Radio Currents Online - Nov 15 - Nov 28, 2004


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Radio technology news updated as it happens.


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News

WLFK-LP in Wisconsin Admonished for Broadcasting Ads
Washington - Nov 9, 2004 - LPFM stations are prohibited from broadcasting advertisements. In a Memorandum Opinion and Order, the FCC "admonished" the Technology Information Foundation, licensee of low power noncommercial educational FM Station WLFK-LP, Eau Claire, WI, for broadcasting advertisements. This was a slap on the hand without a fine, but the message should be clear to other LPFM stations that the FCC is watching LPFM stations.

EB-03-IH-0705


FCC Tweaks Parts 15 and 2
Washington - Nov 9, 2004 - FCC Parts 2 and 15 have been modified to grant a request to permit Part 15 compliance information statements for self-authorized equipment to be provided in "alternative formats."

The complete ruling is available at this link.

ET Docket No. 01-278


ADI Rescinds Emergency Signaling Petition to FCC
Washington - Nov 5, 2004 - On Nov. 1, 2004, Alert Devices International (ADI) filed a Motion to Dismiss Without Prejudice its Petition for Rulemaking In the Matter of: Amendment of Parts 2 and 90 of the Commission’s Rules to Provide for an Emergency Vehicle Signaling Service. The Petition for Rulemaking sought Commission authorization of the Emergency Vehicle Signaling Service (EVSS) in the United States. EVSS is a system designed to alert motorists via their AM and FM car radios of an oncoming public safety vehicle engaged in a nearby emergency response situation.

On March 31, 2004, ADI filed a motion to suspend the proceeding to allow for time to perform tests of the proposed system due to concerns expressed by the broadcast industry. On April 19, 2004, ADI supplemented its motion and stated that it would submit test results to the Commission regarding EVSS no later than Nov. 1, 2004.

In its motion, ADI states that it has decided that there is a need to redesign the EVSS unit and, together with the need to manufacture and verify operation of the new model, the test scheduling been set back. In addition, ADI states that a delay is further caused by the need to conduct all testing in Canada where it asserts that EVSS has been approved, but where suitable testing facilities are limited. ADI is unable to specify a date when it can make its test data available. It plans to re-file its petition with supporting data when testing of its new design is complete.

The FCC granted the request.


FCC Approves First Software Defined Radio
Washington, DC - Nov 19, 2004 - The FCC for the first time has approved the use of a software-defined radio device in the United States. This new class of equipment allows users to share limited airspace, increases flexibility and reduces interference concerns.

"This is the first step in what may prove to be a radio technology revolution," said FCC Chairman Michael Powell. "The industry's pioneering work to find more creative and efficient use of our airwaves will continue to bring benefits to consumers."

The Laboratory Division of the Commission's Office of Engineering and Technology issued a Grant of Certification to Vanu, a software development company, for a cellular base station transmitter.

Software-defined radios can change the frequency range, modulation type or output power of a radio device without making changes to hardware components. This programmable capacity permits radios to be highly adaptable to changing needs, protocols and environments.

Vanu has demonstrated that its device complies with the Commission's rules, and has shown that its software has sufficient controls so that the device cannot be modified to operate outside its Commission-approved parameters. The Commission currently has a rulemaking pending that will further streamline the software defined radio requirements, and it is working with each applicant on a case-by-case basis to facilitate compliance with the current rules.


DRM Steering Board Proposes to Extend DRM System
The Steering Board of the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) consortium wants to change the DRM Consortium Agreement to allow the extension of the DRM system to the frequency bands up to 120MHz. Currently, the DRM system covers the broadcasting bands below 30MHz. To do this, the Steering Board must bring a proposal to the DRM General Assembly. The Steering Board decision was made at its quarterly meeting, held in Dallas on Nov. 11. The proposal will be on the agenda at the next DRM General Assembly meeting, scheduled for March 2005.


