BE Radio Currents Online - Apr 15 - Apr 28, 2002


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FCC Seeks AM IBOC Comments


Washington - Apr 19, 2002 - On Nov. 1, 1999, the Federal Communications Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) entitled Digital Audio Broadcasting Systems and Their Impact on the Terrestrial Broadcast Service. In the NPRM, the Commission stated its policy goals for a new terrestrial digital audio broadcasting (DAB) service, and sought comment on terrestrial in-band, on-channel (IBOC) AM and FM DAB systems and AM and FM DAB systems based on the allocation of new radio spectrum in different frequency bands. The Commission also stated in the NPRM its belief that it is necessary and appropriate to rely, to some degree, on the expertise of the private sector for DAB system evaluations, and listed the following 10 tentative selection criteria for DAB systems: 1) enhanced audio fidelity; 2) robustness to interference and other signal impairments; 3) compatibility with existing analog service; 4) spectrum efficiency; 5) flexibility; 6) auxiliary capability; 7) extensibility; 8) accommodation for existing broadcasters; 9) coverage; and 10) implementation costs/affordability of equipment.

On April 15, 2002, Ibiquity submitted its AM IBOC test results to the Commission. On April 16, 2002, the National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC) submitted a report from the Evaluation Working Group of the DAB Subcommittee entitled Evaluation of the iBiquity Digital Corporation (iBiquity) IBOC System, Part 2 - AM IBOC. This is the only terrestrial DAB system currently under consideration by the Commission. The NRSC report evaluates the laboratory and field testing of the Ibiquity hybrid mode AM IBOC DAB system, and contains conclusions and recommendations concerning this AM IBOC DAB system to the Commission. Both the NRSC and iBiquity filings are available electronically at
www.fcc.gov/e-file/ecfs.html under MM Docket No. 99-325, or from the Commission’s duplicating contractor, Qualex International, 445 12th Street, SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, DC, 20554, 202-863-2893.

By Public Notice, comment is sought on the NRSC report, conclusions and recommendations concerning the Ibiquity hybrid mode AM IBOC DAB system, as well as on the Ibiquity AM IBOC test results, with respect to the Commission’s stated DAB policy goals and selection criteria. Interested parties may file comments on or before June 18, 2002, and reply comments on or before July 18, 2002. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or by filing paper copies.

In addition to the AM IBOC test results now on file, some additional testing is required. The Ibiquity AM IBOC tests evaluated by NRSC were conducted using MPEG-2AAC perceptual audio coding. Ibiquity intends to use proprietary audio coding based on PAC, developed by Lucent Technologies, in its final AM IBOC DAB system, and will provide a report for evaluation containing test data for its AM IBOC DAB system using this audio coding. Also, the Ibiquity AM IBOC tests considered only AM daytime (groundwave) propagation conditions. Additional testing of the Ibiquity AM IBOC system is required to assess AM nighttime (skywave) propagation conditions. Further public comment will be solicited when the results of the additional testing are submitted to the Commission.


NPR Expands WestwardCoverage


Washington DC - Apr 16, 2002 - NPR has purchased property in Culver City, CA, that will house the multimedia West Coast Production Center. NPR plans to begin occupying the 25,000 square-foot building at 9909 Jefferson Boulevard in September 2002.

NPR's expanded presence in the West will enable producers, editors and reporters to more thoroughly explore the cultural diversity and spirit of that region. NPR's reporting from the area will emphasize trends in culture, arts, entertainment, new media and music, and will examine the business side of the arts and entertainment industry. The center will boost NPR's reach to western audiences and communities, as well as strengthen NPR's connection to its member stations throughout the west that serve millions of listeners.

NPR continues to grow and now has 11 foreign bureaus and 19 domestic bureaus. The West Coast Production Center is the first large-scale production center NPR has established outside of Washington. As NPR's second largest facility, the center will also provide emergency backup to the network.


XM Drops PAC for CT-aacPlus


Washington, DC - Apr 18, 2002 - At a press conference held in New York City, XM Satellite Radio unveiled its plans to use a customized CT-aacPlus audio encoding algorithm with neural audio optimization. XM states that the new algorithm will provide superior sound quality that is remarkably close to compact disc.

CT-aacPlus is a third-generation audio encoding technology. CT-aacPlus is the combination of Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), now a global standard combining the work of AT&T, Dolby, Fraunhofer and Sony with Coding Technologies' Spectral Band Replication (SBRM) technology.

Coding Technologies, a developer of perceptual audio compression and inventor of SBR, was formed through a merger between a Swedish group of researchers and experts from the renowned German Fraunhofer Institute, the inventor of MP3.

