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Radio Currents Online - Nov 10 - Nov 23, 2003
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
AES Call for Papers Deadlines Approach
New York - Nov 19, 2003 - The 116th AES Convention in Berlin (May 8
to May 11) and 25th AES International Conference in London (June 17 to
June 19) have both issued calls for presenation entries. The 116th
Convention submission deadline is Dec. 1. The deadline for the 25th
International Conference on Metadata for Audio is Dec. 10, 2003.
For detailed information on submission of technical papers, visit www.aes.org.
CBI Annual Convention Sets Attendance Record
Dallas - Nov 18, 2003 - The Collegiate Broadcasters, Inc. (CBI) set
an attendance record at its annual convention in Dallas on Nov. 6 to 9.
More than 2,700 college media students and faculty advisers attended
the conference, which featured 70 broadcast-related sessions, nearly
double the number of sessions held the previous year.
The CBI sessions featured speakers from Belo, National Public Radio, WAY-FM, Salem Radio Network, Live 365, Media Unbound, Communications Technologies, the Society of Broadcast Engineers and others. The conference included a trade show featuring many broadcast equipment vendors.
The members meeting included announcement of the CBI Board of Directors election results. The members re-elected CBI vice chairman Will Robedee, KTRU, Rice University, to the board. The members also elected Rob Bigalke, Louisiana State University Student Media, to the board from a field of five candidates.
CBI is working with the College Media Advisers (CMA) to present broadcasting sessions for students and advisers at a spring conference in New York City. That conference will be held at the Roosevelt Hotel, March 18 to 20, 2004. Details are available at the CBI website.
Next year's Fall Student Media Convention will be held at the Nashville Convention Center, Nov. 4 to 7, 2004.
FCC Continues to Support Odd-length Federal Political Spots
Washington - Nov 14, 2003 - The FCC denied an NAB petition to reinstate a previous ruling (in effect from 1994 until 1999) that stations are not required to sell odd-length time (for example five-minute ads) to federal candidates. The FCC held that broadcasters' obligation to provide reasonable access to a legally qualified federal candidate precluded any blanket ban on non-standard length time. Stations still may evaluate requests for time on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration: (1) how much time was previously sold to the candidate; (2) disruption to station's regular programming; (3) likelihood of equal opportunity requests by opposing candidates; and (4) the timing of the request.
FCC Makes Additional Unlicensed Spectrum Available
Washington, DC - Nov 13, 2003 - The FCC has made available an
additional 255MHz of spectrum in the 5.470 to 5.725GHz band for
In the Report and Order approved on Nov. 12, the Commission made the spectrum available for use by unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices, including radio local area networks (RLANs), operating under Part 15 of the FCC’s rules. This increases the spectrum available for use by unlicensed devices in the 5GHz region of the spectrum by nearly 80 percent and is a significant increase in the spectrum available for unlicensed devices across the overall radio spectrum. The FCC expects that this action will also harmonize the spectrum available for these U-NII devices throughout the world, enabling manufacturers to reduce product development costs by allowing the same products to be used in many parts of the world.
The new spectrum is part of an effort to enable continued growth and innovation in wireless broadband services, including services offered by wireless Internet service providers (WISPs). WISPs use unlicensed devices to provide a broadband alternative for rural and underserved areas. Although they are a relatively nascent industry, their deployment rates have been increasing rapidly.
In addition to making additional spectrum available for U-NII devices, the Commission also adopted several allocation changes consistent with the results of the 2003 World Radio Conference and an agreement reached with the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). These changes will ensure that critical Federal Government operations are protected from harmful interference. In addition to the allocation changes, to provide federal users with additional protection from harmful interference, the order requires that U?NII devices operating in the 5.250 to 5.350GHz and the 5.470 to 5.725GHz bands use dynamic frequency selection (DFS), a listen-before-talk mechanism and transmit power control (TPC).
Report and Order FCC 03-287, ET Docket No. 03–122.
DRM Intros Participation Option
New Delhi – Nov 17, 2003 - The Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)
consortium will unveil a new participation option called DRM Supporter
this week at the ABU-AIR (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union and All India
Radio) Regional Symposium on Digital Radio. Created to foster rapid DRM
adoption and implementation in markets worldwide, the DRM Supporter
label is designed for companies and individuals interested in any
aspect of digital radio, from broadcasting to manufacturing, publicity
and sales. It offers broadcasters, publishers, content providers and
others a way to showcase their DRM involvement. DRM Supporters will
receive implementation information and the rights to display a DRM
Supporter logo, and will be listed on DRM's website. The cost of this
participation is $100.