Business

Microboards Chosen to Distribute Archival Products
Chanhassen, MN - Nov 9, 2004 - Storage Quest of Ottawa, ON Canada has selected Microboards Technology as its exclusive distributor of its Multi-services Storage Manager (MSM) line of network storage management products. The MSM line provides a plug and play, appliance-based network-attached manager for media libraries. This series is based on Storage Quests Any-to-Any Architecture that allows any client to access any storage resource regardless of media type, vendor or operating system platform.


Broadcasting live from SLB Radio Productions' new studios in the theatre of the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh on Nov. 6, Lawrence Berger (left) hosts several interested visitors.

SLB Radio Installs First Klotz Aeon
Pittsburgh - Nov 22, 2004 - The first Klotz Digital Aeon radio on-air console to be installed is now in service at SLB Radio Productions in Pittsburgh, PA. SLB is an award-winning public radio broadcaster addressing its program to families and especially to children. At SLB, the 12-fader audio mixer is being used by broadcast professionals, children learning to broadcast and college students working on broadcast software and hardware evaluation at Carnegie Mellon University. The new console went on air during the grand opening weekend at the new Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh on Nov. 6.

With this installation Klotz Digital has started the initial phase of the nationwide Aeon rollout and has begun shipping its radio on-air console to customers in the United States. The Aeon console is equipped with an integrated router that can assign any signal anywhere and offers macro programming, snapshot and preset management and mix-minus capabilities for complex broadcasting requirements. It is available with 8, 12 and 16-fader control surfaces.


LG Electronics Adds SRS Wow to MP3 Players
Santa Ana, CA - Nov 22, 2004 - LG Electronics has expanded its licensing relationship with SRS Labs to include the company's SRS Wow technology in a new line of LG MP3 players. The new digital audio player models, the MF-FE421, MF-FE422, MF-FE425, MF-FE429, MF-FE462 and MF-FE465, were made available for the Korean market earlier this month and feature FM tuners, voice recording and shuttle jogging.

LG has licensed SRS technologies since 1996, including SRS 3D Audio, Trusurround XT and Wow for its flat-panel display products. Wow is designed to overcome the limitations inherent in smaller speakers and headphones by providing a panoramic three-dimensional audio image that extends the sound in both the horizontal and vertical planes, beyond the speakers or headphones themselves.

Wow is currently available on semiconductor and DSP platforms including those from Analog Devices, ARM, ASP Microelectronics, Beatnik, Cirrus Logic, Fangtek, Freescale, MCS Logic, Micronas, MIPS, Samsung, TI and Sigmatel.


Network Pro Marketing Appointed Distributor of Studio Hub+
Corona, CA, and Bridgeport, NJ - Nov 22, 2004 - Radio Systems, manufacturer of the Studio Hub+ integrated analog/digital wiring system, has appointed Network Pro Marketing as its pro audio distributor in the United States.

Contact Network Pro Marketing at 951-272-3465 or through www.networkpromktg.com/studio_hub.htm.


Studer Sells First On-air 500 Modulo
San Francisco - Nov 19, 2004 - San Francisco’s KQED Public Radio (88.5 FM) is the first broadcaster in the world to purchase Studer’s new on-air 500 Modulo. Chosen for the station’s Sacramento bureau, the digital mixing console is expected to be installed and operational by the end of November.

With five larger On-air 2000 desks already in use, KQED is no stranger to the Studer brand. One of the On-air 2000s currently serves as the station’s on-air desk, while the other four are set up in production studios that – like the on-air room – have recently been renovated as part of KQED’s ongoing conversion to an all-digital format.


Mackie D8B Helps Broadcast Jazz at Lincoln Center
Woodinville, WA - Nov 18, 2004 - The new home of Jazz at Lincoln Center was unveiled last month and was broadcast across North America by NPR via the Mackie Digital D8B Bus. The opening ceremony featured three simultaneous programs in its three spaces.

NPR was broadcasting each of the three shows in its entirety. In the two larger venues, the NPR live feed was mixed through two Mackie 32x8 analog mixers. "The mix in each room was great, and we probably could have just taken a feed from each room, but we were much happier with the control and flexibility we had with direct feeds from each microphone," said Ed Green, mix engineer. "The Mackie d8b allowed me to set up multiple mixes and routing configurations."