This combination of AAC and SBR, CT-aacPlus has been tested by high-profile audio professionals from around the world. In a double-blind listening test, AAC alone has historically proven 33 percent more efficient compared to previous generations of competing algorithms. Double-blind listening tests conducted by the BBC, Deutsche Telekom and Robert Bosch GmbH have established that the CT-aacPlus combination is 30 percent more efficient than AAC. Based on test results, CT-aacPlus has been adopted by the International Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) consortium and accepted by MPEG as the reference model for the upcoming version of MPEG-4.

In addition, the XM sound is further enhanced by Neural Audio, a Seattle-based research lab that pioneered future-generation audio, by merging neural networks with the physics of sound. Neural Audio's proprietary pre-processing software uses neural network computing techniques to implement algorithms that are based on models of the brain's perception of sound.

Neural Audio created a customized version of its process, designed to enhance CT-aacPlus results by optimizing temporal and spectral elements prior to encoding, improving soundstage clarity and increasing intelligibility. The unique combination of CT-aacPlus and Neural Audio algorithms enable XM to deliver a consistent sound experience.

Neural Audio's Stereo Transcoder algorithm preserves the imaging and spatiality of stereo and surround-sound content that XM broadcasts. So XM customers with matrix-style surround sound equipment, including Dolby technology, can receive a full surround sound experience.

XM had previously used the Perceptual Audio Coder algorithm, which was originally developed by Lucent Technologies and licensed to XM by Ibiquity Digital. Ibiquity will use PAC in its IBOC DAB system.


ArbitronReleases Initial Round of PPM Ratings


New York - Apr 15, 2002 – Arbitron released an initial round of ratings results from the second phase of the Portable People Meter (PPM) U.S. market trial in Philadelphia.

The Portable People Meter continues to report higher average quarter-hour audiences on a 24-hour day, total-week basis for the combined electronic media stations and networks that encoded full time. The February 2002 PPM results show increased average quarter-hour audiences for broadcast and cable TV, and somewhat higher average quarter-hour audiences for radio (see summary findings below).

The latest Portable People Meter findings from panel of 1,500 consumers in the Philadelphia radio and TV market confirm the pattern reported in the previous three ratings comparisons from last year's trial in Wilmington, DE. These findings continue to suggest that Arbitron's new ratings technology is tracking media exposure that is not included in today's generation of television and radio ratings methods.

With the release of these ratings results Arbitron announced that it would expand its ongoing evaluation of the audience estimates produced by the PPM in Philadelphia.

Arbitron will continue its efforts to educate and inform the broadcast industry about the PPM technology through meetings, webcasts and Web-based interactive presentations. The industry will also receive direct access to PPM data through a new software application so Arbitron's customers may evaluate the PPM ratings using their own resources and expertise.

Nielsen Media Research, which has an option to join Arbitron in the commercial deployment of the PPM in the U.S., will participate in this expanded evaluation of the PPM results and will assist Arbitron in its analysis of the differences between the PPM trial results and Nielsen’s reported audience measurement data in Philadelphia.

To help understand the differences reported by the PPM compared to the Nielsen meter/diary estimates and Arbitron radio diary estimates, the evaluations will include an examination of:

  • demographics of the Nielsen and Arbitron samples

  • compliance and non-response patterns

  • out-of-home viewing

  • overnight audiences

  • zero demographic cells in meter/diary estimates

  • different definitions of audience (exposure to audio vs. watching or listening)

  • weighting

  • edit rules and other possible areas

    The initial round of ratings comparisons for phase two of the PPM U.S. Market trial uses data collected in the early weeks of the expanded trial, and is limited to total radio, broadcast TV and cable TV audiences for the month of February 2002. The time period covered, January 31, 2002, to February 27, 2002, is equivalent to the Nielsen Media Research February television survey period and phase two of the Arbitron Winter 2002 radio survey period.

    Compared to existing methods of measuring media audiences, the PPM continues to report higher average quarter-hour audiences on a 24-hour day, total-week basis for the combined electronic media stations and networks that encoded full time. The February 2002 PPM results show increased average quarter-hour audiences for broadcast TV and cable TV, and somewhat higher average quarter-hour audiences for radio.

