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Digital Radio Update - April 1, 2009
HD Alliance Fetes Multicast Milestone
The HD Digital Radio Alliance says its members are celebrating an achievement of what it describes as two major milestones last month. Claiming that more than 1,000 HD Radio FM stations are now multicasting and that manufacturers offer 100 separate models of HD Radio receivers, Alliance founder Peter Ferrara points to those numbers as proof that "radio and electronic manufacturers have fully embraced the radio digital revolution."
In a press release heralding the latest benchmarks, both Ferrara and Alliance President Diane Warren focused on how far HD Radio has come since 2005 in terms of the number of station conversions, availability of retail product, and public awareness.
Even so, the Alliance intends to continue its focus on educating consumers. To that end, spots in the latest on-air ad flight incorporate the tag, "If you don't have an HD Radio, you're not hearing HD Radio. It's time to upgrade," reinforcing the need for consumers to upgrade radios in order to experience digital sound and new programming. The campaign is designed to combat apparent misperceptions by consumers that confuse RBDS-equipped analog radios and satellite radios with HD Radio.
DRM Consortium Discusses Asian Rollouts, DRM+ and more at Erlangen
Buoyed by a recent embrace of DRM MW/HF operations in Russia and India, the DRM Consortium held its annual general assembly held at Fraunhoffer headquarters in Erlangen, Germany, in March, where talk turned to harmonization between DRM and DAB based systems, and the case for use of DRM+ in band 1 (47-66MHz) and band 2 (87.5 -108MHz) spectrum.
The assembly was also the setting for the debut of a new DRM receiver, the Di-Wave 100 developed by Uniwave Development SAS. The full-color display unit with record/replay capability joins a limited but expanding pool of DRM capable MW/SW receivers.
DRM system proponents expressed optimism about the growth of DRM, and made the case that DRRM and its wider-bandwidth VHF variant DRM+, are complementary systems with multiplex-based approaches to digital broadcasting such as DAB and DMB systems that are generally employed in highly urbanized areas.
Both the European Broadcast Union (EBU) and Asia-pacific Broadcast Union (ABU) have voiced support for the non-proprietary DRM standard.
CBS Adds Personality-based Spots Online
In an attempt to leverage its on-air personalities into online spot revenue, CBS radio streams, along with the company's AOL Radio, and Yahoo! online streams will soon begin inserting online spots read by popular show hosts.
CBS claims that so-called "live reads" elicit higher recall and response rates over other pre-produced spots, and says they'll deliver added value for clients seeking more from audio media advertising.
Dave Goodman, President of CBS' Digital Media and Marketing Division says the practice will result in "deeper online and mobile engagement, and listener satisfaction" by "seamlessly integrating commercials into programming in a way that feels natural and unobtrusive."
The "live" online commercials will be sold and voiced apart from CBS Radio stations' over-the-air presentation.
IBOC Across America
IBOC by State: Illinois
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 57 stations in the Prairie State broadcasting 89 HD Radio channels.
|Market||Station||HD1 Format||HD2 Format||HD3 Format||Owner|
|Bloomington||WGLT-FM 89.1||Jaza/Blues/NPR||Blues Radio 24/7||News and Ideas||Ilinois State University|
|Champaign||WCFF-FM 92.5||Adult Hits||-||-||Saga|
|Champaign||WLRW-FM 94.5||Hot AC||-||-||Saga|
|Champaign||WILL-FM 90.9||Classical||WILL-AM||WILL-AM||University of Illinois|
|Chicago||WBEW-FM 89.5||News/Talk/Info||-||-||Chicago Public Radio|
|Chicago||WTMX-FM 101.9||Hot AC||The 80s Channel||-||Bonneville International Corp.|
|Chicago||WVAZ-FM 102.7||Urban AC||Hallelujah||-||Clear Channel|
|Chicago||WSRB-FM 106.3||Urban AC||-||-||Crawford Broadcasting Company|
|Chicago||WBBM-FM 96.3||CHR||Dance||-||CBS Radio|
|Chicago||WBBM-AM 780||News||-||-||CBS Radio|
|Chicago||WILV-FM 100.3||AC/Urban/Oldies||Love Songs||-||Bonneville International Corp.|
|Chicago||WRTO-AM 1200||Spanish/Talk/News||-||-||Univision Radio|
|Chicago||WDCB-FM 90.9||Jazz/News||-||-||College Of Du Page|
|Chicago||WXRT-FM 93.1||AAA||XRT New Music||-||CBS Radio|
|Chicago||WPWX-FM 92.3||Urban||-||-||Crawford Broadcasting Company|
|Chicago||WKQX-FM 101.1||Alternative||Everything Alternative||-||Emmis|
|Chicago||WPPN-FM 106.7||Spanish AC||Spanish||-||Univision Radio|
|Chicago||WSCR-AM 670||Sports/Talk||-||-||CBS Radio|
|Chicago||WRDZ-AM 1300||Family Hits||-||-||Radio Disney|
|Chicago||WUSN-FM 99.5||Country||Chicago's Future Country||Trucker||CBS Radio|
|Chicago||WJMK-FM 104.3||Jack||Oldies 60s/70s||-||CBS Radio|
|Chicago||WWDV-FM 96.9||Rock||Deep Tracks||-||Bonneville International Corp.|
