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Radio Currents Online - Oct 20 - Oct 26, 2008
Wisconsin Broadcasters Offers Broadcast Engineering Grants
Madison, WI - Oct 15, 2008 - Recognizing a need in broadcasting, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) and the WBA Foundation have launched a program to encourage people to seek technical careers in broadcasting. The programs are designed to develop such talent throughout Wisconsin by initiating Engineering Internships at stations.
This program will connect future engineers to Wisconsin broadcasters by funding a summer engineering intern position. Initially, up to 10 grants at $2,500 for a two-month internship will be awarded to cover internship stipend and expenses. Internships are to run from June 15 to Aug. 15, 2009.
To participate, stations must apply to the WBA and agree that the intern will be assigned exclusively to the engineering/technical services department. A checklist of basic skills to be taught to the intern will be determined by the station and presented to the WBA to aid in selection of candidates. The WBA Foundation Board will assess applications and match selected stations with potential intern candidates As part of the WBA's Assistance Action Plan for EEO compliance, this program may be used as EEO credit, as a non-vacancy specific outreach initiative.
The WBA has also launched a program to promote ongoing education for those currently employed in broadcast engineering. The WBA and the WBA Foundation will offer engineering fellowship grants to provide a stipend for senior broadcast engineers serving Wisconsin member stations. Broadcast engineers will apply directly to the WBA.
The WBA Foundation will award five $1,000 grants statewide. These grants are to be used for continuing engineering education such as courses in information technology/networking, engineering leadership/management, electrical engineering/transmission courses, or other new technology training. The grants are not to be used for trade shows but for enrollment in continuing education courses, post-secondary education courses or factory training on broadcast equipment. Travel expenses may be covered by grant monies.
FCC's Martin Favors Unlicensed White Space Device with Some Conditions
Washington, DC - Oct 16, 2008 - FCC Chairman Kevin Martin will support allowing unlicensed white space devices (WSDs) that meet certain criteria into spectrum used for TV and wireless mic transmission when the commission takes up the matter next month. Speaking at a press conference on Oct. 15, Martin said he favored allowing the devices to operate of up to 100mW of power on certain white spaces in the TV spectrum and 40mW of power on channels adjacent to DTV channels. The devices must also include spectrum sensing and support for geo-location by accessing a databases of spectrum use the device can select frequencies that do not pose an interference threat, Martin said.
The chairman's proposal to allow unlicensed WSDs to transmit at 40mW of power on first-adjacent channels "will eviscerate over-the-air digital television viewing throughout large segments of the United States," according to Association for Maximum Service Television President David Donovan. In a written statement released following Martin's announcement, Donovan said allowing first adjacent channel WSD operation at this power level will hit viewers living in urban apartments and townhomes particularly hard.
Martin's announcement came on the same day the FCC's Office of Engineering and Technology released a report detailing its findings from the latest round of prototype white space device testing.
According to the report, the latest test show moderate to strong DTV signals in adjacent channels "severely impacted" the threshold at which tested prototypes could detect signals and have the potential to impact how well they can "reliably detect TV signals within station's service areas."
Despite the red flag, the report's authors said they believe that the burden of "proof of concept" has been met. "We are satisfied that spectrum sensing in combination with geo-location and database access techniques can be used to authorize equipment today under appropriate technical standards and that issues regarding future development and approval of any additional devices, including devices relying on sensing alone, can be addressed."
The report, "Evaluation of the Performance of Prototype TV-Band White Space Devices," details OET lab and field testing of prototype devices submitted for testing by Adaptrum, The Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), Microsoft, Motorola and Philips Electronics North America.
The tests also reveal that the prototype white-space devices fared no better in detecting wireless mics in use when in the presence of DTV signals in adjacent channels, the report said. In such instances tested, "the detection threshold was degraded such that it affected the ability of devices to reliably detect the microphone signals," the report said.
In his statement, Donovan said interference to licensed wireless microphones from unlicensed WSDs "will endanger live local newscasts as well as sports coverage."
