Radio and broadcast equipment manufacturer GatesAir has developed a solution designed to cure the occasional hiccups that consumers experience as HD Radio signals lose their digital imprint and switch back to analog. This can create dropouts and temporarily interrupt an HD station’s seamless audio due to buffering.

“As the digital signal transitions to analog and back, the lack of proper time alignment prevents program linearity for the listener due to an eight-second delay between the analog and digital broadcast,” GatesAir explains. “Diversity Delay is a critical component of the HD Radio listening experience.”

Its solution: the fourth-generation Flexiva Importer/Exporter, combined with the company’s new FMXi 4g. Together, GatesAir says they have come up with “the industry’s first HD Radio Importer/Exporter solution to provide dynamic time and audio correction.” The GatesAir-exclusive algorithm inside the FMXi 4g “ensures proper time alignment between analog (FM) and digital (HD Radio) signals, and improves the listener experience by removing the objectionable blending artifacts,” it adds. The product will be introduced at the NAB Radio Show in Las Vegas in April.

“The seamless integration of IPConnect into the Gen4 architecture smooths the very heavy signal bursts that are common across the E2X path,” said Redmond. “The quality of service significantly improves through a reduction in dropouts and buffering instances that have long challenged HD Radio broadcasters.”

Adds Rich Redmond, chief product officer, GatesAir, “The software intelligence built into the FMXi 4g aligns the time, levels and phase of the audio to remove undesirable artifacts and deliver a clean and engaging audience experience. We believe that this will prove valuable not only to broadcasters that deliver from a single transmitter, but also for single-frequency networks that have multiple, overlapping transmitters delivering precision-timed HD Radio content across larger markets and terrain-challenged regions.”