Dielectric Innovation Enables Near Field Drone Measurements to Validate TV Antenna Performance

January 4, 2021

Near-field measurements eliminate special FAA waivers, reduce impact of signal reflections on measurements for broadcasters seeking to verify antenna radiation characteristics

RAYMOND, Maine, September 15, 2020 — Dielectric has launched a new engineering service that enables drone operators to fully and accurately characterize Antenna azimuth and elevation performance without special waivers from the FAA. The service has been successfully beta-tested and is now “in production” at several broadcast tower sites.

The new service is a response to a common dilemma facing drone operators:  To fully characterize an antenna’s elevation pattern, the drone flight must be performed in the elevation far-field, approximately several thousand feet from the antenna. Applications for FAA waivers have been stalled for more than 18 months in some cases, preventing the drone operator from completing measurements verifying antenna performance.

The less-attractive alternatives for broadcasters include close-in flights, which are accurate for azimuth only; or the less accurate and time-intensive ground-based techniques. Since the field measurements are reimbursable for “repacked” broadcasters in the USA, the delay in obtaining an FAA waiver can result not only in a repack project dragging on much longer than necessary, but also in the delayed identification of installation problems.

Dielectric engineers recognized that a new approach was needed. Realizing that no special waivers were required from the FAA for drone flights within the tower structure shield, Dielectric devised a method to confirm the antenna’s far-fieldelevation pattern, in addition to the azimuth pattern, from data gathered within that shield. This technique has an added advantage since far-field measurements are subject to signal reflections, multipath and interference, as are the more complicated ground-vehicle measurements.

“FAA rules place several restrictions on flying drones for commercial use. There is a 400-feet altitude restriction on commercial drone flights, unless the operator can fly the drone within a 400-foot radius around a structure, and does not fly higher than 400 feet above the top of that structure,” said John Schadler, Vice President of Engineering, Dielectric. “Unfortunately, waivers for these rules take many months to process, and may never be granted due to other restrictions. Ourtechnique solves the problem of getting a waiver beyond the FAA shield. That means no need to create flight plans and safety simulations, among other requirements that lengthen the approval process.”

Both near-field and far-field measurements allow broadcasters to verify azimuth radiation patterns for their TV antennas, and confirm that they are radiating as predicted and oriented properly on the tower. Dielectric’s approach calculates the near-field elevation pattern characteristics for comparison to the near-field drone measurement data, thus allowing a near-field measurement to accurately reflect elevation far-field performance.

Flight Preparation

Prior to a drone pilot taking flight, Dielectric engineers construct a full virtual model of the entire antenna, including tower support structure, based on final antenna and tower drawings. Using the company’s sophisticated high-frequency modeling software with the virtual model produces a detailed prediction of azimuth and elevation data at a given distance from the tower – at or within the 400-foot FAA limit. That allows a comparison of the virtual model with the actual near-fieldmeasurement, which is, in fact, an unfocused representation of what the radiation characteristics look like in the far-field.

The drone pilot then collects the data and returns it to Dielectric, where engineers export and plot the data over the virtual model. Once compared and confirmed, a report is provided to the end customer, which is typically a TV station engineer or a consultant representing the broadcaster.

“The ability to compare near-field measurements with the virtual antenna model confirms that measurements in the far field would return the same data but, just to be sure, we carried out far-field drone measurements as well. The results matched,” said Nicole Starrett, Electrical Engineer, Dielectric. “The added benefit is that the antenna characteristics can be quickly transformed to any distance, near or far, for comparison. ”

Starrett adds that Dielectric has the ability to model any antenna for which they have detailed drawings and data, which means the service will most likely be restricted to Dielectric antennas. “Dielectric had more than 80 percent of the repack business in the USA over the past three years,” said Schadler. “That takes our total number of repack antennas shipped to 948, so we expect to be quite busy supporting this new service.”

