Discover Technology

4G Cellular


Winegard has been manufacturing wireless broadband cellular antennas since the first generation was introduced and now is poised to launch its 5G versions. The 4G and 4G LTE network technologies being used now in its antennas pull signals from farther away than most of its competition due to how Winegard builds and positions the antennas in the products.

Winegard can engineer and manufacture 4G technology for all frequencies:

  • 700 MHz
  • 850 MHz
  • 900 MHz
  • 1800 MHz
  • 2100 MHz
  • 2600 MHz
Winegard designs its antennas adhering to the IMT-2000 compliant 4G standards for optimum performance.

WiFi


Winegard manufactures WiFi antennas for various uses. Recently, it launched a WiFi extender for special uses when signals are drained due to volume or too far away and weak to have consistent service. Winegard has designed directional, omnidirectional, point-to-point and multi-point antennas for many companies.

WiFi antennas work within the 902-928 MHz, 2.4 GHz, and 5.7-5.8 GHz bands and may be used for any purpose without a license in most countries. Products in this category are ideal for wireless LANs and mobile communications, and include RFID toll reading, Train WiFi, and ITS (Intelligent Transportation System) applications and are available in panel, horn or omnidirectional configurations.

Near-Field Communication (NFC)


Near-field communication (NFC) enables two electronic devices, one of which is usually a portable device, such as a smartphone, to establish communication by bringing them within 4 cm (1.6 in) of each other. Winegard can design and manufacture custom NFC antennas for your use and test performance to meet your performance requirements.

Bluetooth


Winegard designs Bluetooth wireless communication antennas used for exchanging data across short distances. Our Bluetooth devices use UHF (Ultra High Frequency), low wavelength radio waves in the ISM band of frequencies between 2.4 to 2.485 GHz.

GPS


Winegard designs Bluetooth wireless communication antennas used for exchanging data across short distances. Our Bluetooth devices use UHF (Ultra High Frequency), low wavelength radio waves in the ISM band of frequencies between 2.4 to 2.485 GHz.

Satellite


The satellite industry started 60 years ago, not long after John Winegard invented the multi-channel Yagi antenna. Communication back then was tethered, or not wireless, and the industry was working to see how it could change that. Still today, 60 percent of the world’s population still doesn’t have access to any form of high-speed internet and 32 percent doesn’t have LTE coverage.

Until now, satellite has been limited to fixed uses, such as satellite TV, and represents approximately three-quarters of satellite communications revenue until now. Now, satellites are becoming more affordable to build and will spur growth into the LEO, MEO, and GEO satellite constellations connecting the 1.6 billion people who do not have access to mobile networks.

Machine to Machine (M2M)


Machine to machine (commonly abbreviated as M2M) refers to direct communication between devices using any communications channel, including wired and wireless. Machine-to-machine communication can include industrial instrumentation, enabling a sensor or meter to communicate the data it records (such as temperature, inventory level, etc.) to application software that can use it (for example, adjusting an industrial process based on temperature or placing orders to replenish inventory). Such communication was originally accomplished by having a remote network of machines relay information back to a central hub for analysis, which would then be rerouted into a system like a personal computer.

More recent machine-to-machine communication has changed into a system of networks that transmits data to personal appliances. The expansion of IP networks around the world has made machine-to-machine communication quicker and easier while using less power. These networks also allow new business opportunities for consumers and suppliers

Internet of Things (IoT)


The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical devices, vehicles, home appliances, and other items embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and connectivity which enables these things to connect and exchange data, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, resulting in efficiency improvements, economic benefits, and reduced human exertions.

The number of IoT devices increased 31% year-over-year to 8.4 billion in 2017 and it is estimated that there will be 30 billion devices by 2020. The global market value of IoT is projected to reach $7.1 trillion by 2020.

IoT involves extending Internet connectivity beyond standard devices, such as desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, to any range of traditionally dumb or non-internet-enabled physical devices and everyday objects. Embedded with technology, these devices can communicate and interact over the Internet, and they can be remotely monitored and controlled.

