The Telos Alliance, the broadcast radio and TV technology firm that’s the parent company of Telos, Omnia, Axia, 25-Seven, Linear Acoustic and Minnetonka products, has released what it calls a “major” software update for the Omnia.9sg stereo generator and final stage processor.
“The Omnia.9sg was always more than just a stereo generator, and with the latest software, this final-stage processor takes its next leap forward,” says Omnia’s Geoff Steadman.
Version 3.16.52 includes a variety of new functionality:
New Clipper Design
Audio processing architect Hans van Zutphen designed the new clipper now featured in the Omnia.9sg. This psycho-acoustically controlled distortion masking clipper is louder and cleaner, and takes into account how the human ear perceives distortion and uses that information to effectively mask it, leaving distortion-free audio on the air. The new clipper also uses less internal processing power from the CPU to get the job done faster, resulting in lower latency.
This software update makes Omnia.9sg a Livewire+ AES67 product. It is now 100% AES67-compliant.
Omnia.9sg Is Processor Agnostic
Omina.9sg is processor agnostic, so it can be used to improve the audio quality and loudness of any station with any processor from any manufacturer. If a station can’t afford a brand new top-of-the-line processor, or if they like the sound of the front end of their current processor but want better back-end performance, they can add a 9sg for less than half the cost of a new all-in-one box.
No-Compromise Split Processing
Placing a processor at the studio is often more convenient as some transmitter sites are difficult to access, but doing so can compromise quality and loudness as STL audio quality varies and the clippers found in other stereo generators are often mediocre at best. Some transmitters have built-in stereo generators but quality and features vary.
Placing the processor at the transmitter site allows the composite signal from the processor to be fed directly into the transmitter, which provides the best audio quality and the most loudness, but not all transmitter sites have adequate network connectivity for remote control and are often located in remote or difficult-to-access areas. This means making adjustments to the processing is often a challenge.
Split processing—placing the main processor at the studio and the Omnia.9sg at the transmitter—is a no-compromise solution.
Multiple Transmitter Sites
Many FM broadcasters have their main transmitter at one tower site and their backup transmitter at another. A stereo generator is required at both transmitters, which often means two complete standalone processors. Installing an Omnia.9sg at each transmitter site allows a station to use the same main processor at the studio to feed both sites, which means a potential cost savings and consistent processing between the main and auxiliary sites. This applies to applications where a common STL is shared between the sites or when individual STLs are used.
In Europe, it is common for a national broadcaster to work from a single studio location and have dozens or even hundreds of transmitter sites located throughout the country. The appeal of having one main processor at the studio and an Omnia.9sg at each transmitter site works brilliantly on this larger scale as well.
When configured with the local audio insertion option, these national broadcasters can also interrupt network content and insert localized content at each transmitter site such as local traffic, weather, or geo-targeted advertising.
Ratings Encoder & Enhancement Applications
Research shows that ratings encoders and/or enhancement devices such as Voltair benefit from being fed processed audio. Some processors have special “insert points” that make this possible internally, but many do not. Placing the main processor and the encoder at the studio and using Omnia.9sg at the transmitter can help facilitate this.
Extended Feature Set
- Full IP remote with remote audio streaming. Because transmitters are often located in hard-to-reach locations, full-featured remote access is critical.
- Built-in http server with push support for automation including dynamic RDS. This is important because RDS data are part of the composite signal.
- Optional RDS encoder supports UECP protocol, allowing each Omnia.9sg to be individually addressed to customize and localize RDS information.
- Selectable SSB (single sideband) stereo encoding makes SSB compatible with nearly all receivers.
- RF bandwidth controller reduces multipath distortion.
- ITU-R BS.412 power limiter for European countries.
- Auto Pilot turns off pilot for mono content, reducing noise, great for spoken word/news/talk/sports formats.
- Relay bypass including composite pass-through. Should Omnia.9sg fail or lose power, a backup standalone processor can be fed through it and be put on-air automatically and immediately.
- Built-in internal playback capability with processing. Should normal audio be lost, the built-in player in Omnia.9sg can immediately and automatically provide back-up content and audio processing until the problem is resolved.
- Optional local audio insertion allows each Omnia.9sg to interrupt normal program audio and insert local content such as traffic, weather, and geo-targeting advertising, with audio processing.
- “Omnia Toolbox” features including oscilloscope, FFT, and RTA, valuable signal-analysis tools built right into the product, eliminating the need for standalone engineering tools.
- Dual redundant power supplies. Back up if one supply fails. Each supply can be fed from a different electrical circuit; if one circuit fails, the unit stays on air.
- Two composite inputs, two composite outputs. A “hot” backup processor can be looped through the Omnia.9sg and be automatically and immediately placed on air should the 9sg fail or lose power; also makes it possible to use an external RDS encoder if desired.
The new software can be found on the Omnia.9sg page on the Telos Alliance website.