BE Radio Currents Online - Apr 29 - May 05, 2002

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Radio technology news updated as it happens.

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Ibiquity Closes $45 Million Equity Financing

Columbia, MD and Warren, NJ - Apr 30, 2002 - Ibiquity Digital Corporation has closed its Series C Financing, indicating that it had raised $45 million. Susquehanna Radio joins 14 of the 20 largest U.S. radio broadcasters, strategic equipment and automobile manufacturers and leading financial institutions that have previously invested in Ibiquity. Most of Ibiquity’s existing investors contributed additional funds, with Grotech, JP Morgan Partners, New Venture Partners and Pequot Capital leading the round.

Ibiquity stated that the proceeds raised through this financing round will fully fund the company's operations through commercialization to profitability. Ibiquity noted that the completion of this funding round is indicative of its investor’s confidence in the company's IBOC technology and business prospects.

AEQ Helps Broadcast at the Winter Olympics

Salt Lake City - Apr 29, 2002 - The sound set-up and transmission for all the commentators at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City was done with an AEQ DCS 10 digital commentary system. A total of 450 commentary units were deployed at the 13 Olympic venues. From each one, as many as three reporters and a guest could participate. They were remotely operated from a PC at each venue, which was connected to the commentary control units, each of whose modules acted on a commentary unit. Operation could be monitored and errors prevented and corrected if necessary.

AEQ also supplied a commentary switching center in the International Broadcasting Center, which was the nerve center where the circuits coming from the venues were received and supervised. Circuit distribution frames were installed and connected to more than 100 48 x 2-circuit patch panels, AEQ DA16T audio distribution amplifiers, AEQ IN 02 intercoms, AEQ SSR 10 line identifiers, audio quality monitors, VU meters and video monitors.

The European Broadcasting Union used a 400 x 400-circuit AEQ Impact caddy-switching matrix with digital technology. Its exclusive software application incorporates a booking management system that implemented, in real time, the necessary switching between the circuits from the venues and the international circuits destined for each broadcaster, and following the production of the multilateral television signal distributed to all of Europe through the Eurovision network.


BTSG Software Ownership, Service Returns

Jonesboro, LA - May 1, 2002 - The Broadcast Technical Services Group again controls BTSG Software. Since November, 2000, BTSG products have been marketed by Scott Studios of Dallas and customers of Scott will continue to receive support from Scott. New customers should now deal directly with BTSG at 318-395-8410 or

Past BTSG customers can contact the company for support assistance or products. BTSG will offer limited-time extended support and assistance, as well as some free software upgrades for many past customers who may be currently out of warranty. For details on these extensions, or to verify eligibility, visit the BTSG website at

Wheatstone Announces Support for Stardraw

Phil Owens of Wheatstone and David Snipp of Stardraw.

Las Vegas - Apr 12, 2002 - Following's entry into the broadcast market at the recent NAB with Stardraw Radio, Wheatstone has announced its full support of the Stardraw Radio package across its entire product range. The partnership between Stardraw and manufacturers such as Wheatstone offers both parties a way of adding value to their products and supporting their customers.

Because today's radio consolidation projects involve increasingly complex integration of consoles, routers and peripheral equipment, Wheatstone is able to use the tools to generate high quality pre-sales engineering documents and incorporate that information into its production phase documentation. The symbols libraries, which will soon include the entire Wheatstone product line, help to streamline Wheatstone's documentation process and allow the broadcast industry with greater access to its products in a way that can improve business for all parties involved.

Sirius Up to 18 States for Service

New York - May 1, 2002 - Sirius Satellite Radio has begun service in seven additional states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma and Utah. The Sirius accelerated rollout brings the total number of states served to 18. By late May, service will officially be available throughout the entire Midwest region, after which Sirius will concentrate on the Southeast.

The new service launch follows Sirius' announcement to move its nationwide service launch date up by one month. The move also focused on launching service by states and not just by cities.

Sirius was already available in the following states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, plus the original service launch cities of Houston and Jackson, MS.

Nassau Taps StratosAudio for Interactivity

Century City, CA, and Princeton, NJ - Apr 29, 2002 - Nassau Broadcasting Partners LP has signed an agreement with StratosAudio to enable interactivity with conventional FM radio with the first live installations to be put in place by July of this year. Nassau is the first broadcast group to incorporate interactivity into its conventional FM radio stations.

Nassau announced that the first station to go live will be 97.5 WPST, which serves the Philadelphia area, with plans to extend interactivity to other Nassau properties upon successful completion of initial tests. StratosAudio’s interactive services provide consumers with the ability to immediately identify and purchase on-air content such as music and advertisements during a radio broadcast.

