Radio Currents Online - Feb 28 - Mar 6, 2005


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The technology, business, people and product news of the radio broadcast industry updated every day.

Radio technology news updated as it happens.


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News

Mexican DRM Testing Expands into Commercial Radio
Mexico City - March 4, 2005 - Mexico's Camara Nacional de la Industria de Radio y Television (CIRT) will begin conducting DRM tests this spring. CIRT will use a commercial station of one of its members, Radio Centro of Mexico City, for this purpose. This development expands the scope of DRM testing in Mexico into the commercial radio realm. On Feb. 9, the Ministry of Communications and Transportation authorized the commencement of a national DRM testing project to be carried out by Radio Educacion, the country's public, cultural and educational network.

During the Feb. 9 event more than 80 commercial and non-commercial representatives of the Mexican broadcasting industry heard about DRM from a panel of experts. The DRM symposium featured a live broadcast of the actual switch of Radio Educacion from analog medium-wave/AM to DRM, as the Mexican testing process began. Live DRM broadcasts from overseas on the short-wave band were also demonstrated.


Radio France Unveils Digital Distribution, Previews DRM
Paris - March 3, 2005 - Radio France will unveil its plans for an all-digital distribution network, at the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) consortium's annual General Assembly meeting in Paris during the second week in March. Radio France, a DRM member since 2001, will transmit special preview DRM medium-wave/AM broadcasts of France Culture audio and multimedia content from March 7 to 11, to mark the announcement. The new Radio France distribution network will provide listeners with a range of digital broadcasting technologies including DRM. Radio France will host DRM's General Assembly, Steering Board and committee meetings at its headquarters, Maison de la Radio, from March 7 to 10.

DRM members TDF and Thales are assisting with Radio France's special preview DRM broadcasts. TDF will transmit the Radio France broadcasts from its Villebon transmitting station, which is about 20km southwest of Paris. TDF and Thales have modified an existing 300kW medium wave, solid-state Thales S7 transmitter for the DRM broadcasts.

Radio France is a public-service corporation that was created in 1975. The service features more than 50 radio stations, numerous programs broadcast digitally via cable or satellite, two orchestras, a choir, a choir school and its own museum.


SBE Debuts Web-based Frequency Coordination Tool
Indianapolis - Mar 4, 2005 - In an effort to make frequency coordination easier and faster and reduce the possibility of errors, the Society of Broadcast Engineers has posted a new frequency coordination request application on its website.

In the past, coordination relied on parties needing coordination to identify the SBE volunteer frequency coordinator for a given geographic area and make arrangements via telephone.

The new Web page removes telephone calls from the process. Simply completing and submitting the form directs the request to the appropriate SBE frequency coordinator via e-mail, eliminating delays that result from missed phone calls and inaccuracies stemming from miscommunication. Cavell, Mertz and Davis in Manassas, VA, is providing the server for the new Web-based request form. More information is available through www.sbe.org.


The Local Emergency Radio Service Preservation Act
Washington - Mar 1, 2005 - Congressman Chip Pickering (R-MS) introduced the Local Emergency Radio Service Preservation Act of 2005 (HR998). The legislation would codify an agreement between radio broadcasters and satellite radio companies to prevent future encroachment of satellite radio into local market content without the appropriate community commitment and responsibility.

"I believe in a diverse media with local, community voice," Pickering said. "I also subscribe to satellite radio for national media and programming. This legislation would ensure consumers continue to have access to both radio types, and our communities continue to receive the emergency services of local broadcasters."

This legislation would not change any service currently provided by satellite radio. "I have satellite radio in my truck at home and enjoy using it. My fellow subscribers to these services will not see any difference in their service as a result of this legislation."

The bill would instruct the FCC to study the effect on local broadcasters of satellite radio companies providing local content. The study would include questions of community needs, public affairs, local voice, AMBER alerts, traffic conditions and emergency broadcasts. It would codify a previous agreement between satellite radio and local broadcasters that satellite radio services would not use ground-based repeaters to change their content per local market. Satellite radio would continue offering local traffic, news and weather on a national basis.

