BBC Local Radio Chain Upgrades Audio Processing to Omnia.FM

19 April 1999, Las Vegas, NV USA

Omnia announced at the NAB Convention today that they have delivered more than 70 of their all-digital audio processors to the British Broadcasting Corporation's Local Radio chain, which covers most of England primarily on FM, with some AM relays.

"We decided that we wanted to update the processors and to site them at the transmitters to get optimum performance," said John Allen, Head of Strategy, English Regions. "To help choose, we invited manufacturers to supply demonstration units, which we attached to a low power FM transmitter," he continued. “Engineers and programmers from around the country were invited to attend comparison tests and demonstrations over a two day period. A clear majority favored the sound of the Omnia over the other units," Allen declared. "An Omnia was then installed at one of the group's largest stations--BBC Radio in West Midlands--for a trial period. An order was subsequently placed to fit Omnias to the whole chain," said Allen.

When asked about the sound quality offered by the Omnia, Allen said, "It seems to be able to sound however you like. Whatever we have wanted, it can do. Given the audience--who tend to listen for long hours--the aim was to produce a louder sound which still had some depth and was easy to listen to."

"We are extremely proud that the has passed the rigorous scrutiny of the BBC, and that it will be used throughout their entire chain of stations," said Omnia President Frank Foti. Previously, the FM audio at BBC Local Radio stations was processed by analog processors at each studio, and conveyed by land line to each transmitter site, where it was further limited to ensure that it complied with legal requirements on deviation. The result was that optimum deviation was not being achieved, and the analog processors were not coping well with the changes in audio level.


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