Inovonics has published a comparison chart to help its users figure out which AARON receiver to buy. (A link is provided below.) We asked Sales & Marketing Manager Gary Luhrman about it.
Radio World: For those not familiar, briefly what is the AARON series?
Gary Luhrman: The AARON series is a family of three FM and FM/HD Radio rebroadcast translator receivers built to handle the most challenging reception scenarios. Boasting sensitivity and selectivity superior to even the most elite professional or consumer receivers, the AARONs combine premium features with unparalleled receiver performance.
Starting with a unique Software Defined Radio (SDR) front-end that provides extraordinary sensitivity, selectivity and RF shielding, each model adds additional functionality designed to meet unique needs according to the broadcaster’s application. The AARON products also provide remote access and valuable monitoring feedback via an intuitive web interface that is accessible from any web-enabled device (smart phone, tablet or PC). Engineers can listen via an audio stream and receive notifications via email or SMS messages for audio loss, low signal, RDS error, pilot loss, and audio failover back-up.
RW: Who came up with the idea for the series?
Luhrman: Inovonics had made re-broadcast receivers for years but we were being asked for more features, better sensitivity and selectivity than our traditional analog designs could offer. That’s when we took a second look and decided to totally do a redesign from the ground up.
RW: How is Aaron different from other products in its class, what sets it apart?
Luhrman: The selectivity and sensitivity of the receiver make the AARON a strong contender to be Number 1 in its class. The straightforward setup and intuitive management from the web interface make the AARON easy to work with, and additional built-in tools at your disposal, such as RDS encoder, composite pass-through and MPX regeneration modes, along with failover audio back-up features. Finally, Inovonics’ three-year factory warranty and Premiere After Sales Service helps to “seal the deal” when engineers are looking for a reliable rebroadcast receiver.
RW: We’ll share a link to your chart below. But give a quick summary of how these three models differ.
Luhrman: The AARON 650 is our most popular FM Rebroadcast Receiver due to its flexibility to handle most scenarios.
For starters it has the sensitive and selective digital FM receiver referred to earlier along with Composite Pass-through and baseband regeneration modes, which are valuable tools when the FM reception is very challenging and the signal needs cleaning-up before passing it on to the FM transmitter.
The 650 also has a built-in RDS encoder, which allows you to alter or modify the RDS message to the translator. The 650 has two Antenna inputs and two MPX outputs along with some audio back-up capabilities via Web-stream or SD-Card. Finally, the interactive Web interface allows remote listening via Web-stream, FFT Analyzer, Alarms/Notifications, and supports SNMP.
The AARON 640 is the “no frills” model with the same digital SDR front-end for great FM reception, Composite Pass-through, and Active Reception Processing for bandwidth, stereo blend, HF blending and more. And of course it has the interactive web interface with remote listening via web stream, Alarms/notifications and SNMP support.
The AARON 655 FM/HD Rebroadcast Receiver is almost in its own category. It was designed to accept FM and HD Radio 1-8 program sources for rebroadcast, as well as analog, AES-digital and streaming inputs with fallback-priority selection.
You can think of the 655 as three products built into a single 1U box. It has the sensitive FM/HD Radio SDR-based receiver; a complete three-band audio processor with stereo generator; and a dynamic RDS encoder.
Some of the unique features of the 655 include creating a dynamic RDS message by converting the Pad Data from HD Radio channel or Streamed audio. The built-in audio processor allows the broadcaster to provide the best possible audio signal to the FM translator, and the 655 has input options for Analog, AES-digital, and Streaming audio.
RW: What are the retail price points?
Luhrman: Here are our list prices for the AARON rebroadcast receivers; I urge broadcasters to contact their preferred Inovonics dealer for a competitive quote that may be more attractive than the prices you see here:
- AARON 640 FM Rebroadcast Receiver = $2,100
- AARON 650 FM Rebroadcast Receiver = $2,390
- AARON 655 FM/HD Radio Rebroadcast Receiver = $2,600
RW: What else should we know?
Luhrman: All Inovonics products are designed, manufactured and assembled at our factory in Felton, Calif. USA. They come with a three -year factory warranty and Premiere After Sales Service. We can be reached for any questions at www.inovonicsbroadcast.com.