Radio Currents Online - Oct 15 - Oct 21, 2007


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News

For Sale: Harris Facility in Cincinnati
Cincinnati - Oct 15, 2007 - The building currently occupied by Harris in a northern suburb of Cincinnati is for sale. The 160,000-square-foot facility at 4393 Digital Way in Mason, OH, has an asking price of $16 million. The listing through Cincinnati Capital Properties notes that portions of the building are available for sale or lease.

Harris opened the facility in 1998 when Bruce Allan was president of the broadcast division. In 1999, Harris moved the broadcast equipment sales operation from Richmond, IN, to the Cincinnati facility. Harris still maintains some manufacturing facilities in Quincy, IL.

Harris recently sold its third-party equipment sales business to SCMS and opened various partner channels for its equipment and system sales.


HD Radio Delay Settings Get Low Marks in Southern California
San Marcos, CA - Oct 15, 2007 - Brian Beezley, an engineer in southern California, has a passion for RF. He has reviewed several HD Radio receivers and has posted his research on his website. On Oct. 14 and 15, he took advantage of his location to investigate a common setting for HD Radio: the analog/digital delay.

The hybrid-mode signals should be time-aligned to make the blend from analog to digital a smooth one. When the time alignment is not set properly, the blending can be an unusual phase-shifting effect during the transition to a complete dropout. The severity of the effect depends on the mismatch of the signals.

Beezley posted his results online, and the details are not complimentary to many of the stations he received. His post is quoted below.

I decided to measure the time alignment of every FM HD Radio station I could receive here in San Marcos, northern San Diego County.

A reasonable time-alignment error limit is a few samples (less than 100 microseconds). This will place any delay-induced spectral notches well above the midrange. I had hoped to list errors in microseconds, but after tuning around a bit I realized I had to relax my expectations. Below are the errors I measured rounded to the nearest millisecond. Positive means that the digital signal lags the analog. I drove a computer sound card with a Sangean HDT-1X in split-channel mode, with the analog signal on one channel and the digital on the other. I visually compared waveforms and used a cursor to measure large errors. To measure errors below 100ms, I used a waveform normalizing and differencing program.

Note that a timing error of just 1ms causes pronounced spectral notches to occur at 500Hz, 1.5kHz, 2.5kHz, etc., during the analog/digital blend. This is a gross artifact, easily audible. Shame on the lazy broadcast engineers at two-thirds of the stations listed below who can't be bothered to get their signal alignment anywhere close to being correct.

FreqStationError
88.1KKJZ0
88.7KQSC40
89.3KPCC0
89.5KPBS-50
89.9KCRW0
91.1KDSC40
91.5KUSC-132
92.3KHHT0
93.1KCBS0*
93.3KHTS44
93.9KMVN0*
94.1KMYI298
95.5KLOS0
95.7KUSS3
96.5KYXY172
97.1KLSX-2
97.3KSON1
97.5KLYY248
98.7KYSR0
99.7XHTY9972
99.9KGGI59
100.3KRBV-103
101.1KRTH-58*
101.5KGB-4
101.9KSCA0
102.7KIIS0
103.7KSCF66
103.9KRCD0
104.3KBIG0
105.1KKGO0*
105.3KIOZ16
105.9KPWR0
106.7KROQ-44
107.5KLVE0
107.9KWVE9

* Analog and digital signals are out of phase resulting in audio drop-out during blend.

The results may be indicative of a wide-spread problem. There are several known cases of stations not properly aligning their signals. Beezley's report is posted at ham-radio.com/k6sti/roster.htm.


123rd AES Convention Records High Attendance
New York - Oct 12, 2007 - Record crowds filled exhibitor booths, sessions, tours, tutorials and workshops during the 123rd Audio Engineering Society Convention held in New York Oct. 5-8. The organization reports attendance at 20,674. The convention also attracted more than 445 exhibits. The AES states that the attendance figure is the highest in more than 10 years.


Business

Gepco adds New York Warehouse
New York - Gepco International has added a New York warehouse to better serve its customers in the northeast region. The 5,000-square-foot space located in Chestnut Ridge, New York (about 30 miles north of Manhattan) will stock all of Gepco's current cabling and connectivity solutions as well as its distributed lines. In addition to being able to fulfill and ship orders throughout the northeast, the facility will offer a will call area for customers looking to pick up materials on-site.


