and agencies by making sure they can tune in and hear the signal clearly from their in-market business locations,” said Kneller.  “There is also a positive effect on ratings as audience sampling is extended to new areas.  Meanwhile, GatesAir is helping us significantly lower the total cost of ownership for West Virginia Radio by driving two stations from a single IP Link 200, instead of requiring separate systems for each station.  This all adds up to a high value proposition for West Virginia Radio and other MaxxCasting customers.”

Date posted: September 9, 2014

Advanced HD Radio, intelligent networking architectures combine with high-efficiency performance to accelerate return on investment

CINCINNATI, September 9, 2014 GatesAir, a global leader in over-the-air broadcast solutions for television and radio, comes to The Radio Show this week with its over-the-air efficiency message, exhibiting turnkey solutions to create, transport, deliver and monetize over-the-air radio for AM, FM and HD Radio™ broadcasters.   With advanced new platforms for digital multichannel and intelligent IP networking on display, GatesAir’s vision delivers high-efficiency solutions that accelerate ROI and new revenue streams while providing the lowest total cost of ownership.

Many sessions at The Radio Show, taking place Wednesday-Friday at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, will focus on launching, operating and maintaining a successful digital radio service.  At the GatesAir booth (303, Exhibit Hall D), broadcasters can learn how the company’s latest HD Radio solutions support these initiatives while simplifying operations and launching new business opportunities.  GatesAir will showcase its innovative line of Flexiva analog and digital transmitters incorporating the Gen 4 Exgine architecture for multichannel HD Radio program transport and delivery, building on its long legacy of innovation in HD Radio broadcasting that dates to the first IBOC tests in the 1990s.

The complete GatesAir Gen 4 Exgine integrates all pertinent signal processing and transport solutions with the industry’s most cost- and power-efficient transmitters, bringing toward an all-in-one, networked solution from the company’s market-leading Flexiva portfolio.  The Gen 4 Exgine architecture is ideal for broadcasters facing the challenges associated with HD Radio power level increases, where power utilization, bandwidth, noise and interference challenges can affect efficiency, quality and compliance.  The GatesAir Gen 4 Exgine platform enables higher HD Radio power levels through advanced digital signal processing and efficient broadband transmitter designs, increasing headroom while reducing signal distortion and eliminating interference.  These improvements ensure an enjoyable experience for listeners who appreciate the high-quality, multichannel experience that HD Radio provides, while helping broadcasters increase market share and monetize digital services through improved coverage and performance.

GatesAir will also showcase intelligent networking solutions for contribution and distribution.  The company’s Flexiva range of on-air and production solutions for studio facilities, including multi-destination routing architectures with networked consoles and accessories, enhance creativity and collaboration across studios while reducing infrastructure, wiring and management complexity.  GatesAir will also showcase its latest contribution and distribution solutions for external signal transport, including compact Intraplex® IP Link codecs and the North American debut of Intraplex LiveLook, a new network optimization that strengthens visibility into IP network performance.  LiveLook’s real-time, interactive monitoring platform is designed to help broadcasters better comprehend and optimize network performance through in-depth analysis and troubleshooting of IP transport architectures.

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Date posted: September 8, 2014

Achievement brings targeted advertising for over-the-air radio broadcasters one major step closer to reality

GeoBroadcast Solutions has a message for over-the-air broadcasters heading into The Radio Show:  The era of geo-local advertising to increase radio revenues is about to begin.

GeoBroadcast Solutions, LLC (GBS) is the company behind ZoneCasting™, a unique and groundbreaking technology that delivers the dual benefit of over-the-air, hyper-local advertising opportunities for businesses right down to targeted neighborhoods; and new revenue-generating opportunities that provide long-term sustainable value for radio stations and networks.  As of this week, GBS has been granted a patent for ZoneCasting that makes deployment a realistic proposition for the very near future.

“ZoneCasting is the first true dynamic ad insertion opportunity for over-the-air radio on a geographical basis, using our now-patented wireless architecture,” said Bill Hieatt, Chief Technical Officer, GBS.  “We now look forward to the FCC’s approval of the ZoneCasting technology, clearing the way for ZoneCasting deployments that will bring lost revenues from a fractured marketplace back to the terrestrial airwaves.”

