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Radio Currents Online - Apr 9 - Apr 15, 2007
NDS Provides Conditional Access for HD Radio
Las Vegas - Apr 16, 2007 - NDS has debuted NDS Radioguard, the first conditional access system for HD Radio. With the announcement of the product comes the news that NDS Radioguard has been chosen by Ibiquity to protect digital content transmitted over HD Radio. Ibiquity will embed the NDS technology into its chipsets moving forward.
NDS Radioguard in the HD Radio chipsets will allow broadcasters to offer pay-per-listen options for live concerts and events, opt-in events sponsored by advertisers and private channels for specific needs.
The conditional access system is used to scramble the signal and then entitle specific receivers to decode that signal. To do this, all HD Radio receivers will need to be addressable, which is a step that it now being implemented for future receivers. The decoding capability is being introduced in two steps. By September 2007, NDS will have a security chip available that will add the access capability to the existing HD Radio chipset. By April 2008, NDS and Ibiquity expect to have the capability imbedded within the HD Radio chipset.
The system has undergone field trials that were transmitted via WUSF-FM, Tampa, FL. The tests began on March 18 and were a cooperative effort between the station, the International Association of Audio Information Services, Ibiquity, Harris and NPR Labs. According to NDS, the tests went well and showed that receivers could be entitled to receive the reading service for the blind programming.
NDS technology is currently in use in more than 70 million TV set-top boxes around the world. This technology has been adapted into Radioguard.
NDS is exhibiting in booth N7137 at NAB2007, and the system will also be shown in the Broadcast Electronics and Harris booths.
Report States Flaws with Carmel/NAB View of Satellite Radio Landscape
Menlo Park, CA - Apr 10, 2007 - Telecom, Media and Finance Associates (TMF) released a research note on the competitive landscape for satellite radio in light of the proposed XM/Sirius merger. The research analyzes the positions taken by the Carmel Group in its recent white paper on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters and concludes that Carmel "ludicrously overstates the case for opposing the merger of XM and Sirius and fundamentally misinterprets the competitive environment for satellite radio."
"Satellite radio is essentially a car-based audio service at present, so the primary alternative for consumers is free-to-air AM and FM radio, supplemented by the playback of pre-recorded music such as CDs," said Tim Farrar, author of the TMF report. "The competitive position of these subscription-free services vis-a-vis satellite radio has been substantially enhanced by the widespread use of accessory adapters, allowing...MP3 players to be connected to car stereos, and we estimate that today as many drivers have access to MP3 content in their vehicles as subscribe to satellite radio. Carmel Group's assertion that MP3 players are not even relevant to today's in-car audio market is quite simply bizarre."
Access the entire report at www.tmfassociates.com/articles. The report was produced independently, and was not commissioned, funded or instigated by XM, Sirius or any other party.
Radio magazine observation: It's obvious that if the only two satellite radio providers were to merge that one company would result. This, as the NAB states, would create a single source for this one form of entertainment in a narrowly defined space. It seems odd that the NAB will completely ignore satellite radio as being any kind of a threat to terrestrial radio, yet it will vigorously oppose the merger as being unfair to other forms of media with which the NAB believes satellite radio does not compete.
NABEF Announces Engineering Internship Recipients
Washington - Apr 10, 2007 - The NAB Education Foundation (NABEF) has named the 10 participants in the NABEF Broadcast Technology and Engineering Internship Program. The program, in its inaugural year, will provide participating students exposure in the broadcast engineering field by attending NAB2007.
The NABEF Broadcast Technology and Engineering Internship Program reinforces the broadcast industry's diversity efforts by increasing the number of women and people of color entering the broadcast engineering field. The NABEF fellowship recipients were selected from a pool of qualified candidates with demonstrated ability and interest in broadcasting. The 2007 participants include:
|Crystal Dapheen Essex|
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
|Johnathan F. Lovelace|
|Jessica L. Sturgis|
|Varian Cavell Lucas|
University of North Texas
Napa Valley College
Bates Technical College
Boise State University
|Patricia L. Walsh|
The NAB Education Foundation supports and advocates education and training programs, strategies to increase diversity, initiatives stressing the importance of the First Amendment, community service, philanthropy and other timely broadcasting issues.
