GatesAir Adds Block With Another ‘Repack’ Pact


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 over-the-air content delivery solutions for next-generation TV networks at the 2018 NAB Show, including its IP-native Maxiva transmitters and exciters.

GatesAir’s Maxiva solutions have been used in all experimental and commercial ATSC 3.0 broadcasts to date in the South Korea and the U.S., including the recently 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. The E.W. Scripps Company, Fox Television Stations, Meredith Local Media Group, Nexstar Media Group, TEGNA, 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 Maxiva UAXTE UHF air cooled TV transmitter for the project, which also speaks to 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. Equipped with PowerSmart Plus technology for power density and energy efficiency, the Maxiva transmitter range covers all power levels and spectrum needs, including the low-band VHF market.

GatesAir, which to date has installed transmitters for nearly 50 repack sites, has also won another repack deal headed into the 2018 NAB Show.

Block Communications has committed to GatesAir for its five TV stations and related translator sites in Illinois, Kentucky and Ohio. It is using a combination 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 2018, WAND-DT in Decatur, Ill., 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.

Block Communications joins Cordillera, Heartland, Hearst and Raycom as some of the broadcast companies using 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.”

Joseph Mack, GatesAir’s VP/Sales for the Americas, said, “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. 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.”