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The plan was to extend these closures over the STL to WBKI-TV; however, a small problem arose when we discovered there wasn't any available bandwidth to send them separately as a data channel on the Terrawave. Instead, the program audio was fed through a pair of Circuitwerkes SEN-6 Subaudible tone encoders. These would trigger the TV station breaks by placing relay closure commands to activate the subaudible tones in the automation playlists at the exact time of the radio commercial breaks. The Circuitwerkes encoders would inject the tones at low level into the program audio delivered to WBKI. At the TV station a Mueller T25-35SA subaudible tone decoder was installed to decode the tones and trigger the breaks. The result was a flawless and completely synchronized video and audio feed that met the needs of both stations.
Merging radio shows and television isn't always an easy task. The end result can be very rewarding, as it was for WQKC-FM and WBKI-TV. Delivering the functionality needed for a quality television product while not intruding on a busy radio workspace was an important aspect to the design and installation. In the end, they met the challenges and needs of the constantly evolving content environment while most importantly, keeping the listener and viewer in mind.
Robinson is the manager of engineering and IT for Cumulus Media, Indianapolis, IN and Louisville, KY.
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