NAB Launches Technology Advocacy Program
Washington - Apr 9, 2007 - The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has created a long-term technology advocacy program designed to seek and facilitate development and commercialization of new technologies for radio and TV. The multi-year, multi-million dollar program will be named NAB Fastroad (Flexible Advanced Services for Television and Radio On All Devices).
NAB Fastroad is a result of the NAB Technology Advocacy Committee in accordance with the sustained priority placed on technology by NAB Joint Board Chairman Bruce Reese and NAB President David Rehr. Consisting of NAB Board members, the NAB Technology Advocacy Committee held its first meeting in March 2006 and subsequently conducted a year-long deliberative decision-making investigation, including briefings by outside consultants, economic and technical analysis of technology developments, and technical review of potential projects through a technology discovery group process. Based on this work, the NAB board of directors decided unanimously in January 2007 to launch the program and the NAB's Executive Committee approved organizational details in late March.
NAB Fastroad will be managed overall by a steering committee consisting of NAB executive staff, board members and other representatives from NAB broadcast member organizations. Project selection and implementation will be handled by a technical committee of selected NAB member company engineers and staff from the NAB Science and Technology Department. Participation by NPR Laboratories and MSTV has also been established to coordinate with other ongoing technical programs in the radio and TV broadcasting sectors. The program will principally concentrate on technologies and services related to over-the-air digital transmission.
Classical Public Radio Chooses Neural-THX Surround
Kirkland, WA - Apr 10, 2007 - Classical Public Radio Network (CPRN), with more than one million music listeners, has begun nationwide broadcasting and global Internet streaming of 5.1 Neural-THX Surround-encoded classical recordings through its 60-station network. The Classical Public Radio Network's extensive classical library has now been enhanced with more than 3,000 Neural-THX Surround encoded works. With the help of broadcasters and music labels, Neural Audio is now able to provide a library of more than 16,000 surround tracks in all musical genres.
CPRN'S flagship stations, KUSC Los Angeles and KVOD Denver, are two of the nation's largest classical public stations. Other stations in the network include WBHM-FM, Birmingham, AL; WFSQ-FM, Tallahassee, FL; Boise State Radio, Boise, ID; KBYI-FM, Rexburg, ID; WNIU-FM, DeKalb, IL; Northeast Indiana Public Radio, Fort Wayne, IN; High Plains Public Radio, Garden City, KS; WOSU-FM, Columbus, OH; South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Vermillion, SD; Northwest Public Radio, Pullman, WA; Vermont Public Radio, Colchester, VT; Public Radio Tulsa, Tulsa, OK; WSHU-FM, Fairfield, CT; Public Radio East, New Bern, NC; WFCR-FM, Amherst, MA; WJCT-FM, Jacksonville, FL; WQED-FM, Pittsburgh; KLRE-FM, Little Rock; and Wisconsin Public Radio, Madison, WI. CPRN programming is also offered by NPR (National Public Radio) for member stations across the country.
APT Releases Guide to IP Audio Networking
Belfast - Apr 12, 2007 - With so many broadcasters now considering IP as a viable and cost effective means of transporting audio, APT has joined the debate by publishing a booklet entitled A Practical Guide To IP Audio Networking. The booklet draws on APT's experience in audio over IP networking and provides useful information on IP networks and their implications for real-time audio transfer. It also makes recommendations for those specifying both networks and equipment for audio over IP broadcasting.
APT is launching the booklet at NAB2007 and will have copies available at its booth, N4218. It is also included in the April issue of Radio magazine, which will be distributed at the convention. In addition, it can be downloaded from the APT website at www.aptx.com
Middle Atlantic Publishes White Paper on Power
Fairfield, NJ - Apr 11, 2007 - Middle Atlantic Products has released a white paper titled Integrating Electronic Equipment and Power Into Rack Enclosures. The paper is available for download from the company's website at www.middleatlantic.com/pdf/PowerWhitePaper3_07.pdf.
