Boston- Jul 28, 2009 - A field trial of an HD Radio Electronic Program Guide (EPG) system for AM and FM radio broadcasting is now underway in the Boston radio market. This field trial is being conducted as part of an NAB Fastroad project to develop the business requirements, system architecture and specifications of an electronic program guide -- an interactive, on-screen guide to scheduled broadcast programming -- suited to the HD Radio market for local broadcasters. Stations from the markets adjacent to Boston including Worcester, MA, and Providence, RI, will also be involved, showing how an HD Radio EPG can serve listeners as they travel.
BIA Advisory Services and Broadcast Signal Lab are the managers for the Fastroad project. Unique Interactive has been contracted to develop EPG service bureau and client software for the HD Radio platform and for mobile and Web browsers. Consumer electronics manufacturer Cydle has joined the project as a partner and is developing a HD Radio device with EPG capabilities.
The EPG has extended its plans to include Web access and a mobile application demonstration on the Iphone and Ipod Touch.
Numerous HD Radio broadcasters have agreed to participate in the trial, including stations owned by Greater Media, Clear Channel, CBS, Emerson College and the University of Massachusetts. Other stations are expected to join the trial as it progresses.
Broadcast Signal Lab's managing partner David Maxson explained, "This trial will provide an excellent EPG obstacle course. These three markets will challenge the EPG delivery models because they represent the breadth of market sizes across the nation, are geographically very close to one another, and have numerous HD Radio stations, most of which offer multicast program channels. We are looking forward to taking EPG out for a good run."
Ibiquity has also built a set of EPG-capable receivers specifically for the field trial so participating broadcasters can monitor their transmissions the same way users would see the EPG data on future consumer receivers.
For this trial, Cydle will incorporate EPG functionality into the Cydle, its new HD Radio device.
The EPG consortium invites comments on its work to date. Review the consortium's initial conclusions in the document posted online: www.nabfastroad.org/NAB_FASTROAD_EPG_Final.pdf.