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Radio Currents Online - Oct 25 - Oct 31, 2004
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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NAB Votes to Continue Radio Show Past 2005
Washington – Oct 26, 2004 – At its NAB Board of Directors meeting, the Radio Board unanimously agreed to continue operating a separate annual Radio Show after the 2005 event in Philadelphia. The group also agreed to continue exploring partnership opportunities with other entities.
Board members Jeff Smulyan and Mary Quass agreed to serve as co-chairs of a committee to be formed to discuss ongoing initiatives related to the future of the Radio Show.
FCC Releases BPL Report and Order
Washington - Oct 28, 2004 - The FCC has adopted new rules for access broadband over power line (Access BPL) systems, a new type of carrier current technology that provides access to high-speed broadband services using electric utility companies' power lines. The FCC noted that BPL operators and equipment manufacturers will ensure that licensed radio services are protected from harmful interference.
In preparing for the Report and Order, the FCC stated that it received more than 1,000 comments and replies in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking. The order modifies Section 15.3 of the FCC rules to define Access BPL and In-House BPL.
The complete order is available online at
ET Docket No. 04-37, ET Docket No. 03-104.
Broadcasting Interrupted at Cox's Orlando Stations
Orlando - Oct 26, 2004 - On Oct. 19 around 5:15 p.m., the Cox Orlando radio stations went off the air after a someone tripped the main circuit breaker and then the backup generator circuit breaker.
"There is a shunt trip device on the building, which will trip the main breaker. This was hit, which then put us on generator power. About 30 minutes later, they apparently realized that they had not taken us off the air, returned, and hit the shunt trip for the generator," said Steve Fluker, director of engineering for Cox Radio Orlando.
No equipment was damaged, other than the glass that was broken to get to the circuit breakers. The stations were off the air for about an hour.
Recently, several transmitter sites in Houston were vandalized. The vandals tripped circuit breakers and stole a log book. No word on whether these incidents are related.
FCC Issues Fine Against XEMO Broadcasts
Washington - Oct 20, 2004 - In a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL), the FCC fined Uniradio $25,000 for providing program material from a studio located in the United States to a Mexican AM station. The NAL cited that the offense was in willful and repeated violation of the terms and conditions of its authorization.
The Communications Act of 1934 states that the transmission or delivery of broadcast programming from a facility in the United States to a foreign broadcast station for the purpose of that programming being received in the United States requires an application to and permit granted by the Commission. On May 27, 2003, Uniradio filed with the Commission an application for authority to supply Spanish-language sports programming, namely, San Diego Padres baseball games, to station XEMO. Uniradio represented that XEMO was located in Tijuana, Mexico and was authorized to operate on 860kHz with 5kW day and night with a non-directional antenna. On July 16, 2003, the Commission’s International Bureau granted Uniradio’s application and issued it the permit. Specifically, the Section 325(c) permit authorizes Uniradio to locate, use or maintain a studio in the United States for the purpose of transmitting or delivering San Diego Padres baseball games, including a 15-minute pre-game show, in Spanish to Mexican station XEMO. The Section 325(c) permit expressly states that it is based on Uniradio’s representation that the statements contained in the application[s] are true and that the undertakings described will be carried out in good faith, and that it is conditioned on the Mexican station’s operation in full compliance with applicable treaties and related provisions concerning electrical interference to U.S. broadcast stations.
On Dec. 9, 2003, New Inspiration Broadcasting Company, licensee of KRLA-AM, Glendale, CA, filed a petition to revoke Uniradio’s Section 325(c) permit. NIBC maintained and provided supporting engineering and technical documentation to demonstrate that XEMO operated at increased power levels from a new site, and that such operation was causing substantial harmful interference to KRLA. NIBC stated that XEMO operated at power levels of 20kW day and 10kW night from a site near the facilities outlined in the permit. NIBC noted that such operations had not been coordinated with the Commission’s International Bureau in accordance with the 1986 U.S.-Mexico treaty that governs the coordination of medium frequency AM band stations.
In February 2004, the Enforcement Bureau’s Spectrum Enforcement Division sent Uniradio a letter of inquiry. Uniradio stated that XEMO had in fact received a power increase and new transmitter site location authorization from the Mexican government, and Uniradio was aware of this in September 2004. Uniradio was informed of the alleged interference problem to KRLA in November 2003. Uniradio admitted that the modifications to XEMO may have increased harmful interference to KRLA, but that the interference would be minimal if it existed at all. Uniradio stated that the interference issue was being addressed through inter-governmental discussions. In addition, Uniradio argued that XEMO was cooperating in an effort to resolve the issue and had agreed to conduct interference testing and operate at a reduced power level of 5kW at a reduced bandwidth until the conclusion of testing and inter-governmental coordination.
NIBC filed a reply to Uniradio’s response and provided evidence that XEMO’s operations at its current antenna site has created further overlap of its contour to KLRA's protected 0.5mV/m contour, and that XEMO’s reduced bandwidth and power reduction to 5kW have not proven effective in redressing the continuing substantial interference to KRLA.
Uniradio and XEMO share common shareholders and are both controlled by Gustavo Enrique Astiazaran.
CGC Warns of Fraudulent Form 301 Applications
Oct 24, 2004 - In its newsletter, the CGCG Communicator, Communications General Corporation notes that several fraudulent FCC Form 301 applications have been filed with the Commission in October. Further, some of these fake applications have been stamped "Accepted for Filing" and been assigned file numbers.
