Harris Corporation Augments Support of HD Radio Multicasting with Expanded FLEXSTAR Family of HD Radio Products
Growing product range includes industry’s highest-performance exciter to help broadcasters design a more efficient multicasting transmission platform
CINCINNATI, February 13, 2006 — Harris Corporation’s (NYSE: HRS) Broadcast Communications Division comes to NAB2006 with new product introductions for its flagship FLEXSTAR™ family of HD Radio™ products. Harris, the radio industry’s largest equipment supplier, introduced the first components of the FLEXSTAR™ family at NAB2005, where the company unveiled its FLEXSTAR HDI-100 importer and HDE-100 exporter for multiplexing and preparing digital and analog audio, data and advanced application services for STL transport to the transmission site. NAB2006 (April 24-27, Las Vegas Convention Center) will see the Las Vegas debut of the groundbreaking FLEXSTAR HDX-FM exciter, which provides the most flexible and superior transmission output performance of any exciter on the market. The company also will introduce its FLEXSTAR™ BoostPro accessory for operating multiple transmitters from a single HDX-FM exciter.
The FLEXSTAR™ family of HD Radio products offers today’s most technically-advanced, complete solution for Generation 3 “Exgine” HD Radio multicasting. The Exgine architecture splits the exporter from the exciter and places it back at the studio to provide more flexibility for the broadcaster compared to the transmitter site location of Generation 2 systems. HD Radio multicasting allows FM broadcasters to broadcast supplementary program channels alongside the main HD Radio program service. In November, Harris became the first iBiquity licensed manufacturer to place Exgine on the air, when a complete FLEXSTAR™ system was launched at KVOD-FM in Denver.
The entire FLEXSTAR™ family can be seen at the Harris booth in “Tri-Mode” (analog, digital, and hybrid) operation with the new Harris ZX low-power FM transmitter as part of an Exgine HD Radio multicasting demonstration. Harris’ exclusive range of NeuStar™ codec pre-conditioners for HD Radio, which prepares and optimizes audio content prior to encoding, will play a significant role in the demonstration. NeuStar™ pre-conditioners enhance codec performance and offer noticeably improved audio quality for digital radio, particularly in lower bit-rate environments such as supplemental audio channels.
Broadcasters already are seeing benefits of using the FLEXSTAR™ family of HD Radio products within a Generation 3 Exgine architecture. According to Don Danko, vice president of engineering at WGUC-FM, Cincinnati Public Radio, the station is benefiting by the streamlined, clear connections that the Exgine architecture offers. WGUC launched its supplementary jazz channel with FLEXSTAR™ in late January.
“The Exgine architecture is simplifying the connection process for multicasting,” said Danko. “The Generation 2 system required much more attention to detail in setup and maintenance, and often caused more downtime due to the exporter’s location at the transmitter site. As all engineers in the radio industry are aware, 99 percent uptime is not enough. The FLEXSTAR™ range has allowed us to revert back to the more simplistic mode of having just the transmitter and exciter to worry about at the remote site. Having the remainder of the system back at the studio gives us more control of the system and allows us to check it on a daily basis. It’s a very clean and simple way of transporting everything to the transmitter site.”
The FLEXSTAR HDX-FM exciter breaks new ground in radio transmission on multiple levels, including the most advanced real-time adaptive correction (RTAC™) technology in radio. RTAC™ is an essential technology for digital broadcast, reducing interference and offering transmission system linearity to send a clear, crisp signal to the end user’s receiver and to provide maximum HD Radio coverage due to reduced bit-error rates. Harris’ expertise with this advanced correction technology far exceeds the competition, with six years of implementation experience in digital television systems.
The FLEXSTAR HDX-FM exciter also features several industry firsts and unique attributes in exciter technology, including adaptive group delay equalization; secondary auto-switching of AES3 and composite inputs; digital-only outputs for standard 10db high-level combining; and hybrid/straight FM outputs for Harris’ exclusive Split-Level™ Combining method. This feature enables a power-efficient implementation of FM HD using a station’s existing FM transmitter and antenna, offering up to a 10 percent reduction in operational costs over high-level combining. The completely new product design also allows a station to upgrade its analog FM exciter at the same time as HD Radio installation, at no additional cost and with the best performance specifications of any FM exciter on the market today.
“The evolution of the FLEXSTAR™ family of HD Radio products is clearly aligned with the changing implementations of the multicasting system design,” said Debra Huttenburg, vice president and general manager of Harris Broadcast Communication’s Radio Broadcast Systems business unit. “The Exgine architecture offers a far more efficient and reliable design for broadcasters, giving them the peace of mind they desire by bringing IT-oriented systems back to the studio. We believe that the entire FLEXSTAR™ family offers more options to the broadcaster than any other solution on the market.”
About Harris Broadcast Communications Division
Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. With headquarters in Melbourne, Florida, the company has annual sales of over $3 billion and more than 13,000 employees — including 5,500 engineers and scientists — dedicated to the development of best-in-class assured communications™ products, systems, and services. The company’s operating divisions serve markets for government communications, RF communications, broadcast communications, and microwave communications. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at www.harris.com.
HD Radio™ is a trademark of iBiquity Digital Corporation
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- Harris Broadcast Communications Division
- Harris Corporation
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