Radio Currents Online - Sep 11 - Sep 17, 2006


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Senate Approves Wireless Emergency Alert System
Washington - Sep 12, 2006 - The Senate adopted a wireless emergency alert system as part of a larger comprehensive port security bill it is debating. The Senate included language from a Commerce Committee approved bill to establish the Warning, Alert and Response Network (WARN). WARN is a national system for the transmission of public safety alerts across a broad variety of communications technologies including wireless technologies. The Senate action today essentially moves the Emergency Alert System out of the era of the broadcast radio and TV and into the wireless era. The intent of the system created by this amendment is to give emergency managers the ability to alert communities of other hazards such as natural disasters and manmade accidents.

The Commerce Committee bill places the proposed National Alert Office within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) instead of in NOAA as proposed earlier. The action is part of House Resolution 4954.

WARN relies on the Common Alerting Protocol that has been promoted by many groups including the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

On June 26, 2006, the White House issued an Executive Order to give the DHS the lead on creation and management of a national Public Alert and Warning System with the assistance of NOAA.


121st AES Convention Announces Broadcast Events Program
San Francisco - Sep 9, 2006 - Events planned for the Audio Engineering Society 121st Convention (Oct. 5 to Oct. 8, 2006, at the Moscone Convention Center), will cover a broad spectrum of emerging and long-standing issues that continue to challenge broadcast professionals.

Here's a rundown of some of the scheduled events.

Innovations In Digital Radio
David Bialik, DKB Broadcast Associates, will moderate a panel of Tony Masiello, XM Satellite Radio; David Layer, NAB; Geir Skaaden, Neural Audio; Tim Carroll, Linear Acoustics; Dave Wilson, Consumer Electronics Association; Jan Andrews, NPR Labs and Mike Lyons, Ibiquity. Issues to be discussed will include multicasting, use of translators, water marking, satellite radio and IBOC innovations.

Surround Sound For Digital Radio
Dave Wilson of CEA will moderate a panel of Steve Lyman, Dolby Labs; Robert Bleidt, Fraunhaufer; Alan Kraemer, SRS; Geir Skaaden, Neural Audio; Frank Foti, Omnia; Mike Lyons, Ibiquity and Alex Kosiorek, Corbett Studio/Cincinnati Public Radio. The panel will address all surround systems currently being considered for broadcast application.

Loudness Workshop
Moderated by Emil Torrick, former head of CBS Labs, the panel includes: Thomas Lund, TC Electronics; Jeff Reidmiller, Dolby Labs; Frank Foti, Omnia; Gilbert Soulodre, CRC and Bob Orban, CRL Orban. The discussion will address concerns about optimum sound quality in the age of multi-channel sound and digital broadcasting.

Audio for HDTV - the Lip Sync Issue
Brad Dick, editor of Broadcast Engineering magazine will moderate a panel featuring Kent Terry, Dolby Labs; Stanley Chayka, Sigma Electronics; Junichi Yoshio, Pioneer; and J. Patrick Waddell, Harmonic.

Broadcasting in The IP Age
David Layer, NAB, will chair a panel that includes: Tony Masiello, XM Satellite Radio; Eric Manchester, America Online; Andy Butler, PBS; Dan Braverman, Radio Systems; Michael Dosch, Axia; Gregory Massey, APT; and Fridolin Mueller, D.A.V.I.D. Systems. With audiences receiving programming via the Internet, and computers having assumed many functions previously handled by flesh-and-blood broadcasters, the future has arrived. Issues to be considered include streaming, automated playback, control and delivery.

Audio Transport for Broadcast Over Distance: How to Get The Audio From Here To There - Phone, Internet, Satellite
Skip Pizzi, Microsoft, will moderate a panel including Russ Hamm, Rainbow Broadband; Herb Squire, DSI; Art Constantine, APT; Rolf Taylor, Telos; Bob Band, Harris; and Chris Crump, Comrex, who will discuss this timely issue.

Considerations For Facility Design
Mix magazine Senior Editor Sarah Jones will moderate a panel of architects, designers and acousticians in a discussion ranging from upgrades to surround sound; HDTV and digital integration; to integration into the IP age, loudness, transporting audio over distances and other issues related to radio, TV, recording, production and post production studio design. Panelists include Tony Masiello, XM Satellite Radio; John Storyk, Walters-Storyk Design Group; Bice C. Wilson, Meridian Design; David Prentice, VCA; Mike Dosch, Axia; and Dan Braverman, Radio Systems.

Introducing 5.1 Surround On American Commercial Radio
Skip Pizzi, Microsoft, and Steve Fluker, Cox Radio Orlando, will co-chair a tutorial on what is required for U.S. radio broadcasters to add 5.1 surround capabilities to their programming format. Co-chairmen of the NRSC Surround Committee, Pizzi and Fluker will address all current surround options in this AES event.

The Association of Public Radio Engineers
Moderator Ralph Hogan, Northwest Public Radio, will lead the organizational meeting that will include a report on public broadcasting engineering initiatives and provide a platform for the solicitation of input for priorities. This event is open to all attendees.