ATSC 3.0


ATSC is the latest version of the Advanced Television Systems Committee standards, defining how exactly television signals are broadcast and interpreted. OTA TV signals currently use version 1.0 of the ATSC standards, which were introduced in 1996, initiating the switch from analog to digital TV that was finalized in the U.S. in 2009. Unlike the current standard, ATSC 3.0 makes use of both over-the-air signals and your in-home broadband to deliver an experience closer to cable or satellite.

What are the benefits?

The first major benefit is picture quality. While the current ATSC 1.0 standard caps out at 1080p — and even that is rare to find when it comes to OTA TV — the new standard allows 4K UHD broadcast. That's not all either. Other picture quality upgrades, including high dynamic range (HDR), wide color gamut (WCG), and high frame rate (HFR) are all part of the new provision. The standard also allows for possible extensions later on, which could allow for additional benefits to picture quality.

ATSC 3.0 also includes benefits for reception, meaning you should be able to receive more channels in higher quality without the need for a large antenna. Audio quality is increased as well, using Dolby AC-4 instead of AC-3, allowing for broadcasts of up to 7.1.4 channel audio to support object-based sound formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS:X. AC-3 is limited to just 5.1 channel surround.

In addition to the picture and audio improvements, ATSC 3.0 also makes it possible to watch broadcast video on mobile devices like phones and tablets as well as in cars. Advanced emergency alerts are also part of the standard, including better geo-targeting, which means advancements like the ability to broadcast evacuation routes to the areas that need that information.

What are the downsides?

ATSC 3.0 is not backward compatible with ATSC 1.0, which means that if your TV doesn’t include an ATSC 3.0 tuner, you'll need an external converter to make use of those signals. Fortunately, due to the way that the newer standard works, you would only need one converter box no matter how many devices you're watching on, meaning it won't be nearly as much of a hassle as the move from analog to digital.

One other possible downside, depending on how you look at it, is that the same geo-targeting that allows for advanced emergency alerts can also be used for targeted ads. This means that the ads you see on TV will start to more closely resemble what you see online. If this doesn't bother you on the web, it shouldn't bother you on your TV, but it is something to be aware of.

How does it work?

As mentioned above, ATSC 3.0 combines OTA broadcast signals with your home internet. At the base level, actual programming like shows and movies are broadcast and received over the air, while commercials are provided over the internet. Three different video formats are supported: Legacy HD, which supports resolutions up to 720×480; Interlaced HD, which supports signals up to 1080i; and Progressive Video, which supports resolutions from 1080p up to 4K UHD.

An ATSC 3.0 tuner will have two connections: One to your antenna, and another — either via Wi-Fi or Ethernet — to your Wi-Fi router. The benefit here is that you’ll only ever need one antenna in your home, since other set-top boxes, smart TVs, and mobile devices in your home will receive the TV signals over Wi-Fi.

That said, newer TVs that include ATSC 3.0 tuners will be able to make use of all the benefits of the new standards by default. If your current TV doesn't support 4K or HDR, you'll need to upgrade to view that programming. Then there is the matter of the future. Unlike ATSC 1.0, the new version allows for extensions. Moving forward, this could mean support for even higher resolution video formats like 8K, or other audio or video improvements that may arise in the coming years.

Voluntary rollouts are expected to begin in 2019, but it will likely be a while longer before the new standard is anything resembling common.

So when will I be able to use it?

As mentioned above, we won’t begin to see many broadcasters initiating voluntary rollouts beginning in 2019. TVs, DVRs, and converter boxes with support for ATSC 3.0 will trickle out slowly at first, with early adopters likely able to start watching ATSC 3.0 signals by 2020.

As for a full switchover, that will be a long time if and when it even happens. Since this isn't a mandatory switch, broadcasters can continue to use ATSC 1.0 for as long as they like. Even on a station-by-station basis, with the mandatory five-year period that stations must offer ATSC 1.0 signals, a station that started broadcasting the new standard in 2018 wouldn't be able to drop ATSC 1.0 entirely until 2023.

