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Digital Radio Update - August 21, 2008
Deadline for 2008 CPB Digital Upgrade Grants Approaches
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), along with is member station Digital Consultation Panel, has recommended an additional allocation of funds for the conversion of digital radio transmitters, and is actively soliciting grant applications from CPB-eligible organizations for digital transmission upgrades in its FY 08 funding cycle. Deadline for receipt of applications is Sept. 29.
To date, CPB says it has approved funding for the digital conversion of 697 public radio transmitters. More than 400 public radio stations have completed conversions and are now transmitting digital signals. Of those, 127 are multicasting for a total of 168 multicast streams.
For more information and application forms, go to www.cpb.org.
Siport, a consumer electronics IC developer, is promoting that its SP1010 single-chip HD Radio receiver has completed comprehensive product qualification and received HD Radio Ready certification from Ibiquity Digital. The company says LG-Innotek is currently sampling an HD Radio module based on the new device.
Siport is promising production quantity availability of the SP1010 later in September.
Meanwhile, NXP Semiconductors, an independent semiconductor company founded by consumer electronics giant Philips, says it has developed a multi-standard radio integrated circuit (IC) for in-car digital radio reception. The company claims the new single-chip product, dubbed SAF3560, supports HD Radio, DAB, DAB+, DRM and T-DMB Radio reception with the goal of reducing development costs and logistics complexity for OEM car audio manufacturers.
Development of the SAF3560 reflects the need of receiver manufacturers to address a fractious mix of digital radio technologies now being deployed worldwide. For example, automakers producing product for the European market are currently challenged by a weave of DAB, T-DMB, DRM, and even HD Radio now being broadcast there.
NXP notes the new SAF3560 supports the latest HD Radio features, like Itunes Tagging, as well as provisioning for field software upgrades.
Radiopaq Rp5 Mixes On-Air/On-line Digital Radio
Radio lovers in the UK will soon have a new platform for exploring music on local analog and digital radio as well as a constellation of radio outlets on the Internet. Radiopaq's new Rp5 tabletop audio system allows users to listen to online radio via a Wi-fi connection, alongside analog and digital stations without the need for a PC. But what's really innovative about the new Rp5, according to company officials, is its ability to search for programming by name, genre, country or language.
In February, the company launched Radiopaq.com, an Internet radio gateway site. The company promises its users thousands of radio stations from around the world, along with a comprehensive podcast library and dedicated news service. The Rp5 makes use of the website to achieve what Radiopaq president Prash Vadgama calls "seamless interaction between the website and the hardware."
Other Rp5 features include an MP3 player with USB access, analog FM and DAB tuners, remote control, headphone jack, and a five-way speaker system with up to 25W of audio drive. Scheduled for delivery late next month, the Rp5 will retail for about US $468.
IBOC Across America
IBOC by State: Ohio
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 89 stations in the Buckeye State broadcasting 143 HD Radio channels.
|Market||Station||HD1 Format||HD2 Format||HD3 Format||Owner|
