Radio Currents Online - Jan 16 - Jan 22, 2006


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Radio technology news updated as it happens.


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News

IEEE Supports 802.11n Proposal
Jan 20, 2006 - Mobile Radio Technology reports that an IEEE task force unanimously voted in favor of the 802.11n draft standard offered last week by a joint-proposal team led by the Enhanced Wireless Consortium (EWC). Although the 802.11n draft probably will not be ratified as a standard for about a year, industry observers have said they expect products based on the draft version of the standard to appear on the market this summer.

The 802.11n standard is expected to generate maximum data throughputs of 600Mb/s, making the wireless transmission of even high-definition video content between devices possible. In addition, the range of 802.11n is expected to be much greater than current Wi-Fi standards--up to 1,500 feet--and the new standard will be designed to operate at unlicensed frequencies in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

Mobile Radio Technology like Radio magazine is owned by Prism Business Media.


Ham Radio Antarctic DXpedition to Use Iridium Phones
Bethesda, MD - Jan 19, 2006 - Iridium Satellite is supplying mobile satellite phone systems for a group of amateur radio operators who are undertaking a DXpedition this month. The purpose of the DXpedition is to establish up to nine temporary radio stations on a remote uninhabited ice-bound island near Antarctica.

The radio site will be operational on Peter I Island for about two weeks in February. During that time, ham radio operators around the world will have an opportunity to log calls to the station.

The Iridium satellite phones will allow the team to stay in touch with home, obtain weather forecasts, provide daily uploads of log information and updates from the island. Updates will include photos and possibly video clips, which the DXpedition group will post to its website at www.peterone.com.


HD Digital Radio Alliance Names First 28 Markets for HD2 Rollouts
Orlando - Jan 18, 2006 - The HD Digital Radio Alliance, the joint initiative of radio broadcasters, has announced the initial 28 markets that will begin broadcasting HD2 multicast programming under the alliance's format-selection program. Alliance members are readying individual HD2 channel launches in each market, and the first are expected within a few days.

Alliance participants work together in each market to determine formats that will provide a wide range of programming choices. Each multicast stream is a different format, which is intended to increase listener interest in the new signals.

The alliance notes that there will be about 264 new HD2 channels. The alliance members have also agreed to offer the multicast streams commercial-free during the rollout.

The initial markets and their market ranking follow.

RankLocation RankLocation
1New York, NY 24Portland, OR
2Los Angeles, CA 27Cincinnati, OH
3Chicago, IL 33San Jose, CA
4San Francisco, CA 41Indianapolis, IN
5Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 48Memphis, TN
6Philadelphia, PA 50Hartford, CT
7Houston, TX 57Birmingham, AL
8Washington, DC 58Dayton, OH
9Boston, MA 60McAllen, TX
10Detroit, MI 64Tulsa, OK
11Atlanta, GA 70Albuquerque, NM
12Miami, FL 76El Paso, TX
14Seattle, WA 80Springfield, MA
20Baltimore, MD 94Wichita, KS

Business

Digidesign Purchases Plug-in Assets of Trillium Lane Labs
Anaheim, CA - Jan 19, 2006 - Digidesign has purchased the assets of Trillium Lane Labs, a developer of effects and utilities plug-ins for Pro Tools systems. Versions of all currently shipping Trillium Lane Labs plug-ins are available for Pro Tools 7 software.

Digidesign will assume all sales and support responsibilities for Trillium Lane Labs products.


Google to Acquire Dmarc Broadcasting
Mountain View, CA - Jan 17, 2006 - Google has agreed to acquire Dmarc Broadcasting. Google plans to integrate Dmarc technology into the Google Ad Words platform to create a new radio ad distribution channel for Google advertisers.

Dmarc has stated that its customers will not experience any interruption in service. A Dmarc executive has noted that radio stations will not notice any difference in working with Dmarc after the close of the transaction. Dmarc will continue to operate as it always has, but it will be a wholly owned subsidiary of Google. The Dallas, Kansas City and California offices will remain in place. The Dmarc spokesman went on to add that he expects that the relationship with Google will provide Dmarc with additional technology resources, which will likely result in staff increases and additional product offerings.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Google will acquire all of the outstanding equity interests in Dmarc, a privately held company, for total up-front consideration of $102 million in cash. Google will also make additional contingent cash payments based on net revenue and advertising inventory targets over the next three years up to a maximum payment of $1.136 billion. Google anticipates that the acquisition will close in the first quarter 2006.