DRM will continue to offer its existing DRM Membership options for companies that wish to have full, pro-active involvement and voting rights on technical and commercial matters.
The DRM Supporter program will open on Dec. 15, although applicants may register their interest now at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications must be approved by DRM before ratification. Full details of the DRM Supporter option will be published on www.drm.org in December.
Ibiquity Unveils Data Services Interface
Columbia, MD- Nov 12, 2003 - Ibiquity Digital has made available the
initial Advanced Application Service application programming interface
(AAS API), and the release of version 1.0 of the HD BML (Broadcast
Multimedia Language) protocol. Together, HD BML and the AAS API will
serve as the primary building blocks for developers creating multimedia
programming and services that fully use the wireless data capabilities
of Ibiquity's IBOC technology carrying the HD Radio brand.
Ibiquity worked with the World Wide Web Consortiums (W3C) Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL) to ensure broadcasters of the immediate availability of widespread developer resources supporting application development and the long-term suitability. The version 1.0 release of the HD BML protocol incorporates significant feedback gained from broadcasters, receiver manufacturers and application developers following the standard's draft release for evaluation at NAB2003. Specific new features contained within version 1.0 include support for advanced multi-level advertising and informational services, uniform method for rendering various graphical and data formats and streamlined user interaction and navigation techniques. Support for third-party and newly developed applications is also enabled through the release of the new AAS API that provides service providers, broadcasters and developers with common and universal access to all of the features supported by HD Radio's wireless data services.
Specifications for HD BML v1.0 is available at Ibiquity's website by following this link. A white paper detailing the AAS API is available at this link.
Arbitron Updates Census Data
New York - Nov 14, 2003 - In its efforts to provide the most
up-to-date survey information, Arbitron has updated the census data
used to determine market rankings for the Fall 2003 ratings period. The
radio ratings service has created an online tool to compare the Fall
2003 and Spring 2003 12+ population estimates. To use the tool, go to
this link at the Arbitron website.
The Market-Specific Population Estimate Comparison Tool provides a side-by-side comparison of market population estimates to show how market estimates have changed from Spring to Fall 2003. The population estimates used for the comparison are those updated yearly by Claritas.
Arbitron notes that certain factors are important to consider when viewing the data. Differences between a market's new population estimates and the current estimates should be viewed as technical differences, not actual movement of people in or out of a market. These differences are a consequence of the estimating process. While the data were updated using a variety of federal, state and local sources, none of these sources are as accurate as the Census itself. In most cases this process is very reliable. In certain situations, however, there is population movement that is undetected or misreported by the statistical sources used to update population estimates.
To see the current rankings of the surveyed radio markets, follow this link.
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WNNK to Install Interleaved HD Radio Antenna
Raymond, ME - Nov 20, 2003 - Dielectric Communications is working
with Cumulus on the installation of the Dielectric's first interleaved
analog/IBOC FM antenna. WNNK Engineering Manager Dave Supplee suggested
the Harrisburg, PA, market to Cumulus because of the mountainous
terrain and multipath issues. Gary Kline, corporate director of
engineering agreed because the location should provide an opportunity
to evaluate IBOC in a severe multipath location.
Dielectric’s development of the interleaved antenna design has created an improvement in isolation between the antenna elements. As a result of the increased isolation, the electrical performance of the antenna is stable, effectively eliminating elevation and azimuthal pattern deviation between the analog and digital signals.
Combined with the use of circulator technology in the RF system, Dielectric expects this design to meet or improve on the 36dB isolation specification for IBOC. Both scale model and full-size tests of the interleaving scheme have shown no change in the antenna patterns by adding the IBOC bays to an existing analog antenna.
WNNK recently took delivery of the two-bay, full-wave-spaced Dielectric DCR-M side-mounted antenna. This antenna will radiate the Class B FM’s analog signal. This month, the interleaved two-bay IBOC antenna and IBOC transmitter will be installed.
OMT Acquires Assets of Musicmusicmusic
Winnipeg, MB - Nov 19, 2003 - Through a wholly-owned subsidiary, OMT
has purchased the assets of the former Musicmusicmusic, a Toronto-based
multimedia content provider previously traded on the Neuer Markt of the
Frankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol MU5. The acquisition provides
OMT with one of the world's largest media databases containing over
365,000 high quality digital audio tracks and several thousand digital
DVD movie and video game trailers. The SQL content management database
and a secure Internet-based content delivery system, also acquired as
part of the transaction, provides the infrastructure to immediately
deliver subscription-based multi-media services to existing clients and
These new media services include a commercial music service, branded Internet streaming radio service, digital audio updates services for radio stations and a retail CD, DVD and video game previewing service. OMT plans to distribute these new services jointly through select business partners across North America.
