The NAB Show is the place to highlight new technology, and Ibiquity and four HD Radio equipment manufacturers took good advantage of the opportunity. As the HD Radio rollout continues, the technology evolves and improves.
Announced during the 2008 NAB Show, creating the embedded Exporter was a joint effort of the NAB HD Radio Technology Advancement Task Force and Ibiquity, and included the participation of Broadcast Electronics, Continental, Harris and Nautel.
One stumbling block for many stations has been the initial equipment costs. With that in mind, the NAB HD Radio Technology Advancement Task Force was charged with finding ways to decrease the hardware costs. Through its research, the task force determined that the HD Radio Exporter was one element that could be manufactured in a less expensive way. This device would also provide the most significant savings for the invested effort.
The HD Radio Exporter combines multicast audio channels and data services with a station's main audio channel into a format suitable for transmission. Until the NAB Show, the Exporter was rack-mount PC running specific software. The units were large and required a long start time when turned on. They were also prone to the typical problems of a PC running 24/7.
The solution was unveiled during the NAB Show at a press conference on April 13. Reducing the size and complexity of the Exporter into a solid-state device with embedded processing has also reduced the cost of the device. Some manufacturers say the total savings could be as much as $10,000. Further, the embedded Exporter includes the GPS receiver functions that were separate of the original Exporters.
The NAB says the project began in 2006. Because the NAB contributed to the development effort, NAB member stations are eligible additional discounts on new embedded Exporter products.
Broadcast Electronics XPI 10ESP
Can encode Arbitron Portable People Meter measurement of main and multicast channels.
Continental Electronics 800Exp
Can be paired with a Continental 802EX FM digital exciter using Continental's dedicated Exporter to Exgine network processor.
Nautel Exporter Plus
The system tolerates ac failures so an external UPS is not required.
Has options for profanity delay, diversity delay and an Arbitron Portable People Meter encoding.