APT Announces Licensing Agreement with SAS
Belfast - APT announced a Licensing and Business Development Agreement with California-based Sierra Automated Systems. In addition to SAS licensing APT's low-delay Enhanced Apt-x algorithm, the deal will involve joint development to ensure interoperability of routing, console and codec equipment worldwide.


WNEM Integrates Netia and Wideorbit
Bridgeport, MI - Oct 16, 2007 - WNEM-AM, owned by the Meredith Corporation and serving Michigan's Bridgeport, Saginaw and Bay City areas, has adopted an integrated radio broadcast system comprising Netia's Radio-Assist range of digital audio software products and Wideorbit's WO Traffic for Radio software. The system integration allows Netia users to access Wideorbit traffic logs from within the Radio-Assist planning tools.


Sales Call
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Clear Channel Communications in Asheville, NC, has purchased an HHB Flashmic with an omnidirectional mic capsule.
Yahoo has teamed up with its sponsor, Nissan, to present a diverse series of concerts entitled, "Nissan Live Sets on Yahoo Music," which are streamed online through music.yahoo.com/nissanlivesets. For these live events, Yahoo Music selected the Holophone H2-PRO surround sound microphone. The H2-PRO is permanently installed above the middle of the soundstage on the Fox Studio lot where the bi-monthly Live Sets are performed.
Auralex Acoustics provided acoustical treatments to the Professional Monitor Company's 5.1 surround demo room at this year's AES Convention. The demo room featured PMC's BB5-XBD Active 5.1 surround sound monitoring system.
WQXR, New York's classical radio station, chose APT WorldCast Eclipse for a remote broadcast from the prestigious Lucerne Festival in Switzerland. The WorldCast Eclipse delivered 24-bit stereo audio over an ISDN link.
The James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House has installed a Varizone digital audio distribution system from Klotz Digital to provide the audio pool feeds for press briefings.The system includes inputs from the presidential podium, ceiling mics for journalist questions and an outdoor press location just outside the West Wing of the White House.

Products

Fostex 6310D

Fostex Celebrates 25th Year with 6301
For 25 Years, the 6301 model from Fostex, be it the analog 6301B or the more recent digital 6301D, has been at the top of its game. With a built-in 10 watt amplifier, perfectly matched to a 10cm full range driver, it delivers a big sound, full of clarity from a small, versatile monitor. Best used in pairs, they accept any line level input, so they are ideal for use with instruments in project studios, on stage, in remote recording vehicles, video productions and multimedia presentations.

Manufactured from cast aluminum, these little monitors have earned a high reputation among production, broadcast and presentation professionals for being rugged and road worthy. Fostex has enjoyed steady sales of this monitor year after year and would like to thank audio professionals and musicians around the world for their continuing support.




Lectrosonics Receives Patent for Wireless Mic Technology
Rio Rancho, NM - Oct 1, 1007 - The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued Lectrosonics a patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,225,135) for its Digital Hybrid Wireless technology. Digital Hybrid Wireless is used in the Lectrosonics Venue, UCR401, UCR411A and R400A receivers and the SM, UM, MM, UH and UT receivers. The technology is also backward compatible with earlier wireless systems from Lectrosonics and other manufacturers.

The Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid Wireless technology uses a proprietary algorithm to encode 24-bit digital audio information with no compression and low distortion into an analog format that can be transmitted in a robust manner over an analog FM wireless link, which results in a higher dynamic range.

A compatibility mode emulates the companding schemes of Lectrosonics 100 and 200 Series wireless systems using DSP.


MX300

Lexicon Shipping MX300 Effects Processor
Lexicon is now shipping the MX300 stereo reverb effects processor. This single-rack-space, two-in, two-out unit combines an intuitive front panel with Lexicon's Hardware Plug-In technology. Like its sibling, the MX200, the MX300 has removed the compromises associated with using hardware in the home studio environment. The USB format allows users to have complete plug-in control over their MX300 within any VST or Audio Units software environment, enabling users to control all automation and recall parameters exactly as they would with any software plug-in.