Total Media Comparisons
Average Quarter-Hour (AQH) Ratings
Persons 12+

January 31, 2002 to February 27, 2002
Encoded Broadcast Radio/TV Stations and Cable Networks1

Monday-Sunday, Total Day
Portable People Meter
Broadcast and Cable TV:
Nielsen Media ResearchPhiladelphia DMA®
Radio:Arbitron DiaryPhiladelphia Metro

Broadcast TV

17.3

2

12.9

4

Cable TV

8.1

2

3.4

4

Radio

11.8

3

11.0

5

1. Thirty-five radio stations, seven broadcast TV stations and 20 cable networks were encoded full-time for the reported time period. 2. Philadelphia DMA; average daily n = 719 3: Philadelphia Arbitron Radio Metro; average daily n= 409 4. Nielsen Media Research Meter-Diary Integrated February 2002 Estimates; total n = 3,494 5. Arbitron Diary Estimates, Winter 2002 Phase 1 & 2 (January 3, 2002, to February 27, 2002), Total n = 3,053

For radio, the PPM again reported a higher average daily cumulative audience: 84.8 percent for the PPM vs. 73.7 percent for the Arbitron radio diary. The PPM also showed less time spent listening for radio: three hours and 20 minutes per day for the PPM vs. three hours and 35 minutes per day for the diary.

Average Quarter-Hour (AQH) Radio Ratings by Daypart
Persons 12+
Philadelphia Radio Metro

Encoded Radio Stations1

Daypart
PPM2
Arbitron Diary3

M-S Midnight-Midnight

11.8

11.0

M-F 6A-10A

19.0

20.9

M-F 10A-3P

18.7

19.2

M-F 3P-7P

18.9

17.2

M-F 7P-Mid

7.4

6.7

M-F Mid-6A

4.4

2.4

Sa-Su 6A-Mid

11.0

9.5

1. 35 radio stations were encoded full-time for the reported time periods. 2. Estimates for January 31, 2002, to February 27, 2002; average daily n= 409 3. Arbitron Diary Estimates, Winter 2002 Phase 1 & 2 (January 3, 2002 to February 27, 2002); total n = 3,053

As in the first phase of the market trial, the PPM, now using a larger panel of consumers deployed in the Philadelphia radio metro, continues to report differences in radio listening patterns by daypart. Morning-drive and mid-day AQH ratings are slightly lower according to the PPM, while Monday-Friday afternoon drive, evening and overnight AQH ratings are higher, as are weekend AQH ratings.

Average Quarter-Hour (AQH) Television Ratings by Daypart
Persons 6+
Philadelphia DMA

Encoded Television Stations and Cable Networks1

Daypart
Arbitron PPM2
Nielsen Media Research3

M-S Midnight-Midnight

25.1

15.7

     Broadcast TV only

16.9

12.1

     Cable networks only

8.2

3.6

M-F 6A-9A

17.3

11.7

M-F 9A-12P

16.4

10.1

M-F 12P-4P

18.0

10.5

M-F 4P-6P

29.4

19.9

M-F 6P-8P

40.2

29.8

M-F 8P-11P

51.1

38.8

M-F 11P-12AM

38.1

24.0

M-F 12A-5A

13.2

4.0

1. Seven broadcast TV stations and 20 cable networks were encoded full-time for the reported time period. 2. Estimates for January 31, 2002, to February 27, 2002; average daily n = 719 3. Nielsen Media Research Meter-Diary Integrated February 2002 Estimates; total n = 3,494

As with the previous three findings, these comparisons for February 2002 indicate that, for broadcast TV and cable TV, the PPM is reporting higher AQH audiences for all dayparts. These increases appear to be due in part to increased viewing for men and people under age 35, as well as substantially higher cable viewing overall, and the PPM’s ability to track viewing out of home.

Average Quarter-Hour (AQH) Ratings
Selected Demographics
Monday-Sunday, Midnight to Midnight

Encoded Broadcast Stations and Cable Networks1

 

Radio
Broadcast and Cable TV

 

PPM
Metro3
Arbitron
Phila. Metro
WI025
PPM
DMA2
Nielsen
Phila.
DMA4

 Men 18+

13.4

11.6

23.1

14.3

Women 18+

11.2

11.3

28.7

19.2

P 6-11

--

--

22.6

10.2

P 12-17

7.5

7.1

19.5

9.4

P 18-34

12.2

11.3

22.4

11.2

P 35-54

13.9

11.6

24.5

15.7

P 55+

10.3

11.3

31.6

23.9

1. Thirty-five radio stations, seven broadcast TV stations and 20 cable networks were encoded full-time for the reported time period. 2. Philadelphia DMA; average daily n= 719 3: Philadelphia Arbitron Radio Metro; average daily n= 409 4. Nielsen Media Research Meter-Diary Integrated February 2002 Estimates; total n = 3,494 5. Arbitron Diary Estimates, Winter 2002 Phase 1 & 2 (January 3, 2002, to February 27, 2002), total n = 3,053

For the month of February 2002, 35 radio stations, seven broadcast TV stations and 20 cable networks were encoding their audio full time and are included in these ratings comparisons.

