Digital Radio Update - October 1, 2008

October 1, 2008

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  • Malta Launches DAB+ Network
  • Digital Radio for Visual and Hearing Impaired Debuts
  • Rep. Markey Introduces House Bill to Require Satellite/HD Receiver Bundling
  • Ibiquity Helps Broadcasters Build Their HD IQ
  • IBOC by State: Florida
  • NAB Touts Electronic Program Guide Development at Radio Show
  • The New Language for Digital Radio
  • Aluratek Introduces Net Radio "Dongle"
  • New Insignia NS-HD3113 Does it All

  • News

    Malta Launches DAB+ Network
    Residents of the tiny nation of Malta now have regular access to DAB+ radio. WRN, a London-based international broadcaster, says it is working with DigiB Network, the company licensed by the Malta Communications Authority to operate a Terrestrial Digital Audio Broadcasting (T-DAB) Network, broadcasting WRN Europe multi-lingual program services via DAB+ to the Maltese island group.

    WRN broadcasts news and current affairs radio networks in five different languages (English, French, German, Arabic and Russian). The network carries programming from international public broadcasters and other programmers worldwide, and is broadcast on Sky Digital in the UK and Ireland and via Hot Bird to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

    While other European nations, such as Germany and Italy continue on-air testing of DAB+ technology, Malta is the first to commit to a full DAB+ multiplex.

    Malta is an independent nation with more than 400,000 citizens located on an island group near the center of the Mediterranean ocean.

    Digital Radio for Visual and Hearing Impaired Debuts
    Visitors on the exhibition floor at recent the NAB Radio Show in Austin, TX, got a chance to learn more about the progress a joint initiative of NPR, Towson University and Harris Corporation to develop dedicated HD Radio channels deaf/hard-of-hearing and visually impaired listeners.

    The new class of programming, announced last year and now said to be ready for launch, will utilize combination of low bit-rate audio multicast, datacast and conditional access HD Radio technology.

    The new services, distributed through NPR, will include a captioned radio text stream for the hearing impaired. Visually impaired audiences will also be able to access a Digital Radio Reading Channel over which text of daily newspaper, book and magazine articles will be read.

    Both services will be distributed to subscribers only through the use of conditional access functionality.

    Dice Electronics featured a beta-test receiver for the visually impaired at the show. Among the specialized features are voice confirmations of control functions along with time, alarm sets and station information. Other receiver manufacturers will reportedly offer similar feature sets on selected receivers.


    Rep. Markey Introduces House Bill to Require Satellite/HD Receiver Bundling
    In an interesting piece of 11th-hour maneuvering, Representative Ed. Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, introduced legislation last week designed to force manufacturers that build satellite radio to include HD receivers.

    A bipartisan group of Energy and Commerce Committee members cosponsored HR 7157, referred to as the "Radio All Digital Channel Receiver Act,'' including Representatives Lee Terry (R-NE), Charlie Gonzalez (D-TX), Greg Walden (R-OR), Joe Wilson (R-SC), and Dan Burton (R-IN). Also listed as co-sponsors are Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Mark Souder (R-IN).

    One particularly notable characteristic of the bill is its brevity. With only about 250 words, it reads faster than the menu board in the house cafeteria. At its core, the legislation requires that "apparatus shipped in interstate commerce or manufactured in the United States that is designed to receive signals broadcast in both the satellite digital audio radio service and the terrestrial AM or FM radio broadcast service be equipped with technology that is capable of receiving and playing digital radio signals as transmitted by terrestrial AM or FM stations."

    But with time running out for the 110th Congress, and with representatives preoccupied with an unprecedented fiscal crisis as well as November elections, the fate of HR 7157 is far from certain.

    The NAB welcomed the legislation, saying it salutes the leadership of Markey.

    Ibiquity Helps Broadcasters Build Their HD IQ
    Ibiquity Digital is now promoting the launch of its new HD Radio University for Broadcasters, an interactive website designed specifically for the broadcast community.

    Described as a site with how-to, FAQs, course presentations and checklists, Ibiquity says its HD Radio University will be updated daily with the latest information on receivers, technology breakthroughs, retail specials and general HD Radio news. Broadcasters will also find varied resources for practical needs like logos and signage, alongside a wide range of marketing and promotion ideas.

    The new approach will supplant an existing informational Web publication known as the HD Radio Playbook, and is designed to complement a similarly named site designed to educate retailers about HD Radio technology.

    Access to the site requires a free online registration

    IBOC Across America

    IBOC by State: Florida
    Ibiquity has a list of stations with licensed HD Radio technology and notes those on the air now. IBOC by state looks at various states and lists the stations making the transition. There are 117 stations in the Sunshine State broadcasting 192 HD Radio channels.

