Radio Currents Online - Oct 29 - Nov 4, 2007


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Congress Introduces Resolution Against Radio Performance Taxes
Washington - Oct 31, 2007 - The Local Radio Freedom Act, introduced by Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX) and Rep. Gene Green (D-TX), declares congressional opposition to new charges for radio stations that play recorded music. The resolution says essential services such as providing information during national emergencies and natural disasters would be threatened if local radio stations were required to pay a new performance fee. It also says local radio stations and other small businesses would "suffer severe economic hardship" if a performance fee were imposed.

"Radio provides free exposure and promotion for record labels' acts; broadcasters shouldn't have to pay labels for the privilege of supporting them. If the stations 'pay to play,' the cost will go up for everyone and free over-the-air radio could be hurt," Green said.

Rep. Conaway said local radio broadcasters provide "essential information" to their communities. "Communities rely on local radio stations to relay important weather information, national emergency information, and important news that will affect their community," he said. "The proposed performance taxes on local radio would devastate small local broadcasters in rural areas and ultimately hurt small businesses and consumers."

The resolution's text says local radio provides essential community services that would be threatened by a new performance fee, such as "public affairs programming, sports, and hundreds of millions of dollars of time for public service announcements and local fund raising efforts for worthy charitable causes."

The bipartisan resolution was introduced with 51 original cosponsors.


Emmy Awards Recognizes Broadcast Manufacturers
New York - Oct 15, 2007 - The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) bestows the Emmy Awards, which includes the Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards. These technical honors recognize achievements in Science, Engineering and Technology for Broadcast Television, which includes broadcast, cable and satellite distribution; and Science, Engineering and Technology for Broadband and Personal Television, encompassing interactive television, gaming technology, as well as the Internet, cell phones, private networks and personal media players.

This year, four companies with interests in radio broadcasting are being honored. ERI, Dielectric, Harris and MCI were honored with Emmy Awards for ATSC Broadcast Transmission Systems RF Filters from Science, Engineering and Technology Awards for Television. The companies will receive their awards at the Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards ceremony on Jan. 7, 2008 at CES.


Future Digital Emergecy Alert System Demo Comes to International Emergency Management Conference
Reno, NV - Nov 1, 2007 - Four emergency warning companies will demonstrate how their systems work together to create a next-generation integrated public alert system. Based on the Common Alerting Protocol, the participants state that the demonstration shows how the FCC's planned digital Emergency Alert System will work.

The demonstration will take place at the Reno, NV, Events Center Nov. 12-14, 2007, as part of the International Association of Emergency Managers annual EMEX conference in booths 614-620. The participants include Hormann America, TFT, Avtex and Acoustic Technology. Each of the four companies provides CAP-enabled warning systems.

The four participating companies will contribute specific portions of the interoperability demonstration:

  • Acoustic Technology will show wireless alarm, alert and notification systems, including indoor and outdoor speakers and sirens.
  • Avtex will demonstrate outbound telephone notification systems that use geographic data and telephone company information to call residents of warning areas.
  • Hormann America will show software and servers used for message creation, distribution and hardware controllers for emergency warning devices.
  • TFT will demonstrate Emergency Alert System technology for broadcasters, cable systems and emergency managers.

Senate Committee Votes to Expand LPFM
Washington - Oct 30, 2007 - The Senate Commerce Committee has voted to move Senate Bill 1675, the Local Community Radio Act of 2007, to the full Senate. Doing so will remove the third-adjacent channel restriction currently in place for low-power FM stations.

The bill was introduced by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA). The Senate bill has a counterpart in the House of Representatives, House Bill 2802, sponsored by Mike Doyle (D-PA) and Lee Terry (R-NE) and 55 co-sponsors.


Business

HD Radio Makes Mark at SEMA Show
Las Vegas - Oct 29, 2007 - Eight receiver manufacturers will demonstrate a range of HD Radio mobile products at this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. HD Radio products will be displayed at the following booths:

  • AAMP of America/Peripheral, booth 10226
  • Audiovox, booth 11104
  • Dice Electronics
  • Dual Electronics, booth 11040
  • Ford Motor Company, booth 22300
  • House of Kolors, booth 23513
  • Metra Electronics, booth 10548
  • MP3Car, American Racing booth
  • Priority Audio/Savant, booth 10318
  • Sony Electronics, booth 11170
  • Toyota
  • Visteon, booth 10840

Sales Call
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Broadcasters in the St. Louis region are now using Dielectric's HDFMVee antenna, along with the company's RF combining system and transmission line, to broadcast 10 analog and 10 digital FM radio stations throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area. 

