Dielectric Celebrates 80th Anniversary
- 14 April, 2022
USA: Dielectric returns to the NAB exhibit floor this month with an impressive business milestone under its belt. Celebrating 80 years in business, the broadcast industry’s leading and longest-serving over-the-air antenna and RF systems supplier will host customer-facing activities in its booth while showcasing its latest TV and radio innovations. Dielectric will show a now-available ATSC 3.0 antenna line for the first time, and updates to RFHAWKEYE, its IP-based RF monitoring system now gaining market traction with more than three dozen live installations.
Dielectric will also premiere several new innovations for radio broadcasters in a public setting, including new High Frequency Simulation Software (HFSS) tools that virtualize and accelerate precise FM pattern study developments. In addition, Dielectric will showcase its recently announced FMP family of FM pylon antennas, which align with the topic of a presentation from Vice President of Engineering John Schadler on Tuesday, April 26 at 1:55pm in Room 307-309 in the West Hall. Schadler’s presentation, Changing the Landscape of FM Broadcast Antenna Technology, will educate on the novel benefits that pylon antenna designs bring to FM radio broadcasters, including lower windload, increased reliability and pattern flexibility - benefits that TV stations have enjoyed for decades.
Dielectric will also offer a new interactive experience at its new West Hall location (#W7017) where there will be a feature wall including some of the top Dielectric sites in the world. Visitors can vote for their favorite and entered to win “Maine” based prizes.
“For Dielectric, NAB marks an occasion where we can celebrate a return to the industry gatherings we have all missed over the past two years while recognizing our 80 years of broadcast heritage,” said Keith Pelletier, recently named President of Dielectric. “As we reflect on where our business started, there are three core values that have carried us through: engineering strength, manufacturing innovation and a customer-first philosophy. The current Dielectric team has also made a significant mark in the company’s history over the past several years, especially in terms of product innovation and business growth.”
NextGenTV will be a substantial focus for Dielectric’s product innovation and business growth over the next few years. Dielectric has been involved in roughly 80 percent of NextGenTV lighthouse launches and has product in every trial and market launch to date.
As NextGenTV penetration spreads and broadcasters realize new revenue opportunities, the need to ensure signals can be received reliably everywhere will lead to the deployment of single frequency networks (SFNs). These networks, widely deployed with other OFDM standards in the world, can take various forms, which include enhancing the lighthouse with On-Channel Repeaters (OCR) or deploying a low to medium power networks of synchronized transmit facilities. All are designed to enhance the signal saturation and provide reliable reception on a multitude of devices.
Dielectric’s new Powerlite TFU-WB-LP Series will be an ideal antenna choice for these deployments. Dielectric has focused on a complete product platform for SFN buildouts, including antennas, combiners, and filters.
“There is an enormous amount of antenna pattern options to consider when planning ATSC 3.0 deployments, many of which are custom to specific network configurations” said Jay Martin, Vice President of Sales, Dielectric. “Our ATSC 3.0 antennas and software tools will help consultants customize network designs for broadcasters, and at NAB we will use software demonstrations to showcase everything we can support around ATSC 3.0 network planning and deployment. That includes optimized azimuth patterns with high front-to-back ratios, which will be common in the SFN configurations we expect to see gaining traction in ATSC 3.0 network designs.”
Martin adds that new software engineering tools related to the Powerlite TFU-WB-LP Series will help ATSC 3.0 broadcasters accurately select proper antenna gains, directional pattern characteristics and antenna elevations as they plan SFN network designs. Dielectric will also demonstrate new monitoring automation features to RFHAWKEYE’s software toolset, including an advanced analytics platform that the company has branded as Apollo.
“We have added the Apollo platform to RFHAWKEYE’s software suite so users can quickly analyze data from the site that can be formulated into a presentation package that is easy to digest", said Pelletier. “These enhancements will help TV and radio engineers take quick and decisive action on current problems, and take preventative action in the transmission line or antenna system that eliminate potentially disastrous situations down the road. Besides the intuitive active interface, Apollo can also provide customized reports, showing important system performance data and trends, over selectable time periods.
Pelletier notes that RFHAWKEYE will be a key part of Dielectric’s business model moving forward, including a managed services layer to help TV and radio stations remotely monitor their RF systems. “How well suppliers service the customer over the next decades will separate them from their competitors,” he said. “The broadcast industry continues to change, and you have to adapt rather than say we have always done it this way. NAB offers our customers a peak at what will keep Dielectric modern for years to come.”
Visit Dielectric at 2022 NAB Show, April 23-27 on Booth #W7017.