Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Enterprise Awards 2014

Knowledge Transfer

man holding the aerial

Sleek TV aerial

Loughborough lead academic

Yiannis Vardaxoglou, Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering

Industry partners
Antrum Ltd
Philex Electronic Ltd

Between 2008 and 2012, digital signal replaced analogue terrestrial television throughout the UK. After the digital switchover.

Ofcom estimated up to 10 per cent of UK homes would need a new TV aerial to receive Freeview, which offers up to 50 free digital channels and is how most of the population watches television. For many households, an indoor aesthetically pleasing aerial is the only option to receive Freeview.

Anticipating the digital switchover challenges, Loughborough’s Yiannis Vardaxoglou embarked on research to miniaturise a TV antenna with high performance at a competitive manufacturing cost. The research has been developed for commercialisation through Antrum, a spin out founded by Professor Vardaxoglou, with funding from the University, Engineering and Physical Research Council’s Knowledge Transfer Account and private investors.

Philex – a leading manufacturer and distributor of antenna, signal distribution, Audio Visual accessories, computer and electrical power products – worked closely with Antrum and the University to refine the technology at its Bedford head office, scaling it for cost-effective manufacture at its factory in China.

In January 2014, under license from Antrum, Philex launched the SLX Pro Flat Amplified Indoor Aerial, for under £25. The aerial can receive frequencies from 470-790MHz, boosts the signal by up to 20dB, and filters unwanted interference from 4G mobile phone signals. A compact, low-profile black panel measuring 30 cm by 20 cm, the aerial is easy to install (USB or mains powered) and can be stood up or laid flat without impacting on reception performance. 

IMPACT

  • Antrum successfully demonstrates miniature TV antenna technology – October 2009

  • Collaborative licence between Loughborough University and Antrum signed – Summer 2012

  • Leading manufacturer and distributor Philex joins partnership – Summer 2012

  • Philex launches SLX Pro Flat Amplified Indoor Aerial – November 2013

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