The approval of the ZoneCasting™ patent comes at a time when radio broadcasters are faced with increasing competition for ad revenue from online radio, mobile streaming and other emerging models online.  ZoneCasting’s targeted precision delivers unique commercial content simultaneously to many defined zones across a single broadcast market, unleashing new revenue opportunities for broadcasters, ad agencies and local businesses through a neighborhood focus.  GBS’ proprietary modeling approach is instrumental in enabling targeted advertising capability across multiple in-market zones.

The road to patent approval began in September 2009, when GBS filed a provisional patent to protect the proprietary nature of the ZoneCasting concept.  Since filing, the GBS team has partnered with GatesAir for transmitters and IP transport solutions to support low-cost distribution methods; and hyper-directional antennas and combiners from Jampro.  After receiving FCC Experimental Authorization grants, two successful field tests were conducted in 2010 (Salt Lake City) and 2011 (Sebring, Florida), followed by simulations and listening tests in 2012.  Each of these important events offered significant value and insight into proper zone location, system design, coverage modeling and optimization for ZoneCasting deployments.

GBS continues to evolve the ZoneCasting concept as the final FCC rulemaking phase moves toward completion.  The company has filed two additional patent applications since 2010 that will allow for further refinement and optimization of the ZoneCasting architecture.

“The ZoneCasting patent approval underlines the unique character of the ZoneCasting design, and our thorough testing and significant technology partnerships instill exceptional confidence in our design philosophy,” said Hal Kneller, VP Global Sales and Business Development, GBS.  “Our mobile network-like approach enables broadcasters to deliver a very robust and high-quality signal with targeted ad insertions.  We’re excited about the future of ZoneCasting and the opportunities it brings broadcasters and advertisers alike.”

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Date posted: September 4, 2014

IBC2014 demonstration will exhibit operational and business benefits of DTV and LTE convergence within the broadcast delivery model

The IBC2014 show marks the first integrated demonstration by GatesAir of LTE Mobile Offload, a unique model for supplementing capacity for live TV and other popular video services for bandwidth-constrained mobile networks.  The advanced model benefits both broadcast and mobile operators, maximizing spectrum use and cultivating new revenue models and business relationships; and reducing costs, expanding reach and preserving bandwidth.

Developed by the Technical University of Braunschweig’s Institute for Communications Technology, the emerging innovation leverages the traditional broadcast model’s efficient use of wireless spectrum for one-to-many delivery, supplementing the mobile network bandwidth and congestion challenges of deploying live TV and other video content across multiple peer-to-peer connections.  Broadcasters benefit from a new way to increase viewership and monetize spectrum given the rapidly growing number of consumer mobile devices in use worldwide.  In addition to overcoming previous barriers to HD video delivery over mobile devices, LTE Mobile Offload allows broadcasters to reach a highly nomadic viewing audience with existing standards and technology, while creating synergistic, revenue-generating partnerships with mobile network operators through spectrum leasing and other opportunities.

Mobile network operators benefit by offloading video content to High Tower High Power (HTHP) transmitters from GatesAir, ensuring a seamless user experience for consumers through optimal spectrum utilization.  Since TV and video content is delivered “out of band,” network congestion is eliminated and services are optimized—without the costs of securing spectrum and building out new networks.  This creates the dual benefit of satisfying consumers while saving costs and generating revenue, since the content is still technically delivered to subscribers over the mobile operator’s network.

Importantly, the groundbreaking initiative is developing at a time when UHF spectrum is in high demand for wireless broadband use worldwide.  Once commercialized, broadcast network operators could leverage their existing spectrum to simultaneously deliver fixed and mobile services over the air.  GatesAir is working with the Technical University of Braunschweig to commercialize the technology.

“LTE Mobile Offload represents a breakthrough opportunity for sharing wireless spectrum, and we see it as a natural progression of UHF broadcasting,” said Rich Redmond, chief product officer, GatesAir.  “Broadcasters, network operators and mobile service providers can reap a common benefit with this model.  The advanced architecture of LTE Mobile Offload boils down to spectrum efficiency and the lowest cost means of delivering video content to larger audiences.  The use of wireless spectrum no longer has to be an either/or proposition.  We are empowering our customers to take advantage of consumer trends and a quickly evolving market.”

