The World’s Best Car Radio Gets Better

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January, Blaupunkt will introduce an upgraded version of its top-of-the-line head unit, the San Francisco CD72, making it the world’s first car stereo with TwinCeiver™ Digital Directional Antenna (DDA) technology.

The new technology promises dramatically improved reception of conventional AM and FM broadcasts. TwinCeiver provides up to twice the signal strength at the front end of the radio, while significantly reducing multipath distortion caused by radio signals that bounce off buildings and other objects.

Compared to its predecessor, the new San Francisco CD72 also has a more powerful 4 x 65 Watt amplifier, a new 4 x 13-band parametric equalizer, Dynamic Sound Adjustment (DSA) for automatic cabin equalization, and Digital Noise Covering (DNC). The San Francisco CD72 has been selected as one of five Blaupunkt products that will receive the Innovations 2003 Design and Engineering Showcase award at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show.

TwinCeiver builds on Blaupunkt’s exclusive DigiCeiver digital radio tuner technology by adding a second antenna and tuner circuit that are integrated by the DDA processor. Unlike other multiple antenna systems, however, this receiver does much more than simply switch from one antenna to another. Thanks to its all-digital processing, TwinCeiver can evaluate, compare, and combine the radio signals from two antennas on the fly. Normally, the only time signals from two antennas can be added together is when both are the exact same distance from the broadcast transmitter. DDA adjusts the timing of the signals from two antennas so they function as if they were equidistant from the transmitter, no matter what direction it is. This so-called ‘phase array’ configuration is the same technique that allows modern radar antennas to search in different directions without physically turning, It causes the reception to be stronger in the desired direction, and weaker at side angles that might carry multipath distortion.

Most of the time, when both antennas are receiving signals that are relatively distortion-free, the TwinCeiver simply adds them together for improved signal strength and better sound quality. When multipath distortion is significant at one antenna or the other, however, the signals are digitally compared and evaluated, to determine the optimal signal. In this way, the TwinCeiver effectively functions as a Digital Directional Antenna (DDA), continuously tracking optimum reception and minimizing distortion from multipath effects. The results, according to Oliver Steinig, Product Group Manager, Blaupunkt USA, “are remarkable. We are very confident that this is the finest in-car radio tuner the world has ever seen.”

TwinCeiver has a Radio Data System (RDS) background reception mode that takes advantage of optimal reception conditions to quickly and inaudibly access RDS channels on different frequencies for station and format lists without interfering with the audio. (This is more important in Europe and other areas where these RDS capabilities are more widely used than in the USA.)

The San Francisco’s digital sound processing capabilities are also used to provide Blaupunkt’s acclaimed Digital Sound Adjustment (DSA), and Dynamic Noise Covering (DNC) capabilities. With DSA, an included microphone actually ‘listens’ to the acoustic characteristics of each individual car, and then automatically adjusts the radio’s four-channel, 13-band parametric equalizer to correct for anomalies in these characteristics. DNC technology uses similar techniques to adjust equalization ‘on-the-fly’, compensating for changes in ambient noise from the road, airflow, or tires. Any changes in the ambient noise in the cockpit are matched by a corresponding change in volume at the problem frequency, maintaining linear and consistent sound to the listener.

Designed for premium in-car audio systems, the San Francisco includes 5-Volt preamp outputs for all four channels, a subwoofer pre-out, and two aux inputs. The unit also features a high-quality CD transport, CD changer controls, and the company’s award-winning KeyCard security system.

Control of the San Francisco is both convenient and simple with the included handheld IR remote, or optional Thummer™ steering wheel remote. Software-driven menus and adaptive faceplate controls provide intuitive in-depth control of the unit’s extensive setup configuration and advanced features.

The Blaupunkt San Francisco CD72 will be available in January 2003 at a suggested retail price of $749.99.

Blaupunkt USA Web Site

Consumer Electronics Association – CES 2003 Web Site


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