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Radio Currents Online - Nov 21 - Dec 4, 2005
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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Clear Channel Donates $100,000 to Museum
Chicago - Dec 2, 2005 - The Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago is receiving a $100,000 donation from Clear Channel. The gift will be used to develop the Radio Hall of Fame exhibition area. The new 70,000-square-foot museum opens in the late summer of 2006. The new building will include an interactive exhibit galleries, expanded archives with a media café, working radio and TV studios and a gift shop.
The Museum of Broadcast Communications is one of three broadcast museums in the United States.
The Recepter Radio HD is a compact, stereo model. It can tune multicast HD Radio signals. A satellite speaker for stereo (not shown in the photo) is included. The radio can also decode RBDS signals on analog FM stations. The suggested retail price is $499.
Nebraska Tower Hit by Plane
Lincoln, NE - Nov 27, 2005 - Information from the Southwest Nebraska News (www.swnebr.net ) - On Nov. 27 a single-engine plane crashed into a broadcast tower that serves south central Nebraska. The tower is used for public radio and TV service from Nebraska Educational Telecommunications (NET).
The Southwest Nebraska News reports that NET General Manager Rod Bates said that the crash occurred at 10:44 a.m. The three people in the plane died in the crash. Other reports indicate that there were rainstorms in the area.
The 1,065 foot tower provides service to KLNE channel three and 88.7 FM as well as the National Weather Service and the local EMS.
Museum of Broadcast Communications Receives Grant
Chicago - Nov 22, 2005 - The Tawani Foundation has awarded The Museum of Broadcast Communications (MBC) $250,000 to fund a digitization initiative that will make more than 600 programs on U.S. military issues available to the public, onsite and online. The grant will also support two public programs exploring the media and the military.
"The Tawani Foundation shares the MBC's passion for collecting, preserving and presenting significant moments in radio and TV history, and many of those moments relate to military history," said Bruce DuMont, MBC founder and president. "The Foundation also has passion for making important content available for public access and debate and this partnership will allow the MBC and the Tawani Foundation to meet its mission of education."
The MBC has a diverse audio-visual collection of documentaries, national news programs and radio reports focusing on U.S. military history from World War II, the Vietnam War and the Persian Gulf War. Because of the grant from the Tawani Foundation this collection will be part of the museum's digital library.
The digitized programs from the museum's U.S. military history collection will be available onsite at the new MBC in Chicago, which is scheduled to open in late 2006.
Grokster to Shut Down Free Downloading Service
Los Angeles - Nov 22, 2005 - Grokster, which lost its case before the Supreme Court, has agreed to shut down its file-swapping service and pay $50 million to settle music and movie piracy claims, according to the Associated Press. Grokster lost an important Supreme Court ruling in June when justices ruled that the entertainment industry can file piracy lawsuits against technology companies caught encouraging customers to steal music and movies over the Internet.
The decision, which gave the green light for the federal case to advance in Los Angeles, significantly weakened lawsuit protections for companies that had blamed illegal behavior on their customers rather than the technology that made such behavior possible. The settlement permanently bans Grokster from participating, directly or indirectly, in the theft of copyrighted files and requires the company to stop giving away its software.
Grokster now plans to launch a legal, subscription-based Grokster 3G service under a new parent company, Mashboxx, of Virginia Beach, VA. Mashboxx, headed by former Grokster President Wayne Rosso, has signed a licensing agreement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment. Grokster's settlement does not affect other defendants in the case, including Streamcast Networks, which distributes Morpheus, and Sharman Networks, which distributes Kazaa.
The movie and recording industry plaintiffs in the case are expected to file a motion for summary judgment by early next year against the remaining defendants, and U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson has scheduled a hearing on the matter for March 27.
Clear Channel Details Entertainment Division Spin-off
San Antonio - Dec 2, 2005 - The spin-off of Clear Channel's wholly owned subsidiary CCE Spinco is expected to close Dec. 21, 2005. Prior to the spin-off, Clear Channel Communications will transfer the business currently conducted by its Entertainment Group segment to CCE Spinco.
Clear Channel Communications will distribute all of the shares of CCE Spinco common stock held by Clear Channel Communications to its stockholders by means of a share dividend. Following the distribution, Clear Channel Communications will not own any shares of CCE Spinco, and CCE Spinco will be an independent, publicly traded company.
