Low-power TV stations continue to contend with FCC initiatives to move to new channels and convert to digital operations, while interest grows in using LPTV sticks to transmit in the ATSC 3.0 standard. Above, Comark E-Compact transmitters.
Vendors see the end of a long RF repack process ahead with FCC deadlines being met, sometimes assisted by Special Temporary Authorities and interim transmission facilities. RF vendors are now looking to other revenue opportunities as the repack slows down. (Dielectric photo)
By most accounts, transmitter manufacturers and suppliers of antennas and RF components are doing a good job so far of keeping up with the rapid spike in demand caused by the repack. But weather problems are causing major problems for tower crews and delaying a growing number of projects. And repack insiders fear a more significant backup this summer and fall.
Manufacturers of transmitters, antennas, transmission line, filters and other RF components are already busy with repack orders but say the additional funding included in the government’s recent spending bill should greatly ease the process, particularly for mid-to-small-market stations that have been slow to invest due to fears about compensation. Above, a Dielectric APT panel antenna. Click here to access TVNewsCheck’s NAB 2018 Resource Guide listing transmitters, antennas and other RF gear or here to download it as a PDF.
Top of mind this week for managers and engineers alike will be hitting the FCC’s July 12 deadline for initial construction permit and repack expense reimbursement filings. But in the rush to get that done, it’s important not to lose sight of future possibilities like single frequency network operation.