Sales Call
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SCMS and Kintronic Labs will supply equipment for significant upgrades to Bonneville’s Washington, DC, RF facility in Wheaton, MD. A custom switching, phasor, filter and diplexer package will be installed at the distinctive art deco transmission site dating from the 1940s for the 50kW WTOP-AM signal.
A Wheatstone Generation 6 on-air control surface has been installed at news/talk radio station WDEL-AM, Wilmington, DE. The order includes one Bridge SAT cage, pre-wiring and custom guest panels designed to insert into WDEL's existing furniture. The G6 surface and Satellite Cage will integrate into the station's Bridge Router system, which was purchased earlier in 2005. The facility will receive an additional G6 surface and Satellite Cage for WSTW-FM in March.

People

Pappas Joins Sennheiser
Old Lyme, CT - Jan 20, 2006 - Sennheiser Electronic has appointed Mike Pappas to the position of senior applications engineer. Pappas' role will be to conduct technical seminars and workshops on Sennheiser, Neumann and the other distributed brands, providing application advice, consultation and sales support. In his new role, he will work with broadcast and recording studio companies, establish strong channel relationships, assist in long-term strategic growth initiatives and handle customer service inquires related to product applications, features or specifications. Among other duties, he'll provide customer-driven feedback to Sennheiser product managers and management on new product needs, industry trends and related issues.

Pappas' expertise is in surround sound recordings. He has more than 500 hours of live 5.1 Direct Stream Digital recordings to his credit and has been a featured lecturer on 5.1 surround sound and broadcast techniques at trade show workshops at NAB and AES.

Pappas has shared his professional experience by writing for Radio magazine as well. His work on the KUVO broadcasts of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and Dianne Reeves was detailed in the December 2004 issue of Radio magazine. You can read that article at this link.

Pappas serves as technical director and engineer for various NPR broadcasts, including Toast of the Nation, and chief broadcast engineer for KUVO. He will continue with these endeavors in addition to his new job responsibilities at Sennheiser. He has been at KUVO since 1994.


Harris Adds to Radio Sales Team
Cincinnati - Jan 18, 2006 - Harris has made new sales team appointments to its Radio Broadcast Systems business division. The company notes that the new appointments were created specifically to support customers in the transition to HD Radio. The appointments include two in-house promotions and two new hires. All four team members will report to Roland Eid, director, North American sales and marketing.

Among the new appointments, Mark Goins, a Harris employee for 3.5 years, has been promoted to national accounts manager. In his new position, Goins will work with Ron Lane, national accounts manager for Harris Radio Broadcast systems business unit, to help manage Harris' top 20 group accounts at regional and corporate levels. Goins, whose main focus will be on delivering HD Radio technology, previously worked as an inside sales specialist before being promoted to business development for key accounts, where he serviced major national accounts and managed Harris’ Broadcast Center in Mason, OH.

Doug Thompson joins Harris as district sales manager, upper Midwest, servicing Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois. Thompson will manage direct sales of Harris' radio product portfolio across his four states. His experience includes five years as regional sales manager, Midwest, with Broadcast Electronics and two years as director of sales and marketing, Midwest, with Enco Systems.

Paul Dadian has been promoted to the position of sales, mid-market accounts, after a successful stint in the Harris Broadcast Center as a broadcast sales specialist. Dadian will focus on expanding business among middle market station groups and independent radio stations.

Garrett Wood joins Harris as team leader and broadcast sales specialist in the company's Broadcast Center, selling Harris-manufactured and resale products to radio stations throughout the United States. In addition to previous inside sales experience at Broadcasters General Store and RF Specialties of Florida, Wood's professional background includes more than 20 years in commercial and public radio engineering.


Lemcke Appointed to Head Lawo North American Office
Toronto - Jan 17, 2005 - Herbert Lemcke, previously sales director at Lawo in Germany, took over the leading position of the Lawo North America in Toronto on Jan. 16 from the former president, Prodromos Constantinou, who left the company at the end of 2005. Lemcke has worked with Lawo for 10 years.

Lemcke is also an experienced audio engineer and system designer.


Digidesign Announces Organizational Changes
Daly City, CA - Jan 17, 2006 - Digidesign has made several organizational changes to the company's sales and marketing team.

Christopher Bock, who has worked with Digidesign's sales and marketing efforts for more than 19 years, has taken on a new role as vice president of tactical business development. In his new role, Bock will initially lead Digidesign's live sound sales team, and ongoing, will drive new business development, acting as a key contributor to the creation of strategic partnerships and market growth opportunities.

Paul Foeckler has filled Bock's previous role as worldwide vice president of sales and marketing. After being hired in 1993 as a product specialist, Foeckler rose through the ranks of Digidesign's sales organization to lead the company's marketing efforts as director of corporate marketing. Foeckler was promoted to the company's executive management team in 2005.