CRL to Consolidate Manufacturing
Tempe, AZ - Nov 29, 2005 - Circuit Research Labs will begin consolidating its manufacturing facilities as the final part of a five-year plan to increase efficiencies and to reduce costs. The company will consolidate its U.S.-based manufacturing into its corporate headquarters in Tempe, AZ, by the end of June 2006. The Orban/CRL Northern California Research and Design Center Group will remain in San Leandro, CA.
Electronics Research Begins Major Facility Expansion
Chandler, IN - Nov 29, 2005 - Electronics Research began site work for the construction of new buildings to accommodate the increases in the company's structural, transmission line and antenna products fabricated at its main manufacturing and headquarters in Chandler, IN. The new structures include a specially constructed antenna tuning building for final test and tuning of ERI's high-power UHF and VHF TV antennas. This 10,000-square-foot building, constructed of materials that eliminate RF reflections, allows the final assembly, tuning and test measurements for new TV antennas to be made in a weather-protected environment.
In addition to the new tuning building, site clearing, excavation and grading began on a new 35,000-square-foot building to house high-power TV antenna fabrication and assembly for rigid transmission line components. By also accommodating the shipping and receiving center for the Chandler facility, this building allows for the expansion of ERI's fabrication areas for FM antennas, FM filters and FM combiners. With the completion of these two new buildings, the design, assembly, warehouse, fabrication and test space at ERI's headquarters campus totals well over 200,000 square feet making it the largest facility in the world dedicated to the design and manufacture of broadcast antenna, transmission line, structural and accessory products. ERI also operates a full-scale antenna test range near its Chandler headquarters and a facility dedicated to the design and manufacture of TV filter and RF components near Portland, ME.
Mouser Electronics Breaks Ground on New Headquarters
Mansfield, TX - Nov 23, 2005 - Mouser Electronics has broken ground on a 229,000 square-foot expansion of its 173,000 square-foot headquarters. The company cites its growth and expanding product selection as the reason for the needed increase in space.
The expansion includes more than 52,000 square feet of new office space, an expanded customer service call center and a new data center. The addition will also include 177,000 square feet of new warehouse facilities.
Dielectric's Newburgh Facility to Resume Production
Newburgh, IN - Nov 23, 2005 - Dielectric Communications' Newburgh, IN, tower-manufacturing facility will resume production in about two weeks. The facility has been closed since a tornado touched down near the facility on Nov. 6. The tornado damaged the main facility and support buildings, and interrupted the tower-production capabilities. Dielectric is implementing a plan to repair the existing facility, which will allow certain production aspects to resume in a short timeframe.
The Newburgh office building, which is located a short distance from the manufacturing facility, was not affected by the storm.
Broadcast Electronics Responds to Earthquake
Quincy, IL - Nov 18, 2005 - Responding to a request by the Pakistani government, Broadcast Electronics (BE) shipped an FM transmitter that will provide information to the population that suffered from an earthquake that ripped through South Asia on Oct. 8.
Donated by Broadcast Electronics, the transmitter will be used by the Volunteer Radio Service to transmit news, weather and disaster relief information in Neelam Valley, a geographic region close to the disaster epicenter. The main purpose of the station is to provide information about missing people and families, to inform them about relief activities, medical aid points, supply of food and weather.
Broadcast Electronics shipped by airfreight a frequency-agile, 1kW Plug N Play 1000 transmitter. Broadcast Electronics representative Naeem Mirza, with Engineering Systems and Services in Islamabad, Pakistan, will install the transmitter.
Middle Atlantic Products Names Rusnak as RSM
Riverdale, NJ - Nov 22, 2005 - Middle Atlantic Products has appointed Terry Rusnak to the position of regional sales manager, central region. Rusnak, who most recently served as a specifying engineer for Leviton Manufacturing, will begin working with Bob Newhuis, Middle Atlantic Products director of sales, central region, to expand the company's presence in that region.
Rusnak has more than 20 years of industry experience, including more than 15 years in the structured wiring and cable market. As a specifying engineer for Leviton Manufacturing he oversaw a territory of 25 states and worked with architects, consultants and engineering firms, as well as with Leviton marketing managers. Rusnak has also held various marketing and sales positions with Wire Supplies, Structured Innovations, Berk-Tek, Amp and Motorola Communications.