A complete schedule events is available on the AES website.


FCC to Hold Public Hearing On Media Ownership
Washington - Sep 8, 2006 - The FCC will hold the first public hearing on media ownership issues in Los Angeles on Oct. 3, 2006. Chairman Kevin Martin said, "Public input is integral to this process. The Commission will hold public hearings in diverse locations around the country to fully involve the American people in its review of our media ownership rules."

"I look forward to hearing from the American people on a variety of subjects at these hearings such as the impact of the Commission's rules on localism, minority ownership, and various types of programming like independent and religious programming and children's and family-friendly programming," Martin added.

Further details on the public hearing will be released at a later date.


Business

Nautel Completes Global Capacity Expansion
Hackett's Cove, NS - Sep 11, 2006 - Nautel has completed a major expansion of its operations, increasing overall manufacturing capacity by nearly 40 percent. This expansion has been driven by digital broadcasting technology projects for HD Radio and DRM transmission systems worldwide.

The company first focused on increasing its manufacturing capacity and enhancing its customer support operations. Nautel will now add to its sales staff for domestic and international sales.

Nautel has a manufacturing operation in the United States and in Canada. Nautel recently hired Edward Lannotti as general manager of its operation in Bangor, ME.


KFXR to Broadcast from the Radio Show
Moby in the Morning and other KFXR Cowboy 1190 AM programs will broadcast live all day Wednesday and Thursday at the NAB Radio Show. The station will use a Broadcast Electronics Audiovault for audio storage and playback.

The remote setup is rounded out with a Telos Zephyr Exstream, two Shure mixers and an assortment of mics.

The station will operate from a temporary studio just outside the entrance to the exhibit hall. KFXR AM is owned by First Broadcasting, which operates approximately a dozen stations across the U.S.


BIA Financial Network Acquires Digital Information Network
Chantilly, VA - Sep 14, 2006 - BIA Financial Network has acquired Oklahoma City-based Digital Information Network (DIN), a provider of weather and alerting desktop applications. DIN will operate under the newly created BIA Information Network that will focus on delivering Active Access, a private-label desktop application for instantly delivering news, weather, alerts, promotions and other content directly to the computer desktop. Active Access places a media company's brand directly in front of its audience, offering a uniquely powerful way to deliver information of value, deepen brand recognition and generate new forms of revenue.

There are currently more than 85 TV and radio stations in the United States, in addition to newspapers, large corporations and government offices using the DIN custom branded desktop application. To date there have been more than four million end-user downloads of this software.

BIA will demonstrate Active Access in booth 516 at the NAB Radio Show.


Broadcasters, Manufacturers Eye RBDS Enhancements
Quincy, IL - Sep 13, 2006 - Broadcast Electronics, Kenwood, Entercom, CBS Radio, Clear Channel and others are participating in what is being called an international plugfest. The goal is to implement a new standard for enriching RBDS text.

The group meeting of RBDS leaders from Europe, Japan and the United States is being held in Bellevue, WA, to conduct compatibility testing of Radio Text Plus (RT+), a standard passed by the RDS Forum in June 2006 for tagging specific radio text elements under a variety of categories. RT+ builds on the internationally established Radio Text standard by adding category codes to existing text streams, creating new and enriched opportunities for displaying song title, artist name, traffic updates, weather read-outs and more.

The RT+ standard has been developed jointly by the mobile phone manufacturer Nokia, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) and the research firm IRT (Institut fuer Rundfunktechnik).

Testing, which began Sept. 11 and concludes with an engineering review at the end of the week, includes the broadcast of artist, title, album name, station name as well as weather, traffic and stock market information. Each data element is independently identified within the RT+ system.

The participants are interested in the test results to advance new products based on the standard. Kenwood is expected to demonstrate a radio based on RT+ at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2007. In addition to Kenwood, Catena and Jump 2 Go are testing RT+ products during the week.

Seattle stations owned by Entercom and CBS Radio are hosting the broadcasts and using Broadcast Electronics' RBDS generators to generate RT+. The RBDS signals are being picked up by various prototype receivers supplied by some of the participants. The Entercom and CBS stations are also using the Radio Experience by BE to provide the text presentation for the RBDS and HD Radio streams. Clear Channel is also supplying an RT+ enabled signal through a local station.


Liquid Compass Launches New Managed Services Division
Denver - Sep 12, 2006 - Liquid Compass has launched a new Managed Services Division to manage all aspects of its customers' media websites and in-stream ad scheduling.

Typically, when a new client signs up for streaming media services, the Liquid Compass staff spends a significant amount of time with each station training its employees how to update website content and to use the new ad replacement software to traffic all station promos, paid advertising and PSAs. And, although the ad replacement software (developed by Spacial Audio and licensed exclusively to Liquid Compass for terrestrial radio stations in the United States) is relatively simple to use, the idea of learning and managing a new automation system can be daunting. The new department will manage the entire process to allow stations to focus on running the station.

