Radio Currents Online - Jan 15 - Jan 21, 2007


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News

FCC Extends Comment Window for Birds and Towers Rulemaking
Washington - Jan 12, 2007 - On Nov. 7, 2006, the commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking establishing the pleading cycle for comments and reply comments relating to communications towers and the migratory habits of certain birds (WT Docket No. 03-187). The deadline for comments was Jan. 22, 2007, and the deadline for reply comments was Feb. 20, 2007. On Jan. 8, 2007, the American Bird Conservancy, CTIA The Wireless Association, Defenders of Wildlife, Environmental Defense, the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Audubon Society, the National Association of Tower Erectors and PCIA The Wireless Infrastructure Association jointly filed a motion for extension of time to extend the dates for comments and reply comments by 90 days, to April 23, 2007, and May 23, 2007, respectively. These filing groups state that they have been engaged in a dialogue related to avian tower safety, and that granting this extension would "advance the public interest by ultimately resulting in a record that more clearly and fully reflects the areas of agreement and disagreement between the parties and allows the FCC to more effectively address the remaining open issues" raised by the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

In its notice, the FCC repeated its policy that extensions of time are not routinely granted except when they are deemed to serve the public interest. Because the groups agree that the additional time would be beneficial to conduct discussions related to avian tower safety, the FCC has granted the extension requested.

Comments are now due by April 23, 2007, and reply comments are due by May 23, 2007.


FCC's Martin Says "No" to Satellite Radio Merger
Washington - Jan 17, 2007 - Kevin Martin, the chairman of the FCC, commented that the two satellite radio companies, Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio, would not be approved for a merger within the current regulatory rules. Martin noted that a ban on a single owner for both satellite services was written into the regulations that authorized the two nationwide licenses in the first place.

The top execs of the two companies, Mel Karmazin of Sirius and Gary Parsons of XM, have speculated about a possible merger of the two rivals. Stock prices for the two companies jumped when that announcement was made. The stock prices have since declined.


Crystal Radio Award Nominations Due Feb. 1
Washington - Jan 17, 2007 - The deadline for entering the NAB Crystal Radio Award is Feb. 1, 2007. The award is given to 10 radio stations for their year-round commitment to community service. Finalists will be announced on March 12 and the winners will be announced on April 17 during the Radio Luncheon at NAB2007 in Las Vegas in the Las Vegas Hilton, Barron Room. Tickets are required to attend the luncheon.

Entry rules and submission guildelines can be found at www.nab.org/awards/crystals.


Business

True Systems Goes Solo
Tucson, AZ - Jan 15, 2007 - As of Jan. 1, 2007, all orders for True Systems products are to be placed directly with True Systems through its Tucson headquarters. Sennheiser Electronic is no longer the exclusive U.S. distributor for True.

Tim Spencer, president of True Systems, noted that Sennheiser had done a great job opening the door for the company's products, and the move was made to build a closer connection to its dealers in addition to offering direct in-house technical support and service to end users.

True Systems designs, engineers and manufactures professional mic preamps and other audio products.


Front (L to R): Ron Purtle, Jim White, Keith Carter, Rolin Lintag, Norris Self. Back (L to R): Steven Gay, Bill Kerkhoff (Harris), Randall Hilton, Dave Kobe (Harris), Dale Galloway, Doc Daugherty (Harris), Tim Tibbs.

Harris Holds RF Training at Technology Facility
Quincy, IL - Jan 18, 2007 - Harris hosted nine engineers from the Arkansas Broadcasters Association at its Broadcast Technology Training Center Jan. 15 through Jan. 19. The ABA has been proactive in training its member stations on RF systems.


Nero Digital Audio+ Codec Wins Blind Listening Test
Karlsbad, Germany - Jan 10, 2007 – In a blind listening test at 48kb/s, the Nero Digital Audio codec beat Windows Media Audio Pro 10. The test, coordinated by Sebastian Mares and presented on a Hydrogenaudio online forum, consisted of 20 audio samples featuring a variety of voice types, tempos, instruments and music genres. More than 200 results were submitted, coming from audiophile volunteers that took part in the test that compared Nero Digital Audio+, WMA Pro 10, Ogg Vorbis and WMA Standard 9.2.

Nero Digital Audio+ Encoding and Decoding tools are available for download at www.nerodigital.com.


Sennheiser Celebrates 50 Years of Wireless Microphones
Wedemark, Germany - Jan 18, 2007 - The first Sennheiser wireless mic transmitter manufactured in 1957 had a short life span because it required a tube and far too many batteries. The follow-up Sennheiser SK 1002 pocket transmitter, introduced in 1958, was considerably smaller because of the use of transistors. Around the time of its launch, Sennheiser teamed with Telefunken to create wireless microphones under the brand name Mikroport, which transmitted on two channels licensed by the German postal authorities.

More technological improvements followed. In 1962, Sennheiser introduced the SK 1004 and the first wireless microphone for amateurs, Mikroport Junior, which allowed users to listen to his own wireless transmissions live over a regular FM radio. In the late 1960s, the SK 1008, a transmitter with a plug-on microphone head, and the small MKH 124/125, an RF condenser microphone, were both used on TV shows. In the late 1970s, Sennheiser introduced its first modular rack-mount receiver, the EM 1026, which housed as many as six receiver modules.

Also in the late 1970s, Sennheiser engineered a noise reduction technology called Hi Dyn, a proprietary compander system. The technology found its first use in the SK 1012 transmitter.

In 1988, the SER 20 reporting transmitter was the first Sennheiser product to make use of new PLL synthesizer technology. In 2002, Sennheiser teamed with studio microphone expert Georg Neumann to create the SKM 5000 N, which combined a Sennheiser transmitter with a Neumann capsule and conquered concert stages around the world.