The panel of consumers used for these ratings comparisons is representative of the market being measured in terms of the 37 sub-classes for the control variables of household size, employment status, presence of children, ethnicity, geography, number of TV sets and cable/satellite TV status. The panelists carried the meters with them more than 15 hours a day (median value) throughout the month of February.

The radio ratings comparisons are between February 2002 PPM data and the Winter 2002 Phase I and II Arbitron diary data. These comparisons are for persons 12+, as the radio diary survey begins at age 12.

TV ratings comparisons are made with data from the Nielsen meter/diary integrated estimates for the total Philadelphia DMA for the February 2002 Nielsen survey. These data are compared with the February 2002 PPM results for total persons 6+, which is currently the youngest age for PPM measurement.



Business



Lotus Calls Wheatstone forPost-fire Rebuild


Las Vegas - Apr 8, 2002 - When an electrical fire guts an entire room and damages the foundation of the building of a radio station, everyone leaps into action to get the station back on the air. Lotus Communications, the owner of 22 radio stations, made the best of a bad situation, however, and is relocating all of its Los Angeles facilities - thee radio stations and two satellite networks, to a new three-story facility showcase. Lotus turned to Wheatstone to provide many of the core studio components for a major market rebuild including seven digital audio consoles, seven rooms of Wheatstone studio furniture, a facility-wide large scale Bridge 2001 audio network router and WireMax wiring systems for each studio.

The fire occurred on Dec. 6, 2001, in the sub-basement of a 20-story building in downtown Hollywood. The studios and offices for KWKW, KWKU and KIRN were on the 16th floor. When the alarm was sounded, the building was evacuated. After an inspection, the building was condemned. John Cooper, chief engineer for all three stations, was eventually allowed in the building to relocate satellite uplink equipment to temporary locations and begin operations from the disaster emergency studios of each station. KWKW and KWKU were back on the air within six hours; KIRN within twelve. They operated from their temporary locations for roughly two weeks.

The stations lost about five percent of its equipment in the fire, but the real loss was functionality. The station's engineering staff carried consoles, ISDN codecs, automation systems, microphones, switchers and other essential studio equipment down 16 flights of stairs. There was no power, so there was no elevator service. Within three hours the stations began operating in stages from a temporary studio location in Hollywood with Comrex Hotlines for STLs.

Lotus had just finished a six-month buildout on KIRN when the fire occurred. To wire a new technical facility in traditional analog style with multi-pair snakes, punchblocks and distribution amps, it would take a minimum of three to six months from the time engineering was allowed access to the technical and studio spaces. Wheatstone’s combination of WireMax wiring systems and custom-configured furniture, Bridge 2001 router with networked audio, and consoles that integrated with all the components were a combination that would dramatically improve the project’s bottom line. John Cooper noted that the savings in time alone was about three months or more, plus the station saved money by reducing the time in the temporary studios. Cooper also selected Wheatstone to reduce the number of vendors with which he had to deal.

Lotus ordered three Wheatstone D-5000 and four D-4000 digital audio consoles as well as a Wheatstone Bridge 2001 router.

The Wheatstone equipment will be installed at the old location and moved to the new showcase facility by June 2002. The new facility will occupy two floors of the 24,000 square-foot building that includes eight studios, seven of which will be installed immediately, with one planned for the future.

Look for a Facility Showcase on the Lotus installation in an upcoming issue of BE Radio magazine.


Waves streaming systems are widelyadopted


Las Vegas - Apr 6, 2002 - A significant number of radio stations, including Sirius Satellite Radio, have adopted Waves' Maxxstream products for their digital audio streaming requirements. Maxxstream integrates audio encoding supporting multiple encoders formats and bit-rates simultaneously with audio capture, processing, archiving and transmission. Sirius Satellite Radio has installed 15 M200/4 Maxxstream systems for its broadcast studios and transmission facilities in Manhattan. With these systems Sirius can support audio conditioning on as many as 60 stereo channels that will be transmitted digitally by satellite to subscribers across the U.S.

Many European radio stations have implemented Internet streaming sites with Maxxstream. These firms include Swiss Radio (SRI), Belgium Radio (VRT), Norwegin Radio and several German broadcasters including WDR, MDR and BR.


