BE Radio Currents Online - Oct 01 - Oct 14, 2001

Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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News


Search for WTC Victims Successful Using Broadcast Electronics Transmitters
Quincy, IL - Oct 9, 2001 – Like many office buildings, the employees in the World Trade Center were issued security cards to permit access into various parts of the building. These access cards, sometimes called smart cards, transmit a data burst when excited by a specific radio frequency. With this in mind, technicians at Motorola began developing a system that may be useful in locating people in the rubble of what was once the World Trade Center.

As previously reported in the BE Radio Currents Online, this highly modified 1kW AM transmitter, operating in the very low frequency (VLF) band, is being used to search for trapped victims at the WTC. All WTC employees received smart cards last August, designed to operate on an exclusive VLF channel. Normally, the wall packs emit only a few mW of power at 125kHz to reach the cards at a distance of one to three feet, and the smart cards emit a return coded signal at 187.5kHz.

The higher-powered, modified Broadcast Electronics AM1A transmitter allows a signal to penetrate the rubble at a distance of 8 to 10 feet, which activates the cards that may be located in the area. An experimental high sensitivity receiver and loop antenna is being used to listen for the card's return signal.

BE Radio has been informed that the first transmitter Broadcast Electronics modified is now on site and operating from a cage suspended over the rubble pile by a crane. Two operators, the transmitter, the receiver and a generator all hang in a basket a short distance above the rubble. The transmit and receive antennas are located ten feet below the basket and the system is moved over one section of the pile at a time. When a card is located by a return ping, the spot is marked and a group digs by hand until the card is located. If there is no return ping, heavy equipment is brought in, and about 6 feet of the rubble is cleared and the process begins again. No official numbers have been released, but local reports indicate that about 30 victims have been located using this system.

A second transmitter has been shipped and modifications to it and the overall system have now been completed. The second system has an improved receiver and a weatherproof housing. As of the date of this release, the second system should be at ground zero. The original system will be returned to Motorola for updating or may be sent directly to Staten Island to search through the relocated rubble for further victim identification. It is expected that these systems will remain in use for the next 9 to 10 months.
RTNDA Working With the FAA
Washington - Oct 5, 2001 - In a meeting with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Radio Television News Directors Association and other interested groups made their case to get news helicopters back in the air. The meeting with FAA chief counsel David Leitch and other FAA officials was the first direct discussion of the government ban on news helicopters that has been in effect since the September 11 attacks on New York City and the Pentagon. The meeting included representatives from television networks, local stations, the National Broadcast Pilots Association, the National Association of Broadcasters and the news helicopter industry.

Media representatives made the case that news helicopters pose no threat to national security and should be allowed back in the air. They cited examples of other types of aircraft that are already back in the sky, including crop dusters, small planes with student pilots, and others. They also said that news helicopters, unlike some aircraft, are locked and in hangars when on the ground, and that pilots and reporters are known to the local air traffic authorities. RTNDA president Barbara Cochran made the point that newspeople need to have helicopters in order to cover the news in large areas and to fulfill their public service mission. The newspeople emphasized that they wanted to work with the FAA and would be happy to find means of operating that would satisfy the government's security concerns. One model suggested was to observe operating measures adopted for coverage of the Olympic games in Atlanta and Los Angeles.

Approximately 250 television and radio stations use helicopters for coverage of news and traffic. Restrictions on news flights have been lifted outside the 30 largest metropolitan areas.

FAA representatives said they were not able to reverse the ban on their own but would forward information to the appropriate government agencies, including the National Security Council. They asked the media group to supply the FAA with written information about the number of aircraft involved, the names and number of people who fly in those aircraft and whether security checks have been done on them, and more information about where the aircraft are stored and whether they are locked, monitored and guarded when not in use.

RTNDA is the world's largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. RTNDA represents local and network news executives in broadcasting, cable and other electronic media in more than 30 countries.

Digital Radio 2001 Scheduled for November
San Francisco - Oct 2, 2001 - Digital Radio 2001 will take place November 1-2, 2001, at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. Digital Radio 2001 will cover a variety of subjects, encompassing technological, strategic and infrastructure issues. Attendees will be able to learn first-hand from people and companies who have tried and tested the technology and have implemented Digital Radio. The key issues covered by the conference include:
  • The reasons for going digital
  • Determining how will digital benefit business
  • Deciding if a business is ready to go digital
  • The infrastructure needed
  • Driving consumers to digital.