Starrett will present Near Field Drone Measurements of Broadcast Antennas at 10:45am on Thursday, October 15 at the Wisconsin Broadcasters Fall virtual event, as well as virtually at the Radio Club of America Technical Symposium on Friday November 20th.

About Dielectric

Based in Raymond, Maine, Dielectric LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group. Dielectric is a leading provider of innovative broadcast products. Now celebrating its 78th year of operation, the company builds and delivers antennas and RF systems optimized for every TV and FM radio broadcast need since 1942. Dielectric is an innovative, customer-centric organization with a long history of engineering excellence in designing and manufacturing high-quality broadcast solutions. As a trust partner of broadcasters worldwide, Dielectric maintains its legacy of advanced, precision RF solutions while building in features that prepare broadcasters for the future. More information can be accessed at www.dielectric.com

Atlona Appoints McFadden Sales as Manufacturer’s Representative for the Midwest

January 4, 2021

85-year old firm will represent Atlona’s commercial and residential businesses in four states, with an emphasis on driving stronger customer engagement down to the end user

SAN JOSE, Calif., September 15, 2020 – Atlona, a Panduit company, has designated McFadden Sales as its manufacturer’s representative for the Great Lakes region of Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, and Ohio, effective immediately. Representing Atlona’s commercial and residential AV product lines, McFadden will work closely with systems integrators and custom installers to supply complete AV solutions for end user projects. McFadden will also work closely with Atlona on training and education initiatives that reach integration partners and, increasingly, end users.

“McFadden Sales is an 85-year old company with a history of strong customer engagement throughout the Midwest, and a diverse portfolio of high-end AV, customer electronic, and musical instrument manufacturers,” said Jamey Swigert, Director of AV Sales and Business Development, Atlona. “McFadden brings expertise in sales, marketing and customer education that will bring greater visibility and awareness to Atlona and its products, and we look forward to a long and rewarding collaborative relationship.”

“There is a great deal of convergence still taking shape across the AV industry when it comes to technology, and we are increasingly discovering new ways to effectively drive customer engagement,” said Andy Kerr, co-owner, McFadden Sales. “That means further entrenching ourselves into end user relationships in a way that helps both our integration partners, and the manufacturers that we represent. That includes very targeted and thorough marketing and training efforts that speak directly to a broader community of customers.”

McFadden Co-Owner Andy Yost notes that while the AV industry has adapted to the technology changes that come with more IT-centric AV systems, there remains a need to familiarize users with how to efficiently operate and scale systems that live on the IP network. Yost believes that Atlona has developed IP-based products that simplify these transitions while consistenly staying ahead of the curve with research and development.

“We have worked with over AV over IP, collaboration and control companies in the past, but none approach the diversity of what Atlona has its product portfolio,” said Yost. “Add in their price point, ease of programming and reputation for quality and customer service, and it’s clearly a winning formula for our customers. We also see strong opportunities for synergy with the Panduit side of the business to supply and design complete solutions that extend deep into the networking infrastructure.”

About McFadden Sales

McFadden Sales Inc. has been the Midwest’s premier sales and marketing company for professional audio equipment and musical instrument manufacturers since 1938 serving the states of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, & Michigan. By proudly acting as an extension of our brands, we align the best interests of our partners to cultivate loyal and profitable relationships. We connect people to the products and relationships that enhance their lives. In today’s converging marketplace, we exemplify a curated and personal experience at all stages of our processes: Customer service, consultation, sales and marketing.

About Atlona

Atlona, a Panduit company, is a leading global manufacturer of AV over IP distribution, connectivity, and control solutions. The company designs and engineers innovative, award-winning products for a diverse range of residential and commercial AV and IT markets. Backed by an award-winning 10-year warranty, Atlona’s products are developed to enable our customers’ ability to connect and collaborate with simplicity. More information about Atlona is available at atlona.com.

