Digital Radio Update - April 1, 2009


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Index

  • HD Alliance Fetes Multicast Milestone
  • DRM Consortium Discusses Asian Rollouts, DRM+ and more at Erlangen
  • CBS Adds Personality-based Spots Online
  • IBOC by State: Illinois
  • Germany Says Yes to DAB+...
  • ...While Israel Fails to Attract DAB+ Bids
  • Tensilica's HiFi 2 DSP Boasts Universal Decoding Capability

  • News

    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.


    Business

    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.

     

    MarketStationHD1 FormatHD2 Format HD3 FormatOwner
    BloomingtonWJBC-AM 1230Talk--Regent
    BloomingtonWGLT-FM 89.1Jaza/Blues/NPRBlues Radio 24/7News and IdeasIlinois State University
    BloomingtonWBWN-FM 104.1Country--Regent
    ChampaignWCFF-FM 92.5Adult Hits--Saga
    ChampaignWIXY-FM 100.3Country--Saga
    ChampaignWLRW-FM 94.5Hot AC--Saga
    ChampaignWILL-FM 90.9ClassicalWILL-AMWILL-AMUniversity of Illinois
    ChicagoWBEW-FM 89.5News/Talk/Info--Chicago Public Radio
    ChicagoWTMX-FM 101.9Hot ACThe 80s Channel-Bonneville International Corp.
    ChicagoWVAZ-FM 102.7Urban ACHallelujah-Clear Channel
    ChicagoWSRB-FM 106.3Urban AC--Crawford Broadcasting Company
    ChicagoWBBM-FM 96.3CHRDance-CBS Radio
    ChicagoWBBM-AM 780News--CBS Radio
    ChicagoWILV-FM 100.3AC/Urban/OldiesLove Songs-Bonneville International Corp.
    ChicagoWRTO-AM 1200Spanish/Talk/News--Univision Radio
    ChicagoWDCB-FM 90.9Jazz/News--College Of Du Page
    ChicagoWXRT-FM 93.1AAAXRT New Music-CBS Radio
    ChicagoWPWX-FM 92.3Urban--Crawford Broadcasting Company
    ChicagoWKQX-FM 101.1AlternativeEverything Alternative-Emmis
    ChicagoWPPN-FM 106.7Spanish ACSpanish-Univision Radio
    ChicagoWSCR-AM 670Sports/Talk--CBS Radio
    ChicagoWRDZ-AM 1300Family Hits--Radio Disney
    ChicagoWUSN-FM 99.5CountryChicago's Future CountryTruckerCBS Radio
    ChicagoWJMK-FM 104.3JackOldies 60s/70s-CBS Radio
    ChicagoWWDV-FM 96.9RockDeep Tracks-Bonneville International Corp.
    ChicagoWDRV-FM 97.1RockDeep Tracks-Bonneville International Corp.
    ChicagoWGRB-AM 1390Black Gospel--Clear Channel
    ChicagoWGCI-FM 107.5UrbanClassic Hip Hop-Clear Channel
    ChicagoWZSR-FM 105.5AC--NextMedia
    ChicagoWNUA-FM 95.5Smooth JazzJazz Club Players-Clear Channel
    ChicagoWSSR-FM 96.7AC--NextMedia
    ChicagoWMBI-FM 90.1ReligionPraise & WorshipHis Kids RadioMoody Bible Institute
    ChicagoWBEZ-FM 91.5News/Talk/Info--Chicago Public Radio
    ChicagoWOJO-FM 105.1MexicanPlaneta 105Spanish NewsUnivision Radio
    ChicagoWLIT-FM 93.9ACCool-Clear Channel
    ChicagoWCFS-FM 105.9ACNews-CBS Radio
    ChicagoWERV-FM 95.9Classic HitsThe Rapids-NextMedia
    ChicagoWLS-AM 890News/Talk--Citadel
    ChicagoWLS-FM 94.7OldiesWLS-AM-Citadel
    ChicagoWLUP-FM 97.9Classic RockLoop LoudSouth AsianEmmis
    ChicagoWMVP-AM 1000Sports--ESPN Radio
    ChicagoWYCA-FM 102.3Gospel--Crawford Broadcasting Company
    ChicagoWKSC-FM 103.5CHRHot Spot-Clear Channel
    ChicagoWVON-AM 1690Talk--Clear Channel
    DecaturWYDS-FM 93.1Top 40--Cromwell Group
    MacombWIUM-FM 91.3News/Talk/Info--Western Illinois University
    Marion-CarbondaleWSIU-FM 91.9NPR/Classica-l-Southern Illinois University
    PeoriaWCBU-FM 89.9ClassicalNPR News-Bradley University
    PeoriaWGLO-FM 95.5Classic Rock--Regent
    PeoriaWVEL-AM 1140Religion--Regent
    QuincyWQUB-FM 90.3NPR/ClassicalJazzFolkQuincy University Corporation
    RockfordWYRB-FM 106.3Urban AC--Crawford Broadcasting Company
    RockfordWNIU-FM 90.5Classical--Northern Illinois University
    SpringfieldWDBR-FM 103.7CHR--Saga
    SpringfieldWTAX-AM 1240News/Talk/Sports--Saga
    SpringfieldWUIS-FM 91.9News/Classical--University of Illinois
    WarsawWIUW-FM 89.5News/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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