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Sound Sweet Spot with Orban Optimods

Relies on 96 Orban Optimods and 27 PC-based Opticodec cards across multiple locations in Malaysia

The author is senior manager, broadcast operations, Astro Radio.

Jude Dawson

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Astro Radio, a commercial radio network based in Malaysia and owned by Astro Holdings Bhd., has been revolutionizing radio in Malaysia since its launch in 1996 when we introduced format specific programming (i.e. format-radio to our listeners).

We began operations with five FM radio stations, eight satellite radio stations with 25 regional commercial splits with the (then revolutionary and now legendary) Optimod-FM 8200 digital audio processor. Much has been said and written about this amazing piece of technology, it is sufficient for us to simply state it was the best decision we ever made to go with Orban.

The 8200 made our stations the consistently best-sounding radio network on the FM-dial in Malaysia. We’re pleased to say that even after 20 years in the transmission chain, the Optimod FM 8200 still performs better than any competitor’s current products.

The Astro Radio facilities in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Today, Astro Radio operates 19 radio networks, which cater to a diverse range of musical tastes and demographics. Our stations broadcast to our listeners on three primary delivery platforms — FM, satellite radio and online.

Our flagship brands, namely hitz, My, Lite, Mix, Era, Sinar, Melody, Raaga, Gegar, Zayan and goXUAN,  combined reach 16.2 million radio listeners, 17.5 million social media followers and 56.3 million on Facebook.

To deliver steady high-fidelity audio over these platforms, we deployed Orban’s extensive arsenal of digital audio processors with great success.

Orban units at Astro Radio headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

For FM broadcasts, we utilize the 8700i, 8600, 8500, 8500-FM and 5500 audio processors in tandem with the 5518 stereo encoders.

For satellite-radio audio processing we chose the 8685 (yes, the one which does surround-sound). We also still use the 8200 to process audio for some of our satellite-radio stations!

To dominate and tame the online streaming platform, we use a combination of Optimod-PC 1211 cards as well as Optimod-PCn StreamS software.

In total, we use 96 units of rackmount Orban Optimods as well as 27 PC-based Opticodec cards across multiple locations in Malaysia to deliver the sweetest, cleanest, distortion-free and regulatory-compliant sounds. We’re very pleased that our stations sound clean and loud but don’t distort.

[Read: NAB Sneak Peek: Orban Pumps Up the Bass]

We have been able to achieve and maintain these high standards simply because of excellent technical support and sound product advice over the years from many of the experienced, talented and knowledgeable people at Orban.

Simply put, Orban’s audio processor solutions just work beautifully for Astro Radio.

For information, contact Orban in Germany at +49-7141-2266-0 or visit