IBOC Update - Feb 22, 2006


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Index:

  • Maxson to Address HD Radio Performance Metrics at NAB
  • Partnership Presents Radio Technology Pavilion at NAB
  • Worldspace Expands African Channels, Indian Marketing
  • BE HD Radio Seminar Returns to NAB2006
  • HD Alliance Rolls Out Promotional Campaign
  • IBOC by State: Arkansas
  • An Introduction to the New Language Surrounding HD Radio
  • Bluetooth Chip includes FM Receiver Functionality

    To receive these articles twice a month in your e-mail, subscribe to the IBOC Update - Insight on HD Radio e-newsletter. Click here to subscribe.


    News

    Maxson to Address HD Radio Performance Metrics at NAB
    Broadcast Signal Lab's David Maxson will present his findings on several key dimensions of HD Radio transmission system performance parameters at this year's NAB Broadcast Engineering Conference. In a morning presentation of his paper entitled "Beyond Spectral Occupancy: an Investigation of IBOC Signal Quality Metrics," Maxson will explore the impact of system non-linearity on the quality of IBOC digital signals as well as its potential sources.

    Maxson is well known for his early investigations into performance issues facing broadcasters when dealing with digital hybrid signals, such as "spectral regrowth" --the result of intermodulation between digital carriers.

    The presentation will be presented as part of the "Test and Measurements for HD Radio" session at the BEC on Wednesday, April 26, 2006, at 9:30 a.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center.


    Business

    Partnership Presents Radio Technology Pavilion at NAB
    Broadcast Electronics and National Public Radio Labs will join forces with Traffic.com, Mozes, and FM411 to host a "Pavilion of New Technologies" at booth N1808 at NAB2006. Featured technologies will include text services for the deaf, audio services for the blind, billboard text broadcasting, and personalized radio services such as instant messaging song favorites and traffic navigation text.

    "There's an explosion of interactive radio opportunities for broadcasters that will position radio for the future," said Allen Hartle, BE director of development, Broadcast Data Services. "We're sharpening product development and partnering with trendsetters in these areas to give broadcasters a leg-up against competing media."

    Among the new technologies on display and under demonstration at the Pavilion will be:

  • Radio text services for the hearing impaired using RDS/HD Radio data channels and audio services for the visually impaired via HD2 multicast channels. NPR Labs will participate in this demonstration.
  • Personalized radio applications for mobile phone and Web users, including the demonstration of a system from FM411 and Mozes' application that bookmarks songs played over the air for later review on the Mozes interactive website. Also included will be FM411's music alert application, which can instant-message mobile phones prior to the playing of a song of interest on-air. Topping the bill will be a demonstration of program associated data supplied by BE's Now Playing application, which will be broadcast over a station's HD Radio text channel in real time.
  • Business opportunities for RDS/HD Radio electronic signs. Broadcasters will learn how they can choose to lease services to independent businesses wishing to create a network of information displays for profit, or display program-associated data, such as artist/title now playing on a variety of indoor /outdoor dynamic electronic displays.
  • Traffic data via HD Radio. A live traffic feed from Traffic.com will be transmitted on an HD Radio channel to an in-car system on display. "These are important developments that have programming and datacasting implications [that] will change how broadcasters interact with their listeners," said Mike Starling, vice president, chief technology officer, NPR.

    Broadcast Electronics is the official sponsor of the NAB2006 Pavilion of New Technologies.


    Worldspace Expands African Channels, Indian Marketing
    Worldspace Satellite Radio has announced the launch of two new channels on the company's satellite radio network. The channels, "East Coast Radio" and "Jacaranda," are available on the company's Afristar satellite and are targeted at subscribers across southern Africa.

    Jacaranda (channel 25) is described as a predominately music-oriented format, broadcasting in both English and Afrikaans for an upscale adult demographic. East Coast Radio (channel 26) is aiming its commercial music service at a cross-cultural audience and focuses heavily on regional news and sports. Worldspace claims the channels are now available to a potential audience of more than 500 million listeners in a satellite footprint that covers 26 countries.

    The company says the African programming initiative comes amidst moves to increase the geographic scope of its subscription services in India through the launch of a new regional office in Kolkata and the expansion of its 25 existing retail receiver outlets in the state of West Bengal.


