Harris Corporation Expands FLEXSTAR


FLEXSTAR™ HDX-FM exciter combines real-time adaptive correction and several industry firsts to create the most powerful exciter on the market

Last Updated: September 7, 2005 4:20 pm GMT
(CINCINNATI, September 7, 2005) One year after making a splash at NAB Radio with the introduction of its FLEXSTAR™ family of HD Radio™ products, Harris Corporation’s (NYSE: HRS) Broadcast Communications Division (BCD) returns to the radio industry’s largest U.S. convention with a new addition to the growing FLEXSTAR range.

The FLEXSTAR™ HDX-FM exciter, providing the most superior transmission power output performance of any exciter on the market, joins the HDI-100 importer and HDE-100 exporter to create the industry’s premier technical solution for multiplexing and preparing audio, data and advanced services associated with HD Radio for transmission. Harris will show all three units operating with its Mini-HD™ Series transmitter as part of a continuous HD Radio multicasting demonstration.

The FLEXSTAR HDX-FM exciter breaks new ground in live radio transmission on multiple levels, including the most advanced real-time adaptive correction technology in radio. Real-time adaptive correction is an essential technology for digital broadcast, offering noise reduction and transmitter/antenna linearity to provide a clear, crisp signal to the end user’s receiver. Harris’ expertise with this advanced correction technology far exceeds the competition, with six years of implementation experience in digital television systems.

“Non-linear adaptive correction will enable transmitters to develop higher power levels for an equal number of output transistor devices than any other transmitter on the market,” said Rich Redmond, director, strategic management, for Harris BCD’s Radio Broadcast Systems business unit. “In many cases it allows for lower initial capital expense, and offers superior math compliance and stability over wide temperature, AC power line and load variations. This is a substantial leap forward for exciter technology, and its just one of many features that places the HDX-FM far ahead of other exciters on the market.”

The FLEXSTAR HDX-FM exciter also features several industry firsts in exciter technology. With its introduction, Harris will be the only vendor to offer adaptive group delay equalization; secondary auto-switching of AES3 and composite inputs; and hybrid/straight FM outputs for Harris’ exclusive Split-Level™ Combining method, which enables a power-efficient implementation of FM HD using a station’s existing FM transmitter and antenna and offers an up to 10 percent reduction in operational costs over high-level combining.

“Throughout the development process, we encouraged feedback from our customers to ensure that our new FLEXSTAR HDX-FM exciter represented their HD Radio needs,” said Debra Huttenburg, vice president and general manager of Harris BCD’s Radio Broadcast Systems business unit. "Harris held ‘voice of customer’ meetings with engineers from large to small markets, and commercial and non-commercial stations. Broadcasters should see their fingerprints all over our new design and be assured that FLEXSTAR™ will enable them to cost-effectively and dependably implement HD Radio and leverage its multicasting capabilities.”  

A rundown of the FLEXSTAR HDX-FM exciter’s standard features, in addition to its real-time adaptive correction:
  • Real-time monitoring and advanced diagnostics: This feature will provide advanced performance monitoring and diagnostics, mitigating expenses required for traditional test equipment.

  • Operation mode switching between FM, hybrid FM/HD Radio, and HD Radio: The FLEXSTAR HDX-FM exciter allows switching from primary modes to the FM hybrid mode. This enables the transmitter to function as a low-power backup unit and equates to faster, simpler installation of Harris products.

  • Adaptive group delay equalization: This feature eliminates bulky, lossy group delay correction circuits where filters and combiners are employed. Adaptive group delay equalization also provides peak FM performance for any FM transmitter that operates into a filter or combiner assembly.

  • Secondary auto-switching of AES3 and composite inputs: Audio to dual XLR/AES3 and analog composite inputs can be active and automatically switched. Switching can also be done manually via the front panel or a remote system.

  • Hybrid and FM outputs for Split-Level Combining: The FLEXSTAR HDX-FM exciter includes a high-power hybrid RF output and low-power FM-only RF output for use with Harris’ exclusive Split-Level systems. The hybrid output power ratio and relative phase angle are adjustable from the GUI to achieve optimal combining efficiency and minimum reject power.

The complete FLEXSTAR™ demonstration also will include the HDI-100 importer and HDE-100 exporter, which multiplexes all HD audio and data services into a single compact bitstream en route to the transmitter. The HDX-FM exciter, situated inside the transmitter, digitally prepares the signal for transmission while enhancing audio quality through real-time adaptive correction and other features.

The demonstration will also feature Harris’ exclusive NeuStar™ codec pre-conditioners for HD Radio. NeuStar pre-conditioners are used to prepare and optimize audio content prior to encoding, significantly enhancing codec performance and offering noticeably improved audio quality for digital radio listeners. Harris now provides a platform that allows user to seamlessly link NeuStar codec pre-conditioners together with FLEXSTAR products. This allows a station to embed its codec pre-conditioning during the exporting process to provide the highest quality audio possible.

About Harris Broadcast Communications Division
Harris Broadcast Communications Division is one of four divisions within Harris Corporation, an international communications equipment company focused on providing assured communications™ products, systems and services for government and commercial customers in more than 150 countries. One of the world’s leading suppliers of broadcast technology, Harris Broadcast Communications Division offers a full range of solutions that support the digital delivery, automation and management of audio, video and data. For more information, visit www.broadcast.harris.com.

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