Nautel Affirms AM Band’s HD Capabilities


Nautel has increased its commitment to enabling all-digital AM operation by providing support for currently experimental all-digital modes as a standard feature in all NX Series transmitters.

“Although all-digital AM operation currently requires an experimental license, we and others feel that this is an exciting direction for the AM band and Nautel is ready to support broadcasters as they move ahead with their plans,” said John Whyte, Head of Marketing at Nautel.

Nautel’s ability to fully support all-digital AM operation was demonstrated earlier this month when a new NX5 all-digital AM transmitter was placed on the air at WWFD-AM 820 “The Gamut? in Frederick, Md., the highly eclectic Hubbard Broadcasting station operated out of the WTOP offices and studios in Washington, D.C.

WWFD is undergoing a one-year test of all-digital AM operation under experimental license from the FCC. The new combination of the NX5 along with the Nautel MultiCast+ Importer/Exporter enabled the station to transmit stereo audio plus Album Artwork data services to its listeners for the first time in its test.

It’s quite different from the AM Stereo capabilities pioneered in the late 1980s that ultimately failed to capture consumer interest.

“Nautel’s NX Series has been specifically designed for digital operation, supporting analog and hybrid modes and now the potential of all-digital use,” said Whyte. “Its digital modes provide the precision needed in the spectral mask as well as the in-band signal quality required for digital features such as User Experience metadata. NX transmitters, combined with our digital-ready importers and exporters such as HD MultiCast+, make it easy for AM stations to adopt digital transmission.”