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Harris Corporation Delivers Turnkey HD Radio Transmission and Multicasting Package to WTMD-FM of Towson University


Complete Package Installed and Serviced Through the Harris Channel Partner Program

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), an international communications and information technology company, today announced the sale and installation of a turnkey HD Radio™ transmission and multicasting equipment and service package to WTMD-FM, an NPR member station that broadcasts in the Baltimore region from the campus of Towson University. Installed by Comm-Struction and Services, LLC, a systems integration firm and Harris Channel Partner based in Bel Air, Maryland, the complete Harris® HD Radio transmission package features a Z12HD(tm) transmitter, FlexStar® multicasting equipment, and an Intraplex® NetXpress™ audio over IP platform.

“Towson University has an established relationship with Harris from our work together on the Global Accessible Radio Technology Initiative, which enables hearing-impaired people to ’see’ live radio content on special receivers through closed-captioning, as well as advanced radio reading services to the blind,” said Stephen Yasko, general manager of WTMD-FM. “As WTMD prepares to multicast later this year, we needed a technically superior HD Radio system. We also needed technical guidance, since our station has limited engineering resources on staff. The Harris Channel Partner program made the most sense for us, with Comm-Struction guiding us through the process. I feel very confident we purchased exactly the right equipment for today and as we grow.”

WTMD will transport its analog FM, main HD Radio channel, and at least two multicast channels from its studio to the Z12HD transmitter using the NetXpress platform, which was configured to transport audio over E1 fiber links. Comm-Struction vice president Ed Bukont, who managed the systems integration, said that the campus has plenty of fiber capacity to transport multiple analog and digital signals since it does not share space with the public telephone network.

“STL bandwidth usage is substantial when multicasting, but Towson University was well equipped to handle the upgrade,” said Bukont. “The NetXpress platform supports T1, E1 and IP out of the same box, so we configured it to use E1 over the existing fiber lines on campus. The E1 circuits, with 33 percent more bandwidth than T1, are ideal when transporting multiple signals from studio to transmitter. This enabled us to carry all our audio over fiber from the studio, located in the basement of one building, to the transmitter on the 13th floor of a residence hall.”

Bukont added that the nature of the Harris Channel Partner program allows him to retain complete control of the project on site. “We are not acting as a typical contract engineer and marking up the price to remove the old transmitter, prepare the site and install the new equipment that someone else provided,” he said. “Because we provide the product, we retain control of the project with the customer’s best interest in mind. No one except Harris allows this in broadcast radio.”

The FlexStar package, featuring a Harris importer, exporter and HDX-FM exciter, will enable WTMD to multicast in the near future. The station plans to add supplementary channels to its HD Radio broadcasting service by the end of the summer.

“I am a very big advocate of HD Radio broadcasting,” said Yasko. “It gives us the opportunity to bring even more high-quality content to the American public. Public radio is especially suited to multicast in a relevant, culturally important manner that is meaningful to our listeners’ daily lives. We have an abundance of programming in the public radio space that will benefit from the additional capacity that HD Radio broadcasting offers.”

Harris Broadcast Communications provides products, systems, and services that deliver interoperable workflow solutions that span the entire media delivery chain. The Harris ONE™ solution brings together highly integrated and cost-effective products that are ideal for emerging media business models and for customers upgrading media operations to digital and high-definition services.


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