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Radio Currents Online - Mar 27 - Apr 2, 2006
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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AMC-8 Satellite Experiencing Power Problems
Mar 30, 2006 - In a memo sent to its clients, SES Americom has notified the users of the AMC-8 satellite that failures of three power circuits have pressed SES Americom to begin work to relocate the services currently distributed via the satellite. AMC-8 carries a large number of radio broadcast programs, including heavy usage by ABC, Clear Channel, Jones and Westwood One.
According to the memo, three separate power circuit failures on the south solar array have reduced the satellite's power by about 25 percent. The satellite has compensated for the power loss, which so far has not resulted in any signal reception problems. While the satellite's power is reduced, the output power of the transponders is still above the minimum acceptable power margin.
AMC-8 began service in March 2001. It has an expected lifespan of 15 years. The Lockheed Martin A2100 spacecraft is located at 139 degrees west longitude. The satellite is equipped with four solar panels total (two south, two north). SES Americom is working with Lockheed Martin to investigate the problem.
If a fourth power circuit fails, SES Americom will shut down an unused transponder to conserve power. If a fifth circuit fails, some of the satellite users will need to turn some of their transponders off.
There is a backup satellite in orbit, but it is not exclusive to AMC-8. Because of this, SES Americom is working with the four main users to arrange relocation plans. It is expected that the four major radio providers will work together to move to the same replacement satellite for the ease of its customers instead of relocating to different locations.
BIA: Radio Revenue Growth Sluggish in 2005
Chantilly, VA - Mar 31, 2006 - The radio industry continued its string of three sub-par years in 2005, only achieving a 0.5 percent increase in station revenues, according to the estimates of BIA Financial Network, a financial and strategic advisory firm. The year closed with $18.2 billion in radio station revenues, just slightly higher than 2004. BIA predicts the growth rate in 2006 to be 2.2 percent.
BIA attributes the slow growth to other forms of digital technology and satellite radio vying for the same listeners and competing for the same advertising revenues. BIA expects revenues to remain significantly below the growth of the overall economy in the near future.
Despite the overall slump in revenues, some markets showed promise due to rapid population growth. Two top 100 markets in Florida (Ft. Pierce-Stuart-Vero Beach and Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco Island) showed continued strong growth in 2005 with revenue increases of 10.5 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively.
A profile of all 280 radio markets is available in the new 2006 Investing In Radio Ownership Report published by BIAfn and the first edition of the quarterly Investing In Radio Market Report. Both publications are part of the Investing In financial guide series that includes market trend analysis, demographic and economic overviews, competitive overviews, technical data, ownership data, pending and completed transactions and Arbitron ratings. Information on these publications is available on the BIA website.
Study Claims Traffic Reports Pull People Back to Radio
Somerville, NJ - Mar 30, 2006 - The recent Edison Metro Traffic Study, conducted by Edison Media Research, concluded that 78 percent of commuters requiring traffic information for suburban roadways gained this traffic information from their regular local traffic stations. The study found that traffic reports demonstrated an ability to pull people away from CD players, MP3 players and satellite radio. Also, one in four respondents indicated that they listened to something other than radio in their cars, but then switched back to AM/FM radio specifically to hear traffic reports.
The study was conducted by random telephone sampling between Feb. 9-Feb. 22, 2006, of adults 25 years old to 54 yeras old, evenly distributed throughout the non-metro counties in 10 of the top 20 DMAs.
FCC's Copps Joins Regulatory Face-Off at NAB2006
Washington - Mar 30, 2006 - FCC Commissioner Michael Copps will join Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Deborah Taylor Tate at the NAB2006 Regulatory Face-off at NAB2006 on April 25. The session, part of the Business, Law and Regulation Conference at NAB2006, will feature all three FCC commissioners as they discuss current regulatory topics facing broadcasters.
Patton and Associates Adds Dula
Baton Rouge, LA - Mar 28, 2006 - Michael Patton and Associates has added Mac Dula to its team. Dula previously worked for the Public Radio Partnership of Louisville, KY.
Patton and Associates is a design/build contracting and consulting firm that specializes in transmitter site construction.
Axia Audio, Broadcast Electronics Collaborate
Quincy, IL, and Cleveland - Mar 27, 2006 - Axia and Broadcast Electronics (BE) have entered an agreement for BE to add the Axia IP-audio driver to Audiovault and other BE broadcast products. In addition, BE will become an Axia value-added reseller.
SCMS Digital Radio Conference Announces Engineering Agenda
Charlotte, NC - Mar 24, 2006 - Equipment dealer SCMS has announced the engineering educational track slated for its Digital Radio Conference to be held on June 1.
