Most Popular Articles
Radio Currents Online - Sep 22 - Sep 28, 2008
FCC Moves Forward on AM MoM Modeling
Washington - Sep 24, 2008 - The Federal Communications Commission has issued a second report and order and a second further notice of proposed rulemaking for MM docket 93-177. In the first report and order, the FCC simplified the requirements for traditional proof of performance measurements for AM directional systems. The second report and order allows the use of computer modeling techniques to verify AM directional antenna performance.
The FCC's decision was largely based on input from the AM Directional Antenna Performance Verification Coalition, a joint partnership of 24 broadcast licensees and 10 broadcast consulting firms. The rule allows moment method modeling for a proof, but such a proof still requires field strength measurements at reference locations. According to the FCC, "The reference measurements will provide a general indication -- the only indication external to the antenna -- that the antenna continues to function properly."
The second further notice of proposed rulemaking seeks additional comment on new rules regarding tower construction near AM stations that would not depend upon the service for which a tower is used. This is a follow-up to the suggestion from the AM Directional Antenna Performance Verification Coalition. The Coalition proposal would allow licensees to verify antenna performance based on measurements of internal parameters (current or voltage and phase measured at specific locations on antenna elements), which would then be used in moment method programs in conjunction with a physical model of the directional antenna, represented with varying degrees of complexity as a series of wires, to compute the contribution of each antenna element to the directional pattern. The procedures recommended by the Coalition include the calibration of the model with measured impedances for each tower in the array. To predict the resulting directional pattern accurately, the internal array parameters that the program uses in its calculations must be carefully measured.
To this end, the Coalition’s proposal describes in detail the proper construction of the antenna sampling system that provides input to the modeling software. The Coalition recommended that the Commission permit but not require moment method proofs for antenna arrays using simple series-fed elements. AM stations using directional arrays consisting of top-loaded or sectionalized elements or folded unipoles would not be eligible to use moment method calculations in place of field strength measurements.
Comments are due 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. Reply comments are sue 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register.
EAS Manufacturers Develop CAP Profile
Sep 25, 2008 - The EAS-CAP Industry Group, a broad coalition of equipment, software and service providers to the Emergency Alert System, have released a draft profile for the effective use and translation of the open, non-proprietary Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) for the next generation of broadcast EAS. The profile is a important step towards improving interoperability across agencies, jurisdictions, systems and vendors, helping to ensure that the public benefits from improved capabilities to communicate weather, civil, AMBER and other alerts via broadcast media.
The industry group will provide this profile as a recommendation to U.S. governmental agencies and industry associations on the use of CAP for EAS purposes, including the FCC, FEMA, National Weather Service and other organizations. Group members intend to rapidly implement the EAS-CAP profile within their own systems and equipment.
The EAS-CAP profile provides developers and manufacturers guidelines as to which elements in a CAP message are required for an EAS message, identifies how a mandatory alert from a state/territorial governor would be identified, describes basic authentication and security features, recommends accepted formats for audio messages, and other features.
The output of the group's work is publicly accessible on its website www.eascap.org, and the group will offer a mechanism for public comment on that site. The group plans to continue its work to solicit feedback and provide recommendations to EAS stakeholders.
The group was established in response to the July 2007 decision by the FCC to maintain EAS and have all U.S. EAS participants adopt an ability to receive messages using the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) within 180 days after FEMA formally adopts CAP version 1.1 as a standard for EAS. FEMA's announcement on CAP adoption is expected in the first quarter of 2009.
The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is a simple but general format for exchanging all-hazard emergency alerts and public warnings over all kinds of networks. CAP allows a consistent warning message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different warning systems, such as computers, wireless communications, alarms, and television radio and cable via broadcast EAS.
Group members supporting the EAS-CAP Profile include:
Digital Alert Systems
My State USA
Sage Alerting Systems
NRSC Website Adds Reports Reference
Washington - Sep 22, 2008 - The National Radio Systems Committee, a joint effort of the National Association of Broadcasters and the Consumer Electronics Association, has updated its website to include a section called Reports. As the NRSC prepares its standards documents, it routinely conducts studies and tests as supporting documentation. Until now, this information was available only through hunting through other sites or by request to the NRSC.
There are 25 documents already in place on the site, including some from early DAB and IBOC tests and the 10kHz analog AM report.
Access the NRSC site at www.nrscstandards.org.
PPM Under Fire from NY City Council
New York - Sep 24, 2008 - In a unanimous decision, the New York City Council resolved to ask the FCC to investigate the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) ratings system. The PPM is already being criticized by the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB), the Spanish Radio Association (SRA) and the Minority Media Telecommunications Council. The minority media groups believe the "PPM methodology grossly undercounts and misrepresents the number of minority radio listeners."The groups are concerned that full implementation of the PPM in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco could seriously undermine the financial viability of minority-owned radio stations.
Arbitron cites a precedent where Congress and the Commission have already recognized that the FCC lacks the authority to regulate audience ratings. Congress and the Commission have expressly stated that the reliability and methodologies of audience ratings services are best left to private industry groups such as the Media Rating Council (MRC).
Arbitron has also supplied its own evidence that the PPM results to date show strong results from Spanish and Black audiences. Aribtron has continued its meetings with the FCC and other government officials to alleviate the concerns.
The FCC Public Notice soliciting comments on a PPM investigation had reply comments due Sept. 24. Reply comments are due Oct. 6.