About Panduit

Global connectivity leader Panduit Corp. creates innovative electrical and network infrastructure solutions for applications across the enterprise. Headquartered in Tinley Park, Ill. and operating in 112 worldwide locations, Panduit’s technology leadership and robust ecosystem help support, sustain, and empower business growth in a connected world. panduit.com

Visix Adds Antimicrobial Screen Protectors to Interactive Room Signs

January 4, 2021

ATLANTA, GA – September 14, 2020 – Visix is now offering antimicrobial covers for their interactive meeting room signs. The screen protectors are made from a thin film that reduces germ transmission by up to 99%, as well as reducing glare and fingerprints.

Touch10 and Connect meeting room signs allow booking at the screen, as well as other interactive functions. The new antimicrobial film is available for both models and has been specifically formulated to eliminate the spread of germs and contamination on touchscreens with multiple users.

“We’re all concerned about germ transmission, especially with COVID-19,” says Trey Hicks, chief sales officer for Visix. “These covers are a very simple but effective precaution that our room sign clients can put in place, and installation is as easy as applying a screen protector to your phone.”

In laboratory tests using colon bacillus and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, the film’s antimicrobial coating showed a reduction rate of 99% of these germs over a 24-hour period, as well as excellent resistance to heat and solvents. The film has a matte finish to reduce glare, provides excellent scratch resistance and hides fingerprints. It also filters out 99% of UVB light from reaching the screen or reflecting back to viewers’ eyes.

The screen protectors can be cleaned with solvent, bleach, rubbing alcohol and other disinfectants to further eliminate germs, without diminishing their antimicrobial properties. The back of the film uses a slightly tacky silicone rubber instead of a traditional adhesive, so the covers are easy to apply and remove.

For a video demonstration of the screen covers, go to visix.com/new-products.

For more information about Visix room signs, visit visix.com/products/meeting-room-signs.

About Visix

Visix, Inc. offers a robust suite of digital signage software, content designs and meeting room signs for any organization wanting to engage, excite, and inform their audiences. Our products work separately or together, are competitively priced and scalable, and have powerful interactivity and data integration features for a unified, enterprise signage solution. Our award-winning service and support teams consistently rank the highest in customer satisfaction for fast, professional responses and solutions. Learn more about Visix digital signage products and services at www.visix.com.

SafeSite and Live Media Group Take On COVID-19

January 4, 2021

Partnership brings mobile lab testing with rapid-response, data-driven approach to COVID-19 testing, helping schools, entertainment, sports, live events and businesses open safely

LOS ANGELES, September 10, 2020 — SafeSite, the medical diagnostic, mobile laboratory company, has chosen Live Media Group Holdings as its logistics partner, effective immediately. The partnership will help SafeSite manage its growing fleet of mobile laboratories as they scale to meet the nationwide needs of rapid response COVID-19 testing asschools, universities, businesses, sports leagues and a variety of entertainment verticals work to reopen responsibly.

SafeSite’s mobile lab solution delivers a powerful tool within many industries looking for a protocol-oriented approach. Live Media Group is a natural partner given its extensive corporate, sports and entertainment production expertise, mobile facilities and logistics experience. This will help SafeSite meet the demands of many clients and verticals, beyond its existing west coast region and headquarters.

The collaboration between LMG and SafeSite will facilitate a nationwide expansion of its medically managed mobile laboratories, delivering near-immediate results to each tested individual. SafeSite will continue to offer the highest quality testing partnering with only FDA-approved polymerase chain reaction (PCR), isothermal amplification and antigen testing methodologies, including Abbott, Becton Dickinson (BD) and Quidel.

SafeSite was formed by an assembly of medical professionals, all frustrated with the lack of cohesive and reliable testing procedures currently being applied to diagnose and prevent the spread of COVID-19. SafeSite’s protocol is a differentiator, creating custom on-site mobile laboratories that give medical personnel a secure environment to administer tests and yield conclusive diagnoses. Applying a multi-pronged approach, SafeSite uses multiple diagnostic methodologies, employing RT-PCR, isothermal amplification and antigen test. Results are produced on site in less than one hour, eliminating the risk of an attendee’s exposure between testing and arrival to a location or venue.