    MarketStationHD1 FormatHD2 FormatHD3 FormatOwner
    ClermontWMYZ- FM 88.7ChristianChristian Hip-Hop and UrbanChristian Rock and AlternativeCentral Florida Educational Foundation
    Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco IslandWAVV- FM 101.1Easy--Alpine Broadcasting
    Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco IslandWWCN- AM 770Sports/Talk--Beasley Broadcast Group
    Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco IslandWOLZ- FM 95.3ACOldies - Party Music-Clear Channel
    Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco IslandWZJZ- FM 100.1Smooth JazzThe Jazz Club-Clear Channel
    Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco IslandWGCU- FM 90.1News/ClassicalClassical 24-WGCU Public Media
    Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco IslandWMKO- FM 91.7News/Classical--WGCU Public Media
    Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco IslandWXKB- FM 103.9Top 40Reggae Hits-Beasley Broadcast Group
    Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco IslandWRXK- FM 96.1Classic RockHaney's Big House 96.1-Beasley Broadcast Group
    Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco IslandWJPT- FM 106.3Adult StandardSolid Gold 106-Beasley Broadcast Group
    Ft. Myers-Naples-Marco IslandWJBX- FM 99.3AlternativeRock - Emo-Beasley Broadcast Group
    Ft. Pierce-Stuart-Vero BeachWQCS- FM 88.9NPR/Classical--Indian River Community College
    Gainesville-OcalaWNDT- FM 92.5Classic Rock--Ocala Broadcasting
    Gainesville-OcalaWNDD- FM 95.5Classic Rock--Ocala Broadcasting
    Gainesville-OcalaWSKY- FM 97.3News/TalkSubterranean-Entercom Communications
    Gainesville-OcalaWUFT- FM 89.1ClassicalNPR NewsAAA/Old Time RadioUniversity of Florida
    Gainesville-OcalaWNDN- FM 107.9Classic Rock--Ocala Broadcasting
    InvernessWJUF- FM 90.1ClassicalNPR NewsAAA / Old Time RadioUniversity of Florida
    JacksonvilleWSOL- FM 101.5Urban ACUrban - Gospel - Hallelujah-Clear Channel
    JacksonvilleWQIK- FM 99.1CountryClassic Country-Clear Channel
    JacksonvilleWPLA- FM 107.3New RockAlternative-Clear Channel
    JacksonvilleWJBT- FM 93.3Rhythm and Blues/Urban CHRCountry - All New-Clear Channel
    JacksonvilleWBWL- AM 600Family Hits--Radio Disney
    JacksonvilleWJGL- FM 96.9Classic Hits--Cox Radio
    JacksonvilleWMXQ- FM 102.980s Hits--Cox Radio
    JacksonvilleWFKS- FM 97.9CHRCHR - All New-Clear Channel
    JacksonvilleWROO- FM 92.7GospelUrban - Old School Hip-Hop-Clear Channel
    JacksonvilleWAPE- FM 95.1Top 40--Cox Radio
    JacksonvilleWFYV- FM 104.5Classic Rock--Cox Radio
    JacksonvilleWJCT- FM 89.9NPR/Info/ClassicalWJCT Arts ClassicalNOAA WeatherWJCT
    Lakeland-Winter HavenWWRZ- FM 98.3Lite AC--Hall Communications
    Melbourne-Titusville-CocoaWMMB- AM 1240News/Talk--Clear Channel
    Melbourne-Titusville-CocoaWBVD- FM 95.1CHRSlow Jams-Clear Channel
    Melbourne-Titusville-CocoaWMMV- AM 1350News/Talk--Clear Channel
    Melbourne-Titusville-CocoaWLRQ- FM 99.3ACSmooth Jazz-Clear Channel
    Melbourne-Titusville-CocoaWFIT- FM 89.5AAA/News--Florida Institute of Technology
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWDNA- FM 88.9Jazz--Bascomb Memorial Broadcasting Foundation
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWBGG- FM 105.9Classic RockTriple A - The Alternative-Clear Channel
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWMYM- AM 990Family Hits--Radio Disney
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWHSR- AM 980International--Beasley Broadcast Group
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWLYF- FM 101.5AC--Lincoln Financial Media
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWMXJ- FM 102.7Oldies--Lincoln Financial Media
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWRTO- FM 98.3Spanish AC/Tropical--Univision Radio
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWAQI- AM 710Spanish/News/Talk--Univision Radio
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWHDR- FM 93.1RockParty 93.1-Cox Radio
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWHYI- FM 100.7CHRPride Radio-Clear Channel
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWLVE- FM 93.9Smooth JazzClassical-Clear Channel
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWMGE- FM 94.9Urban CHRNew CHR-Clear Channel
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWSUA- AM 1260Spanish/News/Variety--WSUA Broadcasting
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWAMR- FM 107.5Spanish/Adult CHR--Univision Radio
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWKIS- FM 99.9CountryGretchen 99.9 - Outlaw CountryNOAA WeatherBeasley Broadcast Group
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWQAM- AM 560Sports/Talk--Beasley Broadcast Group
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWLRN- FM 91.3News/Talk/InfoClassical-Miami/Dade County School Board
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWRMA- FM 106.7Romantic--Spanish Broadcasting System
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWMIB- FM 103.5Hip HopUrban Variety Oldies-Clear Channel
