Radio Currents Online - Apr 18 - Apr 24, 2005


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Radio technology news updated as it happens.


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News

NRSC Approves Digital Radio Standard
Las Vegas - Apr 16, 2005 - In a meeting held during the NAB2005 Convention, the National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC) approved an in-band on-channel (IBOC) digital radio broadcasting standard for the United States. NRSC-5 will allow the radio industry to accelerate its transition to digital broadcasting.

The technology specified by the NRSC-5 standard was developed by Ibiquity and has undergone extensive testing and evaluation under the guidance of the NRSC. The FCC has given broadcasters interim authority to implement Ibiquity's HD Radio system, which is a specific implementation of NRSC 5. The FCC is expected to use this NRSC standard as it crafts final rules for digital radio broadcasting for the AM and FM broadcast bands.

"AM broadcasters and their listeners will be amazed by the quality improvement. AM broadcasts minus the noise and static that typically plague the band is an astounding technological breakthrough for listeners," said Milford Smith, NRSC DAB subcommittee co-chairman.


Approximate NAB2005 Attendance Numbers Released
Las Vegas - Apr 19, 2005 - Attendance at the NAB2005 convention held in Las Vegas from April 18 to 21 was 104,427 this year according to the NAB. The NAB counted 23,401 for International attendance. Final attendance numbers will be released following the convention. For comparison, NAB2004 had 97,544 attendees, with 22,320 International attendance.


Business

BE Begins "Learn and Earn" Training
Quinicy, IL - Apr 18, 2005 - Broadcast Electronics will begin a series of engineering sessions specifically for consulting engineers starting June 1 at the Wyndham City Center hotel in Washington DC. The "Learn and Earn with BE" educational series will offer an in-depth look at two topics foremost on the consulting engineer's mind: HD Radio AM and FM system evaluation and getting on the synchronous FM bandwagon.

The two initial sessions will take place consecutively on the morning of June 1 and are being offered at no charge. However, pre-registration is required. For more information contact consultants@bdcast.com.

Consulting engineers who participate in these sessions will receive a certificate of participation from BE and will be listed on the BE website as resources for stations and groups seeking these services.


Harris, Audemat-Aztec Deliver RDS Encoders to Clear Channel
Las Vegas - Apr 17, 2005 - Clear Channel Radio has purchased 100 Audemat-Aztec FMB80 dynamic Radio Data System encoders to bring program stream and local information to the car radio receiver. The installation marks the second phase of Clear Channel's RDS rollout. Clear Channel is in the process of installing the encoders to enable the scrolling of station call letters, artist and song title information, traffic information and other local-interest messages to RDS-ready standard definition car receivers.

Harris is an authorized reseller of Audemat-Aztec RDS/RBDS encoders, test and measurement systems and remote control equipment.


Clear Channel Chooses Audemat-Aztec for HD Radio Units
Miami, FL - Feb 15, 2005 - Clear Channel has placed an order for 49 Goldeneagle HD FM modulation monitors and 14 Goldeneagle HD AM modulation monitors, which were specifically designed and customized to meet the needs of Clear Channel.

"Of significant value was the ability to customize the units, adding a spectrum analyzer display at very low incremental cost, frequency agility and the ability to monitor multiple audio streams," said Steve Davis, senior vice president, engineering and capital management for Clear Channel Radio.


Dolby Pro Logic II Approved for HD Radio
San Francisco - Apr 19, 2005 - The Dolby Pro Logic II has been approved as an audio format for the Ibiquity HD Radio system. This approval enables content encoded in Dolby Pro Logic II to be delivered over Ibiquity's HD Radio system, providing surround sound listening for consumers with Dolby Pro Logic II decoders, such as those in many car audio systems and A/V receivers.

HD Radio allows digital radio signals to be transmitted simultaneously with analog signals over existing AM/FM radio frequencies. Content encoded in Dolby Pro Logic II is stored, edited and broadcast as traditional two-channel signals, and is then decoded into five-channel surround sound by the listener's Dolby Pro Logic II receiver.

Broadcast Electronics demonstrated Dolby Pro Logic II's application on a full, end-to-end HD Radio broadcast chain from Broadcast Electronics' Audiovault radio automation system to its FXI 60 HD Radio plus FM exciter. The demonstration will feature a Dolby DP563 Dolby Surround and Pro Logic II encoder and a Dolby DP564 multichannel audio decoder.


Lead Provider of Internet Streaming for XM Selected
New York - Apr 18, 2005 - Akamai has been selected to be the lead provider of Internet streaming services for XM Radio Online, available at listen.xmradio.com.

