HD Radio Technical Standards Task Force Urges Consistency

October 4, 2011

Washington - Oct 3, 2011 - The HD Radio Alliance formed the HD Radio Technical Standards Task Force with the goal of identifying exactly what HD Radio broadcasters need to do to help deliver the kind of consistent experience needed to make HD Radio audio and data services as successful and competitive as they can be. Paul Brenner, president of the Broadcast Traffic Consortium, is co-chairing this Task Force along with Glynn Walden, CBS senior vice president, and their group is composed of leading engineering executives from the HD Radio Alliance membership.

The Task Force has identified eight operational priorities all digital radio broadcasters should strive to address, and its members believe that by implementing these procedures and services on all HD Radio stations, the industry will be able to ensure a high-quality and consistent listener experience across all stations, markets and groups. A brief summary of each of the eight items is as follows:

  • Digital power increase. FM band HD Radio stations should take advantage of whatever digital power increase is possible without exceeding the NRSC-5 out-of-band emissions mask for HD Radio operation.
  • Time and level alignment. Proper time alignment of the main channel analog and digital audio signals is necessary as the HD Radio receiver transitions or blends from the main channel analog to the digital audio when first tuned to a station, or at the edge of the digital signal coverage where the receiver will blend back to the analog signal.
  • Complete and accurate SIS. Station Information Services (SIS) data provides basic information about the station such as call sign, as well as information not displayable to the consumer such as the station identification number.
  • Dynamic Program Service Data (PSD) Program Service Data (PSD) is an important component of the HD Radio listener experience and should be sent for each song that is played. Dynamic PSD is PSD that changes with every song.
  • iTunes tagging support. The iTunes Tagging feature allows a listener to identify a particular song on a HD Radio broadcast. iTunes Tagging data should be sent for every song played. When a song is tagged by the listener, a token is stored in the receiver and the listener may later purchase the song through the iTunes music store.
  • Artist Experience. Artist Experience is the synchronous transmission, delivery and display of images on the receiver related to the specific audio segment, and should be implemented by all HD Radio broadcasters.
  • Station logo service. Transmission of station logos is supported by the iBiquity Artist Experience feature, which should be implemented by all HD Radio broadcasters.
  • High-quality multicast engineering. Multicasting is the ability for an HD Radio-capable FM station to broadcast additional audio programming (called Supplemental Program Service or SPS) simultaneously with the main audio program service (called Main Program Service or MPS). The configuration of the various multicast channels can be set by the broadcaster to support various program formats.

  • Receive regular news and technology updates. Sign up for our free newsletter here.