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Old 20-Jan-2021, 7:39 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Western NY State
Posts: 27
Avant-X Programmable 4 input distribution amp from Televes

I was intrigued by this since it is such an unusual device. While there are plenty of preamps, even some with more than one input, for the most part almost everything is 'set'.

This is NOT a "preamp" It's designed for indoor installation to combine up to 4 antennas with the option to use (what is labeled) a CATV input as a 5th input either for an antenna that doesn't need any 'filtering' or more likely, a modulator to add another signal source; CCTV DVR, Media Player, HDTV DVR, DVD or BD player).
It's not 'cheap'. But, what it does, or what it can do, if you price MATV equipment, even low end, it could be a bargain.

Conversations I have had between the three of us have enlightened all of us. There are details that really aren't documented in the very limited 'quick guide' Televes provides. Which brings me to here.
Links to this and it's software and the source of my purchase which I recommend very highly;

Televes (US);
AVANT X programmable multiband amplifier for terrestrial signals, with AutoLTE
Ness Electronics;
Televes Avant X 532180 Multiband amplifier

ASuite software;
Their software was not easy to find on their website. It was not under the product page, but under 'Software';

This requires Java RE v1.7.0 either x86 or x64 v1.7.0.51. This is not stated on their web site. I didn't find this out until I tried to 'run' the program!
It also requires M$ Visual C++ 2008 (which is installed from the program if the O/S doesn't already have it)
I did run into a problem in XP Pro in one of two Laptops that JRE didn't install properly with no solution.

Installed program reports to be 118MB. Actual folder is 139MB
Java Runtime Environment (64-bit)
Java Runtime Environment (32-bit)

Below are comments from Javier Runano General Manager for Televes US and Justo Rodal in Santiago, Spain describing the unit and it's setup.
Javier Ruano
General Manager
Televes USA Norfolk Tech Center
16596 E. 2nd Avenue Aurora, CO 80011

Like any other processing device the Avant has certain dynamic range per filter. It is able to adjust and equalize incoming signals between -20dBmV to 40dBmV to a programmed output level between 30dBmV and 55dBmV (or 75dB margin). Outside of that input range there will be cases where the agile filter programmed for a particular channel or cluster may not have enough gain or attenuation available to bring the channel to the programmed output level. After the automatic level adjustment has been completed, the "adjust" tab allows for a +/-3dB gain adjustment of each individual filter.

It is possible in some scenarios that a fringe signal which is able to marginally be decoded when fed directly to a tuner may perform worse after processing, by the Avant or other device. This is entirely normal as indicated by a user earlier in this thread. Any RF processing of a very fringe signal is not going to improve it's quality. The main advantage of the Avant is to be able to individually process channels coming from up to four different antennas/markets/directions and provide a way to distribute them on a single wire combining them filtered, well balanced and amplified, avoiding co-channel interference and multipath, for further distribution. This is not possible by directly combining the antennas or without an elaborate processing headend. Like in any processing system, the incoming signals need to meet certain specifications.

It is important to note that during the adjustment process the main TV+CATV output be loaded with a 75 ohm termination load. The reason for this is that when the unit is adjusting the gain of each individual programmed filter, it reads the level on that output, and if not terminated, there will be a mismatch and the read value won't be correct, and neither will the filter adjustment as a consequence. During that process, the input signals need to be connected as well, of course. Best practices dictate for any unused ports to be terminated anyway.

Another common configuration mistake is for users to program filters in empty channel locations "just in case" something comes in. This should not be done because the Avant X will maximize the gain of that filter during adjustment, only to add noise to the aggregated signal. The Avant X is intended to acquire existing signals from a set of antennas, and process, balance, and combine them in the best way possible on a compact headend solution. The Avant features an FM input that will be adjusted according to the output level programmed in the unit, and a CATV mix input for when it is used to inject OTA channels in an existing cable distribution.

The North America version of the Avant X, P/N 532180, does not have automatic channel scan. It does require to manually program the channels or clusters desired per input on A-Suite or using the Televes handheld programmer.

Once the unit has been programmed and adjusted, it will establish a set of filters per input, and reject everything else, so if a new multiplex becomes available, yes, a filter will need to be programmed for that channel on the corresponding input, the unit readjusted, and any downstream tuners to be re-scanned if needed.

In a nutshell the Avant X is a filter > processor > amplifier. It allows the filtering of up to 32 individual channels or clusters coming off of four different antennas, and processing them to any frequencies desired, equalize the levels, and provide a programmed output level which is maintained over time. There are a number of applications for this feature set, for example to be able to ingest, filter, equalize and combine content from different markets/antennas in a clean fashion over a single coax feed. Since the Avant also allows to frequency-shift incoming carriers, an operator can receive same RF channels from different markets without co-channel interference.

The output level in the Avant X is programmable between 30dBmV and 55dBmV, and also a slope setting is available for larger cable distributions, such an MDU for example. The higher values will likely be too strong in many residential settings, so the Avant also features a -20dB output, on which the programmed value will range between 10dBmV and 35dBmV. So in practice, the output level can be adjusted between 10dBmV and 55dBmV, enough range to cover a wide variety of distribution scenarios.

The AVANTx has 4 independent input preamp stages (wideband up to 608 MHz) and then the set of 32 filters which are programmable with the different wanted channels. If a channel is blocked, it enters the input preamp, but it is blocked in the filters and it is not present in the output wideband amplifier, where all the signals coming from the 32 filters are boosted altogether.

The main CATV+TV output is the mixed output for the CATV mix input and what comes from the antenna side of the Avant. The way the Avant adjusts the filters is by reading the power level there as it goes through the frequencies and adjusts each filter width and gain. For this reading to be accurate and the adjustment to be satisfactory this output needs to be correctly adapted and loaded with a 75 ohm load, otherwise there will be impedance mismatches, the power reading will fluctuate wildly and the filters will be totally unadjusted.

See the attachment for the port configuration of the device
Attached Images
File Type: jpg _Televes Avant X ports.jpg (118.4 KB, 373 views)
Keep OTA television alive. Streaming is 'all wet'..........

Last edited by videobruce; 4-Feb-2021 at 1:37 PM. Reason: updated important comments about the software
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