Quincy, IL (December 20, 2004)–WFAE, Charlotte’s NPR news station, placed an order for Broadcast Electronics’ complete HD Radio solution in December, including BE’s XPi 10 exporter for generating HD Radio at the studio in preparation for Tomorrow Radio. The public broadcaster is targeting a February 2005 HD Radio air date.
Using second-tier HD Radio funds by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Public Radio station will acquire two BE FMi HD Radio transmitters with BE FXi 60 digital FM exciters for HD Radio conversion of WFAE 90.7 FM in Charlotte and its repeater station, WFHE 90.3 FM in nearby Hickory, NC.
Each station also will get a new BE XPi 10 exporter unit in anticipation of secondary audio services becoming available at a later date. “We’re trying to get as many steps down the road toward NPR’s Tomorrow Radio as we can,” said WFAE/WFHE director of engineering Jobie Sprinkle. “The exporter unit is the best product we found to resolve how we’re going to get our second audio stream and PAD data to the transmitter sites.”
Broadcast Electronics’ XPi 10 exporter has built-in HDC codec and signal generation for multiplexing main and secondary audio at the studio. Instead of transporting analog audio and both digital channels separately at full bandwidth, the broadcaster will use XPi 10s to multiplex all programming content into a single, streamlined transport from the studio and over STL to the transmitter site.
In anticipation of new datacasting services, the public broadcaster also plans to upgrade its existing AudioVAULT for compatibility with ContentDepot, a new content delivery system to be implemented in 2005 by National Public Radio’s Distribution division that is expected to be a primary source of program text data.