Quincy, IL (October 28, 2005)–On October 19, a Broadcast Electronics (BE) digital system delivered the first HD Radio signals heard in New Zealand. The event marks New Zealand’s introduction to HD Radio technology, the digital system approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for FM/medium wave radio in the United States.
Transmitting on 106.1 MHz from the Skytower in Auckland, the broadcast is under a special demonstration license from the Radio Spectrum Management division of the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development. Both the conventional analog and digital signals are transmitted on the same frequency without affecting existing listenership.
“What makes BE HD Radio worthwhile in the States is what makes it worthwhile here. The most powerful benefit is being able to transition to a digital format without abandoning analog listeners,” commented Geoff Durrant of Cobalt Technologies, BE’s representative in New Zealand who submitted the license request and installed the digital FM system at the Skytower, the tallest structure in Auckland. Both the analog and digital signals are being transmitted by a Broadcast Electronics FXi 60 digital FM exciter operating at 37Watts analog and 370milliWatts digital.
Broadcast Electronics offers turnkey transmitter packages for analog FM and medium-wave as well as for HD Radio at a variety of power levels, representing 45 years of radio innovation as the largest radio-only manufacturer of studio and transmitter products in the United States.
In addition to the test station, Cobalt Technologies and BE jointly sponsored an educational seminar on digital radio and synchronous FM, held in Auckland.
“The reception of Broadcast Electronics and HD Radio in New Zealand and Asia has been very positive so far – by the people as well as off-air,” commented Chuck Kelly, BE director, international sales. Informal signal strength tests of the broadcast indicate the 0.37Watt digital signal has a reach of better than 60 percent of the metro Auckland population.