NY City - Jul 31, 2001 - On July 31 ABC Radio Networks ended an era when it shut down all DATS/SEDAT transmissions. The shutdown occurred at 1:00 PM ET. ABC no longer distributes it programming on both DATS/SEDAT and the Starguide system.
While all audio services had been removed from the satellite channels several weeks ago, the final minutes were used to play an audio production commemorating some of the historical events that were carried over the system. With the DATS and SEDAT carriers shut down, the Starguide carrier can be moved to occupy the spectrum on transponder 23. The Starguide system was temporarily using part of transponder 17. With the Starguide relocation to the former DATS/SEDAT spectrum, the channels will be able to accomodate all ABC services. ABC also operates some services on GE-3, which will in time be relocated to GE-8.
In 1982 ABC Radio Networks began using the Digital Audio Transmission System (DATS) as its audio transmission system for all programming; a breakthrough in early use of digital audio. In 1991, a revised system, the Spectrum Efficient Digital Audio Transmission (SEDAT), allowed for more channels to be distributed in the same spectrum.
Engineers at ABC used the event to create a special program commemorating the use of SEDAT with sound bytes from news reports and tongue-in-cheek comments about the system and it contribution to radio broadcast audio distribution.
he retrospective contained elements contributed by different engineering departments at ABC Radio Networks. The four-part production looked at the early history of ABC, the news events that spanned the 20-year life of DAT/SEDAT, a second new montage and finally a little fun with goodbyes and man-on-the-street quick takes about SEDAT. The last voice transmitted via SEDAT was that of Paul Harvey saying, "Paul Harvey...good day." This was followed by the sound of a closing door and then a tone.
There are some DATS channels on transponder 15 that will continue to have a carrier until August 15. These channels are not operated by ABC nor do they have any audio on them.