The paper is a collaborative effort between Bob Schluter, president, Middle Atlantic Products; Bill Whitlock, president, Jensen Transformers; Neil Muncy, president, Neil Muncy Associates; Jim Herrick, power department manager, Middle Atlantic Products; and Peter Skinner, electronic development engineer, Middle Atlantic Products. The paper provides installers with a basic understanding of effective power distribution while offering tips and tricks for avoiding common problems.
Topics are based on the 2005 version of the National Electrical Code (NEC) and include an overview of product safety certifications, grounding guidelines and wiring types.
Wheatstone, Enco Partner to Provide AoIP
New Bern, NC - Apr 10, 2007 - Wheatstone AoIP drivers will ship to Enco Systems for integration into the company's DAD audio automation systems. The AoIP driver replaces sound cards in the DAD workstations.
Liebisch Joins Nautel as Regional Sales Manager
Hackett's Cove, NS - Apr 9, 2007 - Gary Liebisch has joined Nautel as the regional sales manager for the eastern United States. Liebisch was most recently the product manager for AM and FM radio transmission products for Harris, and was a key member of the team that introduced several HD Radio products. Prior to his association with Harris, Liebisch was a chief engineer and director of engineering for more than 20 years with various groups, including Chancellor Media.
Liebisch received a Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and holds lifetime certification as a Certified Professional Broadcast Engineer with the Society of Broadcast Engineers.
He will maintain a Nautel field sales office in Ohio. He can be reached at 513-576-6400 or Gary.Liebisch@nautel.com
Sennheiser Promotes Baumann to VP Export
Old Lyme, CT - Apr 12, 2007 - Sennheiser Electronic has promoted Oliver Baumann to VP export for the Latin American market. Born to German parents and raised in Latin America, Baumann is fluent in English, German, Spanish and Portuguese.
Baumann has been with Sennheiser for 10 years, always in Latin America, working in market development and sales managerial positions. Baumann replaces Greg Beebe, who was recently appointed, director of global relations for Sennheiser.
Baumann will report directly to Sennheiser President John Falcone and will oversee the company's entire export endeavor. This includes management of all brands (Neumann, Klein + Hummel, HHB, Turbosound and Australian Monitor) and encompasses all markets (broadcast, live sound, recording, installed sound and consumer). In addition, Baumann will supervise sister company Sennheiser Mexico (run by Angel Gonzalez), as well as the marketing director, customer service center and a team of sales managers located throughout Latin America.
Akhramkov comes to Sound Devices from Shure where she was principal engineer--software development. She was the main software architect for numerous DSP-based mixer products and brings more than 15 years experience in software development to Sound Devices. She holds a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Physics from the State University of Ashkhabad, USSR, and has a Masters in project management from Devry University in Chicago. She has the distinct honor of being the Sound Devices employee with the most experience using punch cards to write computer programs.
Flinn is an audio engineer and DSP programmer with nearly 30 years of experience in the audio industry. His resume includes work with Shure, Knight Audio, Innovative Electronics Designs, Electro-Voice, Intersonics and Crown International. He was educated at Waubonsee College and Purdue University.
Goihl comes to Sound Devices from Hi-Techniques in Madison, WI, where he was a system architect, designing data acquisition products. He brings to Sound Devices 20 years of experience in digital hardware and firmware development, as well as DSP algorithm development. He has a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.
Comrex Ships Access Portable
Devens, MA - Apr 13, 2007 - Comrex is now shipping its Access portable stereo BRIC IP codec. Like the Access rackmount version, the new codec uses Broadcast Reliable Internet Codec technology. This technology allows broadcasters to use a variety of IP circuits to broadcast real-time wideband audio with low delay. The codec uses wired circuits such as DSL, broadband cable, POTS and T1/E1 as well as wireless circuits like satellite, Wi-fi, EVDO, UMTS/HSPDA and other 3G wireless data networks. The Access also offers an optional suite of AAC algorithms that includes high-efficiency AAC and AAC Low-Delay for optimized audio quality when used on managed data networks as well as a POTS compatibility mode for use with Comrex Vector, Blue Box and Matrix POTS codecs.
