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ATSC 3.0: RF System

Depending on your station's future plans, you may want to revisit and update your RF system components, especially if you plan to switch bands, improve output, and/or take advantage of ATSC 3.0

Key RF System Considerations

Determine if You are Changing Frequency Bands from UHF to VHF

  • If Yes → Entire RF system replacement required.
  • If No → Still likely that a replacement system is needed.
  • In either case - check with manufacturer, some components may be re-used, or re-tuned on a new channel depending on extent of frequency shift.

Mask Filter (in same band)

  • Check if your mask filter is re-tunable (most are not).
  • Compare cost to replace versus re-tune filter on site.
  • Physical size and installation considerations.
  • Availability and lead time – potential implementation issue.

System Power Limits

  • Is a power level increase required?
    • Check ratings of low pass filters, dummy loads, line sizes, test loads, etc.

Magic Tee RF Combining Systems

  • Magic Tee will not be tunable to a new channel.
    Question: Do I still need a Magic Tee combiner?
    • A new solid state transmitter with multi-power blocks will have excellent redundancy.
    • Replacement Magic Tee RF system can cost well over $100k.

System Efficiency

  • Recent changes in filter design may offer lower insertion loss which will improve system efficiency and lower operating costs.
ATSC 3.0: RF System image
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