StratosAudio’s worldwide patent-pending technology will allow radio listeners and mobile phone users to instantly purchase music and other content, and respond to advertisements and talk shows at the press of a button while listening to conventional radio. The company is beginning its service in Europe and the U.S.

Harris Signs a Deal with APT

Belfast - Apr 29, 2002 - APT has signed a licensing deal with Harris that allows Harris to use software versions of APT's algorithm in a number of its products. For years APT has supplied Harris with its Apt-X data compression algorithm on the original APTX100ED chip for OEM use in Harris' range of STL multiplex units.

As its range of products requiring Apt-X grew, Harris decided to license not only the traditional 16-bit APT algorithm, but also the new enhanced version that offers significant improvements in sound quality and delay time. Harris will be incorporating the software into a range of new products that will be developed and released over the next 18 months.

Omnia Enters Agreement with Crown

Las Vegas - Apr 8, 2002 - Omnia Audio has entered into an agreement with Crown Broadcast to develop a digital audio processor that will integrate directly with the FM transmitters produced by Crown Broadcast. Under the agreement Omnia will design an audio processor contained on a card that plugs directly into the chassis of Crown Broadcast FM-series radio transmitters. Specific audio and technical details of the Omnia plug-in processor will be released at a later date.

Dutch Broadcaster Upgrades to Apt-X

Belfast - Apr 29, 2002 - Omroep Brabant, one of the largest regional radio and television company in the Netherlands, has committed its entire network to APT's Enhanced Apt-X algorithm for studio-to-transmitter and studio-to-studio links. The Belfast-based company has incorporated the data compression algorithms into its transmission chain. The network had featured a combination of APT NLS and BCF codecs, but with the recent introduction of Enhance Apt-X, Omroep Brabant felt it was time to upgrade.

Ednet Places Monthly Order with APT

Belfast - Apr 29, 2002 - Codec-manufacturer APT has received an on-going monthly order from its main U.S. distributor, Entertainment Digital Network, for its new Worldnet Milano ISDN codec. Since its launch, EDNET has supplied Milano units to NFL Films, Audio Recording Unlimited, Sonart Production, Magnetic Studios, Film Roman and Foote Cone Belding.

EDNET has played a significant role in the worldwide distribution of APT products since 1995, when it first began selling the DSM100/Prolink Digital Audio Codec throughout the U.S. EDNET handles North American technical support of APT's audio codecs for all markets.

Aztec Radiomedia Receives Order for 116 SPX420

Strasbourg - Apr 29, 2002 - IDMS has ordered 116 SPX420 networked digital audio cards from Aztec Radiomedia. The SPX420 cards, an OEM version of Aztec Radiomedia's Hitplayer networked digital audio system, will be installed in underground metro stations in Brussels. The audio equipment will provide mainly traffic and customer announcements and security alerts in the underground metro stations. IDMS plans to install the equipment by July 2002.

Liberty Wire Builds a New Headquarters

Las Vegas - Apr 8, 2002 - Liberty Wire and Cable is building its new headquarters in Colorado Springs, CO. Scheduled to begin construction in the third quarter of this year, the facility will be 35,000 square feet. Office space will be 8,500 square feet and the rest of the space will be dedicated to warehousing, manufacturing, production of cable assemblies and a wide range of custom work including printing and bundling. Liberty plans move into the facility by January 2003.

Maxell Reorganizes Staff, Publishes Booklets

Las Vegas - Apr 8, 2002 - Maxell has reorganized its engineering and product development staff into the Maxell Technical Marketing Support Group to help customers navigate the increasingly complex array of blank media choices available to them.

The group consists of three engineering professionals, each with specialties in magnetic or optical media, and charged with supervising Maxell's telephone and on-line customer service resources, developing and publishing brochures and other explanatory documents and periodically meeting directly with customers to explain new technologies and formats.

The company has also recently published a care and handling booklet for its professional and broadcast magnetic media products, as well as a white paper and frequently asked questions document on the various available forms of DVD. The Care and Handling of Magnetic Media is a 15-page guide that covers 18 topics, including storage and archiving, stray magnetic fields and temperature considerations. The DVD documents explore the development of DVD technology and outlines the various format differences.

DK-Audio Open U.S. and German Offices

Copenhagen - Apr 29, 2002 - Danish metering company DK-Audio has opened two new sales offices, one in the U.S. and one in Germany, to capitalize on the sales potential in these markets. In the U.S., DK-Audio's existing distribution deals with TC-Electronic and Leader Instruments will continue, while the new offices will expand distribution of the company's products further. In Germany, Audio Export G.Neumann, which has been DK-Audio's German distributor for several years, will continue to handle the company's range of audio metering products.

