First, Send a Signal

Transmission gear moves ahead

Whether for field or broadcast transmission, there will be many new options available at this year’s NAB. In fact, analog-transmitter technology is still evolving (so that it is less expensive to run), and next-generation digital-compression techniques are providing improved bandwidth efficiency.

Acrodyne Industry (Ai)

The latest Ai Quantum transmitters use ESCIOT tubes, a natural outgrowth of the IOT transmitter that Ai Chairman Nat Ostroff says gives stations greater power savings; it can operate in either analog or digital mode. “It doesn’t have a fancy name or gimmicks or any confusion about what is the right tube technology,” he says. “It’s just a solid, reliable product.”


An important issue for broadcasters is dealing with ENG transmission in the wake of the Nextel Frequency Relocation Plan rollout. The new Truck-Coder II is designed to help broadcasters in either the new digital mode the standard requires or in the older, analog mode. BMS President Graham Bunney says it has an unlimited number of presets so station engineers can give truck operators whatever they need for multiple scenarios. A front-panel Ethernet port is also new, making downloadable field upgrades and preset configurations possible.


Dielectric is rolling out a bow-tie–slot turnstile antenna for UHF applications. Because each tie slot represents two batwings, the low-power economical broadband omni-directional antenna eliminates feedlines, hardware and radiators, and the need for a support mast. The design allows for dual inputs intended for single-channel operation or the simultaneous broadcast of two channels without the need for a separate combiner.


Harris addresses the analog crowd with its new Atlas Analog UHF solid-state transmitter. A station will also be able to use it in the digital age. “Broadcasters will be able to simply and cost-effectively transition to digital when they’re ready,” says Dale Mowry, VP of the Harris TV Broadcast Systems business unit. The transmitter is available in various power levels.

Link Research

Link HD is the the working model of a wireless HD camera system the company is touting. Also look for a production version of LinkXPRV, a wireless camera system with reverse video for sports broadcasts. A new LinkXP wireless transmission system for choppers will be on display, as well.


Modulus is crazy for MPEG-4 AVC (Advanced Video Codec), and this year the company will launch its ME6000 AVC HD video encoder. Based on the MPEG+4 advanced media codec, it uses a slice-partition methodology and advanced features like CABAC entropy coding, macro block adaptive field-frame coding, and multi-frame references to help content distributors transport video signals with much less bandwidth.


Tanberg is showing the EN5990, an MPEG-4 encoder suitable for a range of broadcast, cable, telco and satellite needs. It can encode in real time using MPEG-4 AVC compression, providing more-efficient distribution of HD signals and content.


Thales will show gear that enables a station to reach mobile phones with live video. It uses the DVB-H standard to broadcast to mobile/handheld devices. The demo will include content creation, distribution and RF transmission. Also look for SmartVision TV, a video-over-broadband service platform for live, VOD and iTV.