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Radio Currents Online - Jul 19 - Jul 25, 2004
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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Senate Committee Passes LPFM Bill
Washington - Jul 22, 2004 - Introduced earlier this month, a bill introduced by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to remove the third-adjacent channel restrictions for LPFM stations, has been approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) introduced an amendment to the bill to complete the tests that were mandated by Congress but not conducted during the Mitre study on potential LPFM interference. This amendment was defeated. The additional testing would have required the Commission to conduct independent audience testing and an economic impact study. The amendment also called for an $800,000 funding allocation.
However, the committee adopted an amendment by Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) for an exemption in the bill to provide additional interference protection for New Jersey, which has the highest population density in the country and according to Lautenberg is most susceptible to radio interference problems.
The bill now moves to the full Senate for action.
The bill is called S.2505. Read it by following this link.
Clear Channel Accelerates Rollout Of IBOC
San Antonio - Jul 22, 2004 - Clear Channel has launched an advanced technology initiative to "identify, develop and deploy technologies and products that improve the quality of radio for listeners, advertisers and the industry," according to a company press release. In its first moves, the company has named Kevin Lockhart to the newly created position of senior vice president of technology development and announced it will accelerate the rollout of digital radio. Lockhart is the president of Prophet Systems Innovations, an automation manufacturer owned by Clear Channel.
Clear Channel will immediately begin an aggressive rollout of digital broadcasting equipment to 1,000 of the company's stations, working with Ibiquity Digital's HD Radio technology. Specifically, the company plans to install 95 percent of its top 100 markets within three years.
IEEE Starts BPL Standard
Piscataway, NJ - Jul 20, 2004 - The ability to send high-speed digital data over the power lines between substations and homes and offices is attracting increasing attention because it can make every wall outlet a portal to the Internet. In seeking to help realize this potential, the IEEE has begun to develop IEEE P1675, the Standard for Broadband over Power Line Hardware.
When finished, IEEE P1675 will give electric utilities a comprehensive standard for installing the required hardware on distribution lines, both underground and overhead, which provide the infrastructure for broadband-over-power-line (BPL) systems. It also will include installation requirements for the protection of those who work on BPL equipment and to ensure such systems do not place the public at risk. The standard is targeted for completion in mid 2006.
Adding broadband capability to a local power distribution system requires a computer-router combination and a coupler that take the signal from an optical fiber cable as it enters a substation and imposes it on the electric current. The signal travels over the medium-voltage lines, with repeaters placed every 0.5 to 1 mile to keep the signal viable. A repeater/router near a residence or business extracts the signal off the medium voltage just before the transformer and injects it onto the low-voltage wiring on the other side of the transformer. The signal is now on all of the low-voltage wiring within the structure and can be accessed at any outlet by plugging in a modem.
Participants to help develop this standard are invited to join the IEEE 1675 Working Group. More information on this standard and its working group are at grouper.ieee.org/groups/bop. IEEE 1675 is sponsored by the IEEE Power Engineering Society, Power System Communications Committee.
AMBER Alerts Now Online
Phoenix, AZ - Jul 19, 2004 - Effective today, AMBER Alerts are now distributed via the Web, making the message available to pagers, cell phones and wireless communications PDAs. The Web portal was built by E2C of Scottsdale, AZ.
AMBER Alert managers in 13 states will have access to the new portal beginning at 5 p.m. ET. It is expected that Web portal use will expand to the 49 states that have statewide AMBER Alert systems. Hawaii has no statewide system but instead has several local alert networks.
The portal is available in Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington.
The main driver behind the portal is the AMBER Alert Web Portal Consortium, a public/private partnership of states, law enforcement, the broadcast media and private corporations. Private corporations support the portal through sponsorships that cover recurring operational costs, thus making the system available to states, law enforcement, broadcast media and the public at no cost.
NAB Announces 2004 Marconi Award Final Nominees
Washington - Jul 19, 2004 - The finalists for the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Radio Awards competition have been selected. Established in 1989 and named after inventor and Nobel Prize winner Guglielmo Marconi, the NAB Marconi Radio Awards are given to radio stations and outstanding on-air personalities to recognize excellence in radio. An independent task force selected finalists in 22 categories. Ballots will be sent to members of the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Selection Academy in August.
