Digital Radio Update - February 20, 2008


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Index:


News

DAB Prepares for Launch Down Under
The countdown to Australia's national foray into digital radio has begun, with a launch date of Jan. 1, 2009, leaving less than a year for the government to sign up broadcasters on Eureka 147-based DAB multiplexes eventually slated for 109 markets across the continent.

Australia's commercial broadcasters plan to embrace a DAB+ standard for digital radio from the beginning of rollout, thus avoiding legacy compatibility issues with older DAB layer 2 coding technology, a problem now facing commercial programmers in the UK, where interest in commercial DAB is said to be flagging.

Altogether, the Australian radio industry reportedly plans to invest $400 million over several years phasing in the new national DAB service, scheduled to debut in 11 key cities including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra. Government sponsored public radio services will also be carried on the multiplexes.

In recent months PURE Digital says it has established Australian operations and is thus far promoting three models of receivers that are DAB+ upgradeable. DAB test multiplexes in that country have been operating in both block I (200 MHz) and Block II (L band) allocations.


Business

Asia Broadcast Union Talks Digital Radio at 2008 Symposium
Radio professionals from member nations of the Asia Broadcast Union (ABU) will gather March 10-13 in Kuala Lumpur to discuss implementation strategies, consumer services and business planning for digital/mobile broadcast services at the ABU Digital Broadcasting Symposium 2008.

The 2008 symposium will focus on mobile digital radio and TV broadcasting, with one session devoted to content creation and services for shortwave digital radio delivered via DRM technology. Included in this session will be DRM Chairman, Peter Senger, who will address recent enhancements to DRM and DRM+ broadcast technology.

Though the ABU notes that the Symposium has been developed for the benefit of its members, non- ABU members are strongly encouraged to participate, either directly or as sponsors.

Event highlights include more than 60 speakers from supply/service providers as well as national and international broadcast organizations scheduled to share their perspectives on a variety of symposium topics.


Broadcasters Get Last Licks on Sirius/XM Merger as Decision Draws Close
With little time remaining before a final decision on a hotly contested satellite radio merger reportedly drawing to a close, U.S. radio broadcasters are submitting a flurry of last minute filings and presentations to the DOJ and FCC with the aim of blocking or mitigating the effects of such action.

In one recent ex parte presentation to the FCC, the NAB turned the Commission's own previous argument that satellite radio is not a good substitute for local terrestrial services into an affirmation that allowing a Sirius and XM union would be nothing less than a merger to monopoly.

Just two weeks before, the HD Digital Radio Alliance, following iBiquity Digital's lead, made a similar ex parte presentation, recommending that all satellite radio sold in the U.S. be required to include an HD Radio tuner, a move that some pundits describe as a bow to the merger's inevitability.

The NAB has also filed a separate response to an FCC request for public comment on proposed rulemaking on terrestrial repeaters now deployed by satellite radio providers. Pointing to documented evidence that many SDAR repeaters had historically operated outside of licensed parameters, and claiming that satellite service providers were engineering local origination capability into repeater networks, NAB asked the Commission to explicitly exclude SDARS repeaters from carrying any localized content.

Sources from various investment publications are now suggesting that a DOJ decision on the merger is only days away and that FCC action will follow in rapid succession.

Share your views on the proposed satellite radio merger in the Radio magazine blog Talkback.


IBOC Across America

IBOC by State: Utah
Ibiquity has a list of stations with licensed HD Radio technology and notes those on the air now. IBOC by state looks at various states and lists the stations making the transition. There are 19 stations in the Beehive State broadcasting 31 HD Radio channels.

MarketStationHD1 FormatHD2 FormatHD3 FormatOwner
MoabKZMU-FM 89.7Variety--Moab Public Radio
PriceKOAL-HD 750News/Talk/Sports--Eastern Utah Broadcasting
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKBYU-FM 89.1ClassicalLDS Music-Brigham Young University
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKUER-FM 90.1News/Talk/Jazz--University of Utah
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKRCL-FM 90.9VarietyWorld Radio Network-Listeners Community Radio of Utah
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKODJ-FM 94.1Classic HitsAll 80s-Clear Channel Radio
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKZHT-FM 97.1CHRIndie-Clear Channel Radio
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKBEE-FM 98.7AC--Citadel
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKJMY-FM 99.5Modern Rock/AlternativeClassic Alternative-Clear Channel Radio
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKSFI-FM 100.3Soft ACSoft Sunday Sounds-Bonneville International
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKBER-FM 101.1AOR--Citadel
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKSL-FM 102.7News/TalkGlobal Unsigned Bands-Bonneville International
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKRSP-FM 103.5Classic RockDeep Tracks-Bonneville International
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKTMY-FM 105.7CountryModern Triple AC-Clear Channel Radio
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKOSY-FM 106.5Soft ACAdult Variety-Clear Channel Radio
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKUTR-AM 820Christian Contemporary--Bonneville International
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKWDZ-AM 910Children--ABC Radio
Salt Lake City-Ogden-ProvoKSL-AM 1160News/Talk--Bonneville International
St. GeorgeKSGU-AM 90.3NewsClassicalExponential RadioNevada Public Radio

Eye on IBOC

RAB's Haley says Radio Must Achieve Ubiquity in Digital Devices
Advertsing Bureau (RAB) President Jeff Haley has declared that radio broadcasters must unite in a plan to see that radio functionality is included in most mobile digital media platforms within the next five years.

Speaking at the RAB's annual conference on Feb. 12, in Atlanta, Haley was joined by Greater Media CEO Peter Smyth, who told a reporter for Radio and Records that the radio industry is engaged in negotaitions with consumer electronics manufatureres and vendors who see radio as a logical value add to their portable media devices, such as mobile handesets, music players and PDAs.

Haley went on to claim that radio tuner accesories are being snapped up by hundreds of thousands of Ipod owners, and that with the proper incentives, digital device makers can be perusaded to include FM analog and HD Radio capabilty in current designs.


HD Radio Terminology

The New Language of HD Radio
logical channel: Information conveyed from transmitter to receiver bearing common encoding, interleaving and OFDM spectrum.

primary main (PM) sidebands: The 10 partitions in the FM IBOC primary sideband consisting of subcarriers 356 through 545 and -356 through -545, available in hybrid, extended hybrid and all-digital modes. Also, in the AM IBOC signal, subcarriers 57 through 81 and -57 through -81 in the hybrid waveform and subcarriers 2 through 26 and -2 through -26 in the all-digital waveform.

transfer: A measure of data throughput through a logical channel. One of the three characterization parameters.


Products

Apple to Offer Polk HD Radio Receivers
Apple will offer Polk Audio's I-Sonic ES2, an Ipod-docking tabletop stereo HD Radio with Itunes-tagging technology, according to a Joe Palenchar article in Twice online. The announcement follows on the heals of big-box retail giant Best Buy's announcement that the chain would offer a limited line of Polk products, including the I-Sonic, at its bricks-and-mortar retail outlets across the U.S.

The move apparently fulfills an earlier claim by Polk that the I-Sonic would find its way into Apple stores nationwide, as well as its online outlet.




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