Low-Band VHF Systems Arrive For Repack Initiatives


A leading manufacturer of purpose-engineered antennas and RF systems for TV and radio broadcasters is now offering low-band VHF systems specific to Channels 4 and 5 to the television industry.

This “complete solution” packages the circularly polarized DCR-Q FM ring-style antenna from Dielectric with newly developed band-tunable filters and its rigid transmission line.

The systems are designed to appeal to broadcasters opting out of the UHF band and voluntarily relocating to these two channels, particularly on the filtering side where there is a clear lack of low-band VHF options.

The DCR-Q is designed to be a more cost-effective option than panel antennas that typically serve Channel 4 and 5 broadcasters. Further, the compact footprint is designed to reduce installation time.

“Panel antennas that typically serve low-band VHF frequencies are very large,” said Dielectric OEM Sales Cory Edwards. “The DCR-Q provides Channel 4 and 5 broadcasters with a much lighter option that vastly reduces loading and physical space. The circular polarization of the DCR-Q brings additional value to Channel 4 and 5 broadcasters by improving indoor reception. This has been a significant challenge of low-band VHF delivery in the digital TV age.”

The DCR-Q is a side-mounted broadband antenna that was initially developed through a customer request to support nine FM stations. The wideband characteristics and high power handling that makes the DCR-Q ideal for multichannel FM also apply to low-band VHF broadcasters that typically install panel antennas to achieve these same benefits.

Dielectric’s new specialized Channel 4 and 5 filters borrow the same design characteristics as the company’s tunable waveguide filters introduced in 2017. Dielectric’s design reduces filter size and heat production inside the transmitter building, while maintaining high voltage safety margins. Once installed, the design adapts to environmental changes such as temperature and humidity, maintaining channel tuning as signals move through the RF filtering process.

Edwards expects low-power broadcasters moving to low-band VHF following the repack period will also express interest in the new product.