The conference is free to broadcasters. There is also an exhibit hall with the following companies slated to exhbit: AEQ Broadcast, Audemat-Aztec, Audioarts Engineering, Audio Processing Technology, Broadcast Electronics, Burk Technology, Comrex, Davicom, Dielectric Communications, Gorman-Redlich, Kintronic Labs, Micro Communications, Moseley, OMT, Orban, Radio Systems, Secom, Shively Labs, Symetrix, Tannoy, TWR Lighting, Wheatstone and Yamaha.
More information is available at www.scmsconference.com.
Eye on IBOC
Broadcast Electronics Introduces HD Radio to Thailand
Quincy, IL, and Bangkok, Thailand - Mar 29, 2006 - Broadcast Electronics (BE) installed an HD Radio system for a public radio network targeting mass transit commuters in Bangkok. The system was acquired by RNT Television, which has a contract to broadcast to buses in Thailand using a portion of existing licensed FM frequencies. Broadcast Electronics installed the HD Radio system last week; a Broadcast Electronics FMI 106 HD Radio transmitter system is operating in high-level combined mode with an existing BE FM 5C transmitter.
The Radio of Thailand authorized the system as Thailand's introduction to HD Radio. To receive the broadcasts, more than 10,000 HD Radio receivers will be installed in buses.
According to BE, the HD Radio technology was chosen for its cost-effectiveness, robust mobile reception and immunity to multipath distortion.
Clayborn Appointed Orban/CRL North American Sales Manager
Tempe, AZ - Mar 28, 2006 - Circuit Research Labs, parent company of Orban/CRL, has appointed 13-year Orban/CRL veteran Kevin Clayborn to the position of North American sales manager. Clayborn was hired as a customer service manager by the late Ron Jones in 1993, and has worked within the organization in a variety of key positions for the past several years, including Orban customer service support engineer, and CRL and Avocet product manager.
Before joining CRL, he served 10 years in the Air Force as an avionic communications and navigation specialist. After leaving the Air Force, he worked as a chief engineer for an AM/FM combo in Tucson, AZ. In the year and half he lived in Tucson, he helped put two new FMs on the air and upgraded a third one from a Class A to a Class C.
Radio station Wins "Best of Industry" Web Award
Boston - Mar 31, 2006 - KDFC, a classical music station in San Francisco, has won the top spot in a study of 10,000 websites of the past 10 years by the Web Marketing Association. Other winners of the website competition include Live 365 and WBCL Radio Network, a christian station located in Fort Wayne, IN.
The annual international Web Awards competition evaluates websites and defining benchmarks based on the seven essential criteria of successful website development. The goal of the Web Marketing Association is to provide a forum to recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing some of the most effective websites on the Internet today. Entrants benefit from a website assessment by a professional judging panel and the marketing opportunities presented to an award-winning website.
Illbruck Intros Natural Gray Willtec
Minneapolis - Mar 28, 2006 - Illbruck Acoustic has introduced natural gray as the new standard color for Willtec, the core material in its acoustical products for wall panels, baffles, ceiling tiles, multilayer composites and HVAC duct liners. These products include all the Sonex products.
Willtec is made from lightweight, porous melamine foam. It is Class 1 fire-rated, meeting ASTM E-84 requirements for flame spread and smoke density, and passing the UL 1715 room fire exposure test. The foam can be exposed to constant temperatures up to 300° F and short-term temperatures up to 482° F. It will char, but will not ignite, at temperatures up to 1120° F.
Inphase Demos Higher Storage Density
Longmont, CO - Mar 27, 2006 - Inphase Technologies has demonstrated the highest data density of any commercial technology by recording 515GB of data per square inch. Holographic storage takes advantage of volumetric efficiencies rather than only recording on the surface of the material. Inphase will deliver the first holographic drive and media later this year. The first generation drive offers a capacity of 300GB on a single disk with a 20MB/s transfer rate. The first product will be followed by a family ranging from 800GB to 1.6 terabyte (TB) capacity.
Densities in holography are achieved by different factors than magnetic storage. Density depends on the number of pixels/bits in a page of data; the number of pages that are stored in a particular volumetric location; the dynamic range of the recording material; the thickness of the material and the wavelength of the recording laser.
The demonstration used more then 1.3 million bits per data page and 320 data pages spaced 0.067 degrees apart. A collection of data pages is referred to as a book, and the Inphase Polytopic recording architecture enables more holograms to be stored in the same volume of material by overlapping pages and books. Three tracks of overlapping books were written with a track pitch of 700 microns. The Inphase Tapestry material was 1.5mm thick, and the laser wavelength was 407 nanometers.
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