With the post-Spectrum Auction repack process in full swing, ensuring that television stations have all of their ducks in a row is essential. Staying on schedule is a task that cannot be taken lightly.
For many TV broadcasting companies, Dielectric was selected as the supplier of new antennas needed for the multi-phase repack process. Now, Dielectric has completed the order of its 500th antenna.
The station receiving it is Nexstar Media Group-owned KSHV-DT in Shreveport, La. The station plans to install the antenna in the first quarter of 2019, in alignment with phase 2 of the FCC repack transition schedule.
Dielectric’s 500th repack antenna is a TUA-P4-4/10H-1 SM broadband, side-mount, auxiliary antenna that KSHV can use on both its current and future UHF channel assignments. Dielectric custom-designed the antenna to radiate in a unique, directional, peanut-shaped pattern to optimize coverage over the Shreveport and Texarkana regions. KSHV will transition from UHF Channel 44 to its post-repack Channel 16 once the antenna array is installed.
Jay Martin, VP of Sales for Dielectric, notes that since reaching that 500th antenna milestone with Nexstar, it has taken “at least 42 more orders for spectrum repack arrays.” Dielectric is shipping roughly 100 antenna systems per quarter.
Of the 987 U.S. DTV stations impacted by the spectrum repack, Dielectric has provided technical designs for 917 of them; more than half of these proposals have resulted in antenna orders. At the present time, Dielectric is focused on building and delivering antennas that are slated for installations across phases 1 to 4.
Dielectric says TUA antennas are ideal for broadband applications that are horizontally polarized. In addition to antennas, Dielectric brings together all required components for a standalone broadcast antenna system, including filters, switches, combiners and transmission line. This allows broadcasters to make one call for all their broadcast needs.
“There is a serious shortage of qualified crews to work on complex installations on tall towers that will likely cause an ‘installation bottleneck’ in the field, perhaps even before the end of 2018,” said Martin. “For broadcasters in danger of missing the scheduled deadlines for their main antennas for any reason, we are ready.”
Dielectric opened a second, repack-focused production facility in December 2017 to accommodate the large influx of repack business.