Emmis Decides on Audemat FMB80
INDIANAPOLIS — I’ve
long been focused on the development of broadcaster-related technology
solutions by nature of my role within Emmis Communications as well as my
natural curiosity. This focus led me to devise the data distribution consortium
business model and become president of the Broadcaster Traffic Consortium (BTC),
a partnership of 16 radio companies formed to
distribute real-time traffic data via FM-RDS and HD Radio technology.
This additional role has led me to take
a keen interest in the RBDS encoders used in the Emmis network of radio
stations across the U.S., including St. Louis, Indianapolis, Terre Haute, Ind.,
and Austin, Texas. Initially, we had no focused approach to RBDS, so encoders
from various manufacturers were used throughout the network.
However, at Emmis we place a great deal
of importance on standardized technology, believing that it simplifies
technology deployments and interfacing with external partners as well as
lowering costs and support requirements. Therefore, a number of years ago, we
decided to standardize on the Audemat FMB80 RDS encoders and deploy them
throughout the Emmis network. In some stations we replaced competitors’ RBDS
encoders while at other stations these were new installations.
In addition to a competitive price and
compatibility with our external software partners, the FMB80 offers a number of
features that ensured it met our technical needs, leading it to be selected
over equipment from other manufacturers.
Control was a key criterion for us and
the FMB80 offered remote manageability via a Web interface as well as TCP/IP connectivity
enabling content interfaces and system interconnects. It also offered support
for UECP and RadioText Plus, which would ensure that the platform would enable
us to keep up to date with emerging technology. Finally, given Audemat’s
experience building RDS systems and involvement in the arena of RBDS, we felt
that we were in safe hands and dealing with an established brand.
Installing the 22 FMB80s throughout our
network went without a hitch. We were able easily to define a process for the
technology installers and it took less than 30 days from the date of shipment
to have all systems online and functional.
As mentioned, compatibility with our
existing systems was important for us. Each FMB80 RBDS encoder interconnects
with both a standardized The Radio Experience system from
Broadcast Electronics (used for on-air related metadata and transmission of artist/title,
promotional RBDS display, textual advertising display and tagging) and a NAVTEQ
BTC system that broadcasts real-time traffic via TMC and LocationPoint
advertising. The unit is also compatible with a range of automation software
Without a doubt, Audemat’s FMB80 has
proven to be the best product for Emmis’ internal system requirements and BTC
service provider obligations; and uptime of the all units is nearly 100 percent.
Because Emmis stations run at capacity for content distribution over RBDS
utilizing serial interfaces, UECP from multiple Internet sources, ASCII raw
data and RT+ from TRE, I can say with confidence that the FMB80 performs well
under the all the conditions a broadcaster must face in this area of their
Paul Brenner is SVP/Chief
Technology Officer with Emmis Communications.
information, contact Tony Peterle at Audemat/WorldCast Systems in Florida at
(305) 249-3110 or visit www.audemat.com.