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.Read More
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