Hackett’s Cove, Nova Scotia, and Cleveland, Ohio (August 27, 2020) –
Nautel and Telos Alliance announced today a new approach to HD Radio™ time alignment, completely eliminating time-alignment issues through locking the FM and HD1 outputs from the audio processor through the remainder of the HD Radio air-chain into the transmitter.
Because HD Radio uses separate but identical streams of audio on the analog and digital channels, these streams can arrive at the transmitter at slightly different times. Diversity Delay – which buffers the analog signal to blend its timing with the digital – is typically employed to ensure that there are no time shifts or artifacts in the signal heard by listeners when their receivers switch between analog and digital. However, minor errors in this time alignment can create audible artifacts, and excessive errors can cause content to be repeated or skipped entirely as the receiver blends from FM to HD1 and back.
“Over the past decade, many vendors have engineered complex solutions with add-on or built-in receivers that generate correction signals to attempt to minimize blending issues,” said Geoff Steadman, Omnia Product Manager at Telos Alliance. “Unfortunately, these solutions can impact the signal by covering up underlying delay drifts. Unlike these other approaches, Nautel and Telos Alliance now have locked the FM and HD1 signals in time so that the time alignment needs no correction, and the blending issues are eliminated completely.”
“Our solution locks the FM and HD1 outputs at the audio processor, and keeps them locked as they pass through the remainder of the HD Radio air-chain right into the transmitter,” said Philipp Schmid, Nautel CTO. “No extra boxes, additional audio codecs, radio receivers or correction methods are needed, and the Nautel/Telos Alliance solution utilizes proven ‘Made for Radio’ standards including MPX, µMPX, and E2X. Our complete solution allows a station’s HD Radio equipment to be location-agnostic – either at the transmitter or the studio – without the need for external time synchronization.”
The solution was demonstrated live during a recent webinar utilizing the Telos Alliance Omnia Enterprise 9s high-density audio processing software, Gen4 Importer/Exporter, and Nautel technology all running on a Nautel HD MultiCast+. “Unlike the fixed-purpose solutions that have become commonplace in the industry, Nautel’s commitment to the open and application-friendly environment of the HD MultiCast+ gives broadcasters a path to new air-chain innovations. Nautel plans to develop products based on these technologies for future release,” said John Whyte, Nautel Head of Marketing.