The nominees are:
|Legendary Station of the
KFOG-FM San Francisco, CA
KPRS-FM Kansas City, MO
KSL-AM Salt Lake City, UT
KSTP-AM Minneapolis, MN
WOR-AM New York, NY
Network/Syndicated Personality of the Year
Major Market Station of the Year
Large Market Station of the Year
Medium Market Station of the Year
Small Market Station of the Year
Major Market Personality of the Year
Large Market Personality of the Year
Medium Market Personality of the Year
Small Market Personality of the Year
AC Station of the Year
Adult Standards Station of the Year
CHR Station of the Year
Classical Station of the Year
Country Station of the Year
NAC/Jazz Station of the Year
News/Talk/Sports Station of the Year
Oldies Station of the Year
Religious Station of the Year
Rock Station of the Year
Spanish Station of the Year
Urban Station of the Year
The winners in each category will be announced on Oct. 7 at the NAB Marconi Radio Awards Dinner and Show at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in San Diego. The annual dinner and show will be the highlight of The NAB Radio Show.
NAB Testifies Before Senate on DMCA
Washington - Jul 15, 2004 - On behalf of the NAB, Dan Halyburton, senior vice president and general manager group operations of Susquehanna Radio, testified before the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property. His testimony covered the restrictions imposed by the current streaming laws and how they prevent streaming from becoming a viable business opportunity.
In his testimony, Halyburton stated, "When Congress enacted section 405 of the DMCA, it clearly sought to foster Internet streaming … while preserving the longstanding mutually beneficial relationship between the radio and recording industries. Unfortunately, the potentials of this technology have not been realized."
He noted that in April 2000 there were more than 1,700 U.S. radio stations streaming programming via the Internet, but by the end of 2002, more than 1,000 radio stations had discontinued streaming due in large part to copyright issues. He noted that Susquehanna is still trying to make a go at Internet streaming despite the DMCA, which has made it "impossible to create a viable business model for simulcast streaming. In fact, it is a recipe for losing money, which is what our stations have done."
Halyburton cited several problem areas:
Halyburton then suggested five steps that could be taken to fix the law.
Halyburton concluded his testimony by saying, "Unfortunately, even if the CARP process is fixed, the law will continue to stifle the growth of radio streaming."
RCS Invests in Florical
White Plains, NY, and Gainesville, FL - Jul 23, 2004 - Radio Computing Services (RCS) has made a major investment in Florical Systems (FSI). Philippe Generali, president of RCS, said, "RCS had been searching for the perfect company to help broaden RCS software capabilities for years."
Logitek Ships 600th Audio Engine
Houston, TX - Jul 23, 2004 - Logitek Electronic Systems has shipped its 600th production unit of the digital audio router Audio Engine. The Audio Engine provides all audio routing, mixing and management functions for the company’s line of digital audio consoles. Logitek also marked the shipment of more than 900 console control surfaces to accompany the Audio Engine units.
The Logitek Audio Engine is an expandable, networkable router with analog or digital inputs and outputs. It provides up to 24 mix-minus busses per control surface, EQ and dynamics processing, simple assignment and selection of audio sources, and full scripting capability enabling execution of complex commands on a single button press or contact closure.
Earlier in 2004, Logitek announced the ability to use two Audio Engine units as an Optical STL for bi-directional feeds of as many as 64 channels over a distance of up to six miles. A number of controllers are available for the Audio Engine, including the Numix and Remora consoles, the Vmix virtual console and various router control heads for X-Y selection of sources.
Electronic Signage Networks Adds Public Warnings
Ancaster, ON - Jul 22, 2004 - AMBER alerts and public safety/direction bulletins can now be displayed for immediate-response situations on electronic displays through a new feature that further enhances electronic signage networks (ESN).