The processor is also available in the MX400 version, a four-in, four-out unit.


Sound Devices Introduces Wave Agent
New York - Oct 16, 2007 - Sound Devices introduced the Wave Agent utility software at AES 2007. Wave Agent supplies the critical link between Sound Devices 7-Series recorders - 702, 702T, 722 and 744T models - using the newly introduced FLAC data compression option and Windows-based computers.

Wave Agent is a Windows-only application that converts data compressed FLAC audio files recorded on 7-Series recorders into standard Broadcast Wave files that can be used on any computer with any digital audio workstation software that supports the .wav file format. All Broadcast Wave (BEXT) and iXML metadata is maintained. Additionally, Wave Agent converts any .wav file between monophonic and polyphonic formats.


Eventide Releases Two New Products
New York - Eventide recently unveiled two products. The first is a TDM plug-in that provides real-time control of its H8000 series, H7600 and Eclipse multi-effects processors. E-Control provides multiple parameter control automation and program change capability, which is saved with each session for easy recall from within Pro Tools. The E-Control plug-in for Pro Tools TDM will be available in December. The second product announced is a software upgrade for its Eclipse processor. V3.5, available for free download at www.eventide.com, accelerates the operating system, improves system control responsiveness and doubles the number of parameters that can be controlled at one time.


Wireworks Releases RoHS-compliant Cabling Systems
New York - Wireworks' entire line of products is manufactured in compliance with the European Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive and the California Electronic Waste Recycling Act. The RoHS Directive was originally established to address concerns regarding the accumulation of hazardous waste resulting from consumer products. To meet the stringent requirements of the directive, Wireworks' products are manufactured free of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalant Chromium, polybrominated Biphenyls and polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers.


Auralex Introduces Fire-rated Wood Treatments
New York - Auralex Acoustics' Part Science Space Array and Space Coupler have recently passed the requirements of a Class B fire rating. Auralex's Space Array and Space Coupler have successfully passed testing in accordance with ASTM E84, a standard test for surface burning characteristics of building materials. The test calculates both smoke develop and flame spread. Additionally, the Space Array has recently passed acoustical testing in accordance with ISO 17497-1, a standard test method for sound scattering and coefficients. The Space Coupler is still undergoing final acoustical testing.


People

Lawrence J. Cervon

Broadcast Electronics Recognizes Larry Cervon
Quincy, IL - Oct 16, 2007 - Broadcast Electronics will gather employees, customers, community members and radio icons on Oct. 26 to recognize retired BE President Lawrence J. Cervon for his lifetime of achievement and service in broadcasting.

For the October 26 recognition, Broadcast Electronics will dedicate a commemorative plaque to Cervon, marking the 30-year anniversary of BE's move to Quincy and kicking off the company's half-century mark. Radio veterans from all walks of the broadcast industry have been invited to the event, which starts at noon CST, as have the company's employees, many of who worked with him. Cervon will teleconference in from his summer home on Long Island, NY.

The event will be video webcast. Details are posted at www.bdcast.com/larry. Anecdotes and words of congratulations can also be posted at the same URL.

BE was founded in 1959 and Cervon was president of BE from 1976 to 1991. He took over when the company manufactured a single product: an endless loop tape cartridge machine. At the time, the company was located in the Washington, DC, area and Cervon moved it to Quincy in 1977 in order to take advantage of the area's skilled labor pool after Motorola vacated a facility there.

Cervon's service to broadcasting dates back to his days with RCA International, Westinghouse Electric and Gates Radio Company; Cervon succeeded Parker Gates as vice president and general manager of Gates Radio in 1967. In 1991, the National Association of Broadcasters recognized him for his 45 years of vision and leadership in the development of high technology broadcast equipment.


Eye on IBOC

HD Digital Radio Alliance Renews Charter
Orlando, FL - Oct 15, 2007 - The HD Digital Radio Alliance, the joint initiative of radio broadcasters to accelerate consumer adoption of HD Digital Radio, has renewed the group's charter for a third year. The group's effort promotes the HD Radio rollout and works with stations in a market to determine multicast station formats to reduce format duplication.

