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That was then

In 1985, the Studer A820 analog master recorder was designed to “meet the demands of tomorrow's computer-controlled audio production facilities.” Multiple on-board microprocessors controlled all operating subsystems, including capstan drive, spooling motors and audio parameter settings. Once the dc capstan motor starts, a closed loop servo system monitored tape tension and real inertia to provide acceleration and braking.

The A820 incorporated Studer's new generation of phase-compensated audio electronics, available with transformer or active balanced inputs and outputs. A dual thumbwheel shuttle/edit control made tape-cut editing easy. One wheel would winds tape in either direction at increasing speeds, while the other precisely positioned the tape for editing.

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After eight months, the laboratory tests of digital radio broadcast systems were winding down at the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland in November 1994. At the same time, several other unilateral tests of digital radio systems were being performed.

In Canada, the Eureka 147/DAB system had focused mostly on the single-frequency networking capability of that system, whereby the same signal can be transmitted on the same frequency from a number of transmitters with contiguous coverage zones. This allowed a moving receiver to continue to listen to a single program by transparently shifting from one transmitter's zone to another without retuning.

Also, AT&T was testing its in-band/adjacent-channel (IBAC) system on-air in Princeton, NJ, and intended to test its in-band/on-channel (IBOC) system that it developed with Amati. The system used low-level combining so that the on-channel digital signal was mixed with the analog FM signal at the exciter.

USA Digital Radio's tests of its AM and FM IBOC systems were also going on at this time. Private bus tours were provided to NAB and NRSC officials for mobile listening in Cincinnati and Chicago. Videotapes were presented at the World Media Expo and they represented the first successful public presentation of mobile IBOC performance.

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