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Worldcast Systems - Radio & TV Broadcast Solutions


Source: Radio World - Artifical Intelligence in Radio

By: Paul McLane

WorldCast Systems has said that a massive implementation of its SmartFM technology in Germany by Uplink Network GmbH — now approaching 1,000 transmitters — is “a major step towards the decarbonization of FM broadcast in Germany.”

The manufacturer says its AI-based SmartFM technology enables broadcasters that use its Ecreso transmitters to reduce energy consumption by up to 40%. A 10 kW FM using an Ecreso transmitter with SmartFM could save 824 MWh over 10 years compared to an older transmitter with 55% efficiency.

The tool predicts human perception of audio quality at the limit of coverage and depending on content characteristics. According to WorldCast, after a psychoanalysis algorithm qualifies the robustness of audio content to perturbations, SmartFM dynamically changes the RF output power in relation to broadcast content. Radio World asked Thomas Weiner, chief operating officer of Uplink Group, about the large project. 

RW: What stations are served by this rollout?

Thomas Weiner: Uplink Group is the market leader for FM broadcasting in Germany and supplies about 50% of
the private and a large portion of the public broadcasters. We operate almost 900 FM frequencies at approximately 600 locations; among them are all large radio towers in Germany, e.g. in Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf etc.
We run those FM frequencies exclusively with transmitters from French producer WorldCast Systems, ranging from 100 to 10,000 watts transmission energy. They serve private radio groups such as Regiocast Group, TopRadio Group, Hit Radio FFH, Radio NRW, ATSW Group, Metropol FM, Schlager Radio and others, as well as public radio entities like DeutschlandRadio, NDR-MV, RBB, SR, WDR and Thüringer Landesmedienanstalt.

RW: How did it come about?
Weiner: WorldCast Systems had said that Uplink would see significant energy savings through a chargeable software update to its modern FM transmitters called SmartFM. The specialists at Uplink initially were skeptical, since a reduction in transmission energy always has an impact on transmission quality. 
We held long discussions and conducted many laboratory tests and later extensive field tests. After that there were some improvements to the software for the special regulatory requirements of the German market and of course deep commercial considerations. 
At the end it became obvious that SmartFM is a real game-changer in broadcasting. Understanding this, Uplink then took on the task of convincing its customers in Germany of the advantages of SmartFM.

… read the full interview here