    In addition to the sessions and exhibit floor, there will be cocktail receptions and special lunches to allow networking opportunities at all times throughout the event.

    For more information about the conference, go to the Digital Radio Conference website.
    Business


    Gentner and Peavey Sign Licensing Agreement
    Salt Lake City and Meridian, MS - Oct 9, 2001 - Gentner Communications has licensed its echo cancellation and telephone interface technologies to MediaMatrix, a division of Peavey Electronics, for use in MediaMatrix audio processing and control systems.

    By licensing its audio technologies to MediaMatrix, Gentner gains access to new integrators who deal almost exclusively with MediaMatrix products, and to segments of the audio conferencing market in which Gentner products are not yet widely distributed. In addition, Gentner and MediaMatrix can leverage each other’s expertise by combining Peavey’s strength in the sound reinforcement market with Gentner’s strength in the audio conferencing market.

    Gentner’s echo cancellation technology enhances MediaMatrix products by providing an integrated audio card for eliminating echo on microphone inputs. The result is better overall sound quality and greater flexibility in the variety of potential applications for the product.

    Gentner’s telephone interface technology adds teleconferencing capabilities to the MediaMatrix line, enabling clear, precise audio conferencing in applications such as conference rooms, distance learning facilities, training rooms, boardrooms, hotels, courtrooms, houses of worship, and telemedicine facilities. The Gentner technology also provides phone-add capabilities for videoconferencing, allowing for audio-only participation in videoconferences using a telephone.
    Sonifex Switches To APT Software
    Belfast, Ireland and Northants, England - Oct 9, 2001 - Sonifex has signed an agreement with Belfast-based Audio Processing Technology to license Enhanced apt-X, the company's latest data compression algorithm, which provides enhanced audio quality and a further reduction in time delay.

    The UK company has been using APT products since 1991 when apt-X encode and decode chips were used in the Discart digital floppy disk cartridge machines and also the PC audio cards for the HDX2000 on-air broadcast system. More recently, apt-X 100 ED chips have been used in the Sentinel range of audio loggers. A further line with APT came about through Sonifex purchasing a new product range from Nicral Ltd in May 2001. The Nica X range of codecs uses an audio card manufactured by APT for 128kbps audio encoding and decoding.
    APT Technology Signs Contract with Open Solutions


    l to r: Patrick McGrath (APT), Phil Shimph (VP marketing Open Solutions), Noel McKenna (MD APT), Jongwook Kim (president/CEO Open Solutions), Daeil Oh (director of R&D Open Solutions).

    Belfast, Ireland and Seoul, Korea - Oct 9, 2001 - Audio Processing Technology has signed a six year, multi-million pound contract with South Korean firm Open Solution, a semiconductor design house specialising in wireless bluetooth audio technology for the consumer electronics market.

    Seoul-based Open Solution supplies its technology to companies such as Samsung, Sony, Hyundai and Panasonic. Under the terms of the new agreement, Standard apt-X will be developed using VHDL to generate a single chip solution. The chip, which is expected to be ready to market by early 2002, will be manufactured by Samsung Electronics and sold worldwide as a solution for wireless headphones and headset applications. It will also feature in loudspeakers, headphones for personal audio players and other multimedia applications within the vast consumer market.
    Clear Channel to Buy Ackerley Group
    San Antonio and Seattle - Oct 8, 2001 - Clear Channel Communications is buying media and broadcasting company Ackerley Group for $495 million in stock, the latest in a string of deals designed to boost Clear Channel's national presence.

    The acquisition solidifies Clear Channel as a national player in the increasingly important outdoor advertising market, putting it on firm footing against Viacom's Infinity Outdoor business.

    Under the agreement, San Antonio-based Clear Channel would pay 0.35 share for each Ackerley share, which would value Ackerley at $14.11 a share, a 28% premium over its closing price on September 5, 2001. The stock rose $2.40, or about 21.8%, to close at $13.40, while Clear Channel shares were down $1.01 at $39.30, both on the New York Stock Exchange.

    The purchase price, which includes Clear Channel's assumption of $281 million in debt, translates into a rich multiple of 37.7 times cash flow for Ackerley's trailing 12 months.