|Chicago||WDRV-FM 97.1||Rock||Deep Tracks||-||Bonneville International Corp.|
|Chicago||WGRB-AM 1390||Black Gospel||-||-||Clear Channel|
|Chicago||WGCI-FM 107.5||Urban||Classic Hip Hop||-||Clear Channel|
|Chicago||WNUA-FM 95.5||Smooth Jazz||Jazz Club Players||-||Clear Channel|
|Chicago||WMBI-FM 90.1||Religion||Praise & Worship||His Kids Radio||Moody Bible Institute|
|Chicago||WBEZ-FM 91.5||News/Talk/Info||-||-||Chicago Public Radio|
|Chicago||WOJO-FM 105.1||Mexican||Planeta 105||Spanish News||Univision Radio|
|Chicago||WLIT-FM 93.9||AC||Cool||-||Clear Channel|
|Chicago||WCFS-FM 105.9||AC||News||-||CBS Radio|
|Chicago||WERV-FM 95.9||Classic Hits||The Rapids||-||NextMedia|
|Chicago||WLUP-FM 97.9||Classic Rock||Loop Loud||South Asian||Emmis|
|Chicago||WMVP-AM 1000||Sports||-||-||ESPN Radio|
|Chicago||WYCA-FM 102.3||Gospel||-||-||Crawford Broadcasting Company|
|Chicago||WKSC-FM 103.5||CHR||Hot Spot||-||Clear Channel|
|Chicago||WVON-AM 1690||Talk||-||-||Clear Channel|
|Decatur||WYDS-FM 93.1||Top 40||-||-||Cromwell Group|
|Macomb||WIUM-FM 91.3||News/Talk/Info||-||-||Western Illinois University|
|Marion-Carbondale||WSIU-FM 91.9||NPR/Classica-l||-||Southern Illinois University|
|Peoria||WCBU-FM 89.9||Classical||NPR News||-||Bradley University|
|Peoria||WGLO-FM 95.5||Classic Rock||-||-||Regent|
|Quincy||WQUB-FM 90.3||NPR/Classical||Jazz||Folk||Quincy University Corporation|
|Rockford||WYRB-FM 106.3||Urban AC||-||-||Crawford Broadcasting Company|
|Rockford||WNIU-FM 90.5||Classical||-||-||Northern Illinois University|
|Springfield||WUIS-FM 91.9||News/Classical||-||-||University of Illinois|
|Warsaw||WIUW-FM 89.5||News/Talk/Info||-||-||Western Illinois University|
Eye on IBOC
Germany Says Yes to DAB+...
Germany's Commission of broadcasting policies (Rundfunkkommission) met in March, giving its unanimous approval for construction of a nationwide DAB+ multiplex, with a rollout target of early 2010, according to World DMB forum.
The move marks Germany as the second major industrial nation to embrace DAB+ on a national scale. Australia is scheduled to begin turning up multiplexes in five major markets in a little more than a month, while smaller nations such as Malta have already committed to single-site multiplexes.
The job of assigning spectrum for the large single-frequency network will fall to BnetzA, Germany's federal frequency authority.
Capacity of the national multiplex is said to be a maximum of 15 channels, one-third of which will be assigned to public broadcaster Deutschland Radio, while the balance will be made available to commercial broadcasters.
Coverage of the multiplex will reportedly be divided into 16 regions, most of which will have additional multiplexes assigned to provide channel capacity for local and regional services.
DAB+ is an advanced implementation of the DAB system currently in use in Switzerland and the UK, and differs most notably in its use of the high performance AAC codec, as opposed to the older MPEG Layer 2 coder used in standard DAB.
...While Israel Fails to Attract DAB+ Bids
While development of national DAB+ multiplexes are underway in Germany and Australia, the government of Israel has again come up empty in its latest attempt to find a bidder to build out a national multiplex there, says a recent report in Israel National News.com.
Approval for a nationwide build-out of a DAB/DAB+ multiplex network received initial approval in a March 2005 budget law passed by the Israeli Knesset (parliament) that also paved the way for satellite radio services. That move charged Second Authority for Television and Radio to allocate spectrum and tender an offer to firms interested in building out and operating a national network.
To date, however, the sixth tender has come and gone with no takers. High construction costs, balky credit markets, and uncertain operating returns are all cited for hesitancy on the part of potential investors.
Israel's Communications and Finance Ministries say they intend to tender still another bid request in the immediate future.
HD Radio Terminology Products
Tensilica's HiFi 2 DSP Boasts Universal Decoding Capability
Tensilica Inc, a privately held IP core company based in Silicon Valley, has announced that Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) decoding functionality is now available on its Hifi 2 Audio DSP. The implementation, based on Dolby software and certified by Dolby Labs, means that designers of digital radio systems can use Tensilica's Hifi 2 Audio DSP to decode any digital radio system now in use, including DRM, DAB, DAB+, HD, and XM satellite radio.
Larry Przywara, Tensilica's director of mobile multimedia, says his company selected Dolby's implementation of DRM because of positive experiences during the two firms' prior collaboration on HE AAC, DAB+, and T DMB software.
Tensilica says the new decoder has already been licensed by two of its customers.
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