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MPR Plans Twin Cities Conversion

MPR Plans Twin Cities Conversion

Minnesota Public Radio will soon begin converting its headquarters stations to HD Radio.
Supplier Broadcast Electronics said MPR has taken delivery of an FMi 703 transmitter package with HD Radio multicasting capability and optional studio signal generation for flagship station KSJN(FM) serving the Twin Cities area. KSJN plans to go IBOC in June.
An identical BE HD Radio system will ship next month for KNOW(FM), in the same cluster. Orders were placed in March through John Sims with RF Specialties of Missouri.
Mike Hendrickson, chief of network engineering, told the supplier stations are being evaluated individually for conversion. The network also is following developments of the ability to multicast “because we expect that to be an important part of HD Radio.”
Both of the HD Radio systems that MPR purchased include BE’s IDi 20 importer unit for partitioning the HD Radio bitstream for multicasting. The systems include XPi 10 exporter/signal generators for creating HD Radio coding at the studio.
KSJN CE Shane Toven said that although the station doesn’t yet have firm plans regarding multicasting, MPR wanted to make sure its transmission equipment would allow for that capability.
According to BE, KSJN plans to use a high-level combined configuration of the BE FMi 703 transmitter into a master antenna system. HD Radio conversion of KNOW would follow and use a separate antenna configuration; the BE FMi 703 transmitter would feed the digital signal directly into the station’s auxiliary antenna.
MPR also ordered BE RDi 20 generators for sending data to text-enabled RDS receivers.
Previously, KPCC(FM) in Los Angeles installed BE’s FMi 201 HD Radio transmitter for low-level combining the FM analog and digital signals. KPCC is operated by Southern California Public Radio, an affiliate of Minnesota Public Radio in its American Public Media program distribution group.
Broadcast Electronics and Minnesota Public Radio began testing HD Radio in 2003.