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GatesAir has released the second generation of its Maxiva MultiD series of multichannel DAB/DAB+ radio transmitters. The new transmitters feature improved power and bandwidth management, connectivity and monitoring and control functionality.
The MultiD Series is an innovation from the GatesAir Europe team that developed the series to reduce the costs and infrastructure of per-site multichannel DAB broadcasting. The original MultiD system integrates three separate transmitters within a single 1RU chassis instead of requiring a separate transmitter for each channel plus an external combiner and auxiliary hardware. In addition to space savings, MultiD introduced independent service inputs and signal processing engines and a single modulator for three DAB radio services within a single channel band, for example, 10A, 10B and 10C.
The new MultiD system design adds capacity for a fourth DAB service, and removes the limitations of broadcasting all services within a single DAB channel band. MultiD customers can now broadcast four independent DAB radio services across separate channels, such as 10A, 10B, 11A and 11B. Such a feature would be helpful for broadcasters not allocated all the licenses within a specific channel.
“The DAB spectrum in Europe typically covers Channels 8 through 12, and each channel can support up to four DAB radio program services,” said Ted Lantz, vice president of product line management at GatesAir. “Our second-generation MultiD system substantially increases overall bandwidth, allowing room for additional services while extending our frequency spread between the lowest and highest channel in any MultiD system.”
Power output per channel can also now be built to each customer’s specifications. The original MultiD system capped at 150 W, which limited users to three DAB services at 50 Watts apiece. With the new modular design, DAB broadcasters can now order a 1.5 kW MultiD system to support three 500 W services or a 1.2 kW system to support four 300 W services. It is also possible to establish varied power levels across different DAB services. GatesAir says MultiD systems are now configurable to serve virtually any combination of power levels for up to four DAB services. The ability to divide system capacity is also useful for MultiD systems that share different tenants — a common occurrence in road tunnels where broadcasters can effectively consolidate resources to ensure consistent coverage of their most important broadcasts.
Even when supporting four DAB services, the MultiD design only requires a single modulatorTed Lantz, vice president of product line management at GatesAir
MultiD’s multicarrier architecture provides the same high-efficiency benefits even when supporting more than one tenant or broadcasting across more than one DAB channel. That includes a sizeable footprint reduction by removing the need for external RF combining. MultiD internally combines low-level RF signals and then generates and re-transmits all independent DAB services through a single amplifier. The streamlined architecture requires only a single band-pass filter and RF antenna connector for transmission to listeners.
The new MultiD system designs incorporate four separate EDI inputs for IP contribution and distribution. Users can select between IP-based (EDI) and legacy (ETI) connections, providing flexibility to transport signals using both IP and microwave connections. GatesAir has also added a secure HTML5 user interface to remotely monitor and analyze signal health and performance from any browser.
Lantz notes that the updated MultiD system design retains the same energy efficiency as the original version, which includes high-efficiency broadband amplifiers. “Even when supporting four DAB services, the MultiD design only requires a single modulator,” said Lantz. “That means we are splitting the energy use and power consumption of a single modulator across all channels and substantially reducing that consumption per channel. There is an enormous efficiency advantage with MultiD systems when it comes to reducing cost, footprint and maintenance.”
GatesAir will demonstrate the second-generation MultiD series at the 2023 NAB Show at Stand W2833, where GatesAir and Thomson will co-exhibit for the first time.