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Belar Integrates New HD Radio Features

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Just two months past NAB, Belar Electronics is capitalizing on the momentum of its Automatic Delay Correction software introduction with new features that further enhance the possibilities and benefits of HD Radio diversity delay.

Belar’s innovation at NAB—which uniquely feeds the eight-second audio adjustment toward the front of the air chain for corrections—establishes a connection to an audio processor or exporter, measures the signal error and communicates the necessary adjustment to the delay line. That communication is locked into in a continuous loop, ensuring that the appropriate eight-second time delay is constant and consistent.

Belar is now adding new capabilities that offer give broadcasters the opportunity to increase measurement accuracy and correction times, and enable smooth transitions when making time adjustments within the audio processor. Additionally, larger networks can now simplify multi-station monitoring through automated scan functionality.

"The software-defined platform of Automatic Delay Correction allows us to quickly and cost-efficiently bring new innovations to HD Diversity Delay within a single box," said Mark Grant, CEO, Belar Electronics. "We are quickly adapting to market needs and listening to our customers to solve problems in the air chain without requiring a large upgrade investment."

The first new innovation expands the time window for signal correction by up to eight times, resulting in a correction window of approximately plus or minus 2.4 seconds. The application leverages an "auto range mode" to track the delay and automatically open the correction window if the delay drifts outside of the allotted range. The built-in algorithm automatically increases or decreases the sample resolution as required to pull the delay back within the window.

For broadcasters correcting delay with the audio processor, Automatic Delay Correction now includes a ramping feature that offers a smoother transitions between time adjustments. Instead of a perceptible "jump" to the listening audience, the new application gradually ramps to the delay correction. This ensures the adjustment goes unnoticed by the audience, as is typical when the application takes place in the exporter or separate delay line.
A third development significant to radio networks integrates a scanning function to correct up to six preset stations in a market. The automatic scan function cycles through the presets while establishing direct connections to each station’s specific delay device, applying the appropriate corrections on an intermittent basis.
"This is an interesting application for engineers that also want better visibility into how corrections are happening at more than one station," said Grant. "Each station in the market has a dedicated screen, and our FMHD1 modulation monitor can sit and scan for each station over any user-defined time period and make corrections as needed. And while engineers can quickly understand when and why changes were applied for each station, it’s an ideal way to further automate the process of HD diversity delay across many stations—allowing engineers to focus on more pertinent operational tasks."
The new Automatic Delay Correction features are available immediately via simple software updates.
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