The Access Portable will be on display at NAB in Comrex's booth N5726.
Harris to Unveil New Sage Endec at NAB2007
Cincinnati - Apr 10, 2007 - Harris show a new version of the Sage Endec EAS encoder/decoder. The new version handles analog and digital signals for EAS distribution and adds remote control capabilities for studio-to-transmitter communications. IP connectivity also is added to allow broadcasters to use standard network components for log printing, which will eliminate the need to buy the thermal paper required for traditional EAS systems with built-in printers.
An analog-to-digital converter can be purchased for broadcasters who need a multiple-channel ready EAS platform for multicast channels, but prefer to retain their existing EAS platforms.
Tieline Launches Interoperability Over IP with other Brands
Indianapolis - April 9, 2007 - As telco providers cut back and in some cases discontinue offering ISDN service in the United States and Europe, the European Broadcast Union (EBU) is establishing operability standards that will allow IP codecs from different manufacturers to communicate with each other. At NAB2007, Tieline Technology will demonstrate codecs that are compliant with the new audio-over-IP interoperability standards issued by the EBU.
While most ISDN codecs have been able to establish ISDN connections regardless of the manufacturer for more than 10 years, IP connectivity does not always provide the same cross-compatibility. The EBU is establishing a global standard for broadcasting via IP networks and interoperability between codec brands.
Part of this compatibility includes the use of the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP), which defines a standardized packet format for delivering audio and video over the Internet, and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP ), an Internet application-layer protocol that allows audio and video sessions to be established over the Internet. SIP provides many features to simplify a codec connection across the Internet including the ability to register a name or number to a codec to simply dialing via a SIP server; a mechanism to allow the best algorithm that is common to both codecs to be used; correctly setting sample rate, bit-rate and mono/stereo mode; and an option to send only, receive only or standard send/receive mode.
Tieline plans to extend its support for phone voice mode to include SIP VoIP over IP connections. Tieline now offers voice-mode connectivity on POTS, GSM, ISDN and IP.
Tieline codecs featuring SIP interoperability will be demonstrated at Tieline's NAB booth, N9311.
Studer Releases V2.2 Software for On Air 3000
Las Vegas - Apr 11, 2007 - Software version 2.2 for the Studer On Air 3000 Series will be unveiled at NAB2007. New optional functions and modules for 5.1 signals allow control of a 5.1 input signal from a single fader. Stereo downmixing functions are included, along with surround control and monitoring through the Touch 'n' Action interface.
The D21m I/O system for the On Air 3000 can also support the recently launched SDI and Dolby E cards, the latter of which allows the console to decode eight audio channels from a Dolby E stream for processing within the console. The new software connection to the new S Core Live DSP system brings more DSP power to the On Air 3000 and increases the I/O capability of the console to 1728x1728.
The new Reverse Contribution Overview page on the main screen allows the operator to see which channels are contributing to an output bus by a simple switch function. New Management Tools include Advanced Central Error Logging and a System Viewer. Other new features and enhancements include limiters on the aux and N-X buses, a new N-X bus mode called N-1 and full return functions for clean feeds, a Conference MPX option, configurable output routing preset keys for monitoring source selectors, transmission control, studio sharing, direct outputs and talkback to DJ only.
Sound Devices Updates Software for 7-Series Recorders
Reedsburg, WI - Apr 6, 2007 - Sound Devices will preview its next release of firmware for the 7-Series family of file-based digital recorders at NAB2007. This new firmware adds several new features to the recorders, including lossless audio compression, MP3 recording and multi-unit linking enhancements.