Gentner LicensesTechnology to Peavey


Salt Lake City - Apr 18, 2002 - As part of a licensing agreement signed in October, Gentner Communications has begun shipping three audio products to Mediamatrix, a division of Peavey Electronics, Meridian, MS, for use in Peavey's audio processing and control systems. Gentner is also providing echo cancellation and noise cancellation cards. The cards will be integrated into new and existing Mediamatrix products to improve sound quality and expand the scope of potential applications for the product line.

Under the agreement Gentner is also providing Peavey with a telephone interface product that will sell under the Mediamatrix label. It brings audio conferencing to Peavey's traditional product applications for large venues such as hotels, courtrooms and houses of worship.


Full Sail Installs MiddleAtlantic Furniture


Las Vegas - Apr 8, 2002 - Full Sail Real World Education recently installed 22 of Middle Atlantic Products' Edit Center systems in its Orlando facility. The Edit Center systems were chosen as an alternative to designing and building custom furniture because of the furniture's lower costs and quick delivery times.

Edit Centers were installed to provide the students with a spacious, curved work surface as well as an overbridge that holds a pair of 19" video source monitors, a 13" output monitor and audio monitors. More comoplex suites include a pair of 22" video monitors along with a 13" monitor and audio monitors. Side-bay racks provide sound isolation, which is important in an environment where a lot of equipment is running simultaneously in one area. The racks are lined with absorptive material and include a gasketed plexiglass front door and gasketed solid rear door.


Stardraw RadioRecognizes Major Development Contributor


Apr 22, 2002 - London - In recognition of the advisory role Andrew Rosenberg of Colorado-based Creative Studio Solutions played during Stardraw Radio's development phase and to celebrate its launch, Stardraw.com presented Rosenberg with the first Stardraw Radio package at the product's debut at NAB 2002.

Creative Studio Solutions designs and installs traditional and Internet broadcasting facilities, as well as production and recording studios. As a long-time user of Stardraw Audio, Rosenberg was able to offer useful advice on manufacturers, features and symbols that broadcast professionals would like to see in an industry-specific software package.


The first boxed copy of Stardraw Radio is presented to Creative Studio Solutions. Left to right: David Snipp, managing director of Stardraw.com; Andrew Rosenberg, chief engineer and president of Creative Studio Solutions; Casey Fuller of Creative Studio Solutions; Randy Green, president of Stardraw.com.


Shure Selects New LocationFor Headquarters


Evanston, IL and Oak Brook, IL - Apr 17, 2002 - Shure has purchased a new office building at 5800 West Touhy Avenue in Niles, IL. Bought from CenterPoint Properties, the purchase includes the building and 18.6 acres of land. Shure had been in its current building in Evanston, IL, for almost 46 years.


StratosAudio Partners with ScottStudios, Computer Concepts


Las Vegas and Century City, CA - Apr 10, 2002 - StratosAudio is partnering with Scott Studios and Computer Concepts to enable listener interactivity with conventional AM and FM radio. StratosAudio's (www.stratosaudio.com ) patent-pending technology will allow radio listeners and mobile phone users beginning in Europe and the US, to instantly purchase music and other content, respond to advertisements and talk shows at the press of a button while listening to conventional radio. Scott Studios and Computer Concepts automation systems will provide a real-time program data feed to StratosAudio and act as a point of referral to StratosAudio broadcast customers. StratosAudio’s interactive services provide consumers with the ability to identify on-air content such as music and advertisements during a radio broadcast.

The companies plan to begin service to stations in select markets in the US and Europe later this year.


Andrew ExpandsTuning Facility




The newly expanded broadcast antenna tuning facility at Andrew Corporation's Orland Park facility.

Orland Park, IL - Apr 5, 2002 - Andrew Corporation has completed work on an extension to its broadcast tuning facility in Orland Park, IL. The new extension will be used to tune Andrew Trasar, ALP and AL8 Plus series antennas before they are delivered to U.S. broadcast stations.

The new building increases Andrew's antenna tuning capacity by 50 percent and is expected to help the company meet increased demand for digital TV broadcast antennas. The tuning building was constructed with the concept of making it invisible to RF signals. The building's traditional wood frame is sheathed with a fiberglass covering and the use of metal is minimal. PVC is used instead of traditional steel electrical conduit and a fire detection system is used in place of steel sprinkled pipes and heads.


IFR Systems to beAcquired by Aeroflex


Witchita, KS - Apr 15, 2002 - IFR Systems has entered into a definitive agreement for to be acquired by Aeroflex. The transaction is valued at about $60 million, including the retirement of IFR Systems' bank indebtedness. Under the terms of the agreement, Aeroflex will commence a cash tender offer for all outstanding shares of IFR Systems' common stock for $1.35 per share followed by a merger at the same per share price.