    Properties to be transferred to Clear Channel on the deal's closing, scheduled for the first quarter of 2002, include 16 TV stations, four radio stations and more than 6,000 outdoor displays in the Boston, Seattle and Portland, Ore. metropolitan markets. As these assets are to be meshed with Clear Channel's 1,220 radio and 19 TV stations, as well as about 770,000 ad displays worldwide, it's nothing short of surprising the deal will likely sail through regulatory channels.
    Musicmusicmusic Renews Licensing Contract With RIAA
    New York, NY – Oct 5, 2001 – Musicmusicmusic, one of the world’s premier music content providers, announced its contract renewal with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

    The newly revised contract boasts some exciting revisions, including a new method of calculating licensing fees. With the new license basing fees on a per-performance basis, musicmusicmusic will no longer pay royalties based on overhead of the division.

    The revised method of determining license fees owing is calculated specifically on the actual performances of sound recordings and revenue. The previous contract specified license fees based on revenue or overhead and did not consider actual music usage. Musicmusicmusic's new licensing period has been retroactively extended to March 2001.

    In addition to the new RIAA licensing structure, musicmusicmusic has reduced its music streams by cutting off partners with no aspirations to bring in advertising revenue, which has further reduced licensing fees.

    Musicmusicmusic reported 2,141,268 song deliveries throughout the United States through July 2001, and a total of 2,621,260 worldwide.
    Silicon Labs Synthesizes for XM Receivers
    Austin, TX - Oct 3, 2001 - Silicon Laboratories announced that the new satellite radio receivers from XM Satellite Radio use Silicon Labs' highly integrated Si4136XM RF synthesizer.

    The completely CMOS RF synthesizer was selected because it provides leading performance and integration by eliminating more than 30 components that would have been required by other synthesizers.

    XM Satellite Radio formally launched the first U.S. digital satellite radio service last month with 100 channels of coast-to-coast CD-quality music and news. The Si4136XM provides the frequency synthesis functionality needed to down-convert the satellite and terrestrial repeater broadcast signals in the XM radio receiver.

    The Si4136XM is included in both radio receiver modules offered by XM through a contract-manufacturing partner and in the stringent reference design that all XM-compliant receivers must meet. Manufacturers wishing to incorporate the XM radio receiver in their products must either purchase the module or follow the reference design. The XM system includes two satellites, Rock and Roll, as well as a network of terrestrial repeaters that amplify the satellite signal in dense urban areas.

    Silicon Labs is in volume production with a full line of RF synthesizers designed for GSM/GPRS, W-CDMA or 3G and ISM-band applications. Additionally, Silicon Labs is sampling the Aero GSM transceiver, which will be in volume production early in the fourth quarter.

    Musicam USA TEAM Goes to Greece
    Holmdel, NJ - Oct 1, 2001 - DG Systems' StarGuide Digital Networks division announced the delivery of 68 TEAMs, the company's T1/E1 Audio Multiplexing systems built by the Musicam USA division, to OTE, the Hellenic Telecommunications Organization in Greece. The TEAM systems will be used to update, modernize and enhance OTE's high quality audio capabilities throughout the Greek mainland and surrounding islands.

    The TEAM systems were specially configured to meet OTE's specific requirements. TEAM mainframes can be configured to send or receive as many as 12 audio program channels via E1 or T1. OTE’s systems were all shipped with E1 Multiplexer Modules for direct connection to E1 2.048MB data streams. TEAM mainframes were supplied with a variety of Encoder Modules and Decoder Modules. Each Module can encode or decode audio in a wide variety of algorithms, including MPEG Layer 2, MPEG Layer 3, J.41, J.57 and G.722. Some TEAM systems will operate from AC power, but the majority of systems will be run from batteries for fail-safe operation.

    Musicam USA, a division of DG Systems' StarGuide Digital Networks, is the d/b/a of Corporate Computer Systems, Inc., Holmdel, NJ USA.
    NStor Technologies Announces Partnership
    San Diego - Oct 2, 2001 - NStor Technologies announced it will provide Adaptec with products, technology and services for Adaptec to incorporate into its current and future product offerings.