The update is available to Sound Devices users at no charge. The update includes an on-board FLAC encoder and PC software decompression tool. FLAC is an open source encoding algorithm used to data-compress sound files. No audio information is lost while compressing files more than 50 percent. Sound Devices developed a method to extend the protocol to keep all broadcast wave and IXML metadata intact on decompression.
A public beta release of the firmware will be available shortly after NAB2007.
Eye on IBOC
BE HD Radio Transmitters Reach New Benchmarks
Quincy, IL - Apr 10, 2007 - Broadcast Electronics (BE) reports that its line of solid-state FM HD Radio transmitters now exceed the previous benchmarks for output power and spectral performance. The RF equipment manufacturer reports an average 10 percent increase in output power for low-level combined applications and 25 percent increase in output power for HD Radio-only applications. This power increase applies to all of its HD Radio solid-state transmitter product, and BE states that the results are due in part to the company's ESP technology.
The BE ESP technology corrects for nonlinearities in the transmission chain, which results in improved efficiency and spectral performance, according to Ted Lantz, BE HD Radio product manager. The findings are based on field and factory measurements comparing transmitter overall operating performance.
Ibiquity Approves Hong Kong HD Radio Receiver Testing
Columbia, MD - Apr 9, 2007 - Ibiquity Digital has approved the Intertek Test Group, Hong Kong as a certification test facility for HD Radio receivers. Ibiquity notes that the ability to certify receivers in Hong Kong will play an important role in helping speed development and production of HD Radio products.
The Intertek Test Group will provide a single source for receiver developers in Asia for HD Radio technology testing and other industry needs. Intertek operates 273 laboratories and 521 offices in 100 countries throughout the world.
First European HD Radio Forum Held in Germany
Columbia, MD - Apr 6, 2007 - More than 70 industry executives representing the automotive, broadcast, data content and IC industries attended the first-ever HD Radio European Forum held recently in Cologne, Germany. The agenda featured updates on the HD Radio roll-out, an overview of current and future HD Radio applications and a road map on future plans. Ibiquity Digital hosted the Forum.
HD Radio technology has been in the European headlines several times over the past year.
IBS Partners with Backbone to Create Internet Radio
Worcester, MA - Apr 9, 2007 - The Intercollegiate Broadcasting System (IBS) has partnered with Backbone Networks to create an Internet radio network called the Digital Radio Network. Student-operated stations will be able to syndicate live and produced programming among member stations, as well as automatically access royalty-free programming from worldwide third-party sources, such as Trakheadz.com. The network will use Backbone's client-server radio software.
The network builds on MPEG-4 AAC as its streaming format. This standard ensures universal acceptance across all listening platforms, and enables each school to partner with the Apple's Itunes store in preparing material, including artist/album annotation and cover art images that display to listeners' free Quick Time or Itunes players. Stations only need an Macintosh computer, a microphone and a DSL connection to be on the air. All program automation software is provided by Backbone, as well as all server storage, streaming broadcast bandwidth and automated reporting software.
IBS Digital Network member stations, as non-commercial entities, will be covered by a maximum royalty obligation of $500 per year, according to the recent CRB ruling. Stations will be able to generate RIAA-compliant listener logs specifying the per-performance records required by the CRB.
11th Annual Webby Awards Announce Nominees
New York - Apr 10, 2007 - The nominees for Best Radio Site of the Year for the 11th Annual Webby Awards have been announced. The Webby Awards honor excellence on the Internet, including websites, online film and video, interactive advertising and mobile content. Awards are presented in more than 100 categories and gather nominees from more than 60 countries. There are five nominees in the radio category.
Last year's winner for Best Radio Site was NPR.org.
Through April 27, ballots can be cast for the top choice at peoplesvoice.webbyawards.com.
The Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, a global organization with more than 500 members including David Bowie, Richard Branson, Anita Roddick, Matt Groening, Jamie Oliver and Max Azria. The Webby Award winners will be announced on May 1, 2007.
Review all the nominees for the 11th Annual Webby Awards at www.webbyawards.com.
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