Shaping radio today and tomorrow
Do you remember?
Philips Consumer Electronics announced its first digital compact cassette player and recorder in November 1992. The DCC900 was an extension of the compact cassette, and connected directly to a home stereo system and came with a pre-recorded DCC music sampler. Two-channel audio signals could be recorded with sampling frequencies of 48kHz, 44.1kHz and 32kHz. The dynamic range was better than 105dB, and the total harmonic distortion, including noise, was less than 0.0025 percent. Recording time was as long as 90 minutes, with provision for 120 minutes if a thinner tape was used.
The digital signals were recorded on nine parallel tracks, each 185 micrometers wide with a track pitch of 195 micrometers. The height of the playback heads is 70 micrometers. This offered less sensitivity to azimuth errors than the analog compact cassette.
Two kinds of data could be recorded on the tape: main data in eight tracks and auxiliary data in one track. The format was intended to provide digital recording to consumers in a format that resembled existing analog compact cassettes. The format never caught on.
That was then
In the January 1994 issue of Radio magazine we reported that USA Digital was submitting two IBOC-FM DAB systems to the EIA/NRSC digital radio tests, which were beginning that month. The second FM system employed a significantly different implementation of IBOC technology. The receiver for the new system was based on silicon architecture rather than the gallium arsenide processor required by the previous format's receiver.
The company demonstrated its first IBOC-FM system in various stages of development at several national and regional trade events during 1992 and 1993.
Sample and Hold
A look at the technology shaping radio
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