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Audio Processing Update
BW Broadcast DSPXtreme-FM/HD
BW Broadcast offers its own line-up of OTA audio processors. In particular, let's look at the DSPXtreme. In addition to the standard features, it has:
■ Two versions available: FM-only and FM+HD with dual processing paths for simultaneous FM and digital radio processing
■ Two 3" front-panel color TFT screens
■ 12 seconds of diversity delay
■ Stereo encoder with composite clipping control
■ Single rear-panel SCA input
■ RS-232 and Ethernet ports
■ X-Sense GUI runs on user's PC
Inovonics David IV
Inovonics' newest product is the David IV. In addition to the standard features, it also has:
■ Front panel graphic display, with jog wheel for navigation
■ Remote access via proprietary Windows-based program that runs on a PC
■ Composite clipping, up to 3dB in depth
■ Low throughput latency to allow for off-air listening
■ Single SCA input, rear panel, used for RDS input
Side by side
It's obvious that the five processors I've mentioned are only a small fraction of what is available out there. Each manufacturer has a line-up of various products. I've highlighted the top-end of each of their product lines, but they all have less-expensive devices as well. Clearly you'll have to balance the features you need versus the budget you have to make the purchase.
You can make all sorts of comparisons between the features of brand X vs. brand Y but when it comes right down to it, the selection of an on-air processor should be subjective, not objective. You should listen to the proposed device over the air before making any sort of decision about what to buy, especially since many of these units are quite expensive. What's the best way to actually do that, though?
The techniques are basically the same for an FM or an AM station. You need three things to make this work:
■ Get the loaner (or the evaluation device) from the manufacturer or your favorite broadcast vendor for a reasonable amount of time.
■ Get a device that will allow you to switch between evaluation device A and evaluation device B remotely.
■ Get access to the remote control that does the actual switching.
I also recommend that evaluation of AM processors be done in an area of weak to moderate signal strength.
- continued on page 4
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