|Akron||WKSU-FM 89.7||Classical||Folk Alley||Classical||Kent State University|
|Akron||WKDD-FM 98.1||Hot AC||AC - Rhythmic||-||Clear Channel|
|Akron||WAKS-FM 96.5||Top 40||KiWi Radio||-||Clear Channel|
|Canton||WRQK-FM 106.9||Rock||Live Music||-||Clear Channel|
|Canton||WHOF-FM 101.7||AC||60s and 70s Hits||-||Clear Channel|
|Cincinnati||WRRM-FM 98.5||AC/Soft Rock||-||-||Cumulus Media Partners|
|Cincinnati||WIZF-FM 101.1||Urban||-||-||Radio One|
|Cincinnati||WGUC-FM 90.9||Classical||Jazz||-||Cincinnati Public Radio|
|Cincinnati||WUBE-FM 105.1||Country||Country||-||Bonneville International|
|Cincinnati||WFTK-FM 96.5||Rock||-||-||Cumulus Media Partners|
|Cincinnati||WKRQ-FM 101.9||Hot AC||International Hits||-||Bonneville International|
|Cincinnati||WLW-SM 700||News/Talk/Sports||-||-||Clear Channel|
|Cincinnati||WEBN-FM 102.7||Rock||New Alternative||-||Clear Channel|
|Cincinnati||WYGY-FM 97.3||Country||Extreme Rock and Hip Hop||-||Bonneville International|
|Cincinnati||WSAI-AM 1360||Sports||-||-||Clear Channel|
|Cincinnati||WCKY-AM 1530||Sports||-||-||Clear Channel|
|Cincinnati||WOFX-FM 92.5||Classic Rock||AAA - The Summit||-||Clear Channel|
|Cincinnati||WMOJ-FM 100.3||Urban AC||-||-||Radio One|
|Cincinnati||WNNF-FM 94.1||Hot AC||Chill (Young and Hip)||-||Clear Channel|
|Cincinnati||WMUB-FM 88.5||News/Talk/Jazz||Jazz||BBC World Service||Miami University|
|Cincinnati||WKFS-FM 107.1||CHR||Classic Hip Hop||-||Clear Channel|
|Cincinnati||WSWD-FM 94.9||Alternative||-||-||Bonneville International|
|Cincinnati||WVXU-FM 91.7||News/Info||Alternative Rock||-||Cincinnati Public Radio|
|Cleveland||WENZ-FM 107.9||Urban/Hip Hop||-||-||Radio One|
|Cleveland||WWMK-AM 1260||Family Hits||-||-||Radio Disney|
|Cleveland||WNWV-FM 107.3||Smooth Jazz||Traditional Jazz||-||Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Company|
|Cleveland||WDOK-FM 102.1||Soft AC||Soft Rock||-||CBS Radio|
|Cleveland||WNCX-FM 98.5||Classic Rock||Spanish CHR||-||CBS Radio|
|Cleveland||WGAR-FM 99.5||Country||Classic Country||-||Clear Channel|
|Cleveland||WMVX-FM 106.5||Hot AC||Joke Joke||-||Clear Channel|
|Cleveland||WTAM-AM 1100||News/Talk||-||-||Clear Channel|
|Cleveland||WCLV-FM 104.9||Classical||-||-||Cleveland Classical Radio|
|Cleveland||WQAL-FM 104.1||Hot AC||Triple A||-||CBS Radio|
|Cleveland||WMJI-Fm 105.7||Oldies||50's and 60's Oldies||-||Clear Channel|
|Cleveland||WMMS-Fm 100.7||Rock||Active Rock||-||Clear Channel|
|Cleveland||WZAK-FM 93.1||R&B Oldies||-||-||Radio One|
|Cleveland||WKRK-FM 92.3||Modern Rock||New Rock||-||CBS Radio|
|Columbus||WTVN-AM 610||News/Talk/Sports||-||-||Clear Channel|
|Columbus||WSNY-FM 94.7||Lite Rock||-||-||Saga|
|Columbus||WCOL-FM 92.3||Country||New Country||-||Clear Channel|
|Columbus||WYTS-AM 1230||Talk||-||-||Clear Channel|
|Columbus||WCKX-FM 107.5||Urban||-||-||Radio One|
|Columbus||WRXS-FM 106.9-2||-||T.B.D.||-||Clear Channel|
|Columbus||WNCI-FM 97.9||CHR||Stevie's Boom Room||-||Clear Channel|
|Columbus||WLZT-FM 93.3||AC||Classic Dance||-||Clear Channel|
|Columbus||WBNS-FM 97.1||Hot AC||-||-||RadiOhio|
|Columbus||WJZA-FM 103.5||Smooth Jazz||-||-||Saga|
|Columbus||WJYD-FM 106.3||Gospel||-||-||Radio One|
|Columbus||WBWR-FM 105.7||Rock||Full Metal Racket||-||Clear Channel|
|Columbus||WNKK-FM 107.1||Country||90's Alternative||-||Wilks Broadcast Group|
|Columbus||WOSU-AM 820||News/Talk||-||-||The Ohio State University|
|Columbus||WOSU-FM 89.7||Classical||News/Talk||-||The Ohio State University|
|Columbus||WCLT-FM 100.3||Country||News/Talk||News/Talk/Sports (WCLT-AM)||WCLT Radio|
|Columbus||WXMG-FM 98.9||R&B Oldies||-||-||Radio One|