"Satellite radio companies are free and will continue to be free to provide local weather, traffic and news with their services. They can have a channel for Atlanta, one for Chicago, another for New Orleans, one for Nashville or any city or region in the country. This legislation does not restrict that service at all. It would only prohibit satellite radio companies from having a 'local channel' that changes depending on where you are in the country by using ground-based transmitters, effectively operating as a separate radio station without the local commitment and responsibilities of actual stations. When the satellite radio companies received their licenses, they agreed to use ground-based repeaters only to relay their content, not change their content, and this legislation codifies that agreement," Pickering said.

Pickering and lead Democrat sponsor Representative Gene Green (TX) introduced identical legislation last year obtaining 64 bipartisan cosponsors. The legislation will be referred to the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet. Pickering is vice chairman of the committee and sits on the subcommittee.


New Media Industry Organization Launches in Florida
Miami - Mar 1, 2005 - The Film, Recording and Entertainment Council, a collective of recording, post, film, TV, radio, production, graphics and other creative companies primarily from South Florida, has formed. The organization intends to promote economic development for the industry in South Florida and to create a climate that enhances economic vitality for media industry businesses in the area. FREC will be based in Miami initially.

The council plans to increase membership opportunities to include the entire state of Florida. FREC is hosting a reception on May 13 at Miami's Star Island. The Film, Recording Entertainment Council has obtained not-for-profit (501(c)(6) status. For more visit www.frecouncil.org


Study: Canadians Want Satellite Radio
Toronto - Mar 1, 2005 - CNW Telbec reports that Canadian consumer interest in satellite radio continues to grow, with almost 20 percent of Canadians -- four million people -- expressing interest in subscribing to a Canadian satellite radio service within the next year. The study was conducted by Decima Research.

Sirius Satellite Radio Canada is naturally pleased with the results. Sirius Canada's program line-up includes five Canadian channels in both official languages, including two new services from CBC/Radio-Canada. Both of these new services will focus on new music, emerging talent and youth-oriented programming. Standard Radio will provide a channel of 100 percent Canadian content.

Sirius Canada's application to bring satellite radio is currently before the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).


Senator Stevens Wants Decency for all Media
Washington - Mar 1, 2005 - Reuters reports that Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK) said he wants broadcast decency standards to apply to subscription TV and radio services and not just terrestrial services. He stated that cable TV is the "greatest violator" in indecency.

Stevens disagrees wholeheartedly with cable industry assertions that Congress does not have the authority to impose limits on what a cable system airs.

The House has approved and the Senate is debating legislation to increase fines for indecency. Neither includes language that will apply to cable and satellite services.


Business

XM Sucessfully Launches XM-3
Washington - March 4, 2005 - XM Satellite Radio launched its XM-3 satellite On Feb. 28. Its final orbital position is 85 degrees West Longitude. A ground station in South Africa acquired the spacecraft's first signal an hour after lift-off, as planned.

The XM-3 satellite is a Boeing 702 spacecraft that provides 18kW of total power at beginning of life. XM-3 will transmit more than 150 channels of digital-quality music, news, sports, talk, comedy and children's programming to subscribers nationwide.


XM to Expand Nashville Studios
Washington and Nashville - Mar 1, 2005 - XM Satellite Radio will add two new studios to its existing space in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville. Construction for the studio expansion is set to begin later this year.

Nashville is the home of XM's first satellite studio outside of its Washington broadcast center and corporate headquarters. The Tennessee location has hosted more than 825 country performers since the studio opened in 2001.


Logitek Plans Users' Group Meeting at NAB
Las Vegas - Feb 28, 2005 - Logitek will hold a Users' Group meeting on Sunday, April 17, 2005, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Firenze Room at the Tuscany Hotel, 255 E. Flamingo Road. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Space is limited, so RSVP is requested as soon as possible.

Contact John Davis at 877-231-5870, 713-664-4470 or john@logitekaudio.com.