RDA Systems Teams With Wheatstone

New Bern, NC, and Maryland Heights, MO - Apr 8, 2002 - Wheatstone and RDA Systems have signed an agreement wherein RDA will base its system designs and installation services around Wheatstone’s full range of products. Wheatstone manufactures television and on-air radio audio consoles, professional audio equipment and studio furniture under the Wheatstone, Audioarts Engineering and Auditronics brand names from its facility in New Bern, NC. RDA Systems has provided consulting, design and installation services for domestic US and overseas projects.

A Wheatstone Factory Qualified Systems Integrator, RDA Systems is familiar with the entire Wheatstone, Audioarts and Auditronics product lines, including the new Bridge audio routing system. Wheatstone Factory Qualified Systems Integrators are trained in Wheatstone technologies and are able to design and install any Wheatstone product. RDA Systems was the first systems integrator to receive factory-trained certification when the program launched in 2000.


Soundcraft Names Staddon Product Development Director

Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, England - May 2, 2002 - Soundcraft’s worldwide headquarters in the UK has promoted Ian Staddon to the position of product development director, a newly created role at the head of a team of experienced product managers. Staddon will assume responsibility for Soundcraft’s strategic product development activities, including market research, new product definitions and specifications, project management and new product introductions.

Staddon, who has been with Soundcraft for more than 10 years, has worked in purchasing, project management, production and sales, where his most recent role had been regional sales manager for Asia and South America. Prior to joining Soundcraft, he started his pro audio career at Bandive over 16 years ago, where he moved up to production manager for the last SECK range of mixers.

TC Group Reorganizes Following Merger

Risskov, Denmark - May 2, 2002 - As a result of the recent merger of TGI plc. and TC Group, some changes have been made in the Tannoy and TC Electronic management. While maintaining his position as CEO at TC Group, Anders Fauerskov relocates to Scotland, and joins Tannoy as CEO on May 1, 2002, replacing Henny Groenendijk. Groenendijk will be in charge of Tannoy B.V., as well as a member of the newly formed Board of Tannoy, and will be involved directly in the distribution aspects in Europe and Austral-Asia.

Also on May 1, vice president of sales and marketing at TC Electronic, Mads Peter Lübeck, will take on the position of COO at TC Electronic in Denmark. Lübeck has been with TC Electronic for more than 10 years. He held the position as vice president of sales and marketing for the last three years. During this time he successfully implemented a new distribution and sales setup in Europe.

Additionally, Simon Sinclair, national sales manager at TC U.S., will move to Scotland replacing Derek West as sales director at Tannoy. Sinclair has been with TC for more than three years. Michaela Dolphin has been appointed as national sales manager at TC US.

ERI Adds Southeast Sales Position

Chandler, IN - Feb 15, 2002 - Jim Thomason has joined the ERI staff as area sales manager. Thomason will assume responsibility for sales of all ERI products and services in the Southeastern U.S., including Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi and Alabama.

In 1994, Thomason joined Harris Broadcast, quickly advancing to digital product specialist. In 1998, he was appointed district sales manager, primarily focusing on Harris transmitters and associated RF products. Thomason has been active with NAB papers, as a panelist in national and regional shows and workshops, and presentations for several SBE chapter programs on latest technology.

Crest Audio Adds Staff

Denver - Apr 25, 2002 - Crest Audio has expanded its staff by two. Mike Cook has been promoted to contracting products sales engineer. Cook will now be responsible for overseeing pre- and post-sale support of contractor products, including Nexsys computer controlled amplifier systems. cooked formerly served in various positions at Crest, including positions in technical services and engineering.

Eric Oppenheimer has been appointed eastern regional sales manager. He previously worked as sales manager for Parker Guitars, and conducted product-training seminars for national sales representatives and dealer networks at Samson Technologies.

Audio-Technica Announces New Sales Manager

Las Vegas - Apr 8, 2002 - Tracy Brefka joins Audio-Technica as sales manager, professional products. In this position, Brefka will manage sales territories in upstate New York, New England, Eastern Pennsylvania, Michigan, Delaware, Souther New Jersey, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and Southern California. Brefka first joined Audio-Technica in 1990 as inside sales representative, and then was promoted to assistant sales manager.