Separately, the Liquid Compass roster of terrestrial stations has exceeded the 500 mark with the signing of Entercom Communications.


Peavey, Crest Audio License Ethersound
Meridian, MS - Sep 10, 2006 - Peavey Electronics has licensed Ethersound networking technology for use in Peavey, Media Matrix, Architectural Acoustics and Crest Audio professional audio and communications products.


Yamaha Licenses Ethersound
Hamamatsu Shizuoka, Japan - Sep 10, 2006 - Yamaha has licensed the Ethersound networking technology to use in its products. Yamaha and Ethersound have been working together through Ethersound implementor Auvitran, a company that distributes Ethersound cards for Yamaha consoles and digital signal processors. Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems has distributed Auvitran-branded Ethersound interfaces in the United States.

Ethersound is developed, patented and licensed by Digigram. ES-100 provides bi-directional transmission of 64 channels of 24-bit PCM digital audio at 48kHz (or 32 channels at 96kHz), plus bi-directional control/monitoring data on dedicated 100Mb/s Ethernet networks. On dedicated Gigabit Ethernet networks, ES-Giga System Transport technology provides bi-directional transmission of 256 channels of 24-bit PCM digital audio at 48kHz, plus a 100Mb/s data path.


Sales Call
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Deutsche Welle has chosen Dalet Open Media to digitize its newsroom operations for  TV, radio and Internet delivery.

People

NAB Taps Senate Commerce Staffer As Newest Hire
Washington - Sep 11, 2006 - Jamie Gillespie, a Democratic staff member of the Senate Commerce Committee, will join the National Association of Broadcasters as the director of government relations. Gillespie's hiring is one in a series of staff additions to the NAB Government Relations department. He will report to NAB Executive Vice President Douglas Wiley.

Since 2003, Gillespie has worked as a staff assistant on communications issues to Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) and the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees broadcast issues. He got his start in Washington as a staff assistant for then Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC).

Gillespie received his undergraduate degree from the University of South Carolina and is currently pursuing a master's degree in public policy at George Washington University.


Sennheiser Promotes Radin to Product Manager
Old Lyme, CT - Sep 15, 2006 - Sennheiser Electronic has promoted Dan Radin to the position of product manager, Neumann, Klein + Hummel and distributed brands. Radin began his relationship with the company at Winter NAMM in 2005 when he was hired to join the company's marketing communications department.

Radin has been promoted several times and now has primary marketing responsibility for Neumann, True Systems, Klein + Hummel studio products and HHB. Prior to joining Sennheiser, he received a bachelor of music degree from the Berklee College of Music in music business/management.


Enco Appoints Sharp as Western Region Director
Southfield, MI - Sep 1, 2006 - Enco Systems has appointed Brady Sharp as sales director for the Western United States. Sharp comes to Enco from Sadie. Sharp held positions as technical product specialist and technical marketing specialist for eight years.


Products

Dalet Releases Dalet Plus Enterprise Edition
New York - Sep 8, 2006 - Dalet Digital Media Systems has released Dalet Plus Enterprise Edition, the workflow engine for open broadcast systems. Based on the Dalet Plus media asset management architecture, Dalet Plus Enterprise Edition combines a workflow engine with a suite of production tools and an application programming interface (API).

Dalet Plus Enterprise Edition was designed to interface digital media systems with existing corporate tools such as enterprise resource planning and traffic systems or content distribution networks.


Arbitron Field Tests PPM for Unencoded Stations
New York - Sep 11, 2006 - Arbitron is field testing an audio matching capability to add to the Portable People Meter (PPM) electronic ratings system that would allow the PPM to track audiences to radio stations that choose not to encode their signals. The dual-function meter is capable of identifying a radio station using two methods of detection using existing Portable People Meter hardware.

First, a dual-function PPM can detect inaudible codes in the audio of stations that are equipped with the Arbitron PPM encoder. In addition, a dual-function PPM can also collect audio signatures for any radio station, which are later matched to signatures collected by an in-market monitoring system.

Arbitron’s current test is designed to calibrate radio listening estimates produced by audio matching to the estimates produced by the PPM encoding system for the same set of stations. Arbitron downloaded updated versions of audio-matching software into the current generation PPMs that are in the hands of the 50 former PPM panelists who are participating in the dual-function field test. The download was delivered through household phone lines.

At the end of the day, a listener's meter is placed in a docking station that extracts the codes and signatures and sends them to a central computer. The PPM is equipped with a motion sensor to confirm the compliance of the PPM survey participants every day.


Steinberg Releases ASIO 2.2 Standard
Hamburg, Germany - Sep 15, 2006 - Steinberg Media Technologies has released a new, 64-bit-capable version of its Audio Stream Input/Output (ASIO) technology. The ASIO 2.2 SDK provides the tools to create ASIO-ready host applications and drivers for 64-bit versions for Microsoft Windows.

The Audio Stream Input/Output (ASIO) architecture forms the backbone of VST. The software development kit is available on the Steinberg website at www.steinberg.net.




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