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GatesAir Maxiva DTV Transmitters Reduce Costs, Enhance Performance For Duopoly

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KTBS-TV3 and KPXJ-CW21 — a duopoly owned by LA's KTBS — have announced that they have upgraded to Maxiva ULXT liquid-cooled UHF DTV transmitters from GatesAir.

The solid-state UHF DTV transmitters are built-upon GatesAir's PowerSmart Plus architecture, their 'next-generation green transmission technology', which significantly lowers energy consumption and power bills.

Dale Cassidy, Chief Engineer for KTBS and KPXJ, said: "We chose the Maxiva ULXT transmitter for its ultra-high energy efficiency, reliability and ease of operation, as well as its low total cost of ownership. In terms of energy consumption, we anticipate long-term cost savings from these new solid-state transmitters. We felt confident buying our transmitters from GatesAir because we were well-aware of their reputation in the industry. We also like the fact that their transmitters are manufactured here in the United States, especially since it makes accessing service, support and training much easier."

KTBS-TV began searching for a new DTV transmitter when its 15-year-old legacy tube transmitter from another supplier began to fail, and replacement parts became hard to find. The hope was to find and install a new transmitter before the quality of the on-air product began to suffer. As Cassidy learned more about the high efficiency and attractive ROI of GatesAir transmitters, he saw an immediate value in replacing a second legacy tube transmitter at sister-station KPXJ.

"The numbers looked so favorable that we decided to replace both units at the same time," Mr Cassidy added. "Since installing the transmitters in June, we've been monitoring their signal-to-noise and error vector measurement [EVM] values, and these levels have been exceptional. The performance of the GatesAir Maxiva M2X exciters for the transmitters has also been excellent, and we plan to eventually upgrade to the newer Maxiva XTE exciters. We're well-positioned for any changes related to the spectrum repack and ATSC 3.0, including the ability to add many new channels."

KTBS-TV, which broadcasts on UHF DTV channel 28 (Virtual PSIP channel 3), chose the Maxiva ULXT-80 to broadcast a multiplex of full power DTV signals at 52.2 Kw, including: ABC-HD (720/60p) on 3.1, The Local Weather (480i) on 3.2, and KTBS 24-Hour News (480i) on 3.3. KPXJ-TV, which broadcasts on UHF DTV channel 21, chose the Maxiva ULXT-60 to broadcast a multiplex of DTV signals at 34.6 Kw, including The CW on 21.1, MeTV on 21.2, Movies! on 21.3, and Antenna TV on 21.4.

In addition to providing the headroom they need for high-quality, multichannel DTV over the air, the new solid-state ULXT transmittersoffer many safety, maintenance and operational advantages over their legacy tube transmitters.

Mr Cassidy continued: "We are no longer subjected to the high-voltage cabinets inherent with tube technology. We can now open any door on these new transmitters without having to worry about it being the last door we ever open. Rather than waiting for the tubes to warm up, our start-up time is now essentially seconds. We can also use regular automobile antifreeze as opposed to expensive glycol.Something as simple as being able to mount our heat exchanges in the vertical plane, as opposed to horizontal, makes the units mucheasier to clean. And with the web interface feature, we're no longer dependent upon a third-party to provide telemetry back to our master control."

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