Rusnak is certified as a Registered Communication Distribution Designer (RCDD) and is a member of Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI).
Lowery has 30 years of experience in the broadcast industry, and in addition to Continental Electronics, he currently represents Nautel and RF Specialties. Prior to forming his own rep firm, Lowery was chief engineer for WRAR-AM/FM, WMYK-FM, and WZAM-AM in his home state of Virginia. He is a contributing author to the seventh, eighth and ninth issues of the NAB Engineering Handbook.
WSJ's Mossberg to Keynote NAB2006 Radio Luncheon
Washington, DC - Nov 22, 2005 - The NAB announced that Walt Mossberg, technology columnist for The Wall Street Journal, will deliver the keynote address at the Radio Luncheon on April 25 during NAB2006 in Las Vegas. Mossberg writes the "Personal Technology" column in The Wall Street Journal.
The NAB noted that Mossberg will focus on radio's role in future technology. NAB2006 will be held from April 22 to April 27, 2006, in Las Vegas.
CEA Relaunches Consumer Website
Arlington, VA - Dec 2, 2005 - The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has added interactive buying guides and other educational materials available at MyCEknowhow.com to help consumers find consumer electronics products best suited for their needs. CEA hopes to ease consumer confusion about technology and lessen returns by providing information before consumers even enter the store.
The website's tutorial buying guides are presented with Flash media. Site visitors can also print PDF product summaries.
By year's end, the site will add a buying guide focused on MP3 players with more guides to come in 2006.
D.A.V.I.D. Adds EAS Support
Arlington, VA - Dec 2, 2005 - D.A.V.I.D. Systems has added Emergency Alert System (EAS) support to its program-associated data (PAD) functionality, allowing stations to display EAS alerts as text on RBDS and HD Radio receivers and on their websites. The new EAS Listener connects to EAS receivers via RS-232 and monitors for incoming alerts. When an alert is issued, the EAS Listener formats the text for an RBDS generator as Program Service Text or Radio Text.
Notifications of the EAS alert also appear on all on-air workstations, allowing hosts to read the announcement from a desktop computer. An HTML export allows stations to display the alerts on their websites and LED signs.
Waves Adds Reverb to Software Bundles
Knoxville, TN - Dec 1, 2005 - Waves has added its IR-L convolution reverb plug-in to six of its most popular bundles. These include Native Power Pack, Renaissance Maxx, Gold Bundle, Platinum Bundle, Diamond Bundle, and the Broadcast and Production Bundle. The IR-L reproduces the captured sound of real acoustic spaces, including some of the greatest concert halls, auditoriums, theaters, recording studios, churches, clubs, amphitheaters and rooms in the world. Combining convolution reverb and the flexibility of simulated reverb, the IR series offers a user interface via the traditional reverb parameters for control.
The IR-L is the Waves entry-level IR series plug-in, which uses the same convolution engine and samples found in the Waves IR-1 convolution reverb plug-in, but with a more basic feature set. It can be upgraded to the IR-1 or IR-360.
Existing owners of the Native Power Pack, Renaissance Maxx, Broadcast and Production, Gold, Platinum or Diamond Bundles can get the IR-L Convolution Reverb free under the Waves Update Plan.
Softwright Ships TAP Version 6.0
Aurora, CO - Nov 28, 2005 - Softwright's RF system design software, Terrain Analysis Package (TAP) version 6.0, is now shipping. The software evaluates existing or proposed radio transmitter sites; radio coverage predictions, intermodulation studies and radio transmitter site administration; TV and FM broadcasting, MMDS, ITFS, PCS, SCADA, WLL, Wi-fi, Wi-max, microwave, cellular, paging, air-to-ground, ship-to-shore and conventional two-way radio system design.
Version 6.0 of TAP for Windows W2K/XP consists of 25 modules that, when combined together, provide RF system design to a personal computer. Most studies are accessed through HD Path and HD Coverage. HD Path allows users to study paths from one screen. HD Coverage allows users to perform all coverage map calculations from one screen.