    BE HD Radio Seminar Returns to NAB2006
    Broadcast Electronics (BE) will offer its HD Radio seminar marking the seminar's fifth consecutive appearance at the NAB annual convention and engineering conference. Among the topics under discussion in Las Vegas will be practical solutions for HD conversion, as well as the latest developments in transmission and studio technology. The seminar also will serve as a discussion forum for broadcasters interested in the most up-to-date technical developments surrounding HD Radio's rollout nationally.

    Registration for BE's HD Radio seminar will open in March and is free to all interested broadcasters. The event is scheduled for Sunday, April 23 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in room N-114 of the Las Vegas Convention Center.


    Eye on IBOC

    HD Alliance Rolls Out Promotional Campaign
    Twelve radio ownership groups that comprise the newly formed HD Digital Radio Alliance have kicked off the first phase of a promised $200 million advertising campaign to educate and motivate consumers toward adoption of HD Radio technology. Two hundred and fifty alliance member stations will air ads designed to spur consumer interest in the 28 markets nationwide where the technology has already launched. The campaign includes spots developed by longtime radio advertising specialists Dick Orkin and the Radio Ranch.

    The campaign aims to build momentum behind the about 700 radio stations that are currently broadcasting their primary analog signals via hybrid HD digital signals. The move follows on the heels of an alliance announcement that 250 new formats have been selected in selected markets across the country for broadcasting on HD2 multicast channels.

    In an unconventional approach, station owners will devote a portion of their total ad time commitment to promoting receiver makers, retailers and automakers who offer HD Radio products. For example, some 25 percent of spots in the first wave will highlight Boston Acoustics' Receptor Radio HD. The move is designed to reward Boston Acoustics for lowering its price point on that system to $299 as of Feb. 1.

    "The creative on these spots is fun, entertaining and informative," said Peter Ferrar, president of the HD Digital Radio Alliance. "With the industry and listener momentum we're seeing, we're able to showcase what radio does best--engage and inform."

    The first wave of spots--16 in 30- and 15-second versions--highlight HD Radio's improved quality audio and increased local entertainment choices.

    The ads also emphasize that digital radio, unlike satellite radio, never requires a subscription fee.


    IBOC Across America

    IBOC By State: Arkansas
    Ibiquity has a list of stations that have licensed HD Radio technology and notes those that are on the air now. IBOC by state will look at various states and list the stations that are making the transition.

    Station Format Market Owner On Air Multicasting
    KUAF-FM 91.3 Nws/Tlk/Inf Fayetteville University of Arkansas No No
    KDJE-FM 100.3 Rock Little Rock Clear Channel Radio Yes No
    KHKN-FM 106.7 Country Little Rock Clear Channel Radio Yes No
    KHLR-FM 94.9 Gospel Little Rock Clear Channel Radio Yes No
    KMJX-FM 105.1 Clsc Rock Little Rock Clear Channel Radio Yes No
    KSSN-FM 95.7 Country Little Rock Clear Channel Radio Yes No
    KUAR-FM 89.1 Nws/Tlk/Inf Little Rock University of Arkansas No No

    HD Radio Terminology

    An introduction into the language surrounding IBOC.

    IP: Interleaving processes

    OFDM: Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing


    Products

    Bluetooth Chip includes FM Receiver Functionality
    Broadcom has created a new device that integrates a complete Bluetooth radio and baseband along with an FM stereo radio receiver into a chip. The company claims that their new offering will allow multimedia cell phones and digital media players enabled with Bluetooth to add FM radio functionality to their products with significant power, size and cost savings.

    According to Broadcom, FM radio is one of the multimedia features currently gaining momentum with manufacturers and carriers, with one market researcher projecting that 332 million handsets will include FM radio by 2009.

    Broadcom says the BCM2048 will enable manufacturers to add FM radio and Bluetooth wireless stereo capabilities with a single chip, while requiring only about 1/3 the board space of existing discrete component solutions, with lower overall cost. The chip is also said to support all key features of version 2.0 of the Bluetooth specification, with support capability for version 2.1 as well. The BCM20248 also boasts advanced FM radio product features, such as high receiver sensitivity, Radio Broadcast Data Service (RBDS) processing, along with advanced tuning and station search functions.

    The BCM2048 is available now and is sampling to early access partners.



    To receive these articles twice a month in your e-mail, subscribe to the IBOC Update - Insight on HD Radio e-newsletter. Click here to subscribe.



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