New Contact Info for SPL
Thousand Oaks, CA - Nov 18, 2004 - Sound Performance Lab's area code has changed to 951. The new contact information is:
Phone: 951-272-3465
Fax: 951-272-3467


Jefferson Pilot Sports Selects Scheduall
Hollywood, FL - Nov 17, 2004 - Scheduall Software has been selected to supply Jefferson Pilot Sports with an integrated software solution to manage its mobile sports production resources and broadcast distribution. Scheduall will be used to assist Jefferson Pilot with scheduling and workflow management of its production. This includes enterprise scheduling of personnel, facilities and equipment, as well as providing complete cost accounting, invoicing and financial and efficiency reporting capabilities.


Jefferson-Pilot Miami Chooses the Telos Profiler
Cleveland - Nov 15, 2004 - WAXY-AM, a Jefferson-Pilot station in Miami, changed programming brokerage agreements and formats, and needed a way to provide continuous program recording for later re-use. The station needed it to be completely segregated and secured from their other stations' networks.

The company purchased a Telos Profiler, which provided logged program audio in a digital format to people who needed it without compromising server security.

"We bought Profiler for our new LMA'd sports format on WAXY-AM, primarily for use as an aircheck 'catch basin' for promotional announcements and other things we need to archive," said Gary Blau, director of engineering for Jefferson-Pilot's Miami stations. "Profiler solved a particular problem for us with WAXY because we needed to keep this 'logger' off our house LAN and give access to it to non-employees - the LMA operators - whose computers live on a totally separate network."


Harris, Shively Awarded FM Radio Transmission Systems Contracts
Cincinnati - Nov 18, 2004 - The Harris Broadcast Communications Division has been awarded a contract to provide FM radio transmission systems for operation throughout the world by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB). The IBB provides engineering support for U.S. government-funded, non-military international broadcast services, including the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Sawa, and Radio and TV Martí (Office of Cuba Broadcasting).

Harris will ship transmission systems, including Harris Quest 1kW FM radio transmitters, Harris Z2CD 2kW FM radio transmitters, Z5CD 5kW FM radio transmitters, Z10CD 10kW FM radio transmitters and accessories for yet-to-be specified sites around the world.

Shively Labs has been selected to provide FM antenna systems to the IBB under a multi-year requirements contract. Shively Labs will provide FM antennas, combiners and related transmission equipment as well as provide technical support to the IBB, its staff and affiliates. The contract follows a similar, five-year agreement that has just been completed. While the value of the present contract is unknown at this time, under the just-completed contract, Shively Labs supplied more than 100 antenna systems to support IBB installations in more than 24 countries around the world.


OMT Restructures Financially
Winnipeg, Manitoba - Nov 10, 2004 - The Board of Directors of OMT have approved a plan to raise additional capital to fund the company’s growth plans and to simplify its existing structure.

The financial restructuring plan totals $5.7 - $6.5 million and will be undertaken by ENSIS Growth Fund, ENSIS Investment Limited Partnership, Renaissance Capital Manitoba Ventures Fund Limited Partnership, and Wellington West Capital.

The transaction will close in early December 2004, subject to regulatory approval.


Arbitron, Octave Technology Explore Auto-ID for PPM
New York and College Park, MD - Nov 16, 2004 - Arbitron has selected Octave Technology, an auto-identification software company, to explore the possibility of integrating passive auto identification technology, such as radio frequency identification functionality (RFID), into Arbitron’s Portable People Meter.

The companies are hoping to gain a greater understanding of the capabilities of passive RFID readers and chipsets for media and market research applications, as well as gain more knowledge as to the likelihood, costs and challenges of integrating such technology.


