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Blog Central

No Problem in Houston: Replacing STLs with xNodes

Posted by Robbie Green on Feb 1, 2017 1:00:00 PM

In late 2015, I was examining the expiring contracts for many of our legacy telco services. As I did, it quickly became apparent that we could do much better, both in terms of cost savings and quality.

CBS Radio Houston has a somewhat unique situation, in that all four of our FMs are co-located at two transmitter sites. The main site for the FMs is the Senior Road Tower, and our aux is an American Tower site nearby. In the past, both sites were linked to the studios via digital 950 MHz STLs and multiple T1s, with the 950 MHz links serving as mains and the T1 links serving as backup.  As you might expect, data for things like telemetry and HD Radio rode on timeslots in our T1 frames that weren’t being used for audio transport.

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Topics: Axia Audio, STLs, xNodes

xNodes Link Community Radio for Northern Colorado

Posted by Shane Toven on Nov 30, 2016 11:45:00 AM

With its beginnings on the University of Northern Colorado campus in 1967 as KCBL, 91.5 KUNC serves residents of Northern Colorado with a unique blend of locally-produced news, music, and other popular public radio programming. Now owned and operated by Community Radio for Northern Colorado, the group has grown to a network of over 14 stations and translators throughout Colorado.

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Topics: Axia Audio, STLs, xNodes

IP-Radios - The New Studio-Transmitter Link (STL)

Posted by Kirk Harnack on May 4, 2016 11:56:18 AM


Radio broadcasters have traditionally used 950MHz analog or digital point-to-point radio systems to transport their audio programming from the studio to the transmitter site. Leased T1 or E1 digital land-based circuits have also been popular where a line-of-sight radio path cannot be established. Each system has strengths and shortcomings;  the radio STL is one-way only and has little room for ancillary data. The landline T1/E1 solution implies a monthly lease expense, as well as high capital costs for the endpoint equipment, and still not much extra data bandwidth once the program audio is transported. With multi-station shared transmitter sites, HD Radio, off-site automation backup, security cameras, remote control, and Internet access all becoming necessities, a reliable, high-bandwidth data transport scheme becomes  critical. Enter the modern 2-way IP-radio system. These carrier-grade links can transport several stereo audio channels with bit-for-bit clarity, plus provide for all the other data services just mentioned and have room for growth. This paper describes not only the STL needs and challenges facing broadcast engineers, but provides clear, workable solutions both in the abstract and specific solution cases.

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Topics: IP Radios, STLs, IP Radio STLs