The company’s propriety technology platform, SafeSite-PASS, is used by each organization and individual, providing QR Code-based touchless functionality with historical data of all test results stored within user profiles. SafeSite-PASS is a valuable resource for organizations seeking a HIPAA-compliant mobile technology for health monitoring that securely delivers a COVID-19-free business, school or venue location. Beyond a bubble environment, venue setting or group use case, SafeSite-PASS can eventually be used in general community as evidence of an individual’s health status as well as an effective and productive tracking and tracing tool.

“There is an immediate need from the community level all the way to nationwide partners for a protocol that is mobilefacilities-based, repetitive and rapid in response. After listening for months to advice from a number of medical and industry experts, including Bill Gates, I took it upon myself to do something instead of sitting ideally by waiting for an effective plan. It is essential to apply multiple diagnostic methods, using the most rigorous FDA-approved tests in combination with an appropriate protocol to safely and confidently reopen schools, companies, sports and entertainment venues,” said CEO of SafeSite, Lauren Rogen Sexton.

Andy Brown, COO of SafeSite adds, “Our company has grown faster than anticipated with our unique approach to location-based mobile, data-driven, rapid-response COVID-19 testing. The protocol we have created is the right approach and has resonated across a number of industries and groups all looking for solutions. Live Media Group’s logistics experience in the sports, music and entertainment industries will help support SafeSite and the immediate logistics needs of our quickly-evolving business as we bring our diagnostic solutions direct to more populations,” said Brown.

Brad Sexton, Founder and CEO of Live Media Group Holdings, commented, “SafeSite’s unique protocol and point-of-care approach to testing is providing a way forward to everything from corporate enterprise and education to sports and live broadcast. While some athletes have found their way back to the field, SafeSite’s model will get our live event production teams behind the cameras and in the trucks once again, while also welcoming fans back into stadiums. Live Media Group is proud to be part of their mission and help bring this to more institutions, teams, networks and businesses.”

ABOUT SafeSite

SafeSite is a mobile laboratory testing solution deployed to ensure a location is as free from COVID-19 as currently possible.  The company’s solution is a strict, multi-step, multi-pronged, repetitive, rapid response testing approach, using only FDA-approved testing technology. The company’s propriety technology platform, SafeSite-PASS, is used by organizations and individuals, providing QR Code-based touchless functionality with historical data of all test results stored within user profiles. SafeSite-PASS is a valuable resource for organizations seeking a HIPAA-compliant mobile technology for health monitoring that securely delivers a COVID-19-free business, school or venue location.

ABOUT Live Media Holdings Group

Formed in 2008, Live Media Group Holdings is the parent company to four distinct, yet highly complementary businesses in the live broadcast space including: Live Mobile Group- offering mid-size HD hybrid production/uplink trucks supporting client needs across multiple mediums; Live Media Group- an experienced team providing full-service production services from concept through production, delivering superior service to a multitude of clients; NOC (Network Operations Center) – our fully supported the central link between production sites and the viewers’ screens; and nowlive- a revolutionary interactive video experience controlled by the consumer and accessible on any screen or device. Visit http://www.livemediagroupholdings.com for more information.

MSolutions Updates IP Network Analyzer Software to Test AV over IP Performance with NETGEAR Switches

January 4, 2021

Upgrade also adds new analysis and monitoring features compatible with three series of NETGEAR managed switches

 RA’ANANA, ISRAEL, September 8, 2020 — MSolutions, a leading supplier of test devices for commercial and residential AV environments, today announced that its IP Network Analyzer software is now compatible with NETGEAR managed switches for more comprehensive, in-field testing of AV over IP networks. NETGEAR becomes the second industry-leading network switch brand to be supported by the software, following last month’s initial release with Cisco switch compatibility.