Sales Call
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  • Western Illinois University's WIUM-FM has purchased two Broadcast Electronics HD Radio transmitters and a Big Pipe wideband STL. WIUM serves 159,000 people when the university is in session.
  • Wheastone will provide Radio One's new facility in Atlanta with 16 fader G4 control surfaces with Bridge Router Satellite Frames. The four new production rooms will be equipped with a smaller eight fader G4/Satellite Frame combination. Each studio will be capable of independent operation as well as networked operation with the Bridge Router audio network.
  • Media Monitors will provide Aircheck, its online broadcast monitoring services, to 130 of the Clear Channel radio stations in 25 major American markets. Aircheck delivers broadcast data online via its web site.
  • George Fox University has purchased the Audioarts R-55e on-air mixing console. The newly designed R-55e is reminiscent of its predecessor the R-55 but provides expanded features for small- to mid-market facilities, including a flip-up meterbridge that provides direct access to I/O connectors and logic programming dipswitches.
  • Emmis Radio in New York has installed one of the largest Wheatstone Generation system installations, consisting of nine Generation 5 control surfaces and a Bridge router. The installation also includes nine sets of studio furniture with custom end caps for the control surfaces.
  • People

    Karmazin Named CEO of Sirius
    New York - Nov 18, 2004 - Sirius Satellite Radio has named Mel Karmazin as chief executive officer. He succeeds Joseph P. Clayton, who will remain at Sirius as chairman of the board of directors. Karmazin served as president of Viacom until earlier this year.

    "This is a perfect opportunity for me because I want to lead a growth company that can reshape the landscape of the radio business," Karmazin said. "I took Infinity Broadcasting and Westwood One to leadership positions in the industry and am confident that Sirius will become a market leader in short order.


    Jones Media America Hires Beth Freed
    New York - Nov 16, 2004 - Jones Media America has named Beth Freed as manager, national sales and marketing. Freed has more than 20 years of sales experience in network radio and television.

    Prior to joining Jones Media America, Freed spent seven years at ABC Radio Networks, Disney. Her most recent position was director of eastern radio sales/radio Disney, a division of ABC Radio Networks, Disney.

    Jones Media America (JMA) is an independent network radio sales representation company that sells national advertising for more than 120 radio programs, cable networks and Sirius, the satellite radio broadcasting service.


    Internet Watch

    Clear Channel Focuses on Custom Online Content
    San Antonio - Nov 16, 2004 - With nearly 200 local stations streaming broadcasts from station-specific websites, Clear Channel Radio wants to create a more compelling online entertainment experience for those visiting music sites. At the heart of the new initiative is a broad variety of format-specific, custom and interactive programming aimed at what Harrison calls local stations' "devout listenership and fans on the local level." Listeners will have the ability to choose content such as in-studio performances, custom music videos and artist interviews. The initiative will complement existing Internet radio broadcasts from the company's local stations.

    Leading the effort will be Evan Harrison, formerly vice president of AOL Music and the AOL Radio Network.


    Sypha Launches New DAW Database
    London - Nov 18, 2004 - Sypha has created a 2004/2005 edition of The DAW Buyers Guide, which can be accessed, free of charge, at http://SYPHAonline.com.

    The buyers guide covers applicable product and system types, including turnkey systems, desktop DAWs, audio cards/units, software packages, DAW controllers, disk-based multitracks and portable tapeless recorders. Users can search by manufacturer or product name, or create more advanced searches by application, system type, host platform, audio quality, record and playback channels.


    Products

    Voxpro PC 3.3, E2 Offer New Effects
    Bainbridge Island, WA - Nov 19, 2004 - Audion Laboratories has created new effects for VoxPro PC and E2. The new effects include the ability to change pitch without changing tempo. Musically, it changes key (transposes), keeping the tempo the same. Users can also change tempo without changing the pitch, which is useful for stretching or compressing a segment of audio to make it fit into a particular time slot. Users can now change pitch and tempo together also. This is like playing a record or a tape at the wrong speed.


    Telos Call Controller Shipping
    Cleveland - Nov 18, 2004 - Telos Systems is now shipping the Telos Call Controller, adding a compact, and flexible option for call screening and on-air control to the Telos Twox12, the 12-line phone system designed for fast-paced talk show production.

    The Call Controller works with any standard analog telephone, allowing the user flexibility in his choice of screener phones.


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