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WYCT-FM to Install First Rohde & Schwarz R&S THR9 High-power Transmitter with HD Radio Option in US

Columbia, Md. — Premier transmitter, test and measurement and studio equipment manufacturer, Rohde & Schwarz  today announced WYCT-FM, a 100,000-watt country station in Pensacola, Fla. (Nielsen MSA #125), will be the first U.S. radio station to install the R&S THR9 liquid-cooled transmitter with the HD Radio™ option. Scheduled for commissioning in July, the new transmitter will replace a 43-year-old, air-cooled transmitter and is expected to deliver significant power savings.

Dave Hoxeng, owner of WYCT, plans to install the new Rohde & Schwarz transmitter in late June, after the Nielsen Audio Spring Sweeps end. WYCT recently replaced one of its two aging transmitters with a newer, air-cooled unit, which will serve as a backup once the new R&S THR9 is installed. Hoxeng said the new THR9 transmitter is more compact than any of his station’s other transmitters and generates far less heat than the “fire breathers” currently in use.

Because its liquid-cooled system is so efficient, the R&S THR9 will not require any air conditioning, which translates to substantial capital and operational cost savings for the station. Admittedly reluctant at first, Hoxeng is now a strong proponent of liquid-cooled technology. “Any time you get the heat out by hose rather than by air, it’s more efficient, and less costly,” he noted. “From a physics standpoint, this makes total sense.”

The new Rohde & Schwarz transmitter investment also represents potential audience growth for WYCT. Its 10,000-watt ERP delivers a much stronger digital signal than the station’s current 1,000-watt digital transmitter, which will improve HD Radio™ signal penetration into offices and homes. The R&S THR9 will also allow WYCT to begin multicasting WNRP, its 10,000-watt sister AM news station, and broadcast its signal across more than five times its current geography.

The HD Radio™ Generation 4 component of the transmitter offers some critical improvements over WYCT’s current transmitter, which was installed in 2003. According to Hoxeng, the R&S THR9 delivers faster boot times and is more cost effective, which allowed WYCT to stay on budget while purchasing two new exciters (including one hot spare) and an extra importer/exporter for redundancy.

WYCT is committed to HD Radio. “I believe as broadcasters it’s our responsibility to take the initiative on solving the chicken-and-the-egg problem,” Hoxeng said. “We need to build our HD Radio infrastructure to help drive more sales and usage of HD receivers.”

Rohde & Schwarz will showcase the R&S THR9 family of high-power FM transmitters at the 2017 NAB Show (Booth SL1205), which runs April 24-27 in Las Vegas, Nev. With an energy efficiency of up to 75 percent, the R&S THR9 makes terrestrial audio broadcasting extremely efficient. Its space-saving, fully redundant liquid-cooled design lowers energy costs, minimizes space requirements, and minimizes maintenance expenses over the entire system lifetime. The R&S THR9 delivers FM output power of up to 40kW per rack, with space for additional system components or even multi-transmitter systems, allowing Rohde & Schwarz to offer the highest power density per rack.

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