From the newsletter, #655:
CGC has determined that the Applications Accepted for Filing for KLVE(FM), KPWR(FM) and KWVE(FM) are all fakes. The engineers named in these applications have confirmed to us that they played no part in the preparation process. A number of other Accepted applications…are suspect.
Some of the CGC-confirmed fraudulent applications include filings by KLVE-FM License Corp. and Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa.
CGC urges stations to watch for fraudulent filings by entering their own call letters into the FCC Application Search utility at http://svartifoss2.fcc.gov/prod/cdbs/pubacc/prod/app_sear.htm.
ATC Forms, Introduces Tesla Products
San Francisco - Oct 29, 2004 - Deepen Sinha, an audio coding experts and the co-developer of the PAC codec, announced at AES the formation of ATC Labs, a global audio and speech technology development and services firm that will focus on next-generation audio components for Internet, broadcast and cable, and wireless networks and devices. Sinha is president of the company.
Headquartered in Chatham, NJ, along with research offices in Portugal, Australia and New Jersey and a software development center in Lucknow, India, the firm will develop technology components, in particular audio and speech compression codecs, which will be offered for licensing. In addition, the firm will assist its customers in the development, integration and testing of a wide range of next-generation audio and speech components and concepts.
ATC Labs recently introduced a new suite of codec products, which will be marketed under the name Tesla Pro.
Lab X is First to Implement Ethersound
San Francisco - Oct 28, 2004 - Lab X Technologies in Rochester, NY, has been designated by Digigram as the first American authorized Ethersound implementor. The Authorized Implementor Partner program was recently introduced to the Ethersound licensing scheme at the PLASA trade show, London. The program enables pro audio manufacturers to bring Ethersound-compliant products to the market quicker and with lower development investment. Authorized implementors can design and customize hardware modules that may be directly implemented by other Ethersound licensees. Further, they have the right to customize Ethersound reference designs and FPGA firmware for the account of other Ethersound licensees.
Scheduall Supplies Software to Sirius
Hollywood, FL - Oct 26, 204 - Scheduall Software will supply Sirius Satellite Radio with its software to manage operational resources and distribution of Sirius content. Scheduall will be used to assist Sirius with scheduling and workflow management of its production and distribution at Sirius’ Rockefeller Center headquarters.
The software is designed to manage personnel scheduling, equipment scheduling, billing, video and audio libraries and production costs.
WCPE Expands its Market Reach with Velocity
Raleigh, NC - Oct 25, 2004 - Microspace Communications has signed a multi-year agreement with WCPE Radio to deliver programming via its Velocity satellite system. The contract covers about 75 satellite and Internet broadcasting sites, including 20 affiliate radio stations reaching more than 200,000 listeners nationwide.
Microspace relays WCPE's programming for Internet audio streaming, and enables listeners to pick up the signal via compact, 36-inch satellite dishes. Velocity delivers WCPE’s programming from its studio in North Carolina to sites in Seattle and Florida that encode the streams for the Internet.
WCPE is a non-commercial, independent, listener-supported station. Besides individual subscribers, listeners include radio stations at educational institutions, which often broadcast WCPE’s content during summer months and off-hours. Using Velocity will help WCPE to grow its network.
Digigram's Ethersound.com Debuts
San Francisco - Oct 28, 2004 - Digigram, the owner and supplier of the patented Ethersound technology, has launched www.ethersound.com, a website for information on Ethersound technology, licensees, implementors, products and user stories. Manufacturers, software vendors, contractors, distributors and end users will find information on how to implement and use Ethersound to create real-time audio networks using standard Ethernet cabling and components.
Digidesign Announces Pro Tools 6.7 Software
Daly City, CA - Oct 26, 2004 - With Pro Tools 6.7 software for Pro Tools HD and LE systems, MIDI sequencing capabilities are more comprehensive, while MIDI recording, editing and mixing features are still as easy to work with as audio.
The audio and MIDI feature set in Pro Tools 6.7 has been greatly expanded to deliver tempo-dependent audio placement, tempo-dependent automation, graphic tempo editing, precise control of meter changes, MIDI step input, enhanced support for instrument plug-ins, MIDI Detective, and Beat Detective LE. Pro Tools 6.7 also offers cross-platform parity for simplified session transfer with major MIDI functionality enhancements to Windows.
Digigram Announces Bi-directional Ethersound Products
San Francisco - Oct 28, 2004 - Digigram's Ethersound audio bridges ES8in, ES8out, ES220 and ES220-L will be updated before the end of 2005 with the capability for bi-directional audio distribution. The extended technology specification, which enables bi-directional Ethersound, was released beginning of September 2004.
Customers who have purchased Digigram's Ethersound products in the past can upgrade their devices by installing new firmware.
Before the technology update, Digigram's Ethersound protocol offered uni-directional audio distribution. In uni-directional Ethersound, all devices located "downstream" from a source may play back audio from that source. Bi-directional Ethersound now allows the creation of a virtual bus between daisy-chained devices where a maximum of 64 channels of 24-bit/48kHz audio is available for inputs and outputs of all connected devices, be they "upstream" or "downstream" from the source. In both versions, control and monitoring data are bi-directional and use the same cable as the audio.
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