Tim Carroll has assumed a new role within the organization as senior director, worldwide sales, reporting to Foeckler. In his previous position as director, sales Americas, Carroll drove sales in Digidesign's largest territory. As senior director, Carroll will contribute his knowledge of key sales issues and day-to-day channel marketing needs to the sales team.

Chris Hammond, previously Digidesign's Midwest sales territory manager, has become director, sales Americas, reporting to Carroll.


Products

Adobe Releases Audition 2.0
San Jose, CA - Jan 17, 2006 - Adobe Systems is now shipping a new version of Adobe Audition for mixing, editing, mastering and restoring digital audio. Adobe Audition 2.0 includes a flexible new low-latency mixing engine, the ability to record parameter changes in real time, and new tools for audio visualization and frequency space editing. Adobe Audition 2.0 is available as a stand-alone product or as part of Adobe Production Studio Premium edition.

The low-latency mixing engine supports ASIO drivers. The software has a redesigned user interface and includes royalty-free music beds and music loops. The new version also adds Adobe Bridge for file access and management, Adobe XMP (Extensible Metadata Platform) support for embedding metadata into files, and broader video and audio format support.

Users of previous versions of Audition can purchase an upgrade.


Audioscience Support Integrated Into ALSA Distribution
New Castle, DE - Jan 17, 2006 - Audioscience now includes an integrated ALSA and HPI driver for its range of professional sound cards in the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA). Info on ALSA is available at www.alsa-project.org.

ALSA is a sound card application programming interface for Linux. It became officially part of the Linux kernel distribution in version 2.6 and is supported by all Linux vendors. No extra source code packages or apply patches are needed. The integrated ALSA and HPI driver allows standard Linux applications to play, record and mix PCM audio using Audioscience products and provides access to advanced functions such as time scaling (TSX) and on-card MPEG audio processing through the built-in Audioscience HPI interface.

The source code is available for download from the ALSA website.


Eye on IBOC

Emmis' Smulyan Talks about HD Radio
Indianapolis - Jan 16, 2006 - Emmis Communications posted a Q&A with its CEO Jeff Smulyan about HD Radio, the HD Digital Radio Alliance and more. We have selected the portions that are relevant to the technical side of radio.

Q: How is the HD Digital Radio Alliance selling HD Radio to consumers and auto makers?
A: Emmis is one of the founding partners of the alliance. The idea is to facilitate the rollout of HD Radio by ensuring a wide array of free, over-the air programming, making consumers aware that HD Radio brings them CD-quality sound, and pushing to bring more HD receivers to market at reasonable prices. To that end, members have agreed to launch new, commercial-free HD side channels, run spots on main stations promoting the benefits of HD radio and lobby car makers to install the receivers in new cars.

Q: One would imagine that formatting the HD side channels would be fraught with peril--how do you see those things being worked out where everyone is happy?
A: It really hasn't been difficult at all. We beta tested format selections for side channels with both alliance and non-alliance members a few months back and were delighted at how many unserved niches and format offerings programming directors came up with. The selection process for both the beta test and actual markets has gone incredibly smoothly, mainly because broadcast companies and their programmers have treated these side channels as an opportunity to provide listeners with the kind of diverse programming that many think is limited to pay radio. New, free format choices. That has a lot of potential to fuel interest in HD receivers.


Broadcast Electronics to Host HD Radio Seminar
Quincy, IL - Jan 18, 2006 - Broadcast Electronics has developed certified broadcast engineering seminars specifically for consulting engineers. The Learn and Earn sessions cover key disciplines of HD Radio technology and will be presented at two locations.

Tuesday, Feb. 28 - San Francisco, CA
Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason Street

Thursday, March 2 - Washington, D.C.
Marriott Washington, 1221 22nd Street, NW

The Broadcast Electronics seminars will features presentations from Richard Hinkle, vice president engineering and technical services; and Jerry Westberg, principal engineer. John Bisset, BE's NE regional RF sales manager, will present field reports and case studies of the latest technological developments. The following topic will be discussed:

HD Radio Technical Review

  • Basics of HD Radio technology
  • Combining methods for FM
  • Technology evolution over the past three years
  • Current regulatory issues pending

    HD Radio for AM

  • Theory of operation
  • AM antennas and HD Radio
  • Real world implementation issues

    HD Radio for FM

  • HD2 Multicasting
  • Datacasting
  • Case studies

    BE held the first Learn and Earn seminar in June 2005. Consulting engineers who participate in the seminar receive a certificate of participation and are listed on the BE website as resources for stations and groups seeking engineering services.

    The 2006 Learn and Earn seminars are offered at no charge. BE provides a continental breakfast and buffet luncheon. Pre-registration is required. Consulting engineers can e-mail consultants@bdcast.com for details.


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