A new way of monitoring and quantifying FM IBOC digital transmission quality is now in the hands of National Radio Standards Committee (NRSC). Developed jointly by Ibiquity Digital and engineers from various broadcast transmission manufacturers, including Continental Electronics, Harris, Broadcast Electronics, and Nautel, the specifications and methodology for deriving an IBOC signal's Modulation Error Ratio (MER) were officially presented to the Committee at the NAB Radio Show in Philadelphia.
MER is generally defined as a measure of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in a digitally modulated signal. MER, like analog SNR, is typically expressed in decibels (dB).
MER measurement techniques specific to FM HD Radio hybrid transmission are described in a new Ibiquity Digital Corporation reference document entitled Transmission Signal Quality Metrics for FM IBOC Signals. Presented at a meeting of NRSC's Digital Radio Broadcasting (DRB) Subcommittee meeting, the document is under consideration for integration into the NRSC-5 IBOC Digital Radio Broadcasting Standard as well as NRSC-G201 Guidelines, which is said to be the basis for development of the new metric.