Radio Currents Online - Aug 23 - Aug 29, 2004

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Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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SBE Certification Program Hits All-Time High
Indianapolis - Aug 27, 2004 - The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) has conducted a certification program available to members and non-members since 1975. What started as a program that struggled to gain acceptance in the industry now boasts 5,400 current certifications on record. That marks the association’s highpoint in the 29 years since the first certification was granted.

SBE grants technical and operator certifications in 11 levels and broadcasting disciplines. All require recertification every five years to ensure that the individuals who hold them keep up with changes in technology, accepted practices and regulations. Newer certification levels that the society has unveiled over the last 10 years have addressed the changes in technology and station operation, as well as the need to provide a standard for individuals working in master control. These have included the Certified Broadcast Networking Technologist, Certified Radio Operator and Certified Television Operator. Hundreds of engineers and operators now hold certifications in each of these levels.

Chriss Scherer, CSRE CBNT, the SBE's National Certification Committee chairman, expressed optimism with the announcement of the lofty total of certifications. "This achievement shows that the broadcast industry truly values SBE certification. After ongoing, incremental successes with SBE certification, an accomplishment like this is a proud moment for the Certification Committee."

"The SBE provides a number of important services to the broadcast industry. It's safe to say that our voluntary certification program is what we are most widely known for," said SBE president Raymond Benedict, CPBE. Benedict added, "Our Certification Committee and staff have done a wonderful job in keeping the program current with the changes in technology and the local volunteer chapter certification chairmen are the backbone of our delivery system. We look forward to continuing to supply broadcast engineers with a certification program that will help provide the recognition they deserve and assist in their career development."

Radio Engineer Electrocuted in Colorado
Red Feather Lakes, CO - Aug 24, 2004 - The Associated Press reports that a Wyoming broadcast engineer was electrocuted while working at a transmitter site in Colorado. Robin Bradley Thomas of Cheyenne, WY, was killed while working alone at a transmitter site in northern Colorado.

Thomas was found Aug. 24, but an autopsy shows that he probably died on Aug. 23. He apparently came in contact with a high-voltage source.

Thomas was a contract engineer and a partner in Radio Frontier Broadcasting and Blue Moose Broadcasting.

More Debate on Copyrights
Washington - Aug 25, 2004 - A senate committee, seeking input from consumer electronics companies and public-interest groups, heard testimony about changes to a copyright bill that would hold technology companies liable for encouraging people to infringe copyright. The Inducing Infringement of Copyrights Act (SB2560), sponsored by Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), has received the support of music labels and Hollywood studios. The supporters feel that current peer-to-peer software is having detrimental effects on the labels' and studios' businesses because music fans have used the software to share copyrighted files illegally.

Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association, testified in July during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the proposed bill that the legislation would hamper the development of new technologies. Hatch and Leahy affirmed their commitment to passing the legislation, but have sought assistance in rewording the bill.

Recommended new language for the bill was suggested by the Consumer Electronics Association, the American Library Association, Public Knowledge, and several other groups. The new language would impose liability on any person who actively distributes in commerce a computer program that is specifically designed for use by individuals to engage in the indiscriminate, mass infringing distribution to the public of copyrighted works with the intent to reap financial gain by doing so.

ISPs, venture capitalists, credit card companies, banks, advertising agencies, IT help desks and librarians would be exempt from liability. The proposed alternative would also address the 1984 Supreme Court Sony Betamax decision, which found that products capable of substantial non-infringing uses, such as home video recorders, are legal.

The proposed wording was forwarded to Hatch, Leahy and bill co-sponsors, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN).


NAB Touts Station Responses to Charley
Washington - Aug 23, 2004 - With localism being such a key topic at the FCC, NAB Chairman Eddie Fritz wasted no time in touting the good works of Florida broadcast stations during Hurricane Charley.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Michael Powell, Fritz noted that Florida broadcasters "dedicated tremendous resources to keeping citizens aware of Hurricane Charley, and are now playing a lead role in the clean up from this deadly storm."

Fritz said that while the National Hurricane Center was still predicting a Class 2 hurricane would come ashore near Tampa, FL, a number of local television weather forecasters had upgraded the storm’s intensity to Class 4 and warned viewers that the storm had turned sharply to the east.

He cited a thank-you e-mail from a viewer of one station who wrote, "Many thanks to the meteorology team who dared to veer from the National Hurricane Center’s predictions. I am certain that you are responsible for saving many lives. You gave many area residents like ourselves a golden hour, or half-hour in some cases, to prepare for the completely unexpected!"

Fritz said the broadcasters’ coverage of Hurricane Charley serves as a textbook example of the continued public service commitment and relevance of our nation’s broadcasters.

A&M Records' President Ron Fair to Keynote 117th AES
San Francisco - Aug 23, 2004 - Ron Fair, veteran record man, six-time Grammy nominee and president of A&M Records, will present the keynote speech at the 117th AES Convention at noon on Oct. 28 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

An A&R man, producer, arranger, musician and recording engineer, Fair's credits stretch from collaborating with composer/producer Bill Conti on the recording of Gonna Fly Now, the hit theme from Rocky, to discovering five-time Grammy award winner Christina Aguilera and serving as executive producer for her ten-times-platinum album Stripped and worldwide #1 Grammy-winning Beautiful.

