New repack deals, ATSC 3.0 channel launch solidify GatesAir’s position as leading transmission supplier for next-generation of broadcast television
With more than 1,500,000 watts of GatesAir repack installations on the air and over 12,000,000 watts of confirmed deals with many of the nation’s largest broadcasters, GatesAir is building on its continued repack momentum to help broadcast engineers prepare for an ATSC 3.0 future.
GatesAir will demonstrate its high-efficiency over-the-air content delivery solutions for next-generation TV networks at the 2018 NAB Show (April 9-12, Las Vegas Convention Center, Booth N3703), including its IP-native Maxiva™ transmitters and exciters. GatesAir’s market-leading Maxiva solutions have been used in all experimental and commercial ATSC 3.0 broadcasts to date in the South Korea and the USA, including the just-announced Phoenix Model Market project.
The Phoenix Model Market project is the first collaborative single-market effort to plan for and implement an ATSC 3.0 transition. E.W. Scripps Company, Fox Television Stations, Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, TEGNA Inc., Telemundo Station Group, Univision Communications and Pearl TV are behind the initiative to demonstrate how ATSC 3.0 technology can be deployed alongside existing digital TV services. GatesAir supplied a high-efficiency Maxiva UAXTE UHF air cooled TV transmitter for the project, which also demonstrates GatesAir’s interoperability with other software (signaling, advanced monitoring) and hardware (encoders, multiplexers, filters) elements that comprise a complete ATSC 3.0 ecosystem.
The Maxiva UAXTE joins ULXTE UHF liquid-cooled and VAXTE VHF air-cooled transmitters — all outfitted with GatesAir’s Maxiva XTE software-defined exciter — to form the industry’s youngest and broadest range of high-efficiency, solid-state TV transmitters. Equipped with PowerSmart® Plus technology for market-leading power density and energy efficiency, the Maxiva transmitter range covers all power levels and spectrum needs — including the low-band VHF market. GatesAir’s unique power-parity attributes also protects repack investments, ensuring that broadcasters can transmit at the same power levels in ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0.
GatesAir, which to date has installed transmitters for nearly 50 repack sites, has also won another repack deal headed into NAB largely based on the strengths of these solutions. Block Communications has exclusively committed to GatesAir for its five TV stations and related translator sites in Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio, choosing a mix of Maxiva ULXTE liquid-cooled and UAXTE air-cooled transmitters. The five stations comprise three projects, each with unique needs and characteristics. The first to go on the air in February of this year, WAND-DT in Decatur, Illinois, is a Maxiva ULXTE-90 transmitter; the other two projects involve more expansive facility upgrades and, in the case of WHOL-DT and WLIO-DT in Lima, Ohio, relocation to a new tower site.
Fred Vobbe, VP and Chief Operator for Block Communications, points to GatesAir’s high-power strengths, company longevity and customer support strengths as differentiating factors in their decision. Block Communications joins Cordillera, Heartland, Hearst and Raycom among other leading broadcasters that have exclusively committed to GatesAir repack transmitters.
“From a product standpoint, we were very impressed with the quality and efficiency of their liquid-cooled transmitters; this is especially important for our Louisville project, where two ULXTE transmitters will combine for more than one million watts of ERP,” said Vobbe. “More importantly, we wanted a company that we knew would be around tomorrow. Our current transmitters were made by companies that no longer operate. The fact that GatesAir has been in business for more than 95 years and is headquartered in the USA means turnaround times for spare parts and other support requests will be fast.”
Vobbe added that GatesAir’s sales and support teams offered valuable guidance for all three repack projects across transmitter size, electrical consumption, cooling loads and more, including the limited work that would be required to transition to ATSC 3.0 with the same system. He also pointed to GatesAir’s new interface with Burk’s ARC Plus remote control as an impressive new method to streamline system monitoring and maintenance.
“We no longer have to worry about developing a sophisticated wiring harness and work through endless hours of system programming,” said Vobbe. “Instead, GatesAir transitioned this connectivity to a very simple Cat5 network cable between the transmitter and the remote control. What was once very challenging has now been made very simple.”
“As we enter perhaps the most exciting NAB for local television broadcasters in decades, GatesAir looks forward to demonstrating its innovation and market leadership with a full range of solutions to support the next generation of television,” said Joseph Mack, vice president of sales, Americas. “And through our continued momentum across repack wins with customers like Block Communications and participation in the Phoenix Model Market project, we are proud to stand alongside the nation’s biggest broadcasters as we transition them through this very busy period.”
GatesAir, Inc., a portfolio company of The Gores Group, provides complete solutions for over-the-air radio and television broadcasting, leveraging wireless spectrum to maximize performance for multichannel, mission-critical services. Powering over-the-air networks worldwide with unparalleled reliability for nearly 100 years, GatesAir’s turnkey solutions enable broadcasters to create, transport and transmit radio and TV content. With customers in more than 185 countries, the company leads the industry in innovation and design breakthroughs, improving efficiency and reducing total cost of ownership with all products designed and assembled in the USA. Visit www.gatesair.com for more information, Like us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/gatesair, and follow us on Twitter at @GatesAir.
About The Gores Group
The Gores Group, founded in 1987 by Alec Gores, is a global investment firm focused on acquiring controlling interests in mature and growing businesses which can benefit from the firm’s operating experience and flexible capital base. The firm combines the operational expertise and detailed due diligence capabilities of a strategic buyer with the seasoned M&A team of a traditional financial buyer. Over its 30-year history, The Gores Group has become a leading investor having demonstrated a reliable track record of creating value in its portfolio companies alongside management. Headquartered in Los Angeles, The Gores Group maintains offices in Boulder, CO, and London. For more information, please visit http://www.gores.com.