As part of the agreement, IFR's banks have agreed to accept $48.8 million as payment for all obligations, which is about $35 million less than the amount owed to them. IFR's banks have also agreed to forbear immediate collection of IFR's defaulted loan until August 30, 2002, or the earlier termination of the proposed tender offer.


Comrex builds newheadquarters


Comrex is moving on June 1 to its new headquarters in Devens, MA. The company has outgrown its current facility in Acton, MA. The new facility, located on the old Fort Devens military base, will be double the size of the old one.



People



Fairlight Names Director ofSales, Western Region


Las Vegas - Apr 7, 2002 - Fairlight USA appoints Gerard Volkersz director of sales, western region, effective immediately. Volkersz, who has experience in the broadcast, recording and post-production markets, is assuming responsibility for all Fairlight and Sountracs sales operations west of the Mississippi.

Volkersz joins Fairlight after leaving Euphonix, Palo Alto, CA, where he was product specialist, responsible for sales, support, training and testing.


Burk Technology Appoints SalesEngineer


Littleton, MA - Apr 22, 2002 - Burk Technology has added Stephen Dinkel to its staff as a sales engineer. Dinkel will assume responsibility for sales of all Burk products and services, working from the Kansas City area to take advantage of his central location.

Dinkel started his broadcast career while in college and worked in virtually all areas of the broadcast industry. His background includes sales, sales management and general management at radio stations in St. Louis, Kansas City and Dallas. In 1999 he joined Pacific Research and Engineering (PR&E) as territory sales manager. He continued with Harris after its purchase of PR&E in 1999, as systems territory manager, focusing on PR&E audio consoles, studio furniture and studio build-outs.

Dinkel can be contacted directly at (800) 736-9165.


Steely Joins Ibiquity'sBroadcaster Advisory Board


Columbia, MD - Apr 23, 2002 - Clay Steely, who was recently appointed the vice president of engineering for ABC Radio, has joined Ibiquity’s Broadcaster Rollout Advisory Board. Steely’s predecessor at ABC, Bert Goldman, who is now executive vice president of First Broadcasting, will remain on the board.

The board, made up of various members of the raio broadcast community, was formed in July 2001 to provide guidance and intra-industry support for the implementation of IBOC digital broadcasting. Ibiquity will be working closely with the board to launch its technology to AM and FM broadcasters later this year.

The other members of the board are:

  • Dale Fedorchik, vice president and regional engineer eastern states, Citadel Communications

  • Bert Goldman, executive vice president, First Broadcasting

  • Eugene Hale, chief engineer, WSBT Stations, South Bend, Indiana

  • Alan Kirschner, vice president of engineering, Big City Radio

  • Hal Kneller, president, Heartland Broadcasting

  • Don Lockett, vice president and chief technology officer, National Public Radio

  • Hal Widsten, owner and general manager, KWED AM, San Antonio, Texas

  • Jeff Detweiler, broadcast technology manager, iBiquity Digital

  • Scott Stull, director of broadcast business development, iBiquity Digital

  • Glynn Walden, vice president of broadcast engineering, iBiquity Digital


Streaming21 Appoints VP ofSales


Los Gatos, CA - Apr 15, 2002 - Patrick Davis joins Streaming21 as vice president of sales. Davis will lead the development of sales and support organization designed to help customers leverage the company's carrier-class streaming media platform. His primary focus will be on expanding the company's core business of selling VOD services to carriers and service providers in the Asian market.

Davis comes to Streaming21 with more than 20 years of management experience in the telecommunications, e-commerce, enterprise application software and OSS/Network management arenas. Prior to Streaming21 he spent six years as the Asia and Europe sales director for Symmetricom, a manufacturer of management software for international carriers.


Audio Industry Pioneer Celebrates90th Birthday


Old Lyme, CT - Apr 18, 2002 - Electroacoustical engineer Prof. Dr. Fritz Sennheiser celebrates his 90th birthday on May 9, 2002. As founder of Sennheiser Electronic GmbH, he brought many of the audio industry's watershed products to market, including the radio standard MD 2 and MD 21 microphones, the shotgun microphone (MD 82), the Mikroport wireless microphone system in 1958, the HD 414 open headphones, infrared transmission technology such as the HiDyn RF noise reduction, and DVD-quality microphone technology (MKH 800: 20Hz - 50,000kHz).