The Display Management component to the Dynamic Image Provisioning Application (DIPA) provided by Automated Digital Signage Networks (ADSN) offers nationwide message override capabilities. Features include broad multimedia support, playback log reporting mechanism, internal interactive kiosk capabilities, controlled override emergency response and direct video support for streaming immediate street level communications.
The ADSN software can also incorporate visual recognition and other identification capabilities. The secure network operates under an Emergency Message System utility that can be operated by first responder, Signal Corp. or communications control, which are in keeping with 9/11 Commission recommendations as well.
BBM Canada Adopts Arbitron PPM
New York - Jul 21, 2004 - BBM Canada, the Canadian industry consortium for audience ratings, has adopted the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) as the official ratings system for buying and selling commercial airtime on French-language television in Quebec and Montreal.
The PPM-based television ratings service, which has been operating in parallel with the current ratings system in Canada’s second largest province since September 2003, will replace push-button people meters beginning in September 2004. BBM will completely phase out push-button people meters in the Quebec market by the end of the year.
The BBM’s decision to use the PPM data as the official television ratings came after a year of testing and discussions with all affected industry groups. The BBM was also among the first to conduct extensive analysis of audience data collected from parallel TV meter panels: one panel equipped with the passive PPM technology and the other equipped with push-button, set-top people meters. In addition to extensive data analysis, the BBM Board also formed a committee of its Quebec members who addressed the business issues of changing to PPM.
Earlier this year, the BBM Board of Directors voted unanimously to endorse the PPM as the technology of choice for electronic measurement. The Board has also noted that that there has been a demonstrated interest in adopting electronic measurement for radio in the future.
BBM is also examining the PPM as a potential radio audience measurement system in the province of Quebec. BBM has encoded all 28 local Montreal radio stations and is forming a local committee to look at the current methodology and the data provided by PPM. This committee will examine how to best utilize PPM technology in radio and draft recommendations on future uses of PPM by the BBM for radio audience measurement.
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DPA Microphones Capture World Piano Competition
Cincinnati - Jul 21, 2004 - This summer, a series of stellar performances at The World Piano Competition were accompanied by a 47-piece orchestra and recorded live using a pair of DPA 4003 microphones.
The World Piano Competition hosts 150 contestants chosen from more than 500 applicants, representing over 14 countries for the junior division. The accompanying adult competition drew the finest piano players from around the world to compete for a grand prize of $45,000 and a performance at the Lincoln Center in New York City. The youth competition was for a prize of $1,500 and a performance at Carnegie Hall.
RAB, Arbitron Seek Proposals for PPM Economic Effect Study
New York - Jul 19, 2004 - Arbitron and the Radio Advertising Bureau have issued a request for proposal for a comprehensive study of the economic effect of the Portable People Meter on the radio industry. The study will explore how the PPM system might affect the business of radio including share of ad revenue and how radio sells, programs and promotes the medium. David Pearlman, president, Pearlman Advisors and former senior vice president, Infinity Broadcasting, has been retained by the RAB PPM Task Force and Arbitron as the initial point of contact for consultants and companies who wish to submit a proposal.
The RAB has acknowledged that the timeliness and quality of a ratings system are major factors that affect the flow of dollars into a medium, but making a dramatic change to a new methodology can have a profound impact on how a medium is valued. The effort seeks to determine if the radio industry understands the positives and negatives of electronic measurement.
Arbitron will fund the study and will participate on the RAB PPM Task Force, which will select the winning bid. Proposals must be delivered by Aug. 20, 2004. The project will be awarded by Sept. 30, and the study should be completed by the beginning of 2005.
A complete copy of the RFP is available on the Arbitron and RAB websites at www.arbitron.com/downloads/PPM_Economic_Impact_RFP.pdf and www.rab.com/PPM_Economic_Impact_RFP.pdf.
Contact the project leader, David Pearlman, at David@PearlmanAdvisors.com. After a vendor is selected, Pearlman will remain active as an independent liaison between the vendor and the radio industry.
A sub-committee of RAB PPM Task Force members and Arbitron staff will be available for consultants to ask questions, obtain background, etc. during the preparation of proposals. The Arbitron Radio Advisory Council will also be consulted during the study process.
