Audio Upgrade for American Family Radio • Tupelo, MS

American Family Radio (AFR) knew the time was right to upgrade to a new distribution platform. The Tupelo, Mississippi based network had been discussing transitioning to a new platform in 2016. However, in September 2015 their transition timetable was put on a four-month fast track because of two big issues – a lack of replacement units and the inability to get support for their aging network.

AFR chose San Diego based Pico Digital’s popular XDS headend system and Pro1Q receivers to take their network to the next level.Besides the system’s budget-friendly price tag, the technological advances of the headend – specifically, the “Store and Forward” option offered by XDS – was very attractive. “Store and Forward” provides AFR with intelligent technology – allowing networks to provide localized content to each station in their network – including IDs, weather, underwriting and localized features.

The install:

With the green light on the transition given in September 2015, a fall timetable meant there was no time to waste.The XDS platform had to be built and installed, AFR’s engineering staff needed training and assistance with the build-out, and over 200 Pro1Q receivers had to be manufactured and shipped to the customer.

Both the manufacturer and a member of the Link Up team made the trip to Tupelo to assist AFR with the build-out and training. All the deadlines for the transition were met, and the network was operational by January, 2016.

Client: American Family Radio

Director of Engineering: Shane Rakestraw

Date of install: January 2016

Number of stations in the network: 186 stations and 13 affiliates

Occasional or full-time space segment: Full-time


What our client has to say:

As American Family Radio continues to install Pico Digital’s Pro1Q receivers at numerous locations throughout the country, Rakestraw marvels at the system’s ease of use. “The system is running flawlessly,” says Rakestraw. “We are more than halfway through with the satellite receiver installs and have not had a single issue.”

The equipment:

  • Pico Digital XDS VME-5 Encoder/Mux
  • Comtech DMD20 Satellite Modem
  • Anacom Ku Band BUC
  • Cross Technology L-Band switch