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Rocky Mountain Public Media Embarks on Transmitter Upgrade Project

The broadcaster will rely on GatesAir transmitters at several sites around Colorado.

DENVER—Rocky Mountain Public Media (RMPM) has purchased several GatesAir Maxiva UHF transmitters and ATSC 3.0-ready XTE exciters as part of an upgrade of several stations, GateAir said today.

Dan Entingh (left), RMPM engineer (retired), Paul Gapinski, RMPM engineer, Doug Houston, RMPM CTO and Tom Craig, RPMP special projects engineer.

The public broadcaster, which owns a network of PBS member stations throughout Colorado, purchased the transmitters and exciters to improve efficiency, strengthen coverage and reduce maintenance, as well as to prepare for NextGen TV, it said.

“Colorado’s challenging terrain and rural communities require transmission equipment that is powerful and reliable enough to maximize signal coverage, using high-efficiency technology that keeps our operations costs to a minimum,” said Doug Houston, Rocky Mountain Public Media CTO.

“GatesAir’s Maxiva family also offers a broad range of advanced options to serve all power levels, ensuring a good fit for each station’s unique requirements. The ability to remotely control each transmitter and support IP content delivery from our studios provides greater value for our investment.”

Owned and operated by RMPM, Rocky Mountain PBS is upgrading its transmission capabilities in phases that will take several years to complete. First up was the spectrum repack of KRMA-DT in Denver, a 30kW station (100kW ERP) that moved from UHF channel 18 to 33. 

The station was outfitted with a GatesAir Maxiva ULXTE-50 liquid-cooled transmitter and backup UAXTE-6 air-cooled transmitter, operating at 3kW, the company said.

Rocky Mountain PBS has chosen the GatesAir Maxiva UAXTE air-cooled transmitter for each site being upgraded around the state. To date, it’s purchased UAXTE medium-to-high power transmitters for three full-power member stations and low-power UAXTE transmitters for several translator sites around Colorado to deliver signals across rural areas and to parts of neighboring states, the company said.

The transmitter upgrade coincides with the move of RMPM’s KRMA-DT and KUVO 89.3 FM radio to the Buell Media Center in downtown Denver. An IP-based networking platform will be put in place to distribute TV content to the KRMA transmitter site on Mt. Morrison. Similar IP connections will be built out to distribute signals to other transmitter sites, the company said.

The transmitter rollout includes:

  • Maxiva UAXTE-3 for KRMA’s translator site to relay the signal to Fort Collins, Colo.;
  • Maxiva UAXTE-3 for KRMJ-DT serving Grand Junction, Colo.;
  • Maxiva UAXTE-3 for KRMU-DT, serving Durango, Colo.;
  • Maxiva UAXTE-1 for translator station K32CW serving Montrose, Colo.; and
  • Maxiva UAXTE-100 low-power translators serving five rural communities.

More information is available on the GatesAir website.