    According to a company spokesman, nStor is aggressively positioning itself to take advantage of changing market opportunities. Through partnerships in product development with leading storage providers such as Adaptec, nStor plans to make its technology increasingly prevalent in the industry. Both companies believe that customers will also benefit from this relationship, since Adaptec and nStor will combine resources to develop state-of-the-art products that take full advantage of emerging storage technologies.
    MidiaRadio Named Telos, Omnia Dealer for Brazil
    Cleveland, OH - Sep 28, 2001 – Telos Systems and Omnia, a Telos company, have chosen MidiaRadio of Rio de Janeiro to represent Telos and Omnia broadcast products in Brazil.

    Founded in 1998, MidiaRadio distributes broadcast products to Brazil’s preeminent radio companies, including Rio de Janeiro’s Tupi Radio Network, Radio y TV Bandeirantes of Porto Alegre, Radio Itatiaia, Minas Gerais and Radio Estudio Reunidos, Pernambuco.

    To contact MidiaRadio, visit the dealer section of the Telos website at www.telos-systems.com or browse MidiaRadio's website at www.midiaradio.com.br.
    WSDG Builds Studios for Cramer's RealMoney
    New York - Oct 1, 2001 - The Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed a two-room radio production studio for TheStreet.com's award-winning financial journalist and co-founder Jim Cramer. Broadcast from TheStreet.com's Wall Street-based headquarters and syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks, Jim Cramer's RealMoney is already airing in major markets such as Los Angeles (KLAC-AM), Washington, D.C. (WWRC-AM), and Seattle (KNWX-AM). Other WSDG broadcast credits include National Public Radio station WETA in Arlington, VA, and the cutting-edge Interlochen, MI, Public Radio complex.
    PiRod Offers Preview of TIA Tower Standard
    Plymouth, IN - Oct 1, 2001 - As a prelude to the forthcoming revision of the TIA/EIA standard for communications towers, PiRod has recently published a Q&A offering insight on the changes most likely to occur.

    While shedding light on the imminent changes, the new 12 page booklet also offers an explanation on how those changes will generally affect tower design. John Erichsen, PiRod's vice president of engineering, emphasizes how important it is that specifiers familiarize themselves with the new Rev G because it will allow them to make better buying decisions.

    For a free copy of Revision G: How It's Going to Impact Your Job, contact PiRod by mail at 1545 Pidco Drive, P.O. Box 128, Plymouth, IN 46563-0128; by phone at 219-936-4221 or 877-467-4763; by fax at 219-936-6796; or go to www.pirod.com.
    Mobile Audio Streamlined By MobileBriefs Technology
    Atlanta - Oct 1, 2001 - MobileBriefs announced that its new technology suite based on the latest Personalized Audio Broadcast (PAB) technology is now available for enterprise applications. The new technology suite is designed for delivery of personalized mobile audio and rich media content to most major-brand PDAs, Pocket PCs, MP3 Players, handsets, and other mobile devices.

    MobileBriefs technology uses a five-step process for personalization of mobile, rich media.
    Media MobileSuite:
  • MobilePublisher - Tools for categorizing, producing, and storing text into personalized mobile audio & rich media.
  • MobilePersonalizer - Real-Time Personalization (RTP) audio distribution engine.
  • MobileSubscriber - Management access controls, subscription, ad-insertion, and metering e-commerce engine.
  • MobileDistributor - Intelligent content management and delivery of media, which optimizes to most mobile devices.
  • MobileClient - Real-time streaming and automatic scheduled sync client for PC, PDA, handset, or mobile devices.

    Other MobileBriefs Services:
  • MobileServe - Turn-key management and hosting of all services above. Enterprise or third party content fed to MobileBriefs.
  • My.MobileBriefs.com- Ready-to-go service with MobileBriefs technology managing the world's largest base of business audio.
  • MobileStudio - A full-service in-house group of studios for fast, reliable generation of audio & rich media.
    Lucent Selects StarGuide Digital Technology
    Dallas -Sep 26, 2001 - DG Systems' wholly-owned subsidiary StarGuide Digital Networks announced that Lucent Technologies has chosen StarGuide's audio encoding technology for the MPEG layer audio encoding in its WaveStar Digital Video System product line. Accordingly, DG Systems has agreed to issue a four-year license that allows Lucent to use StarGuide's Musicam audio encoding technology.

    Lucent Digital Video manufactures and markets digital video products, including MPEG-2 encoders. As part of Lucent's Optical Networking Group, Lucent Digital Video markets its product line for cable, broadcast TV, broadband, satellite and other applications worldwide.

