Radio Currents Online - Feb 6 - Feb 12, 2006


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Radio technology news updated as it happens.


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News

NAB Asks FCC to Reform Ownership Rules
Washington - Feb 9, 2006 - In a letter from NAB President David Rehr to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Rehr asked the Martin to reform its prohibition on owning a newspaper and a single broadcast outlet in the same market, claiming "the cross-ownership restriction inhibits broadcasters from competing vigorously with their multichannel competitors in local markets." The Commission concluded in its last ownership review that the complete prohibition on newspaper/broadcast combinations was no longer justified, however, at that time the Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the new numerical cross-ownership limits, so the ban continues.

Rehr's letter also urged the NAB to reform the local TV ownership rule to allow duopolies, especially in medium and small markets where local broadcasters are facing severe financial pressures.

This letter from the NAB comes in lieu of the upcoming FCC review of its broadcast ownership rules.


MRC to Audit Arbitron's Houston PPM Report
New York - Feb 9, 2006 - Arbitron has delivered a report on the portable people meter (PPM) to the Media Rating Council (MRC) for auditing. The MRC is a non-profit industry association that audits and accredits media ratings services.

"Arbitron believes strongly in the value of the MRC and we look forward to working with them to ensure that the proposed PPM service in Houston meets all requirements for accreditation," said Owen Charlebois, president, operations, technology, research and development, at Arbitron.

An MRC audit is an essential step toward obtaining MRC accreditation. Audience measurement services desiring MRC accreditation are required to disclose to the MRC membership (and all customers) all methodological aspects of their service; meet MRC minimum standards for media rating research; and submit to MRC-designed audits.


FCC Budget Proposed for FY 2007
Washington - Feb 6, 2006 - President Bush has submitted a $302,542,000 budget to Congress for the FCC during fiscal year 2007. The requested funding would cover the usual business and salary expenses, and provide funding to conduct an outreach campaign to educate consumers about the effect and benefits of the transition to digital TV(DTV). In addition, the requested funding level would allow the Commission to replace mobile digital direction finding (MDDF) vehicles that are used to support public safety entities to resolve harmful interference to their communications systems and to expand its oversight of the Universal Service Fund (USF).

The Commission's complete FY 2007 budget submission is available at www.fcc.gov/Reports/fcc2007budget.html.


Business

Preco to Distribute OMT Products in Europe
Winnipeg, Manitoba - Feb 9, 2006 - Preco Broadcasting Systems has become the exclusive distributor within the United Kingdom, France and Ireland for OMT's Imediatouch Broadcast Automation software and its Imedialogger digital logging software. Preco services major- and small-market stations including news/talk, music and state run radio and TV.


Lawo Equipment to be Used at Winter Olympics
Rastatt, Germany - Feb 9, 2006 - Radio YLEIS (YLE) in Finland is relying on Lawo's 16+8+16 fader MC266 console and a Zirkon XL for its broadcasts from the International Broadcast Center in Torino during the 2006 Winter Olympics. Central signal routing for both consoles, and the clean feed distribution, is being handled by a Lawo Nova 73 HD router system. With the Nova 73 HD, both consoles share the signal pool and external feeds, as well as the studio microphones.


Enco, Wicks and Powergold Partner on Integrated System Southfield, MI; Opelika, AL; and Little Rock, AR - Feb 6, 2006 - Enco Systems, Powergold Music Scheduling Software and Wicks Broadcast Solutions have partnered to produce Streamline, an integrated system to handle all aspects of radio automation, music scheduling and traffic management. Streamline combines Powergold Music Scheduling and Wick's Visual Traffic with Enco's DAD radio automation system.

Streamline will be available in the first quarter of 2006. Streamline runs on Windows 2000 or Windows XP Pro operating systems.


Ethersound Offers Ethersound Tested Certification
Grenoble, France - Feb 6, 2006 - Ethersound has launched a program to ensure proper functionality of 100Mb and Gigabit Ethernet components when designing, installing or operating an Ethersound network. Users will be able to look for the Ethersound Tested logo on manufacturer's packing, product literature and websites, or visit www.ethersound.com for a list of Ethersound Tested Ethernet components.

Ethersound is an Ethernet-compliant standard for distribution of digital audio. Ethersound networks use third-party Ethernet components such as CAT5e or CAT6 cables, fiber optic cables, connectors, switches and media converters. The Ethersound Tested program will verify the performance of these and other Ethernet components.


ATA Audio to Distribute Prodys
Randolph, NJ - Feb 6, 2006 - ATA Audio was granted exclusive North American distributorship for the Prodys product line. One of the first products available is the Prontonet IP codec with ISDN backup.

The Prontonet is a multiformat audio codec with capabilities as dual audio codec with two independent encoders and decoders. It supports G711, G722, MPEG1/2 Layer II, MPEG1/2 Layer III, MPEG2/4 AAC LC and MPEG4 LD and Apt-x, as well as bidirectional uncompressed linear audio transmission over IP through its 10/100 port.


Sales Call
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Kalaallit Nunaata Radioa (Radio Greenland) in Nuuk, Greenland, just south of the Arctic Circle, recently installed three Studer On Air 3000 consoles. The installation is part of a modernization program to digitalize its radio facilities. One of the initial phases is the delivery of three complete radio studios by Copenhagen-based Kinovox A/S.

People

Richard Butlin Promoted by Sonifex
Northants, UK - Feb 9, 2006 - Richard Butlin has been appointed technical sales engineer in the sales department of Sonifex. Butlin has worked for Sonifex for nearly 20 years. He started his career as a trainee electronics engineer in the production area and worked his way up through the test department to become the head of test for several years.


Internet Watch

NPR Launches Third Phase of Podcasting Project
Washington - Feb 6, 2006 - Six months after launching its first podcasts, NPR has launched phase three of the project. This phase includes a directory featuring more than 250 podcasts of public radio programming, which is the result of collaboration with 79 NPR member stations. The available podcasts include the quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me, all 24 NPR News hourly newscasts, and the new NPR Station Showcase that highlights content from stations around the United States each week.

On Aug. 31, 2005, a partnership of NPR and seven NPR member stations launched the first collaborative public radio podcasting project, which included business and technology models that would enable participation by stations around the country. At that time, the directory offered 33 podcasts, including 16 from NPR and others from local public radio stations. On Nov. 7, 2005, phase two was introduced with highlights, including NPR's first original-to-podcast content under the alt.NPR name.

A list of the participating local stations and their podcasts is available at www.npr.org/rss/pod/partners.html.


Products

BE to Debut 25kW Transmitter at NAB
Quincy, IL - Feb 10, 2006 - Broadcast Electronics (BE) will introduce its 4MX 25kW transmitter at NAB2006. The 25kW transmitter is the second in a line of medium-wave transmitters based on 4M Modulation, BE's patent-pending method of modulating the duty cycle of the radio frequency directly to produce a more linear output waveform. The transmitter is DRM-compatible and capable of linear audio reproduction. It comes with separate audio input to pass the full frequency range possible of digital transmission.

The patent-pending 4M Modulation scheme uses a breakthrough technique to apply signal to all PA modules in parallel. This design also maintains the audio quality and efficiency during full power daytime and reduced power nighttime modes.


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