Test and Measurement News
Prism Sound delivers simpler audio measurement solutions to All India RadioCambridge, UK: 27 June 2012 - All India Radio (AIR) has taken delivery of 35 Prism Sound dScope Series III audio test instruments which are being used to check the audio quality of AIR's transmitter links throughout the country.
Figure 1 - dScope Series III AIR Main Menu
With a national network of 237 broadcasting centres, AIR is one of the most influential radio broadcasters in India. Established in 1936 as a Government organisation with a remit to inform, educate and entertain, AIR underwent rapid expansion after India attained independence in 1947 and now reaches 99.18% of the population. Its home service broadcasts in 24 languages and 146 dialects, while its external service covers 27 languages - 17 national and 10 foreign.
Today, the broadcaster has 149 medium frequency and 54 high frequency transmitters, along with 177 FM transmitters. This extensive network is constantly checked to ensure audio quality and overall performance.
In order to win this important tender, Prism Sound worked closely with New Delhi-based Electro Dynamics, the company's specialist agent for Government sector Test and Measurement business in India. Formerly an Audio Precision representative, Electro Dynamics has been supplying equipment to AIR and Doordarshan (TV) for many years.
Lalit Agarwal, founder and CEO of Electro Dynamics, says: "Alongside offering the most competitive financial package in its tender response, Prism Sound also offered the best technical solution. The dScope Series III instrument was deemed highly suitable for AIR's requirements, particularly because it offers analogue and digital functionality and its ease of operation is second to none. The system will be used extensively during the overhaul of AIR's infrastructure as it transitions to digital broadcasting, and we are delighted to be able to offer this state-of-the art solution at this key stage in AIR's development."
Prism Sound's dScope Series III includes precision analogue and highly-optimised digital outputs and inputs. Precise and automatic gain-ranging enables high resolution measurements over a massive range, from a few micro-volts to more than 150 volts RMS, and from less than 1 Hz to over 90kHz. Its interface processor uses dedicated DSP to provide a wide range of real time measurements, while its software uses the host PC for almost unlimited number crunching and analysis options such as Fast Fourier Transforms, unique "FFT Detectors", swept sine and multi-tone testing. Designed to be highly programmable, the dScope Series III can be automated from a wide range of third-party software using Active X controls, or internally using VBScript. The system also offers a range of uniquely powerful tools for broadcasters, including logging facilities for tracking down intermittent pops and glitches in the audio stream, and metadata inconsistencies and changes of status which could lead to audible problems.
Figure 2 - Sub-menus
Simon Woollard, Test and Measurement Product Specialist for Prism Sound, says: "This was an important project for Prism Sound and for AIR alike, so we took the time to consult with the client in order to understand their requirements in detail. Once we knew what measurements AIR's engineers needed, we were able to customise the appearance of the standard dScope Series III interface, using in-built user-adjustable settings. In doing so, we were able to provide a simplified menu that was easy to understand and control, even for untrained users.
"The resulting main menu [Figure 1] offers four main sub-menus of test groups, grouped by input and output domain, plus a quick tour of the instrument and the self-test routine that AIR requested. The sub-menus [Figure 2] then offer the operator a choice of the most commonly needed tests, e.g. frequency response, THD+N, IMD, etc, which can all be accessed from a single click. Operators can then perform their tests using the standard test profiles, or they can customise the tests according to their specific requirements.
"As with all dScope Series III instruments, automated test sequencing and reporting is also possible. We will be consulting further with AIR following their initial training and usage of the instrument to determine whether they require any further adjustments to the appearance of the instrument's interface, or to the tests and test reporting defaults provided. "This project is very exciting for me, as I have been involved in Prism Sound's strategic move into the Indian market since day one, and this is one of the most significant results we have obtained since we started this campaign. This news is important for all of our customers, as it helps to strengthen our position in the region, and I look forward to working with Electro Dynamics and AIR in future as we continue to develop our audio test and measurement solutions."
Prism Sound has already provided Digital Audio training to AIR staff and will deliver more specific dScope Series III product training during 2012. It is anticipated that AIR will place further orders in the future as it rolls dScope Series III out to other divisions.
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