Clear Channel Cuts Commercials to Gain Ad Dollars
New York - Jul 18, 2004 - Reuters reports that Clear Channel Radio will significantly reduce commercial time sold on its stations to stem pricing weakness and convince marketers of the value of radio advertising.
Clear Channel states that move is to make radio more competitive and eliminate the discounted rate status of radio compared to other media. Clear Channel will reduce its promotional time on Oct. 1. Limits on commercial time will take effect by Jan. 1.
Clear Channel also stated that this move looks to the long-term outlook of radio.
The exact amount of promo and commercial reduction will vary by station format.
In Memory: John D. Kraus
Delaware, OH - Jul 21, 2004 - The ARRL Journal QST reports that radio astronomer, antenna designer, cosmic explorer and author John D. Kraus,W8JK, of Delaware, OH, died July 18. He was 94. The following is QST excerpt.
Kraus is perhaps best known within the amateur radio community for his bi-directional wire beam antenna design, often dubbed the '8JK array. The antenna has remained popular among radio amateurs for decades. Other important Kraus antenna designs include the corner reflector and the helix antenna, often used in amateur satellite antennas as well as in commercial communications applications. The Michigan native was a pioneer of radiotelescope design and the father of the Big Ear telescope, which ceased operation in 1997 after almost 40 years of service.
Kraus obtained his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Michigan in the 1930s, and, while working in the school's physics department, helped construct and performed research on the university's cyclotron.
Before and during World War II, Kraus worked for the Naval Ordnance Laboratory (now a part of the Naval Surface Weapons Center) on a project to protect ships from magnetic mines. He's also credited with developing an early walkie-talkie that used UHF frequencies. At Harvard University's Radio Research Laboratory he worked on radar countermeasures, and following the war he helped write a book on the lab's achievements.
In 1946, he joined the faculty of the Ohio State University. He served as a professor of electrical engineering and astronomy at OSU, where he founded and directed the OSU Radio Observatory (OSURO), designing and overseeing construction of the Big Ear radiotelescope on the land owned by Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, OH.
Kraus's classic textbook, Antennas, now in its third edition, has been an engineering school staple for about four decades and can be found in virtually every antenna engineer's library. Among his other titles are Electromagnetics, Radio Astronomy, Big Ear, Big Ear Two and Our Cosmic Universe.
Kraus received many honors over his long career. He became a fellow of the IEEE in 1954 and a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1972. During the 1950s, he served on President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Science Advisory Committee and on the committee that established the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Other honors include the OSU Joseph Sullivant Medal -- one of the university's highest awards -- the Outstanding Achievement Award of the University of Michigan, the Centennial Medal and the IEEE Edison Medal.
Transaudio Recording Takes Daking Direct
Las Vegas - Jul 22, 2004 - Transaudio Recording, a division of the Transaudio Group, is now the direct sales outlet for all Daking rack-mounted equipment. Daking products can be ordered online via www.transaudioelite.com or by calling Transaudio Recording at 702-365-5155. Geoffrey Daking and Co. has been manufactured mic preamps, EQs and compressors since 1994.
The direct-sale Daking line consists of the Daking Mic/Pre-EQ, the Daking FET Compressor and the new Daking Mic/Pre4.
Moseley Completes Interoperability Test with Burk
Santa Barbara, CA, and Littleton, MA - Jul 20, 2004 - Moseley has completed compatibility testing using its Lanlink 900 LAN extender/data link and the Burk Technology ARC-16 and GSC3000 remote control systems. Lanlink will interconnect a two-unit remote control system or connect a stand-alone system to a remote computer over its bi-directional serial data path.
Designed to provide a convenient method to implement a data path between studios and transmitter sites, Moseley Lanlink transports bi-directional Ethernet and RS-232 serial data over a license-free 900MHz RF link. Lanlink can be combined into an existing 950MHz antenna system using a built-in duplexer.
A technical note describing the interconnection is available at www.moseleysb.com/mb/pdf/Lanlink_Burk_Interconnect.pdf.
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