LTE Mobile Offload is proven to work using the DVB-T2 broadcast standard today.  DVB-T2 includes Future Extension Frames (FEFs), which support the delivery of non-DVB-T2 signals inside the data stream.  This opens a lane inside the DVB-T2 standard to deliver the signal type (LTE-A+) that 3GPP-capable mobile devices can receive and play out as video. Similar possibilities exist for incorporation into ATSC 3.0 and other digital TV standards.

The GatesAir solution modulates the DVB-T2 and LTE-A+ signals, using a hybrid exciter platform and over-the-air transmitters to deliver simultaneous digital TV and LTE content to all devices from a broadcast tower.  The LTE Mobile Offload demonstration at GatesAir’s IBC stand (8.B10, September 12-16, RAI Convention Centre, Amsterdam) will feature a complete technical overview of this unique advanced architecture.

Date posted: September 2, 2014

Network expands with GatesAir high-efficiency FM/AM radio transmitters across the Americas, reducing labor and energy costs with each installation

GatesAir, a global leader in over-the-air broadcast solutions for television and radio, is shipping seven Flexiva™ transmitters to the Bible Broadcasting Network, a quickly expanding Christian FM/AM radio network with English- and Spanish-language stations throughout the Americas.  Bible Broadcasting Network has exclusively selected GatesAir for all main transmitter sites, citing noticeable efficiency gains across labor and power consumption as key benefits.

“The green efficiency of the Flexiva transmitter has been advantageous and measurable,” said Ron Muffley, network engineering manager, Bible Broadcasting Network.  “We have seen a sharp decrease in power use where we have replaced older transmitters.  We see the difference in our recent low-power installations in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and we anticipate a noticeable reduction in power costs as we install the high-power transmitters over the coming months.”

A closeup of the Flexiva transmitter at Bible Broadcasting Network’s FM affiliate in Leesport, Pa. The Leesport station is one of four affiliates to recently install a high-efficiency GatesAir low-power transmitter.

The most recent shipments include low-power FM transmitters for WYBQ-FM in Leesport, Pennsylvania; WYFY-FM in Cambridge, Ohio; and FM stations in Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador.  The network will soon install high-power Flexiva models—10kW, 20kW and 30kW—at WYFO-FM in Lakeland, Florida; WYFQ-FM in Charlotte, North Carolina; KYFS-FM in San Antonio; and KYFJ-FM in New Iberia, Louisiana.

Bible Broadcasting Network has gradually shifted to GatesAir exclusively for its main AM/FM transmitters as the network has grown.  In addition to power efficiency gains, maintenance and engineering work has been greatly simplified through fewer spare parts, hot swappable module replacements and built-in redundancy that always keeps them on the air.  These benefits all tie to the green PowerSmart® 3D architecture at the core of Flexiva transmitters, reducing footprint, monthly bills and labor through exceptional power density, energy efficiency and broadband designs – all equating to the industry’s lowest total cost of ownership for any radio broadcast transmitter on the market.

“We have some particularly remote sites that are very difficult to access, including the new Pennsylvania, Texas and Louisiana installations,” said Muffley.  “The benefit of having fewer spare parts means that an engineer can easily replace a module in a few minutes.  We have also been pleased that the high-efficiency Flexiva series eliminates the need for large transformers and chokes, greatly reducing size and weight.  There is a big benefit to having a lighter transmitter that one person can handle.”

Bible Broadcasting Network is also deploying GatesAir signal transport solutions, having recently installed an Intraplex® IP Link codec at WBYK-FM in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  The IP Link established a network connection to transport audio previously brought in by the satellite receiver, eliminating the RF performance issues that had hindered signal integrity at maximum operating power.

“Our long-term relationship with GatesAir has been excellent through the years, largely due to the excellent sales and support coupled with strong technology,” said Muffley.  “They wear more hats than sales, even providing input into maintenance and generally solving problems for us as they did at the Chattanooga site.  We have grown far beyond our expectations the past couple of years, and GatesAir has kept up with our growth at every stage.”

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