Sennheiser was established in 1945.


MGE Expands Power System Test Center
Costa Mesa, CA - Jan 17, 2007 - MGE UPS Systems has expanded its customer test center. The expanded facility, located at MGE's North American headquarters in Costa Mesa, CA, encompasses more than 25,000 square feet including 28 test bays with a total electrical capacity of 12MW. The expanded test site allows MGE customers to witness critical testing of their enterprise and data center power systems.

The test facility includes 14 test bays for large three-phase systems, 11 test bays for 10kVA to 100kVA equipment and three test bays for power distribution units and power switches. Steady state, dynamic, overload and fault testing as well as monitoring voltage current, frequency and watts are automatically performed for each system under test.


Logitek Plans Users' Group for NAB2007
Houston - Jan 16, 2007 - As the plans for NAB2007 are beginning to be made, several manufacturers will hold training and information sessions during the convention. Logitek will hold its annual user group meeting on Sunday, April 15 at the Flamingo hotel. The meeting will run from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Attendees will get a sneak peek at Logitek's product introductions for the show and will also receive a copy of Logitek's new vEngine simulator software. The software allows users to experiment with triggers and configurations without having to try them out on the actual Audio Engine.

Advance registration is required. To RSVP for the meeting, visit www.logitekaudio.com/usergroup.html.


Sales Call
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Logitek has sold two Mosaic console systems to WUSF in Tampa, FL.
Sun TV and four other private broadcasters ordered new transmitters from Broadcast Electronics (BE) in the past month for 57 new frequencies under India's second wave of FM privatization. These orders are in addition to the BE FM transmitters previously ordered as a result of privatization, which will eventually bring new FM licenses to 90 markets in India. A total of 70 BE transmission systems have been ordered by private FM broadcasters there so far.

People

ATI Appoints Constantine as Director of Sales
West Berlin, NJ - Jan 12, 2007 - ATI Group has appointed Art Constantine to be the company's director of sales. Constantine has more than 30 years of sales experience in the broadcast and pro audio industries. He has held senior sales and marketing roles with Audio Processing Technology, Musicam USA, Modulation Sciences, Fidelipac and Moseley.

In this new role at ATI, Constantine will lead ATI's sales and marketing efforts as the company introduces new products and launches a new growth phase in its ATI and Day Sequerra product lines.


Disc Makers Names van Veen as President
Pennsauken, NJ - Jan 16, 2007 - The board of directors of Disc Makers has named Tony van Veen to serve as the company's new president. Van Veen has been with Disc Makers for his entire 20-year professional career and becomes the first person outside of the Ballen family to head up the 61-year-old company. He replaces Morris Ballen, who had served as president since 1972 and grew up with the company working with his father, Ivin Ballen, who founded Disc Makers in 1946.

Morris Ballen now becomes chairman of the board of directors.

Van Veen began his career with Disc Makers in 1987 as a sales and marketing associate. In the early 1990s he took on oversight of the company's sales, marketing and account management operations.

He is a native of Aruba and a graduate of the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Nautel Names Whyte as Head of Marketing
Hackett's Cove, NS - Jan 16, 2007 - John Whyte has joined Nautel to head its worldwide marketing efforts. Whyte has more than 20 years of technical marketing and sales experience with companies such as Hewlett Packard.

Prior to joining Nautel, Whyte worked with Mitel where he was responsible for the global strategic direction of Internet mobility applications. At Info Interactive, an AOL company, he was the director of channel sales. He was also the media market segment manager for Digital in Boston. He holds a Masters of business administration degree from the Ivey School of Business as well as a degree in electrical engineering.


Products

HHB Expands Flashmic Range with Cardioid Model
Old Lyme, CT - Jan 18, 2007 - Combining a Sennheiser capsule with a flash recorder, the HHB Flashmic has found a niche in portable audio recording. HHB has now expanded the Flashmic range with the introduction of a new cardioid version, the Flashmic DRM85-C, to accompany the original, omnidirectional Flashmic DRM85.

Both models share the same feature set, which includes 1GB flash memory. HHB notes that the cardioid version was developed in direct response to customer requests.

The Flashmic DRM85 received one of the Radio magazine Pick Hit Awards at NAB2006.


Fraunhofer Introduces Surround Sound for Internet
Erlangen, Germany - Jan 18, 2007 - At Midem, a music and gaming convention held in Cannes, France, Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits introduced a new MP3 surround streaming module that allows manufacturers to build Web radios featuring 5.1 surround sound. MP3 Surround compresses surround music in a highly efficient way and is fully backward compatible with existing MP3 players. With the MP3 surround-streaming module, surround music can be streamed over the Internet at bit rates normally used for stereo MP3. This allows MP3 Web radios to introduce surround music in a smooth, compatible and cost-effective way.

The first radio station streaming a multi-channel music program using MP3 surround is the Erlangen-based campus radio station Bit Express. At Midem, Fraunhofer demonstrates the new Winamp MP3 surround plug-in and a Flash-based web radio. The Winamp plug-in is also available for download on www.mp3surround.com.


Eye on IBOC

Radio Sherpa Agrees to Promote HD Radio Multicast Stations
Las Vegas - Jan 8, 2006 - Ibiquity Digital has signed a marketing agreement with Radio Sherpa to increase awareness of the new content available from HD Radio multicasting stations. Radio Sherpa's Internet-based guide for HD Radio broadcasting (www.radiosherpa.com) is currently available in Boston and New York and will be expanding nationwide in the coming months.

The Radio Sherpa is a real-time electronic program guide (EPG) and search engine for HD Radio broadcasts and Internet radio. It allows radio listeners to find songs and programs. The company has its origins in the MIT Media Lab and the original Napster.




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