Sinclair Preps For Repack With Rohde & Schwarz

Sinclair Broadcast Group has purchased an R&S THU9evo high-power UHF transmitter from Rohde & Schwarz, which will be installed later this year as part of the company’s compliance with the upcoming FCC repack. Rohde & Schwarz will showcase the new transmitter during the 2017 NAB Show (Booth SL1205), which runs April 24-27 in Las Vegas.

The FCC repack of the licensed broadcast spectrum was initiated to make room for wireless broadband by clearing UHF channels 38-51. Approximately 1,200 stations, including nearly a hundred Sinclair properties, will be required to transition to new channel assignments. The process will be conducted in 10 phases with staggered completion dates over the next several years.

“We purchased this Rohde & Schwarz transmitter as part of our planning process to get a head start on the repack project,” explained Harvey Arnold, Sinclair VP of engineering. “The compact footprint and efficiency of these new solid-state transmitters offer a very viable option for Sinclair to replace IOT transmitters no longer supported by original manufacturers during repack.”

“We are proud Sinclair Broadcast Group has selected an R&S THU9evo as the beginning for its repack efforts,” said Erik Balladares, director of Broadcast & Media Division, Rohde & Schwarz USA. “We hope this new transmitter will help Sinclair generate increased revenues while lowering their operating costs.”

The R&S THU9evo liquid-cooled UHF transmitter family delivers energy efficiency values of up to 43% for ATSC and 40% for COFDM (i.e., ATSC 3.0), according to Rohde & Schwarz. Based on the established R&S THU9 platform, it offers the highest power density on the market, the company says. In Doherty operation, stations can save up to 50% of energy costs compared to conventional transmitters. Plus, the R&S THU9evo provides configuration flexibility and scalability in a very small footprint, which results in further cost reductions over the system lifetime.

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