Sennheiser founded the company in 1945 with a team of seven engineers. Twenty years ago, Sennheiser handed management of the company to his son, Prof. Dr. Jörg Sennheiser, the current chairman of the supervisory Board of the Sennheiser Group. Sennheiser Senior still plays an active role in the company's activities.


Network Storage SolutionsNames Thomas Makmann President


Chantilly, VA - Apr 16, 2002 - Network Storage Solutions has appointed Thomas Makmann as chief executive officer. As CEO, Makmann will leverage the ongoing partnership with Hitachi Data Systems. Former president and CEO Bradford Clemmons will now assume the position of chief technology officer.

Makmann brings more than 30 years of management experience in the high technology sector to Network Storage Solutions, with expertise in storage hardware and software companies. Most recently, he served as president and chief operating officer of San Diego-based nStor Technologies, a provider of enterprise-class storage systems. Makmann's prior professional experience includes management positions with Hammer Storage Solutions, Maxtor, Shepherd Surveillance, Sytron, Kalok Corp, Archive and Control Data.


Mackie AppointsDirector of Sales, Latin America


Las Vegas - Apr 8, 2002 - Mackie Designs announced the appointment of Mauricio Saint Martin to the position of director of sales, Latin America. Saint Martin will be responsible for all Mackie Designs brands including EAW and RCF Precision.

Before joining Mackie, Saint Martin served as Latin America sales and marketing director for Crest Audio, and Latin America sales manager for Peavey Electronics. He also served as Latin America sales manager for Hermes Music International, an audio and musical instrument distributor; and Central America and Caribbean sales manager for Domingo B.E.S.T., a commercial speaker manufacturer owned by Placido Domingo.


Mackie Appoints Head ofNorth American Sales Team


Las Vegas - Apr 8, 2002 - Mackie Designs, a maker of audio products, announced the appointment of James J. Jones of Oak Harbor, WA, to the newly created position of corporate director of North American sales, for all Mackie Designs brands including EAW and RCF Precision.

Jones previously served as chief operating officer at E-Z Medical System, a medical technology company; and as president and chief operating officer of MIMRx.com, a division of the publicly traded MIM. Before joining MIM, Jones was one of the founding executives and vice president of business development and sales at CVS.com, a retail pharmacy that opened an Internet business.

Jones will be responsible for sales of all Mackie Designs products in North America.



Internet Watch



Digimedia Strikes Agreementwith MSN Music


San Diego, CA - Apr 24, 2002 - Digimedia has entered into an agreement with MSN Music to offer MSN Music services, including 60 pre-programmed radio stations. These services will run on Digimedia's digital audio receiver that will be available this year. The offering will have access to MSN Music streams on a consumer-friendly, broadband-ready intelligent client device that hooks directly to the home stereo system without needing a PC. The device will be provided and marketed by Digimedia.

Under the terms of the agreement, Digimedia plans to offer additional content along with MSN services. Pricing and availability of the device and service will be announced at a later date.

According to Ovum, 2001, six million U.S. homes had access to Internet broadband services at the end of 2000. This is forecast to grow to more than 36 million households by 2004. Webnoize projects the number of Internet radio subscribers will be 106 million by 2003.

Digimedia delivers an automated deployment platform, called IRIS, that enables companies to provide interactive subscription services to businesses or consumers over the Internet. Digimedia software allows remote management, administration, profiling and billing of services to intelligent devices. Digimedia's software is offered as a fully managed and hosted system or as licensed software.


Blue Falcon and Radio FreeVirgin Build Streaming Business Model


Los Angeles - Apr 17, 2002 - Internet broadcaster Radio Free Virgin (RFV) had a problem: Its delivery costs per listener were much higher than its advertising income could sustain. The company needed to cut its per-user costs. Unlike other broadcast mediums, Internet broadcasters incur a concrete expense to deliver service to each and every listener, i.e. bandwidth costs. To become profitable, RFV needed to do two things: Increase the advertising revenue and decrease the costs of delivering the service - without negatively impacting quality.

RFV's solution was to partner with Blue Falcon Networks (Blue Falcon) to deploy its distributed BFN Live service. Together, the companies created a distributed delivery system with centralized content management. RFV reports that Blue Falcon’s service has cut its bandwidth costs by 60 percent without any loss in quality or security.

RFV rolled out BFN Live to all of its broadband users. Currently, RFV’s service peaks at about 20,000 simultaneous listeners, 55 percent of which are broadband listeners consuming 96kb/s streams. At any given time, BFN Live may support as many as 11,000 simultaneous users. That translates into more than 400Mb/ps - more than two-thirds of RFV’s traffic - offloaded from RFV’s servers and CDN providers.