As president of A&M Records since 1999, Ron Fair oversees an artist roster that includes: Sting, Sheryl Crow, The Black Eyed Peas and Vanessa Carlton. He is a 25-year member of NARAS, serving as National Trustee and member of the Board of Governors, and where he remains an active committee member.

Court Rules File Sharing Companies Not Liable
San Francisco - Aug 20, 2004 - The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco has ruled that file-sharing companies Grokster and Streamcast Networks are not liable for the swapping of copyright content. The court ruled that the suppliers of the free peer-to-peer software were not liable for the illegal efforts of the service users because the companies do not have central servers that store the data.

The three-judge panel upheld a lower court ruling that dismissed most of the lawsuit brought by movie studios and record labels. The panel stated that the companies provided the software for users to share information over the Internet. Whether or not that information was copyrighted is secondary.

The main point behind the ruling is that the software can be used for legitimate purposes. If a user chooses to use it in an illegal way, that is not the fault of the company.

A case is currently pending against Sharman Networks, the maker of the Kazaa program. This ruling may influence that case.


HME Adds to Sales Force
San Diego, CA - Aug 27, 2004 - HME has appointed seven new sales representatives for the DX200 digital wireless intercom product line. The list of sales reps is as follows:

  • Audio Marketing Associates, Ohio 440-526-2426
  • BC Electronics, Kansas 785-825-1196
  • Brainard-Neilsen Marketing, Illinois 847-734-8400
  • CB Electronics Marketing, Colorado 303-422-0561
  • Dimension/Point IX Marketing, Texas 281-578-9277
  • Eaton Sales & Marketing, New York 800-782-3670
  • Kodo Associates, Minnesota 952-881-1255

    The DX200 digital wireless intercom operates within the 2.4GHz range and offers hands-free communications. The system is immune to interface from systems operating in the UHF or VHF bands.

    Enco Systems Opens West Coast Tech Support Office
    Southfield, MI - Aug 27, 2004 - Enco Systems has opened a technical support office in California. Heading the office will be Dean Tiernan, who is returning to a technical support role after most recently working in radio news. Dean was product manager of Audicy, Orban's digital audio workstation, and worked for Orban in a product management and technical support role for seven years. Tiernan is also an award-winning journalist and has covered everything from presidential campaigns to local fires.

    The California office is an addition to Enco's established presence in Michigan, the United Kingdom and a support facility in Singapore.

    Tiernan will be based in San Luis Obispo, CA. He will join the Enco support team working for the radio, television and fixed sound markets.

    TBK Receives Ibiquity Certification
    Columbia, MD - Aug 24, 2004 – Ibiquity has certified TBK's TDI 2003-A1 decoding module for use in automotive and home IBOC receivers. The TDI 2003-A1 uses Texas Instruments second-generation DRI300 chipset.

    Within the past five months, Ibiquity has certified TBK decoders using the Texas Instruments DRI200, DRI250 and now DRI300 chipsets.

    Navigauge Intros New Audience Measurement System
    Atlanta - Aug 23, 2004 - Navigauge has launched a new broadcast radio audience measurement tool. Navigauge combines in-vehicle radio audience measurement and global positioning to assemble listening information.

    The service is available in the Atlanta market right now. Additional markets will be added through 2006. Participants are chosen through a random digital-dial method.

    Broadcaster don't need to do anything to their technical facilities to participate in the study. Survey participants will have a device installed in their cars, but once installed, participation is passive. The monitoring device handles the rest automatically.

    Radio magazine is investigating this technology for an upcoming article.

    Additional info:

    Sales Call
  • Media Monitors will provide its same-day radio airplay spot data services to Greater Media stations. The Media Monitors Aircheck service provides online reports for analyzing commercials and songs played on the stations.
  • Clear Channel Radio has purchased a large quantity of Middle Atlantic Products' MRK-4431 and MRK-4436 model racks as it installs new digital audio systems in its network of radio stations. The MRK series is useful for radio broadcast automation systems that contain broadcast and IT equipment that need to be mounted together.
  • People

    Internet Watch

    Lynx Studio Technology Adds Website Features
    Costa Mesa, CA - Aug 24, 2004 - A new Lynx User Support Forum hosted by the company and an online FAQ site are available through the Lynx website at
    The Lynx User Support Forum provides company press releases and general industry news. Visitors can also read questions and answers for several market segments such as audio for video, broadcast, home theater, mastering, music production and post production, as well as a wish-list area. Forum topics will expand as the members determine. Anyone may read the posts on the forum, but only registered users may make a post. The new forum replaces the Lynx One Yahoo group, formed nearly five years ago.

    Also new to the Lynx website is an interactive frequently asked questions section. Organized by product, the FAQs cover installation, troubleshooting, operation and compatibility issues. Specific application notes have been added for the applications used with Lynx products, such as Nuendo, Cubase, Cakewalk and Premiere.


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