5G


It is the fourth time in history that the world's telecommunications providers (the telcos) have acknowledged the need for a complete overhaul of their wireless infrastructure. It is an effort to create a sustainable industry around the wireless consumption of data for all the world's telcos, called 5G.

The key goal of 5G is to dramatically improve quality of service, and extend that quality over a broader geographic area, in order for the wireless industry to remain competitive against the onset of gigabit fiber service coupled with Wi-Fi.

There is a lot that needs to be vetted and figured out yet when it comes to this technology. Testing environments are just getting started. Below are a few things to consider as this technology is expanded. One thing that's for sure, is that for this to work, antennas need to be made and placed in more places than ever before. Winegard is already planning for this next generation.

Classes of Service

The initial costs of these improvements may be tremendous. So, to recover those costs, telcos will need to offer new classes of service to new customer segments, for which 5G has made provisions. These include:

  • Fixed wireless data connectivity in dense metropolitan areas, with gigabit per second or better bandwidth, through a dazzling, perhaps bewildering, new array of microwave relay antennas;
  • Edge computing services that bring computing power closer to the point where sensor data from remote, wireless devices would be collected, eliminating the latency incurred by public cloud-based applications;
  • Machine-to-machine communications services that could bring low-latency connectivity to devices such as self-driving cars and machine assembly robots;
  • Video delivery services that would compete directly against today's multi-channel video program distributors (MVPD), such as Comcast and Charter Communications, perhaps offering new delivery media for Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, or perhaps competing against them as well.

5G is comprised of several technology projects in both communications and data center architecture, all of which must collectively yield benefits for telcos as well as customers, for any of them to be individually considered successful. The majority of these efforts are in one of three categories:

  • Spectral efficiency – Making more optimal use of multiple frequencies so that greater bandwidths may be extended across further distances from base stations (historically, the main goal of any wireless "G");
  • Energy efficiency &ndashl Leveraging whatever technological gains there may be for both transmitters and servers, in order to drastically reduce cooling costs;
  • Utilization – To afford the tremendous communications infrastructure overhaul that 5G may require, telcos may need to create additional revenue-generating services such as edge computing and mobile apps hosting, placing them in direct competition with public cloud providers.

Service Tiers

It was during the implementation of 4G that telcos realized they wished they had different grades of infrastructure to support different classes of service. 5G allows for three service grades that may be tuned to the special requirements of their customers' business models:

  1. Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) aims to service more densely populated metropolitan centers with downlink speeds approaching 1Gbps (gigabits per second) indoors, and 300Mbps (megabits per second) outdoors. It would accomplish this through the installation of extremely high-frequency millimeter-wave (mmWave) antennas throughout the landscape – on lampposts, the sides of buildings, the branches of trees, existing electrical towers, and in one novel use case proposed by AT&T, the tops of city buses.
  2. Massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC) enables the machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications that a new wave of wireless customers may come to expect from their network, without imposing burdens on the other classes of service. Experts in the M2M and logistics fields have been on record saying that 2G service was perfectly fine for the narrow service bands their signaling devices required and that later generations actually degraded that service by introducing new sources of latency. MMTC would seek to restore that service level by implementing a compartmentalized service tier for devices needing downlink bandwidth as low as 100Kbps (kilobits per second, right down there with telephone modems) but with latency kept low at around 10ms (milliseconds).
  3. Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC) would address critical needs communications where bandwidth is not quite as important as speed -- specifically, an end-to-end latency of 1ms or less. This would be the tier that addresses the autonomous vehicle category, where decision time for reaction to a possible accident is almost non-existent. URLLC could actually make 5G competitive with satellite, opening up the possibility -- still in the discussion phase among the telcos – of 5G replacing GPS for geolocation.

Over-the-Air (OTA)


Since John Winegard built the first-ever multichannel OTA antenna in 1953, we have designed more OTA antennas than any other company in the USA. With more than 1,000 patents, we create over-the-air antennas for all types of uses including home, RV, camping, tailgating and more. From UHF to VHF, from 10-mile to 70-mile, and from traditional to unique styles, we have outperformed, out designed, and out manufactured OTA antennas for more than 65 years.

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