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GatesAir Helps Rede VTV Prepare For Digital Transition

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GatesAir is preparing Brazilian TV broadcaster Rede VTV, an affiliate of the SBT Network, for a full ISDB-Tb digital TV transition in advance of the country's 2018 analog TV shutoff deadline.

As part of a turnkey over-the-air solution, systems integration firm Foccus Digital is rolling out a single-frequency network (SFN) comprised of multiple high-efficiency GatesAir Maxiva™ UAX air-cooled UHF transmitters. The network allows Rede VTV to serve both analog and digital TV viewers, with GatesAir enabling the multichannel opportunities of ISDB-Tb DTV at the lowest total of ownership.

The GatesAir SFN solution synchronizes 31 transmitters of varying power levels (up to 50kW) from the coastal areas of Sao Paulo through the deep interior, with interoperability across satellite and IP microwave platforms for regional distribution. The GatesAir SFN architecture enables Rede VTV to manage ASI, L-Band and IP input sources across the network – an operational benefit given the complex nature of managing many analog and digital signals across long distances.

Cesar Donato, director of Foccus Digital, notes that GatesAir's SFN architecture "simplified both the initial rollout and commissioning of the network," which allowed Rede VTV get on the air quickly with the new transmitters. GatesAir's approach eliminates the intensive transmitter software programming associated with competitive SFN solutions to remove signal overlap and interference network-wide.

"GatesAir helped us solve the problem of synchronizing multiple transmitter stations across a large single-frequency network with conflicting, close-proximity coverage spots," said Marcus Mansur, director of Rede VTV. "This is not a matter of a transmitter working at a single site; instead, this project required consistent phasing, in perfect synchronicity, across very long distances. The Maxiva UAX transmitters respond very well to this challenging situation, and the simplicity of integration made for a quick plug-and-play rollout. The final result is a high-efficiency solution with consistently outstanding performance."

Though Brazil has set a national analog TV shutoff for 2018, the main Rede VTV coverage cities of Campinas and Santos will turn off analog programming in 2017. Therefore, Foccus Digital designed a turnkey system for hybrid analog and ISDB-T programming to prepare them well in advance. The SFN design includes ERI filters and combiners to marry analog and digital signals in common antenna systems, as well as Selenio™ networking/encoding systems from Imagine Communications.

The GatesAir SFN network also enables a quick return on investment in part due to low maintenance requirements. The ability to use a single set of spare parts across the entire network, along with the redundant, modular and hot-pluggable architecture of Maxiva UAX transmitters, will help Rede VTV maintain low labor costs over the lifetime of the network.

"With Brazil's analog shutoff date approaching, GatesAir is partnering with Foccus Digital to cost-efficiently transition broadcasters countrywide, while helping them achieve new revenue-generating services through the multichannel opportunities of digital broadcasting," said Joseph Mack, vice president of sales, Americas, GatesAir. "The Rede TV project is an ideal representation of how this service-oriented approach facilitates challenging digital transitions for broadcasters at the lowest total of ownership."


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