West Virginia Radio Maximizes Coverage With MaxxCasting

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West Virginia Radio Maximizes Coverage With MaxxCasting�

Sep 18, 2014 9:59 AM

CHICAGO�West Virginia Radio Corporation has improved market-wide signal penetration for two FM stations in Cumberland, Md., by deploying GeoBroadcast Solutions''s MaxxCasting systems.

The MaxxCasting technology combines radio broadcast and mobile cellular technology to reduce interference between main transmitter and booster sites, enabling broadcasters to maximize network topology, according to the company.

Located in western Maryland, the Cumberland market is home to West Virginia Radio stations WZDN(FM) and WQZK(FM), with transmitters located outside the city limits. Both stations have had considerable challenges with terrain shielding, particularly on major interstates running through the region.

The pre- and post-MaxxCasting maps for booster coverage and location show improvements to the WZDN signal. The magenta shades in each image represent the lower quality coverage that existed before (top) compared to today (below).

�We deployed a traditional booster for WZDN many years ago that wasn�t able to minimize interference across all the locations we targeted, and in fact created significant issues on I-68,� said Chris Moran, director of technology for West Virginia Radio Corporation.

The MaxxCasting formula utilizes modeling software and distribution architecture, featuring high-efficiency transmitters and IP networking solutions from GatesAir. The formula considers the distance between transmission points, heights above average terrain and time differentials between locations. GBS produces a detailed software modeling solution for each station based on these and other measurements, determining the areas of concern and specifying booster site locations (along with antenna heights and power ratios) to maximize signal penetration in the customer-defined target coverage areas. The coverage analysis can be optimized by benchmarking coverage against population and ratings measurement data to further help target key audience.The designs are fine-tuned in the field.

The MaxxCasting architecture utilizes GatesAir Intraplex IP Link 200 codecs to drive two stations from a single system, with built-in real-time adaptive synchronization across booster sites courtesy of Intraplex SynchroCast time precision delay technology. Low-power GatesAir Flexiva transmitters and Jampro JAVA log periodic antennas complete the distribution network.

�MaxxCasting made perfect sense for the Cumberland market based on the terrain,� said Moran. �We deployed highly directional antennas very low to the ground, which allowed us to really target areas we wanted to cover while minimizing interference from the boosters to areas that the main site reaches. It''s been a remarkable improvement. We''ve eliminated six miles of interference on a stretch of I-68 west of Cumberland for WZDN, and the WQZK signal now covers the downtown area. The minimal interference that does exist has been pushed to unpopulated areas thanks to GBS'' precise software modeling.�

According to Moran, response from the community has been positive, saying that a major advertiser has shared that he can now hear the station clearly.

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