|Coshocton||WOSE-FM 91.1||Classical||Classical||-||Ohio State University|
|Dayton||WMMX-FM 107.7||Hot AC||Christian AC||-||Clear Channel|
|Dayton||WTUE-FM 104.7||Rock||Deep Tracks and Live Rock||-||Clear Channel|
|Dayton||WYSO-FM 91.3||AAA/News||AAA||-||Antioch University|
|Dayton||WCSU-FM 88.9||Urban/Jazz/Gospel||-||-||Central State University|
|Dayton||WFCJ-FM 93.7||Inspiration||Inspirational and Praise music||-||Miami Valley Christian Broadcasting Association|
|Dayton||WLQT-FM 99.9||Lite AC||Oldies from the 60s||-||Clear Channel|
|Dayton||WDKF-FM 94.5||Top 40||Urban Variety||-||Clear Channel|
|Dayton||WDPR-FM 88.1||Classical||-||-||Dayton Public Radio|
|Dayton||WIZE-AM 1340||Sports||-||-||Clear Channel|
|Dayton||WDSJ-FM 106.5||Smooth Jazz||-||-||Clear Channel|
|Dayton||WXEG-FM 103.9||Alternative||All New Alternative||-||Clear Channel|
|Dayton||WEEC-FM 100.7||Christian||Southern Gospel||-||World Evangelistic Enterprise Corporation|
|Geneva||WKKY-FM 104.7||Country||-||-||Music Express Broadcasting Corp. of Northeast Ohio|
|Greenville||WDPG-FM 89.9||Classical||-||-||Dayton Public Radio|
|Kent||WNRK-FM 90.7||Classical||-||-||Kent State University|
|Mansfield||WOSV-FM 91.7||Classical||News/Classical||Classical||Ohio State University|
|Marion||WOSB-FM 91.1||Classical||Classical||-||Ohio State University|
|Port Clinton||WXKR-FM 94.5||Classic Rock||-||-||Cumulus Media|
|Portsmouth||WOSP-FM 91.5||Classical||Classical||-||Ohio State University|
|Toledo||WCWA-AM 1230||Sports||-||-||Clear Channel|
|Toledo||WIOT-FM 104.7||Rock||Rock "Nitro"||-||Clear Channel|
|Toledo||WKKO-FM 99.9||Country||-||-||Cumulus Media|
|Toledo||WRQN-FM 93.5||Oldies||-||-||Cumulus Media|
|Toledo||WWWM-FM 105.5||Hot AC||-||-||Cumulus Media|
|Toledo||WVKS-FM 92.5||CHR||Top 40 Dance||-||Clear Channel|
|Toledo||WSPD-AM 1370||Sports/Talk||-||-||Clear Channel|
|Toledo||WRVF-FM 101.5||AC||"Aimee" Adult Contemporary||-||Clear Channel|
|Toledo||WRWK-FM 106.5||Alternative||-||-||Cumulus Media|
|Youngstown-Warren||WNCD-FM 93.3||Classic Rock||T.B.D.||-||Clear Channel|
|Youngstown-Warren||WHOT-FM 101.1||CHR||-||-||Cumulus Media|
|Youngstown-Warren||WQXK-FM 105.1||Country||-||-||Cumulus Media|
|Youngstown-Warren||WYFM-FM 102.9||Classic Rock||-||-||Cumulus Media|
|Youngstown-Warren||WMXY-FM 98.9||Mix AC||T.B.D.||-||Clear Channel|
|Youngstown-Warren||WYSU-FM 88.5||Classical/News/Info||Classical||-||Youngstown State University|
Eye on IBOC
Wimax Merger in Dispute -- And What it Means to Radio
Champions of open-network mobile broadband may be getting a taste of the frustration advocates of Sirius XM's merger felt when the deal stalled for almost 18 months while the NAB heavily lobbied the FCC to quash the deal. An interesting parallel to that misadventure began just a few weeks ago, when AT&T filed their own petition with the Commission opposing a pending multi-billion dollar deal between carriers Clearwire and Sprint/Nextel designed to launch a nationwide Wimax 4G wireless broadband service.
Like the protracted sat radio merger debate, the current controversy centers around spectrum use and a bitter race to establish a distribution model for the delivery of U.S. mobile entertainment and information content. The story is a significant one for broadcasters, because a successful rollout of Wimax is certain to launch a new wave of dedicated audio and video appliances designed to pull content directly from the Web to consumers, no matter where they go. With networks speeds of up to 2mbps, Wimax would be poised to offer consumers a delivery pipe vastly superior to that of HD Radio or satellite radio.
