Quincy, IL (May 31, 2006)–Broadcast Electronics (BE) announced that it received orders for nine HD Radio systems and two booster systems from West Virginia Public Broadcasting, which operates the statewide West Virginia Public Radio service.
Included are BE transmission and signal generation equipment for turnkey HD Radio conversion of all nine West Virginia Public Radio stations. HD Radio conversion of the stations is expected to take place before September 2006. At that time, the pubcaster will broadcast the main channels. The HD Radio transmission systems are multicast-compatible for multicasting additional HD2 channels later.
“The main reason we wanted to go HD Radio–and do it quickly–is because West Virginia is a topographically difficult broadcast state. Early studies indicate that converting to digital will reduce or eliminate reflective noise from signals bouncing off hills,” said Bill Acker, director of broadcasting and technology for West Virginia Public Broadcasting.”Broadcast Electronics delivered the most affordable, expedient options for conversion.”
BE representative Ernie Vincent with SCMS Inc., Charlotte, NC, specified BE HD Radio transmission packages with separate antenna configurations for seven of the nine conversions, as well as one high-level and one low-level combined configuration. “Separate antennas were more economical in most cases, because there’s not as much investment up front and they are spared the additional environmental costs to retrofit the building for combining,” said Vincent.
In a separate order, WVPB purchased two BE FXi 60 digital FM exciters that will be synchronized to main broadcast signals as fill-in for low-lying areas in West Virginia. BE’s FXi exciter was selected because of its digital approach to synchronous FM that provides significantly reduced distortion artifacts in overlap zones. BE’s FXi digital exciter synchronizes the carrier frequency, pilot frequency, audio amplitude and frequency precisely, therefore improving the signal-to-noise in areas where signals from each transmitter overlap.