Will-Burt names CEO

Orrville, OH - Jan 24, 2002 - Jeffrey Evans has been named president of the Will-Burt Company. Evans has been with Will-Burt since 1994. Evans will be responsible for strategically focusing the company's efforts domestically and internationally.

Sabine Adds Bull, Motel and Ferkovich

Alachua, FL - Apr 29, 2002 - Sabine, a manufacturer of audio DSP products, has added three people to its staff.

Robert Bull joins Sabine as corporate quality engineer. Before joining Sabine, Bull was general manager at Atkins Electrical, Gainesville, FL.

Byra Ferkovich has joined the engineering department. Ferkovich received his electrical engineering degree from the University of Florida and spent the last six years working for the University of Rochester at its laboratory for laser energetics.

Joel Motel joins Sabine as the director of north american sales. Prior to joining Sabine, Motel held the positions of regional sales manager for BSS Audio and national sales manager for Klark Teknik. Motel will be responsible for sales, long-term strategic planning, managing the sales team, and overseeing and training sales representatives.

Liberty Appoints Two Executives

Las Vegas - Apr 8, 2002 - Liberty Wire and Cable has appointed Jerry Dixon as vice president of broadcast and integration, west. Dixon will assume responsibility for all of Liberty's broadcast and integration sales activities for states west of the Mississippi River. Dixon comes to LIberty with a background in sales and marketing management.

Rusty Pafford has been appointed national sales manager of the broadcast division at Liberty. Pafford joins the company with more than 20 years of experience in the consumer and business electronics industry. His background consists of positions dealing with video cameras, switchers, editors and various monitors focused primarily on the broadcast market.


Smarts and On Air Digital Go Non-proprietary

Emmetsburg, IA - May 3, 2002 - Smarts Broadcast Systems and On Air Digital have introduced a new generation of digital audio products that eliminate the necessity for expensive, proprietary audio cards. Company president John Schad said that the new product reflects the united goal of both companies: to produce reliable, cost-effective digital audio systems using minimal proprietary technology.

The new product uses an auxiliary computer running under either Linux or Windows XP, handling any needed audio compression in the computer itself, and not on the card. The Linux operating system is particularly appealing for broadcast audio applications, according to Schad, because of its stability and scalability. With the elimination of proprietary audio cards, hardware costs have been substantially reduced without any degradation in audio quality.

This allows the companies' products to use virtually any audio card, including inexpensive Sound Blasters in new systems. Customers can choose any audio quality they desire, and the overall system prices are still lower than before. The new products will play virtually any computer audio file, including MPEG layer II, layer III, PCM-WAV, BWF and apt-X. Most files can be mixed and matched and played back to back or overlapped.

The technology was made possible when Smarts acquired On Air Digital. The company states that On Air had already developed a strong Linux technology that dovetailed nicely with the development efforts at Smarts. The acquisition allowed Smarts to move its product to market several years ahead of the original timeline.

Currently the product runs with the Smartcaster and the Ultimate Digital Studio systems. User interfaces on the drawing board include a full Linux graphics interface and an HTML interface that will allow control of the systems from any computer on the Internet, without any special software. Schad expects that this will be particularly valuable for smaller stations that want to run unattended for long periods of time and have some way of controlling the system from their home or other remote location. In the past, this required a dedicated modem and phone line. In time, Smarts expects the control to be available by going to a site on the Internet.

Fujifilm's Recorder Increases Capacity

Las Vegas - Apr 8, 2002 - Fuji Photo Film's Nano Cubic magnetic recording technology increases the capacity of magnetic media. This product features an ultra-thin layer coating, which can produce higher resolution for recording digital data, ultra-low noise and high signal-to-noise ratios that are useful for magneto-resisitive heads. The technology is capable of combining data cartridge and digital videotape into one-terabyte native (uncompressed) capacities and floppy disk capacities to 2 gigabytes. The 1TB could store many as 200 two-hour movies.

NPR Buys 25 Neumann U 87Ai Mics for New LA Facility

Washington, DC - Apr 29, 2002 - National Public Radio recently purchased 25 Neumann U 87 Ai/Set Z large diaphragm condenser microphones for its new Los Angeles facility. Most of the microphones are destined for spoken word applications. Now in the final stages of construction, the new facility is scheduled to go on the air in September 2002.

Legendary for their attention to detail and audiophile expectations, NPR engineers use the Neumann U 87 extensively in their Washington, DC, facility as the gold standard in fidelity. Heir to the technology of a long line of U-series microphones that stretch back to the early years of sound recording, the U 87 came onto the scene during the late 60s. The current incarnation boasts a 6dB signal-to-noise ratio improvement while maintaining quality sound.

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