Major US Broadcasters Have Started Using Antennas Based on Variable Polarization Technology

Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is helping major US broadcasters future-proof their systems against the Spectrum Repacking announced by the FCC. The FCC released a public notice announcing that they will repack the television band by assigning television stations to new channels. Nearly 1,000 stations will be moved to new channels starting November 2018.

RFS is using its patented Variable Polarization Technology (VPT), to address global deployments and US-specific demand. They have now installed several VPT-powered elliptical antennas across the US, including at 1 World Trade Center (1WTC) in Manhattan. VPT systems are also increasingly being used across three geographies (North America, LATAM, and APAC) with demand being driven by broadcasters looking to prepare for the next-generation of TV and new transmission applications around the world.

Broadcasters in the US are increasingly choosing VPT-powered antenna systems when replacing existing hardware as part of the spectrum repack because these systems offer an important level of flexibility for the future. With VPT, the ratio of vertical to horizontal polarization can be changed after the antenna has been installed. It’s no longer hardwired into the design and doesn’t need to be the same for all broadcasters transmitting with the antenna, meaning they don’t need to lock themselves into the restrictions of a fixed polarization system if transmission requirements change.

RFS’ VPT-powered systems have a number of benefits:

  • Essential for shared antenna situations: Allows each broadcaster to set their own polarization ratio. This brings superior signal penetration and coverage, while also enabling broadcasters to reduce infrastructure ownership costs.
  • Simplifies the evolution to ATSC3.0 standards: Polarization changes can be made with minor adjustments at the transmitter level in the station. This will make it quick and easy for broadcasters to shift from horizontal to the elliptical polarization needed for mobile devices under ATSC3.0 when they are ready – and without extra cost or upgrades.
  • Advanced transmission: VPT-powered antennas can transmit advanced ATSC3.0 modes such as MIMO and MISO, increasing the volume of data that can be sent to a receiving device. 

Click here to learn more about Variable Polarization Technology (VPT).