Digigram Adds Fraunhofer AAC Codecs
Amsterdam - Sep 12, 2008 - Digigram has licensed the Fraunhofer AAC audio codec and all its variations. Digigram was already meeting the mandatory requirements of the N/ACIP standard for IP audio, but with the additional AAC codecs the company can further enhance its products.
The codecs will be added to all of Digigram's products, including the Iqoya Link, Iqoya Call and Visiblu.
Radiotime Acquires Radio Sherpa
Dallas - Sep 17, 2008 - Internet radio listing site Radiotime has acquired Radio Sherpa, which provides a real-time program guide for all HD Radio stations in New York City, Boston and San Francisco. Radiotime will add this real-time information to its guide. The Radiotime guide can be browsed by genre or location.
Zune Users Get Free Wi-fi at McDonald's
Redmond, WA - Sep 16, 2008 - Earlier this month, the Radio Currents reported that new Zune media players would be able to tag songs directly through their built-in FM tuners. Users can then directly download the song when the player enters a Wi-fi hotspot.
Microsoft, the maker of the Zune, has worked a deal with McDonald's to allow the media players to connect through the restaurants' Wi-fi to complete the download. There are 9,800 participating restaurants participating in the agreement.
Eye on IBOC
Sony Intros HD Radio Table Unit
San Diego - Sep 19, 2008 - Sony today is taking the wraps off four audio products that work with current dockable Ipod and Iphone devices. The new CD clock radio (model ICF-CD3iP), boombox (model ZS-S4iP), table-top HD Radio with Itunes tagging (model XDR-S10HDiP), and docking speaker (model SRS-GU10iP) all accept an Ipod or Iphone.
The XDR-S10HDiP is Sony's first HD Radio with Itunes tagging that is compatible with the 3G Iphones and Ipods. It also features auxiliary input and 20 AM and FM radio presets. The XDR-S10HDiP HD will cost about $180.
DK-Technologies Releases New 5.1 Audio Meter Software
Copenhagen, Denmark - Sep 22, 2008 - New 5.1 software upgrades for the DK-Technologies flagship MSD series of audio meters (MSD600M++, PT0600M, PT0660M and PT0660M-LS) has been released. The new software includes a new Starfish display that allows users to see what they are hearing when they are listening in surround sound. It is based on the company's Jellyfish display, but it displays an image of the acoustic audio levels as they are experienced by the listener. This information is given alongside the images already provided by Jellyfish, which shows audio levels supplied to the center, left/right and left/right rear speakers.
The new software also includes loudness measuring methods that provide new additions to the LEQ (m) and Flat Filtering methods already available in earlier versions. The new software will also display SMPTE timecode and adds the BLITS 5.1 surround sound test tone sequence.
Blue Sky Big Blue Monitoring System Receives THX PM3 Approval
Farmingdale, NY - Sep 24, 2008 - The Blue Sky Big Blue Monitoring System, which is comprised of the Sat 12 and Sub 15 Universal, is now approved for use in THX PM3 (professional multi-channel mixing and monitoring) Certified Studios. THX PM3 certification provides a foundation for standards in acoustics, noise levels and equipment performance.
Entercom Sacramento Names Rapalee as DOE
Sacramento, CA - Sep 25, 2008 - Rick Rapalee has been named the director of engineering for the six Entercom Communications radio stations in Sacramento, CA: KCTC-AM, KDND-FM, KRXQ-FM, KSEG-FM, KSSJ-FM and KWOD-FM. A 12-year Entercom veteran, Rapalee has served in various capacities as engineer and chief engineer during his tenure with the company. Prior to joining Entercom, he spent four years in the United States Air Force specializing in satellite communications. He has substantial experience in all facets of broadcast engineering, having built and maintained transmitter and tower sites, and broadcast studios.
Dielectric Appoints Cote as VP of Sales and Marketing
Raymond, ME - Sep 25, 2008 - Dielectric Communications has added to its executive management team by hiring Roger Cote to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. In his new role, Cote will oversee sales management and customer service and relations, while also coordinating marketing of the company's antenna system product lines.
Cote has more than 20 years of experience in the direction and leadership of enterprise-wide business and manufacturing operations. As vice president of operations at a leading telco antenna system manufacturer, Cote directly oversaw the company's purchasing, planning, quality assurance, manufacturing, engineering, facilities management and human resources operations. Cote also has served as director of engineering; plant manager; and product development, quality assurance, and consumer relations manager with various technology manufacturing leaders.
Shea Joins Stream the World Board
Montreal, Canada - Sep 25 2008 - Stream the World has appointed Kevin Shea to its board of directors. He will also serve as chairman of the board of the company, which was founded in 2005. Yves Eric Laliberte, president and CEO, announced the appointment.
Shea has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, broadcasting, cable, culture and telecommunications industries. He is currently the owner and president of Shea Chez, a consulting firm whose clients include the CBC, Telus Communications, and Cokie Jar Entertainment. As former president and CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio and YTV Canada, he led each company through the CRTC licensing and start-up processes. Shea has also served as president and COO of the Global Television Network, executive vice president of Bell Globemedia, and president and CEO of Atlantis Communications. Prior to 1993, he held senior management positions with a diverse group of broadcast and entertainment companies, including Rogers Cablesystems and the Cable Satellite Network.
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Also in the September Issue
- Trends in Technology: Electronic News Gathering for Radio
- Tower Rules Update
- AM NRSC Measurements
- Field Report: FLIR ONE
- Small Remote Controls