Quincy, IL (August 25, 2005)–Broadcast Electronics’ broadband Big Pipe studio-to-transmitter link (STL) is being declared a keeper by Clear Channel in Minneapolis after weathering an onslaught of Midwest storms over the summer.
“Big Pipe continues to be rock-solid,” said Jess Meyer, Clear Channel Minneapolis senior engineer, who installed the wideband link in April and tested it through the summer as the group’s first experience with a 5 GHz STL. Big Pipe is BE’s broadband inter-facility transport unit that operates in the license-free 5.3 GHz UNII band for reaching up to seven miles point-to-point or in the 5.8 GHz UNII band for reaching up to 40 miles point-to-point.
The group is currently using the unit to transport programming of four stations from its studios in St. Louis Park, MN to the transmitter facility in Shoreview, about 12 miles apart. Big Pipe is beaming the signals to a combined radio and TV antenna site, providing ample opportunity for interference by neighboring 5 GHz services or weather conditions. The summer storms didn’t even reduce the unit’s bandwidth or cause signal fade, according to Meyer.
Clear Channel Minneapolis chose Big Pipe because of its broadband, bidirectional capacity, giving the group an alternative to leased lines for sending multi-station program feeds now as well as when new HD Radio multicasting applications are deployed in the near future. Clear Channel Minneapolis’ Big Pipe is configured for a DS3, clear channel transport (45 Mbps full duplex). This enables an audio payload of around 6 Mbps to transport easily. Additionally, the remaining bandwidth of the full duplex link is dedicated to Ethernet and remote control connectivity between both the studio and the transmitter site.
The unit is currently saving the company around $30,000 a year in leased-line costs associated with T1 and equalized circuit lines.
Big Pipe is a broadcast transport capable of 45 Mbps bidirectional throughput, and can carry AES main channel audio at a full 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz sampling rate uncompressed, as well as bidirectional AES and analog audio for single or multiple sites–while still providing Ethernet, serial data, DS1 (E1/T1) and telephone connectivity.