    StarGuide is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Digital Generation Systems, and StarGuide's Musicam Division is a provider and licensor of professional audio encoding products and technologies for the radio and other broadcasting industries worldwide.

    People


    Harris Promotes Three Employees
    Cincinnati - Sep 4, 2001 - Harris Corporation announces the promotion of Sandy Berenics to national manager and Brian McConnell to western regional manager for Harris Broadcast Division's Radio and Television Systems Sales group, and Pam Leffler to broadcast sales specialist for the Broadcast Center Sales Center.

    Berenics brings more than 20 years of experience in the systems business to this new position. She joined Pacific Research and Engineering, which was subsequently purchased by Harris, in 1979 and, during her tenure with PR&E, worked in international sales, customer service and marketing. She will be based in Harris' Carlsbad, CA office and will be responsible for the United States sales team focusing on the radio and television systems business, as well as Harris Broadcast Manager (HBM) and digital products.

    McConnell joined Harris in January of 1999 as a sales coordinator in the Harris Broadcast Center in Mason, OH. He is a 1997 Business Administration graduate of Indiana University and holds a master's degree from the Kelly School of Business at IU. He will report to Sandy Berenics and will be based in Las Vegas.

    Pam Leffler has been promoted to broadcast sales specialist for the Broadcast Sales Center in Mason, OH, from order administrator for Intraplex. A native of Quincy, IL, Leffler started her career with Harris in 1997 and transferred to the Cincinnati area two years ago. She will report to Virginia Lees Williams, director of radio and systems sales.
    Telex Communications Appoints Wise
    Burnsville, MN - Oct 4, 2001 - Telex Communications appointed Monte Wise to the position of sales manager, USA concert sound. In this capacity, Wise will be responsible for sales management, market development and incentive programs in USA concert sound.

    Wise brings 20 years of experience in professional audio to his new position. His background ranges from a concert sound product manager and national accounts manager with Electro-Voice, to working as an independent owner/operator of a professional audio production company.

    Additionally, Wise has extensive work experience in sales, product management and accounts management, and has also worked as an installation designer, front-of-house engineer and recording engineer.

    Wise brings to his position proven success in market development, excellent management skills, and the ability to foster positive relationships with sales reps, contractors, consultants and end-users. Prior to joining EV, Wise was Midwest district sales manager at AKAI Musical Instrument Corporation.
    Comrex's Thorenson Celebrates 25 years


    Comrex director of engineering Tom Hartnett congratulates Erik Thoreson on his 25 years.

    Erik Thoreson, systems engineer for Comrex, recently celebrated his 25th anniversary of service in Comrex's engineering department. Thorenson has been with the company since Comrex's beginnings when its main products were telephone-line frequency extenders. Hi colleagues consider him a loyal and valued employee in the current digital age. At a recent company event, Erik's achievement was celebrated with an award ceremony and party.

    Thorenson's job responsibilities include product test procedure design, sheet metal design, systems maintenance and engineering/production documentation.
    Ostlund Joins Dielectric Communications
    Raymond, ME - Oct 1, 2001 - Dielectric Communications announces the appointment of Terry Ostlund as regional sales manager for the western states. Mr. Ostlund comes to Dielectric from Harris Corporation where he served as district account manager for television products. Previously, he was account manager for Sony Electronics and has held several engineering positions at local TV stations.

    Dielectric Communications is a manufacturer of high power TV and FM broadcast antennas, transmission line and RF systems and a leader in broadcast transmission system design. Dielectric is a unit of SPX Corporation. SPX Corporation is a global provider of technical products and systems, industrial products and services, flow technology and service solutions.
    Internet Watch


    RFS Launches Web-based Wireless System
    Meriden, CT - Oct 8, 2001 - Radio Frequency Systems' System Design Wizard is an Internet-based tool available exclusively from RFS. The Wizard allows the user to easily and efficiently develop bills of material (BOMs) of RFS products that are used in base station and microwave antenna systems.

    The user simply registers a user name and password with RFS that allows access to the System Design Wizard On-line configurator software.

    The RFS System Design Wizard uses advanced software technology to create a menu-driven procedure that takes the user through the process of selecting components that range from the antenna to the radio jumper.

    Once the BOM has been developed, it may be saved for future use, or it may be faxed or emailed to Radio Frequency Systems for customized pricing.

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