Gary Liebisch has been in broadcast engineering for over 40 years.

Gary joined Nautel in April of 2007, as the Eastern U.S. Regional Sales Manager, has served on the Board of Directors for the Society of Broadcast Engineers from 2008-2012, and is a Lifetime Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer.

He has held the title of Chief Engineer and Group Director of Engineering for stations in Spartanburg, SC, Raleigh, NC and Cincinnati, Ohio, and holds Amateur Radio call W8GEL.

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by Gary Liebisch

Once again HD Radio took center stage at Nautel for NAB 2017. An award-winning paper and new products were highlights of the show. First, Nautel research engineer Philipp Schmid was awarded BEITC “best paper” for his work on developing a method for synchronizing HD Radio boosters.

Accompanied by a demonstration in the Nautel booth, Philipp described how time tagging the HD Radio packets enables very precise alignment between two or more transmitters. While traditional analog booster synchronization always results in some interference zone that can be minimized at best, HD Radio boosters using Philipp’s method create completely “seamless” transition zones. This has been field demonstrated at KUSC in Los Angeles.

His work was recognized at the BEITC luncheon on Wednesday at the show.
More on Philipp’s “SFN for HD Radio” paper here >

As Nautel continues to lead in the roll-out of Gen 4 HD Radio products, a new combined Importer-Exporter box which we call MultiCast+ was previewed. This 2 RU unit not only combines the traditionally separate Importer and Exporter functions, but does so at HALF the price, further lowering the cost of entry to HD Radio for many stations.

Using industrial grade hardware, its OS base is Windows 10 Enterprise edition (with updates turned off!). Expansion slots enable use of third-party audio processing or other cards for not only the SPS (multicast) channels, but also the FM and HD1 channels. As a bonus, it also includes Nautel’s Reliable HD Transport Suite (NRHDT), which had been only an option on prior Exporter models. NRHDT was also developed several years ago by Philipp, to overcome and smooth out the bursty nature of packets generated in the Exporter to Exciter (E2X) stream. Its benefit is particularly useful in bidirectional STL systems, where it can request retransmission of lost packets before they modulate the transmitter. Clock packet tunneling also reduces diversity delay drift. MultiCast+ was a “Best In Show” award winner this year.

Estimated availability of the new MultiCast+ is late summer of 2017. Meanwhile, customers who prefer traditionally separate Importer and Exporter products will see a new and updated hardware platform on the MultiCast+ Importer, and reduced prices on both products, effective immediately. Read more about MultiCast+ here >

At the annual HD Radio event in the Nautel booth on Tuesday, Xperi-HD Radio Manager of Automotive Jeff Jury praised Nautel for its continuing development of new HD Radio products. Jury also presented a progress report on HD Radio penetration that indicates all major auto manufacturers now offer HD Radio as standard optional equipment, with close to 45% of new cars being sold including the technology. When older cars on the road are accounted for, the overall penetration in most major US markets is close to 20% and increasing steadily. Jury also talked about ad-revenue opportunities. In a study conducted by Nielsen on ad recall, it was found that there was a 63% lift in brand recognition when HD Radio Artist Experience was paired with an audio ad.

Meanwhile on the DRM front, we have reported here frequently about the deployment of 30+ Nautel DRM transmitters for All-India Radio (AIR). While these transmitters were initially set up in analog mode, AIR is now in Phase II of the roll-out, where, on a time-share basis, several hours of full feature DRM all digital programming are transmitted each day. A public information campaign will be initiated to inform the citizens of the new radio platform and its many benefits.

HD Radio is a registered trademark of DTS Inc.

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