OMT manufactures the Mediatouch line of radio automation software.
Coding Technologies, Beijing E-World form Joint Venture
Stockholm, Sweden - Nov 18, 2003 - Coding Technologies, the creator
of SBR codec enhancement, and Beijing E-World Technology, the creator
of the Chinese Enhanced Versatile Disc (EVD) format, have establised a
joint venture, Beijing Media Works, to create and license a new audio
codec. This new SBR-enhanced codec, EAC 2.0, is already specified in
the EVD format and will also be targeted for use in other Chinese
Beijing Media Works is based in Beijing, with additional engineering facilities in Nuremberg, Germany. This selection of office locations will allow for close business and engineering collaboration between the joint venture and both parent companies.
SBR-enhanced EAC will be licensed exclusively in Greater China by the joint venture and in the rest of the world by Coding Technologies.
Spectral Band Replication (SBR) is a unique bandwidth-extension technique that enables audio codecs to deliver the same quality at half the bit-rate. In practice, SBR is wrapped around a core perceptual audio codec to enhance its efficiency in a backward- and forward-compatible way. Based on the principle that the high and low frequencies of an audio signal are highly correlated, SBR-coupled codecs use the core to only encode the low frequencies and use the SBR to encode the high frequencies with low overhead.
Enhanced Audio Codec (EAC) is an enhanced audio codec developed and owned by Beijing E-World that uses a unique perceptual model to compress the audio signal by using the redundancy as well as the relevancy. The EAC codec supports mono, stereo and 5.1 surround-sound modes for encoding and decoding. EAC is part of the EVD system specification.
Rohn Enters Into Agreement for Sale of Assets
Frankfort, IN - Nov 14, 2003 - Rohn Industries and its subsidiaries,
after having filed Chapter 11, have entered into an asset purchase
agreement with SPX. The Asset Purchase Agreement provides for the sale
of certain assets of the Rohn to SPX for the amount of $5.45
Through its broadcast and communication systems and services division, SPX provides analog and digital TV and FM systems, high-frequency and medium-frequency antennas, transmission lines, towers and radio frequency filter systems for the broadcast market. SPX also is a major site developer for the PCS/cellular industry. Its brands include Dielectric, Central Tower, TCI, Flash Technology, Brookstone Telecommunications and Flexline.
Microsoft's SPOT Watches Delayed
Las Vegas - Nov 17, 2003 - The IDG New Service reports that watches
equipped with Microsoft's Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT)
won't be available until early next year, missing the holiday shopping
season target. The concept was unveiled at Comdex in 2002 with
manufacturing partnerships with Fossil, Suunto and Citizen Watch
announced in January 2003 at the Consumer Electronics Show.
SPOT will be highlighted by Microsoft at CES in 2004, but Microsoft will not reveal if the convention will see the technology launch.
SPOT watches and the MSN Direct service, the service that feeds the watches, will be available in the U.S. and Canada initially. The watches receive their data via FM subcarriers in the top 100 U.S. metropolitan areas and the largest Canadian cities.
Microsoft and watchmakers Fossil and Suunto Oy of Finland only recently started a large test, too late to make the December gift-giving season. For the watches to be widely available around the holidays, they would have to be shipping to retailers in September, says Roger Gulrajani, director of SPOT at Microsoft.
UK Digital Radio Manufacturers Choose TI
Dallas - Nov 13, 2003 - Texas Instruments introduced Eureka-147 DAB receiver modules in March 2003. Since then, several digital radio brands in the UK have decided to use this chipset. Six of the nine brands using DAB modules include Acoustic Solutions Limited, Cambridge Audio, Hitachi, Intempo, Morphy Richards and Roberts Radio Limited. Gyrosignal, Samsung Electro-Mechanics and TBK Electronics are the leading module makers that are using TI's chipset along with software from Radioscape.
Sony and BMG to Form Joint Music Group
New York - Nov 6, 2003 - The international media and entertainment
companies Bertelsmann AG (BMG) and Sony have signed a non-binding
letter of intent to form a jointly owned recorded music company to be
called Sony BMG. The company will be 50 percent owned by Bertelsmann
and 50 percent owned by Sony.
The joint venture of BMG and Sony Music Entertainment will combine their recorded music businesses. The new company would not include the companies' music publishing, physical distribution and manufacturing businesses.
Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BMG, will serve as chairman of the board of the new joint venture. The board of directors of the new company will be made up of an equal number of representatives from Sony and Bertelsmann. Andrew Lack, chief executive officer of Sony Music Entertainment, will be chief executive officer. The newly formed joint venture will include senior executives from both music groups.
Consummation of the transaction remains subject to a number of conditions, including approvals of the regulatory authorities in the US and the European Union.
Andrew Appoints Byrnes as VP and GM
Orland Park, IL - Nov 11, 2003 - Joan M. Byrnes has joined Andrew in
the newly created role of vice president, satellite communications. In
this position, she will be responsible for managing Andrew's global
satellite communications lines of business. Byrnes was the former chief
operating officer at Loral Skynet, a division of Loral Space and
Communications, where she had responsibility for marketing, sales,
business operations and profitability for Loral Skynet's product
Prior to the acquisition of AT&T Skynet Satellite Services by Loral Space and Communications, Byrnes held a number of senior positions within AT&T, including roles in strategic planning and business development, product management, business network sales and network operations.
Byrnes serves on the board of directors of the Society for Satellite Professionals International (SSPI), a non-profit satellite association dedicated to providing a forum for increasing awareness and professionalism in the satellite industry, and is its current chairman. She is also on the advisory board for SATCON, a conference board focusing exclusively on applications of satellite technology for existing and emerging growth segments.
Byrnes holds a BA degree in English from Montclair State University and an MBA from Rutgers University. She has also completed various executive programs, including the Executive Program on Management Development from the Business School at Berkeley, University of California, and the Executive Sales Program at Kellogg.
White Joins S.C.M.S.
Pinevillle, NC - Nov 10, 2003 - S.C.M.S. has appointed Art White as
the South-Atlantic representative for broadcast products. White most
recently worked for RDS as sales manager and will continue to sell the
RDS products worldwide.
White brings many years of RF and audio experience in engineering, sales, marketing and station ownership to SCMS. He also represented Cetec-Schaffer for many years in the Middle Atlantic States and operated his own engineering and sales organization. He has clients throughout the world.
White’s office is located in Peachtree City, GA. He will sell RF, audio and digital products for S.C.M.S. He can be reached at 770-632-1295 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
This addition brings the total number of S.C.M.S. field sales offices to seven.
AES Launches Job Posting Board
New York - Nov 20, 2003 - The Audio Engineering Society (AES) has launched its Job Posting Board on the AES website. The board can be accessed directly at www.aes.org/jobs. AES members can view the latest job classifieds posted by AES sustaining members. Sustaining members can submit audio job opportunities by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terrasonde Launches New Website
Boulder, CO - Nov 18, 2003 - Terrasonde has launched a new corporate website, www.TerraSonde.com, with many new features. Featuring drop-down menus, an interactive user support forum, news and information, online product registration, online unlock code request form and an expanded section on the Institute for Audio Excellence (Terrasonde and Auralex's virtual audio training facility), the site is built to be informative and functional, yet retain the look and feel of Terrasonde's new corporate identity.
Stardraw.com Launches New Website
London and New York - Nov 17, 2003 - Software provider Stardraw.com has launched its new website, which went live at the beginning of November. In addition to new styling, www.stardraw.com boasts a re-worked navigational structure to facilitate finding information.
Eimac Releases Tube Reference Book
San Carlos, CA - Nov 17, 2003 - The Eimac division of CPI has
released the latest edition of the Care & Feeding of Power Grid
Tubes handbook. This new edition is an updated edition of the Eimac
publication, which is sometimes referred to as the "tube bible." The
updates include additional information on oxide cathodes, grids,
anodes, vac-ion pumps and cooling, including a discussion of multiphase
cooling. Examples have been updated to reflect tubes currently in
common usage. In addition, a new section covering inductive output
tubes (IOTs) has been added. Eimac has taken the original work of the
project and added new material to make this publication timely and up
The book is available through Eimac's global distributor, Richardson Electronics. Contact Richardson at 800-882-3872 or email@example.com.
Audio Science Releases Linux ALSA Driver
New Castle, DE - Nov 10, 2003 - Audio Science has released an
Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) driver for its range of
professional audio adapters. The ALSA driver allows standard Linux
applications to play, record and mix PCM audio using the Audio Science
range of professional sound cards.
The source code is available as a patch to ALSA driver source from Audio Science's website at www.audioscience.com in the download section. Updates will be made periodically available as new adapters and features are supported. The code is released under the terms of the GPL. Advanced functions, such as time scaling (TSX) and on-card MPEG audio processing, can still be accessed through the Audio Science HPI interface (also recently released under GPL).
More information on ALSA is available at www.alsaproject.org.
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