MSolutions has also added two new IP Network Analyzer software features—Port Connected Status and Real-time Bandwidth Monitor—which expand its testing functionality for NETGEAR and Cisco switches. Port Connected Status letsinstallers identify the number of ports the switch has and which ones are physically connected to the network, while the Real-time Bandwidth Monitor enables them to assess the bandwidth being used by a particular port in near real time.

The IP Network Analyzer software runs on MSolutions’ portable MS-TestPro testing device, which is the first HDBaseT tester to integrate AV over IP analysis capabilities. When connected to a compatible network switch, the IP Network Analyzer software uses vendor-specific parameters to perform custom testing and reporting that help installers fully evaluate the integrity and performance of AV signals transmitted over the IP network. The MS-TestPro is immediately compatible with NETGEAR’s M4200, M4300 and M4500 Series managed switches.

The data and analytics generated by the IP Network Analyzer software let installers immediately verify if an IP network’s settings and cabling satisfy the desired performance and resolution requirements. They can also determine whether a switch is properly connected and configured on the network to enable uninterrupted video streaming.

“As more businesses transition their AV systems to IP networks, end users need the confidence that their networks are secure, highly available, and optimized for performance as video, audio and data traffic move through the facility or campus,” said Laurent Masia, Director of Product Line Management, NETGEAR. “As NETGEAR managed switches lie at the core of these systems, our customers depend on their reliability across all of these areas. MSolutions is providing integrators and tech managers with the exact toolset they need to test, verify, troubleshoot and certify that reliability and performance within and AV over IP environment.”

In addition to the new Port Connected Status and Real-time Bandwidth Monitor functions, other key IP Network Analyzer software features include:

  • Identification of network configuration faults
  • Identification of network port status (open or blocked) and present network nodes
  • Confirmation that pertinent multicast settings are correctly enabled
  • IGMP Snooping, including VLAN setup and fast-leave supports
  • SNMP compatibility for network status queries

“Our MS-TestPro with the IP Network Analyzer software enables AV installers and systems integrators to perform critical testing while they’re in the process of deploying an AV over IP network,” said CEO Eliran Toren. “Our integration of HDBaseT, HDMI and IP network testing in a single device further bolsters our ‘all-in-one’ value proposition, sparing technicians from the need for multiple, stand-alone test devices while easily addressing hybrid installations in both commercial and residential installations. We are excited to add support for NETGEAR’s popular managed switches to our constantly growing list of compatible vendors.”

Customers can download the updated IP Network Analyzer software to their existing MS-TestPro devices for a free 14-day trial or purchase it for use on new devices. Compatibility announcements with network switches from additional leading manufacturers are also expected over the coming months.

About MSolutions

Since 2016, MSolutions has developed state-of-the-art HDBaseT test, multimedia and switching solutions for leading enterprises and integrators in the Pro AV and government markets. The company designs and manufactures advanced, high-quality systems that make media networks based on HDBaseT easier to install, more stable, and more enjoyable for end users. The MSolutions team leverages extensive experience and expertise, having been directly involved in HDBaseT development, support and sales since the standard was introduced in 2010. For more information, visit www.m4sol.com and follow MSolutions on Twitter @m4sols.

Service Highlights

Writing and Media Placement

Writing and Media Placement

We are storytellers that understand how to connect with an audience. From newsworthy press releases to technical installation features to provocative thought leadership columns, we will bring your message to a broader audience through strategic, exclusive articles placements and global media distribution.

Product Launch Planning

Product Launch Planning

We are strategic thinkers that will build integrated plans to spread the word on your important product innovations. We have the experts to manage your press announcements, trade show visibility and social media impact - among other initiatives - to make a lasting impact on your brands.

Media Interviews

Media Interviews

We consistently communicate with key editors and journalists that cover broadcast, commercial AV and other industries we work in around the world. We will position you as expert thought leaders to secure interviews, Q&As, tradeshow appointments, and other opportunities that keep you in touch with the media - and visible to your customers and the industry at large.