The NAB also disagrees that the test data supports the conclusion that the prototype WSDs have met the burden of proof that sensing is a viable option. The NAB states that the data shows conclusively that sensing is unreliable. The NAB also notes that the FCC has released the report without asking for formal comment. The NAB and MSTV have filed an emergency request with the Commission asking that the report be placed on public comment and the FCC fully consider those comments before adopting any final rules.
Read the FCC report at hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-08-2243A2.pdf.
NPR Plans Captioned Radio Coverage of Presidential Election
Washington, DC - Oct 21, 2008 - On election night, deaf and hard-of-hearing people will be able to experience live radio coverage when NPR, Harris and Towson University simulcast the first-ever live, captioned radio broadcast. NPR News' election night coverage will be simulcast in the new captioned radio format, providing accessible news and journalism to deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. Captioning for the broadcast is being provided by WGBH's Media Access Group.
The broadcast will be coordinated by NPR, Harris and Towson University as part of an initiative to make radio more accessible to the millions of consumers with sensory disabilities around the world. Nearly seven million people in the United States are either deaf or hard-of-hearing, and more than 28 million Americans report having trouble with their hearing, according to Gallaudet University.
The election broadcast will be shown at private demonstrations at NPR's international headquarters in Washington, DC, and three NPR Member stations around the United States: WTMD Baltimore, WGBH Boston and KCFR Denver. WGBH Boston will act as a technical resource for monitoring and caption production. WAMU in DC will serve as the transmitting station. The election broadcast also will be carried simultaneously on the Internet at NPR.org. A link to the broadcast also will be available at harris.com.
The broadcast will leverage HD Radio technology to enable deaf people to experience NPR's election coverage through viewing live radio content on specially equipped receivers. WGBH's stenocaptioners will monitor NPR's live coverage and feed instantaneous speech-to-text transcriptions to the participating NPR stations and an NPR website that will stream the caption text. WGBH will also provide live captioning for numerous local and national TV broadcasters on election night.
The election broadcast is the latest event coordinated by the International Center for Accessible Radio Technology (ICART), which is headquartered at Towson University in Towson, MD. Founding members also include NPR and Harris. Towson houses the primary administrative and academic research office for the initiative, NPR Labs in Washington, DC, provides the technology R&D and software development, and Harris supplies the transmission and research support at its radio broadcast technology center in Cincinnati.
ICART was launched in January of this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, when the organization conducted a live, local over-the-air broadcast of captioned radio for an audience at the show.
Harris Recognized for Pollution Prevention
Quincy, IL - Oct 22, 2008 - The Harris manufacturing facility in Quincy, IL, has received a 2008 Most Valuable Pollution Prevention (MVP2) award from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR) for its longstanding efforts in pollution prevention and dedication to protecting people, property and the environment. Harris was one of five companies or organizations recognized this year. The NPPR honored Harris Broadcast's radio and television broadcast transmitter manufacturing facility in Quincy for its major reductions in waste, energy consumption and water usage.
Harris received the MVP2 Award based on several employee-empowered pollution prevention projects, including a closed-loop water cooling system that has reduced water usage in its product testing process by nearly 21.6 million gallons per year. The company also implemented several toxicity reduction projects to eliminate toxic heavy metals and raw material impurities from the manufacturing processes. The result is a 30-to-35 cubic yard reduction in waste that equates to a 75 percent decrease in hazardous waste volumes from its wastewater pretreatment operation, and a 50 percent pretreatment chemical usage reduction.
The company's Quincy operation has been a four-time recipient of the Illinois Governor's Pollution Prevention Award and has received a Community Green Award for its efforts in recycling and waste volume reductions. The Quincy operation also has received an Industrial Achievement Award from the Illinois Association of Water Pollution Control Operators.
The NPPR presented awards for other projects as well. Other recipients were the New England Mercury Task Force, the Massachusetts Toxics Use Reduction Act Program, Illinois Sustainable Technology Center: The Cutting Edge Partnership, the Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center: Prevention and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance Program.