The group also announced that it has committed an additional $230 million in marketing funds for 2008 to bring the total group commitment to $680 million. The "investment" sounds impressive, but the funds appear to simply be unsold on-air inventory on HD Radio stations. Part of the annual commitment now includes a portion of the weekly advertising time is to be given back to local stations to promote multicast content, local partnerships, events and promotions for their HD Radio stations, which further lessens the actual monetary value of the ad campaign.

The new charter also revises the method that partner stations use to select multicast formats. While the Alliance recognizes that format diversity will help consumer interest in multicast, stations will be able to change their multicast formats without Alliance review provided that the new format is not currently on the air in the local market at all.

The HD Digital Radio Alliance has also revised its two-year ad-free policy to allow companies to accept name-in-title sponsorships and limited sponsor mentions per hour on multicast channels.

Current Alliance members include Beasley Broadcast Group, Bonneville International, CBS Radio, Citadel Broadcasting/ABC Radio, Clear Channel Radio, Emmis Communications, Entercom, Greater Media and WBEB Philadelphia.


Ibiquity Updates Retail Training Website
Columbia, MD - Oct 16, 2007 - Ibiquity Digital has re-launched its retail sales training website, www.hdradiouniversity.com. Developed in collaboration with Chalk Media, the site uses the Chalkboard learning platform. HD Radio University is designed to educate the retail sales people selling HD Radio products across the United States. Of note is the HD Radio category, which now includes a listing of all HD Radio products.

HD Radio University is an interactive learning website designed to give retailers the tools they need to increase their knowledge of HD Radio Technology and products. The new site opens with a video titled The HD Radio Story, which details the basics and advanced features of HD Radio technology.


Ibiquity Expands HD Radio Seminar in China
Columbia, MD - Oct 17, 2007 - Ibiquity Digital's recent HD Radio Seminar in Shenzhen, China, held on the eve of the Hong Kong Electronics Fair, had to be expanded this year to accommodate increased demand from Asian component and product manufacturers. More than 300 executives, product planners, design engineers and production managers attended the two-day program that included presentations on topics such as product certification, factory setup, product design and planning. Attending companies represented a wide range of partners from test and support services, to module manufacturers, ODMs, and brands from China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Taiwan all developing HD Radio products.

Demand for HD Radio receivers has resulted in a doubling of partner manufacturing capacity in Asia during the past year. Nearly 60 companies are licensed and certified to manufacture HD Radio modules, components, receivers and tuners. Certified module makers include ACE Dixxio, LG Innotek, Kensen, Kwang Sung Electronics, Powertech Industries, Samsung EM, Toko and WNC.

Certified ODMs include Aeon Power, Alllike Electronics, For You General Electronic, Freeway China, Hip Shing Electronics, Jazz Hipster, Kiryung, LG Innotek, Namsung Corporation, Ngai Lik Mobile, RockRidgeSound, Tonic Digital Products, WNC and Zylux Acoustic.

Certified Brands include Accurian (Radio Shack), Audiovox, Audio Design Associates, Alpine, Boston Acoustics, Cambridge Soundworks, DaySequerra, Denon, DICE Electronics, JVC Mobile, Fujitsu-Ten, Insignia, Kenwood, Marantz, Niles, Onkyo, Panasonic, Peripheral, Polk Audio, Radiosophy, Rotel, Sangean, Sanyo, Siemens-VDO, Sony, Visteon and Yamaha.


Internet Watch

Sennheiser Offers Web-based Frequency Finder
Old Lyme, CT - Oct 15, 2007 - Sennheiser has unveiled a frequency finder tool that interfaces with the FCC TV broadcast database. The Sennheiser Frequency Finder (www.sennheiserusa.com/frequencyfinder) is designed to help wireless mic users quickly retrieve information about unused TV station frequencies based on a city or zip code search.

While the interface provides a convenient method of locating spectrum that is not licensed for a TV station's transmission in a given location, it does not provide information about any other use of what could be perceived as available spectrum. For this reason, users should also contact the local Society of Broadcast Engineers Frequency Coordinator (sbe.org) to verify that a desired channel is actually available.




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