GatesAir Accelerates TV Channel Relocation for Oregon Broadcaster




GatesAir has helped relocate KOHD-TV of Bend, Oregon to a new UHF channel assignment following the station’s agreement with a cellular company to clear spectrum for mobile services. The channel relocation project was expedited through GatesAir’s quick production and delivery of a new, high-efficiency Maxiva™ UAXT solid-state transmitter that required minimal changes to the station’s RF plant.


The ABC-TV affiliate, operated by Zolo Media and owned by TDS Broadcasting, elected to vacate Channel 51 and move to Channel 18, clearing the 700 MHz A-Block increasingly coveted by cellular companies for mobile service expansion. GatesAir’s accelerated delivery timeline enabled KOHD to fully execute the project within three months, from securing FCC approval and construction permits through to installation, testing and commissioning.


The fully redundant, dual-cabinet Maxiva UAXT-6 is configured to transmit KOHD’s single-channel of DTV programming at 4.3kW, with plenty of additional headroom should the station launch additional over-the-air channels in the future. Maxiva’s high-efficiency, air-cooled platform also offers a smaller footprint than the previous transmitter, reducing space consumption and heat load for long-term operational efficiency.


“Channel relocation is a complex, multilayered job that typically takes between one and two years, and GatesAir helped us achieve our goals within three months,” said Josh Burke, chief engineer, KOHD-TV. “It was a highly coordinated project with excellent communication and customer service from GatesAir that ensured a very simple site swap. This includes an efficient air-cooled design that required no HVAC upgrades within the plant. The transmitter came fully assembled and was delivered as close to user-ready as possible. Beyond standard electrical and termination work, it was as easy as turning it on and putting it into service.”


KOHD is also enjoying improved picture quality, which Burke attributes to the Maxiva UAXT’s built-in real-time adaptive correction (RTAC) software for signal compliance. Operationally, the Maxiva UAXT streamlines future maintenance for the station through a simplified, modular interior cabinet design that minimizes parts and labor. Integrated control and monitoring features also enable clean IP connectivity for systems management outside the RF plant.


“The KOHD project well represents GatesAir’s expertise for challenging channel relocations, which is indicative of our preparation to assist broadcasters as they await future channel reassignments as part of the impending spectrum repack,” said Rich Redmond, chief product officer, GatesAir. “In addition to streamlining installation and upfront project costs, our high-efficiency Maxiva transmitter, built on our innovative PowerSmart® 3D architecture, ensures KOHD will benefit from ongoing operational efficiency and low total cost of ownership throughout the transmitter lifecycle.”