AWRT Adds Two New Student Chapters
McLean, VA - Oct 22, 2008 - Two new student chapters have been formed with the American Women in Radio and Television (AWRT). The chapters are based at Howard University in Washington, DC, and Spelman College in Atlanta, GA.
Howard University is a renowned historically black university comprised of 12 schools and colleges with 10,500 students and academic pursuits in more than 120 areas of study. The student chapter will take advantage of its geography to work closely with AWRT national and the DC local chapter perspectives.
Spelman College is a historically black liberal arts college for women. The college has more than 2,100 students from 41 states and 15 foreign countries. Located in urban Atlanta, Spelman has already begun work with the local AWRT Atlanta chapter.
Flycast Mobile Network Extends Reach to Blackberry Smartphones
Santa Clara, CA - Oct 21, 2008 - On Nov. 1, Flycast's mobile broadcast network will be ready for the Blackberry Curve, Blackberry Bold and Blackberry Storm smartphones. It will be available as a free download from the Flycast mobile website (mobile.flycast.fm) beginning Nov. 1.
The Flycast network is an application specifically designed to deliver radio, video and podcasts over mobile broadband and Wi-fi networks to mobile devices. The Flycast Mobile Broadcast Network includes more than 1,000 stations from terrestrial and Web broadcasters, including Entercom, Cox Radio and Accuradio.
The network includes features such as Streamslip, which allows users to continue to listen to a station even during extended periods without a connection; Top of the Hour, which allows latecomers to listen from the beginning of news, talk and sports radio shows; and Song Skip, which allows listeners to skip to the next song on certain webcast stations and pause on all stations.
Nav N Go Adds CC Total Traffic to Software
Budapest, Hungary, and San Antonio, TX - Oct 22, 2008 - Real-time traffic data from Clear Channel Radio's Total Traffic Network (CCTTN) will be integrated into Nav N Go's software for GPS-equipped personal navigation devices (PND).
Nav N Go develops usability and navigation software for more than 70 manufacturers of PNDs, smartphones, handheld game consoles and in-car navigation systems. Navigation devices featuring Nav N Go software will offer CCTTN's real-time traffic data as a free trial for the first 90 days.
Omnia Ships Omnia One AM
Cleveland, OH - Oct 17, 2008 - The Omnia One, Omnia's best-selling processor for FM, is now shipping as an AM version, the One AM. It features a four-band AM processing architecture; analog, AES3 and Livewire I/O, a universal power input; a Web browser remote interface; and selectable low-pass filters appropriate for NRSC, HD Radio AM, or any ITU installation.
Musicam USA Ships Road Warrior LC
Holmdel, NJ - Oct 16, 2008 - Musicam USA is now shipping its new two-channel portable IP codec, the Road Warrior LC. Housed in a compact 8" x 8" x 3" package, the codec delivers audio via an IP connection.
Road Warrior LC users do not need not to access a third-party server to connect, but can rely on the Musicam NAT Traversal protocol.
Like its big brother the IP Road Warrior, the LC features SIP compatibility, multiple algorithm support (including AAC-HE), standard protocols (LAN, ISDN U and ST, and X.21), a password-protected keypad, and a built-in Web browser for control and monitor from a remote location. It also includes a two-channel input mixer/two-channel IFB talkback and recessed buttons for outdoor environments.
RCS Updates RCS News
White Plains, NY - Oct 17, 2008 - RCS News has created a new level of user customization and added a host of features based on workflow patterns. Significant improvements to the RCS News teleprompter are among these. Options in the teleprompter module let users set the pace for each reporter and color code each dialog for multiple presenter formats.
RCS News can be configured to display a rundown window in the teleprompter and have the cart deck available. In this new release, the user interface has also been improved for clearer viewing of wire lists, rundowns and library options.
Included in RCS News 4.0:
Primera Adds Linux Support for Disc Publishers
Plymouth, MN - Oct 21, 2008 - Primera Technology has added support of Linux printing on its Bravo II, Bravo Pro, Bravo XR and Bravo XRP disc publishers. The Linux printer drivers can be easily integrated with open-source or commercially available disc burning engines.