AEQ Debuts PAW 120 Digital Recorder
Madrid - Nov 29, 2005 - At Broadcast 2005 AEQ introduced the PAW 120 digital recorder. Built on the success of the DR 100, which received a Pick Hit Award from Radio magazine at NAB2005, the PAW 120 will replace the DR 100 next year.
The recorder features a built-in speaker, aluminum case and a dual-color LED display. The unit operates on two AA batteries batteries. The recorder appears as USB removable external device for Windows and Mac. It records and edits linear PCM and MPEG compressed audio, supports the BWF file format, and stored audio to an internal 512MB flash memory. It has a built-in microphone and accepts a mono or stereo external microphone while providing phantom power. An AGC and voice-activated recording can be switched on or off. The scheduled delivery time is the first week of February 2006.
Focusrite Releases v2.0 Software Update for Saffire
Agoura Hills, CA - Nov 29, 2005 - Focusrite has released v2.0 software update for the Saffire Firewire audio interface. The software is now available for download from the Focusrite website at www.focusrite.com. The update includes enhanced operation at 192kHz, new graphics and tool tips for the Saffire Control software, and improved Firewire bus connectivity.
Eye on IBOC
Radios and Digital Radio Express Launch FM Extra in Israel
Israel and San Jose, CA - Nov 30, 2005 - Israeli broadcaster Radios will test Digital Radio Express' (DRE) FM Extra digital radio system in consideration for use in Israel. David Basat, president of Radios, indicated that he expects to convert one of Radios' FM stations within the next few weeks.
Radios is part of Radios Broadcasting Group. Its stations broadcast in Hebrew and Russian.
Continental Electronics and Prophet Systems Partner on HD Radio Importer
Dallas and Ogallala, NE - Nov 29, 2005 - Continental Electronics has partnered with Prophet Systems to market an HD Radio importer. The Prophet Importer will be available through Continental Electronics as part of Continental's HD Radio transmission system.
The Prophet Importer module, which is available as an element of the Prophet Nexgen system or as a stand-alone system for use with other automation systems, permits HD Radio stations to provide multicast audio streams and handles the enhanced data capabilities of HD Radio.
Clear Channel to Mark 200 HD Radio Stations
San Antonio - Nov 21, 2005 - Clear Channel Radio expects that 200 of its radio stations will provide HD Radio broadcasts by the end of November 2005. The stations span the country and cover 65 markets.
While Clear Channel's specific plans for market roll-outs are not openly discussed, these first 200 stations were targeted to be in the top 100 markets. When asked about the next wave of station rollouts, Jeff Littlejohn, executive VP of distribution deployment, said, "We intend to keep converting stations at this pace until we are able to get 1,000 converted."
Clear Channel does not have a firm timeline on reaching that 1,000 mark, but Littlejohn added that the company wants to get there as soon as possible.
Many broadcasters have noted that the scarcity of HD Radio receivers is impeding the HD Radio rollout. To build consumer awareness of HD Radio, the Clear Channel stations are mentioning HD Radio in promos every hour on stations that have converted. Clear Channel is also working with retailers, manufacturers and auto OEMs to improve the supply issue.
Ibiquity Digital Receives Funding from Intel Capital
Columbia, MD - Nov 21, 2005 – Intel Capital has invested an undisclosed amount in Ibiquity Digital. No financial details were released. In the announcement, Bob Struble, Ibiquity president, said that the investment will help Ibiquity "accelerate the commercialization of HD Radio particularly in the area of portable HD Radio devices." Struble noted that future HD Radio products will include traditional radio products and new portable digital media devices such as mobile phones and digital media players.
KVOD Denver Installs Harris Exgine
Denver - Nov 21, 2005 - On Nov. 9, 2005, Colorado Public Radio's Denver station KVOD-FM commenced HD Radio transmissions using Ibiquity Generation 3 Exgine technology in a Harris Flexstar HDX-FM exciter. The Exgine method allows an FM station to place the audio codec, multiplex function and AAS data equipment related to multicasting at the studio rather than the transmitter site.
In addition, KVOD began multicasting its sister AM station's NPR news/talk KCFR on its HD Radio multicast channel 2.
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- Trends in Technology: Streaming Audio Update
- Contest Rules Rewrite and EAS Issues
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- Field Report: TASCAM US-366