The Greatest Audio Product to Come Out of This Year’s NAB

Think of it as an early Christmas gift.

Finding baby Jesus in the King cake.

The equivalent to hitting the jackpot.

If your network operates on one of the lower data rates – like 128 to the 192 kbps range – there is now a new receiver on the market, customized with your network’s specific needs in mind.

It’s the XDS Pro 1R Digital Media Receiver with low bit rate decoding. Debuted at NAB 2016, the Pro 1R will be available in the marketplace in June.

Make no mistake, Pro 1R is BIG NEWS for many of our customers still operating on the Comstream ABR platform. Before now, these broadcasters could not justify the increase in monthly space segment costs to update their current out-dated receivers to more efficient units with DVB and AAC.

Like the Pro 1Q, the Pro 1R has all the features and benefits that radio networks operating on higher bandwidths have enjoyed, like:

  • Low bitrate down to 100 Ksps
  • Can fit in a 200 KHz carrier
  • DVB S/S2 – QPSK/8PSK
  • MPEG2, AAC-LC, HEv1, and HV2
  • Locally input LIDs, liners, spots
  • Import/export content locally
  • And (drum-roll, please) Store and forward

Before we go further, here’s the back story. Earlier this year management at Pico Digital – the guys who manufacture the XDS platform – asked us for feedback. Specifically, what would compel the smaller religious networks to make the move and update their satellite platforms?

We explained the remaining marketplace is in the 128-192 kbps range, and – for stewardship reasons – have no intention of purchasing more space segment to adapt to the Pro 1Q. These smaller networks need the same features and benefits that the larger networks enjoy, we reasoned, but with the ability to lock on to a small carrier with a receiver.

In other words, we asked. Nicely.

Let’s talk price tag. There is a slight premium on these receivers since they specifically function in the 128-192 kbps range. However, by not having to graduate to a higher bandwidth, the small networks make up the financial difference by being able to stay with the lower space segment.

The switch to this new platform only requires a few new pieces of equipment at the uplink – replace the current encoder with an XDS encoder and upgrade the DMD modem. No change in bandwidth necessary, since the expanded range of the new Pro 1R takes care of that. After these updates at the uplink, the installation of the new receivers can begin.

Here’s the cool part: you can start off linear, then adapt to the network management system (Store and forward) when your network is ready. But even in linear mode, you are enjoying features not even dreamed of with the ABR, including the ability to pre-record and play out station ID’s from the Pro 1R. For unattended stations, this is your way of “dipping your toes” into the localization waters.

Amazing. Right?

Like more info about the Pro 1R? Ask us anything – we’d like to help. Besides the benefit of finally putting your obsolete ABR platform to rest, this product can deliver a whole new range of possibilities for your network.

Give us a call. We’re here to facilitate your network transition.