Sales Call
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  • KGNZ-FM in Abilene, TX, has purchased a Dielectric DCR-M10CFE antenna, Dielectric 3-1/8" Flexline air dielectric coaxial cable and 695' Valmont/Pirod tower. Towers for Jesus of Plymouth, IN, will erect the tower for the Christian radio station. The Southwest sales office of SCMS handled the sale.
  • Bahrain Radio has selected Dalet's radio broadcast products to digitalize its entire broadcast operations. Managed by the Ministry of Information for the Kingdom of Bahrain, Bahrain Radio is the only radio broadcaster in Bahrain. The installation includes Dalet's radio technology for ripping CDs, jingle production, scheduling and broadcast. Dalet worked with one of the broadcast distributors in the GCC countries, Professional Systems Corporation, to design and deliver the system.
  • Wheatstone has been awarded the Cumulus Media Riverwalk consolidation project in Shreveport, LA. The new facility, located in the water-front commercial area, will receive eight D-75 digital audio mixers with custom side plates, one Bridge Router and one satellite router cage, which will be linked via fiber optic cable and installed in the transmission room. Nine studios will also be furnished with Wheatstone Preference furniture and pre-wiring.
  • People

    S.C.M.S. Adds to Sales and Support
    Pineville, NC - Feb 22, 2005 - Ric Goldstein has joined S.C.M.S. as an account executive. Starting late March from his new office located in the Raleigh, NC area, Goldstein will focus on developing the pro audio and commercial sound markets for the S.C.M.S. Broadcast and Computer Group.

    Originally from New York City, Goldstein has been continuously employed in the pro audio and broadcast supply industry for more than 30 years. His background includes positions with Manny’s NYC, Washington Music Center and 11 years with Maryland’s Bradley Broadcast and Pro Audio.

    Contact Goldstein at 800-438-6040 or ricg@scmsinc.com.

    S.C.M.S. has also hired Suzette Cappell for customer service and sales support. Cappell was previously employed by Wheatstone as the sales administrative assistant. She previously worked in Charlotte, NC, in accounts receivable and customer service.


    Balsys Hires Two
    Winter Garden, FL - Mar 1, 2005 - Balsys Technology Group has hired Robert DiPilato Jr. as a project engineer, and hired Chuck Bullett as a senior project engineer.

    DiPilato has several years of engineering experience in the radio broadcast industry, most recently as chief engineer of WILD-AM and WBOT-FM owned by Radio One in the Boston area, and previously held similar positions with stations owned by Citadel Broadcasting and Clear Channel Communications.

    Bullett has more than 30 years of experience spanning the gamut of responsibilities in the radio broadcast industry, most recently as senior chief engineer for Citadel Broadcasting in its Maine and New Hampshire markets.

    Balsys Technology Group is a systems integration company based in the Orlando area.


    Products

    ATI Shipping SLM-100
    Horsham, PA - Mar 3, 2005 - Featuring a large analog meter for quick measurements, this meter measures frequency ranges from 32Hz to 10kHz, and makes A- and C-weighted measurements with peak or averaging response. It includes a seven-range selector switch, calibration control and a test signal output via an RCA jack. A 9V battery supplies power. SPL ranges from 50dB to 126dB, referenced to 0.0002mbar, are possible. A threaded insert allows the meter to be mounted on a camera tripod. The unit measures 6.25" × 2.5" × 1.75".


    Alpine to Release IBOC Receiver in August
    Columbia, MD - Mar 1, 2005 - Alpine Electronics has confirmed that the DVA-9965 aftermarket auto receiver featuring an embedded HD Radio tuner will be available at authorized Alpine retailers this August. The DVD-based, digital head unit was introduced last month at the International Consumer Electronics Show.

    The DVA-9965 will reproduce multichannel audio with integrated support for Dolby Digital and DTS.


    Aphex Systems Ships Model 230
    Sun Valley, CA - Feb 23, 2005 - Aphex Systems is now shipping the Model 230 Master Voice Channel. Combining several of the company's proprietary technologies in preamplification, dynamics processing and psychoacoustics.

    The Aphex Model 230 is an analog, single-channel preamplifier and voice processor. Its features include RPA tube preamplification, Easyrider compression, Logic Assisted gating, split band de-essing, parametric EQ, and Aphex's Aural Exciter and Big Bottom psychacoustic effects in a 1RU package. A cough switch can be configured through a contact closure to ground.


    BE Debuts New Software for Audiovault
    Quincy, IL - Feb 28, 2005 - Version 9.0 adds 37 enhancements to the Audiovault, including a text interface and more flexible play-while-recording. Dual network support allows Audiovault to continually communicate over two networks as a redundancy measure should one network go down. A text data interface for formatting "now playing" text is now available. Also, BE will update the Audiovault with a Livewire IP-audio driver to send real-time uncompressed audio over the network.


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