All-Digital Air Chain. Oh Yeah, It's Happening.

WheatstoneBaseband192wNautelNV10 KTWNWe're getting a lot of questions about our new baseband192 technology and the all-digital air chain.

Here are the more common questions, and our answers, taken from a paper by Jeff Keith, CPBE NCE, senior product development engineer for Wheatstone, to be published this month in Radio World Engineering Extra.

What is baseband192? Wheatstone baseband192 is an open standard technology that provides AES/EBU output from Wheatstone AirAura X3, FM-531HD and VP-8IP audio processors into any transmitter equipped with a digital baseband input, something that hasn't been possible until now.

Why now? At the time we developed the hardware for our AirAura processor four years ago, we added the ability to include a digital AES3 multiplex output, even though there were no FM exciters on the market that could accept a digital multiplex signal. Fast forward to the NAB 2013 show. Since then, FM transmitter manufacturers have been keen to add a digital multiplex interface to their current or upcoming hardware. In fact, all of the transmitter manufacturers we've talked to have either already implemented the feature or plan to do so.

Does baseband192 include the entire composite plus RDS and SCA? Our FM processors digitize the signals applied to the SCA inputs and add those signals to the stereo MPX signal in the digital domain – RDS and SCA signals automatically become part of the baseband192 signal. In essence, baseband192 digitizes the entire multiplex spectrum including the RDS and SCAs up to 67 kHz for direct AES/EBU into the FM exciter.

What about the loudness tradeoff that has been a problem in the past? The baseband192 signal represents the FM processor's entire stereo multiplex spectrum – including most subcarriers. Because the baseband192 signal encompasses the entire multiplex spectrum after stereo generation, it also includes any loudness increases that may have been contributed by the FM processor's composite clipper. Problem solved.

We've set up a page with all the information covering Wheatstone® baseband192. Click here:

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