Those unfamiliar with the Wimax saga should note that the system is essentially an open standard, with a family of IEEE specifications supporting it. As originally envisioned, Wimax takes the familiar network transparency of Wi-fi and extends the range of each node by many kilometers through the use of high power transceiver sites. Unlike current 3G wireless broadband networks where the carrier ultimately controls which devices can access the network (think AT&T/Iphone), Sprint has promised its new Wimax service will be an open, high-transparency network, with Intel-produced chipsets available to just about any manufacturer that cares to imbed them in their product. In theory at least, this would allow consumers with a service plan to operate a variety of devices on the network with full access to a galaxy of content and services.
But Wimax's launch, with all its populist appeal, has been an exercise in delays. While Sprint originally tried to go WiMax alone with its Xohm venture, it quickly realized it lacked the capital, infrastructure and spectrum to achieve the critical mass needed for a successful startup. That's where Clearwire, a mobile broadband provider with additional spectrum and cash, enters the picture. Last May, the two entities agreed to partner in the creation of a new carrier bearing the Clearwire name, and the deal gained momentum with a $3 billion cash infusion from Intel, Google and several Cable TV firms. Between them, the two parent companies now have Wimax networks beta testing in Baltimore, DC, Chicago, and Portland, OR, with build-outs currently underway in several other markets.
All this leads up to the current dilemma facing the FCC as it ponders final approval of the Sprint/Clearwire deal. On July 24, telecom leviathan AT&T filed a petition with the Commission requesting denial of the merger on the grounds that the new broadband provider could substantially impact competition in the mobile communications market. Although it might not be a deal killer, a lengthy approval delay could blunt Wimax's momentum, while AT&T and Verizon improve their positions.
Critics of AT&T's petition claim that AT&T is acting purely out of self-interest, because it may not be able to get its own proprietary 4G EDO broadband network off the ground for at least a couple more years. But the core of AT&T's objection centers on Clearwire's leases of spectrum in the former Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS), now referred to as the Educational Broadband Service (EBS) in the desirable 2.5GHz band. The crux of AT&T's argument is that EBS spectrum leased from EBS license holders would give the newly emerging Clearwire an unfair advantage in the race to establish true high-speed mobile broadband. And that could be a point with the potential to flummox a lame-duck FCC Chair.
While the outcome of AT&T's petition on the FCC's disposition on the Sprint/Clearwire merger is unknown, one thing is certain: Broadcasters, particularly radio broadcasters, need to keep a sharp eye and an open mind tuned in on the Wimax rollout. With more than a dozen models of dedicated Wi-fi radios now on the market, Wimax dashboard radios, along with a host of other mobile applications, can't be far behind. Savvy owners and programmers would do well to begin planning on how to ride -- rather than be buried by -- what could be a building Wimax wave.
HD Radio Terminology
L1 block pair: Two contiguous FM IBOC L1 blocks. There is no AM IBOC counterpart. A unit of time duration Tp.
L1 block pair rate: The rate, equal to the reciprocal of the Layer 1 block pair duration, at which Tp selected transfer frames are conducted through Layer 1.
L1 block rate: The rate, Rb, equal to the reciprocal of Tb.
L1 frame rate: The rate, Rf, equal to the reciprocal of the L1 frame duration, Tf at which selected.
An In-dash HD Radio Receiver for Under $50?
It's true, says mail order electronics vendor Crutchfield. In a bit of late summer serendipity for audio fans, the company is currently offering JVC's KDHDW10 in-dash CD Receiver for $99.99. Clever buyers who purchase an extra item to take their order over $100 are eligible to receive a $20 markdown for coupon code "3A825". But the big markdown comes when the buyer submits a $50 rebate coupon available from the HD Radio Alliance's website, bringing the buyer total after rebate to just $29.99, plus taxes, shipping and handling -- which still leaves the total cost at under $50.
The deal reportedly ends Aug. 31.
Since this story was posted, Crutchfield discovered the unintentional loophole that was created to provide the very inexpensive price. The offer was removed once the situation was realized.
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