RFV reported a 68 percent reduction in gigabytes delivered over the expensive CDN networks. If it meets its projections and serves more than 1,000TB (1petabyte) total for 2002, RFV estimates its bandwidth cost savings will exceed $875,000. Also, RFV receives higher quality overall as the BFN Live service delivers less jitter, latency and loss. Finally, RFV can continue to provide verification for advertising sponsors, using Blue Falcon’s hooks into Arbitron and MeasureCast.

In delivering RFV’s service, Blue Falcon reportedly met or exceeded the 96Kb/s deliver rate with less than 0.01 percent packet loss and a lower rebuffering rate than CDN alternatives. These results created a sufficient quality boost to increase TSL by 3 percent , which increases RFV’s potential advertising revenue.

Together, Radio Free Virgin and Blue Falcon have overcome a significant inhibitor to any streaming-related business model: Cost-effective, high quality scalability. RFV can economically deliver its March 2002 load of 60TB, and can grow aggressively into the foreseeable future. Blue Falcon’s is poised to expand its distributed solutions to deliver broader forms of digital content for large media, entertainment and enterprise customers.



Products



Wheatstone Ships first D-4000 toCumulus Media


New Bern, NC - Apr 8, 2002 - Cumulus Media, the second largest radio station ownership group in the U.S., will become the first organization to go on-air with Wheatstone’s D-4000 digital audio consoles. The latest addition to the Wheatstone D Series console line was officially launched at NAB2002. The order, comprising 12 consoles including D-4000 and D-5000 models, will be installed in Harrisburg, PA, and Mobile, AL, Cumulus’ newest facility build outs.

The Wheatstone D-4000 was designed to meet a lower price point than the D-5000, but offer similar functionality and operation, making for easy transitions as operators and production staff move from room-to-room. Features include totally modular construction, hot-swap design, four stereo mix buses, any mix of AES or S/PDIF digital and analog inputs, AES and balanced analog outputs, selectable console master clock rates, as many as four mix-minus outputs (using SPD-4000 phone remote modules), 24-bit A/D on analog inputs, A/B source switching with fully independent logic and machine control, mode selection on stereo inputs, low profile drop-through counter design, multiple studio outputs with talkback interrupt, plus a stainless steel meter bridge and wrist rest, new work surface graphics, and composite-fused finish end caps.

The D-5000 ordered for WNNK-FM, Cumulus’ hard-charging flagship in the Harrisburg market, has alpha source displays. The displayed sources for the audio on input channels can also be driven from the automation systems or Wheatstone Bridge routers. The programming demands of the station made the D-5000 the best choice for the application.

Wheatstone has previously installed numerous consoles in Cumulus Media facilities. Cumulus was the first organization to go on-air with Wheatstone’s Bridge 2OO1, the latest generation digital audio network router.


Waves Announces Protools/HDCompatibility


Las Vegas - Apr 6, 2002 - Waves, a supplier of psycho-acoustic audio signal processing systems for professional, broadcast and consumer electronics audio markets, now offers the version 3.HD to support Digidesign's new Protools/HD hardware. The upgrade allows all Waves TDM processors to support Digidesign's Protools/HD systems. All TDM and RTAS processors are compatible with 44.1kHz and 48kHz sample rates. Many of the processors already support 192kHz sample rates, but testing is not complete at this sample rate.

The 3.HD is free to customers who have purchased any TDM product since Jan. 1, 2002. Additional processor support for higher sample rates will be added in time and will also be free to version 3.HD registered users.


ILD Launches Audio CompressionTechnology


Belfast, Northern Ireland - Apr 8, 2002 - ILD Networks has launched a low-delay audio compression technology. The ILD-2496 algorithm offers the low-delay of sub-band coding schemes, such as G.722 or apt-X, and the higher coding efficiency and operational flexibility of psycho-acoustic MPEG-based coding schemes.

The ILD-2496 has been designed to transparently code 16-bit to 24-bit digital audio at sampling rates up 96kHz, all with a single compatible coding architecture. It delivers reduction ratios of 3:1 to 8:1; these ratios are user selectable at the encoder, can be changed dynamically and are automatically detected at the decoder.

The low coding delay of ILD 2496 (less than 10ms) is useful for interactive applications in the music, audio broadcasting and audio conferencing industries. To showcase the technology ILD has developed a two-channel ISDN codec, ILD BandNet-64, that can simultaneously transmit coded audio data, MIDI data and control information via a single ISDN B-channel, all while retaining a 12kHz audio bandwidth.





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