XM Radio Online offers more than 70 channels of commercial-free music and talk, comedy and children's programming that can be accessed through a personal computer. This month, XM began offering XM Radio Online to all XM subscribers as part of its basic subscription plan.


DG Systems Acquires Media DVX
Dallas - Apr 15, 2005 - DG Systems has acquired the assets of Media DVX, a subsidiary of the Lenfest Media Group, for $10 million. This combination expands the advertising industry's largest spot distribution platform.

"Together, DG Systems and Media DVX will leverage our individual resources while maintaining separate sales and management identities for both organizations and their defined marketplaces," said Scott K. Ginsburg, Chairman of DG Systems. "With a customer-centric approach to expanding our business, we plan to offer our clients both the Media DVX and DG Systems networks, thereby providing even further redundancy and service options."


People

Prism Appoints U.S. Technical Support Specialist
Rockaway, NJ - Apr 18, 2005 - Prism Media Products has expanded its U.S. operations with the addition of Frank Oglethorpe as the U.S. recording sales and technical specialist. Formerly technical director of UK rental house FX Rentals, Oglethorpe designed and built the Pro-Tools-based multi-track recording capability for the music scores of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

Ogelthorpe will be working out of a satellite office in Ohio and can be reached at 513-532-3540 or via e-mail at frank@prismmpi.com.


D&M Appoints Manufacturer's Rep for Latin America
Las Vegas - Apr 18, 2005 - D&M Professional, parent company of Marantz and Denon, has appointed Global Sales Management as its manufacturer's representative for the Latin American market. Headed by Ralph Quintero, Global Sales Management will represent D&M Professional throughout the Latin America region including Mexico, South America and Central America.


Eventide Promotes Jason Beck
Las Vegas - Apr 18, 2005 - Jason Beck has been promoted to the position of chief operating officer at Eventide. Beck joined Eventide in 1999 as an engineer. After leading several important projects, Beck was promoted to general manager of the audio software group.


McConnell Rejoins the Harris Team
Las Vegas - Apr 17, 2005 - Brian McConnell has returned to the Harris Broadcast Systems business unit. McConnell, who worked for Harris from 1999 to 2002 rejoins the company as district sales manager, western region. In his new position, McConnell will be responsible for RF transmission and radio systems sales to radio broadcasters in California, Nevada and Hawaii. Based in Henderson, NV, McConnell will report to Roland Eid, director, North American sales.

McConnell returns to Harris after three years as western regional sales manager at Sierra Automated Systems of Burbank, CA, where he led the sales efforts for domestic customers west of the Mississippi River.


Stull Promoted to VP of Ibiquity
Columbia, MD - Apr 14, 2005 - Scott Stull has been promoted to vice president of broadcast business development at Ibiquity Digital. Stull will continue to be responsible for driving the licensing and conversion of HD Radio station and commercialization of broadcast equipment.

Prior to joining Ibiquity, Stull was director of development at Educaide Software, a San Francisco area developer of database systems. He studied mathematics and education at Pennsylvania State University and earned his BS in engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Products

Several HD Radio Products Debut at NAB2005
Las Vegas - Apr 19, 2005 - ADA, Polk, Radiosophy, Rotel, Sanyo and Yamaha all introduced new HD Radio receivers at NAB2005 in response to growing number of HD Radio stations on the air. Polk Audio and Radiosophy debuted HD Radio tabletop receivers and Sanyo introduced an in-dash receivers. Yamaha, ADA and Rotel exhibited home receivers.

Panasonic debuted the industry's first car audio receiver with integrated HD Radio tuner in the spring of 2004 and recently introduced its second-generation mobile CD receiver with integrated HD Radio, model CQ-CB8901U.


Polk Audio Announces I-Sonic
Las Vegas - Apr 19, 2005 - The I-sonic entertainment system from Polk Audio is a compact stereo audio system that includes an AM/FM and digital HD Radio tuner, a DVD/CD player and XM Satellite Radio capability. The I-Sonic can be used in homes, offices and small businesses to deliver 360-degree stereo sound. The system will be available in September 2005 for $599.


Omnia/Crown DP3 Cards Ship
Cleveland - March 21, 2005 - Omnia Audio's on-board audio processor, which is designed to integrate with Crown Broadcast's FM transmitters, is now shipping to Crown Broadcast for worldwide distribution. The cards will be immediately available as an upgrade component for all Crown transmitters currently in the field.

The DP3 audio processor plugs directly into the chassis of all Crown Broadcast FM-series radio transmitters. The DP3 has discrete left/right analog outputs emphasizing system distortion of less than 0.017 percent THD and a frequency response of 0.2dB and 20Hz to 20kHz.


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