The Linux printer drivers are available now at www.primera.com/support
Prism Sound Adds to Team
Cambridge, UK - Oct 12, 2008 - Since acquiring Sadie at the start of the year, Prism Sound's business has been going well, and the company has added a number of new staff to help satisfy demand for its range of recording, post production and test and measurement products.
Some of the new recruits to Prism Sound needed no help in finding their way around the company's headquarters in Streatham, Cambridgeshire, because they were already familiar with the lay-out having moved across with Sadie, which previously owned the building. Among those who have joined from Sadie are Steve Penn, who handles product support; Mark Overall, in charge of Sadie production; Ed Tottenham, from the Sadie software team; Mark Evans, who looks after sales administration and product support; David Cousins, who is responsible for processing Sadie orders and Matt Mason, who now works in the accounts department. Pete Nash has also joined Prism Sound as a sales consultant and is now regularly spotted demonstrating Sadie equipment on the company's exhibition stands.
Prism Sound's line-up of new faces is completed by Dan Poxton, who is working on software development for the company's test and measurement products including the Dscope Series III audio analyzer; Tim Reynolds, a hardware engineer who is working closely with Prism Sound founding director Ian Dennis to develop new products and production assistant Christopher Bradbury, who has joined the company straight from college.
Barix Appoints van der Meijs as VP of Sales and Marketing
Zurich, Switzerland - Oct 20, 2008 - Barix has appointed Marcel van der Meijs as VP of sales and marketing. Based in the Netherlands, van der Meijs will focus on increasing sales-driven activities for Barix on a global basis.
Van der Meijs joins Barix with more than 20 years of experience in international sales and marketing in the security and network industry, including high-ranking positions within Lantronix International and HID Corporation. In addition to worldwide sales, he will leverage his experience in OEM initiatives to increase brand recognition of Barix audio over IP technology, and develop new applications for existing Barix products.
Westwood One Reorganizes Executive Management Team
New York - Oct 20, 2008 - Westwood One has reorganized its executive management team. The changes were initiated by the Board to create direct leadership for each of the two core business units -- the radio Network division and the Metro Networks Traffic division -- and a renewed focus on the company's radio business.
In the management reorganization, Westwood One named Rod Sherwood as president of Westwood One. Sherwood joined the company in September 2008 as its chief financial officer, and will also continue in that position. The company also appointed Gary Schonfeld president, Network Division and named Steve Kalin president, Metro Networks Traffic Division.
Sherwood will oversee all operations of the company along with Gary Schonfeld and Steven Kalin and drive the implementation of the company's business plan, including its revenue improvement initiatives and cost re-engineering program; and lead financing discussions to optimize the capital structure.
Prior to joining Westwood One, Sherwood served as chief financial officer, operations of The Gores Group, a private equity firm based in Los Angeles. Sherwood has held other positions Gateway (CFO), Opsware (CFO and head of internal operations), Chrysler and Hughes Electronics Corporation, where he was president and general manager of Spaceway (broadband services) and EVP of DIRECTV International.
Schonfeld co-founded radio network Media America in 1987 and served as its president until its acquisition by Jones Media Group in July 1998, whereupon he became the president of Jones Media America. Schonfeld served in that position until the acquisition of Jones Media Group by Triton Radio Network in June 2008. Prior to founding Media America, he served as vice-president eastern sales region for Westwood One.
Kalin joined Westwood One in July 2008 as chief operating officer. He will directly oversee the operations of the Metro Networks Traffic Division, including the implementation of the recently announced re-engineering plan.
As part of the changes to the executive team, Tom Beusse, Westwood One's current president and chief executive officer, has resigned his position to pursue other opportunities.
Eye on IBOC
Audi to Expand Offer HD Radio
Herndon, VA - Oct 22, 2008 - Audi of America announced plans to offer HD Radio as a standard feature in many of its vehicles beginning with 2011 models. Audi has offered Sirius satellite radio as standard equipment in its models. That will continue as HD Radio technology becomes available in Audi cars and SUVs.
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