New York’s Metropolitan Opera will continue its new season of radio broadcasts on Dec. 8, with the help of APT’s WorldCast Eclipse, a multi-interface multi-algorithm codec that delivers bi-directional stereo audio over IP, Leased Line and ISDN links.
WGBH Boston, which produces PBS prime time lineup and Web content, recently completed the co-location of its radio and television facilities into new purpose-built premises. WGBH Radio expanded its complement of ATC (Acoustic Transducer Company) reference monitors, adding two new pairs of active three-way SCM100ASL mid-field speakers to the two existing pairs of SCM50ASL units moved from the previous broadcast studio location.
Media Capital, located in Portugal, has chosen Dalet Digital Media Systems' Radio Suite to modernize the production and broadcast infrastructure of all its radio stations.
International Datacasting Corporation has contracts for two new digital radio satellite networks in Europe. These new orders, combined with other follow-on orders from U.S. customers, add up to approximately $1 million in additional radio products business for the company. Poland's national broadcaster, Polskie Radio, will upgrade its network to the latest MPEG-4 Advanced Audio Coding standard using IDC's head-end up-linking equipment, as well as an initial roll-out of receivers to remote stations. The new system will provide Polskie Radio with the ability to deliver live broadcasts as well as enabling the local insertion of digitally recorded content. Additionally, Portugal's national broadcaster, Radio Television Portugal, is deploying a new network featuring IDC's SuperFlex Pro Audio receivers. This new system includes MPEG4 AAC as well providing for the delivery of streaming digital data.

Products

Sound Devices Releases Version 2.34 Firmware for Recorders
New York, Oct 16, 2007 - Sound Devices released its version 2.34 Firmware for all 7-series digital audio recorders including 702, 702T, 722 and 744T models. The upgrade, which is a free download for registered users, adds several new features that encompass the implementation of FLAC lossless data compression, MP2 and MP3 format recording and multi-unit linking enhancements.


Burk Now Shipping Plus Connect Harris Interface
Littleton, MA - Oct 31, 2007 - Burk Technology is now shipping the Plus Connect for Harris Z transmitters. The Plus Connect brings more than 400 transmitter parameters onboard the ARC Plus using a single serial connection.

By eliminating parallel wiring to the transmitter, this approach allows broadcasters to manage the transmitter, ancillary equipment and IT infrastructure on a single platform. It saves the expense of expanding remote control capacity and connecting barrier strip wiring. An Auto Pilot Plus custom view is provided for detailed visual monitoring of the transmitter parameters via PC.

The Plus Connect is compatible with more than 20 Harris Z transmitters. For more information, visit www.burk.com


LG Offers HD Radio for Automotive Market
Las Vegas, NV - Oct 30, 2007 - Korean consumer electronics manufacturer LG Innotek now offers a series of HD Radio modules for the automotive market. The modules were displayed at LG Innotek's private suite at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show held Oct. 30 through Nov. 2, 2007.

The aftermarket automotive module is based on Ibiquity's 2129 interface specifications with a Texas Instruments (TI) DRi352 DSP. The module can fit inside single DIN CD head units and double DIN head units.

The ultra small module design is also based on Ibiquity's 2129 interface specification and uses a TI DRi352 DSP. This module can fit inside single DIN multimedia head units that have a flip out LCD screen.

The universal tuner box is based on Ibiquity's 2068 reference design with a TI DRi352 DSP. This design contains a custom module board that can be connected to an external translator box to connect via aftermarket and OEM head units. The antenna switch is included to allow a factory head unit and HD Radio tuner to continue to function.


Jensen Intros Two HD Radio Receivers
Las Vegas - Nov 2, 2007 - Jensen unveiled its first two HD Radio receivers, models HD5112 and HD5212 at SEMA. According to Audiovox, the parent of Jensen, the HD5112 and HD5212 are the first HD Radio car receivers to offer Ipod connectivity and satellite radio capability. The only difference between the two units is the color of the faceplate. The HD5112 has a silver face plate and lists for $150, and the HD5212 has a black faceplate and lists for $160.

Both units feature a front-panel, 3.5mm aux input, detachable faceplate and an LCD display. Ipods are connected through an included cable, and the radios feature a USB port for thumb drives.


Eye on IBOC

Broadcasters Form European HD Radio Alliance
Columbia, MD - Oct 29, 2007 - European broadcasters have formed the European HD Radio Alliance, an organization designed to promote and support the deployment of HD Radio technology throughout the continent. The first meeting of the European HD Radio Alliance took place earlier this month in Lucerne, Switzerland. Alliance officials were elected at the meeting:

  • Chairman - Juerg Bachmann, Energy Zurich, Switzerland
  • Vice Chairman - Andriy Karpiy, First Ukrainian Radio Group, Ukraine
  • General Secretary - Markus Ruoss, Ruoss AG und Radio Sunshine, Switzerland
  • General Director - Andrea Sentinelli, Europejskie Radio dia Bialorusi, Poland
  • Treasurer - Perry Priestley, Ibiquity Digital, USA

"With a number of countries in Europe testing or deploying HD Radio technology, we believe that now is the right time to form an organization to share our experiences and help coordinate our collective marketing efforts," said Bachmann.

The European HD Radio Alliance meeting coincided with the HD Radio Days event in Lucerne. In this year's second annual event, managers of the HD Radio field trial in Central Switzerland hosted more than 200 specialists from 13 countries. HD Radio Days featured presentations from speakers on the regulatory and commercial sides of the broadcast industry who discussed the latest developments in HD Radio broadcasting. HD Radio workshops were also held on topics such as surround-sound, addressability and the electronic program guide.




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