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWEDR- FM 99.1UrbanBling 99 HD2 Extreme Hip Hop-Cox Radio
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWHQT- FM 105.1Urban ACR&B Classic Soul FIRE 105-Cox Radio
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWFLC- FM 97.3ACTotally 80s-Cox Radio
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWPOW- FM 96.5Rhythmic/CHRReggaeWQAM-AM SimulcastBeasley Broadcast Group
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWQBA- AM 1140Spanish/News/Talk--Univision Radio
    Miami-Ft. Lauderdale-HollywoodWWNN- AM 1470Motivational--Beasley Broadcast Group
    OrlandoWPYO- FM 95.3Hip Hop/Rhythmic--Cox Radio
    OrlandoWPOZ- FM 88.3ChristianChristian Hip-Hop and R&B-Central Florida Educational Foundation
    OrlandoWPOZ- FM 88.3-3Christian Rock and Alternative The Rock--Central Florida Educational Foundation
    OrlandoWOCL- FM 105.9Classic HitsAlternative-CBS Radio
    OrlandoWMFE- FM 90.7Classical/NPR--Community Communications
    OrlandoWDYZ- AM 990Family Hits--Radio Disney
    OrlandoWHTQ- FM 96.5Classic RockNews/Talk-Cox Radio
    OrlandoWMMO- FM 98.9Soft Rock--Cox Radio
    OrlandoWXXL- FM 106.7Top 40All New Hits-Clear Channel
    OrlandoWWKA- FM 92.3Country--Cox Radio
    OrlandoWMGF- FM 107.7Soft AC60s and 70s-Clear Channel
    OrlandoWUCF- FM 89.9JazzPublic Radio News/Talk-University of Central Florida
    OrlandoWJHM- FM 101.9Rhythmic/CHR102 Gospel Jamz-CBS Radio
    PensacolaWYCT- FM 98.7Country--ADX Communications
    PensacolaWJLQ- FM 100.7Hot AC--Cumulus Media
    PensacolaWTKX- FM 101.5Rock--Clear Channel
    PensacolaWUWF- FM 88.1VarietyNPR/Variety-University of West Florida
    Sarasota-BradentonWLTQ- FM 92.1Adult CHR--Clear Channel
    Sarasota-BradentonWSDV- AM 1450Nostalgia--Clear Channel
    Sarasota-BradentonWCTQ- FM 106.5Country--Clear Channel
    Sarasota-BradentonWSRZ- FM 107.9OldiesOldies - 50s & 60s-Clear Channel
    Sarasota-BradentonWTZB- FM 105.9New Rock/Alternative--Clear Channel
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWDUV- FM 105.5EasyOldies-Cox Radio
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWBVM- FM 90.5Christian ContemporaryContemporary ChristianSpanish ChristianWBVM 90.5 FM
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWXTB- FM 97.9RockRock Variety-Clear Channel
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWRBQ- FM 104.7Hits of the 60s, 70s & 80sToday's Christian Hits-CBS Radio
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWWMI- AM 1380Family Hits--Radio Disney
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWHNZ- AM 1250News/Talk--Clear Channel
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWMTX- FM 100.7Hot ACPride Radio-Clear Channel
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWQYK- FM 99.5CountryHD Country (Heavy Duty)-CBS Radio
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWFLA- AM 970News/Talk/Sports--Clear Channel
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWFLZ- FM 93.3CHRDance-Clear Channel
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWBTP- FM 95.7UrbanQuiet Storm (Urban AC)-Clear Channel
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWMNF- FM 88.5Variety--Nathan B. Stubblefield Foundation
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWMGG- AM 820Spanish/Oldies--Mega Communications
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWHPT- FM 102.5Classic RockClassic Rock - 60s and 70s-Cox Radio
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWSJT- FM 94.1Smooth JazzClassics -CBS Radio
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWFUS- FM 103.5CountryCountry Mix-Clear Channel
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWPOI- FM 101.580s HitsModern Adult-Cox Radio
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWSUN- FM 97.1AlternativeAll Grunge Rock-Cox Radio
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWUSF- FM 89.7NPR News, Classical & JazzPublic Radio News & Information-University of South Florida
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWDAE- AM 620Sports--Clear Channel
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWXGL- FM 107.3Classic HitsTriple A-Cox Radio
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-ClearwaterWWRM- FM 94.9Soft ACContemporary Christian-Cox Radio
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWKGR- FM 98.7Classic RockRock-Clear Channel
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWPBZ- FM 103.1Alternative/RockAAA-CBS Radio
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWLDI- FM 95.5CHRPride Radio-Clear Channel
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWRLX- FM 92.1Soft ACJazz Fusion-Clear Channel
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWNEW- FM 106.3Urban ACUrban - Gospel-CBS Radio
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWMBX- FM 102.3Rhythmic/CHROld School Hip-Hop-CBS Radio
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWEAT- FM 104.3AC--CBS Radio
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWOLL- FM 105.5ACAC - Rhythmic - Cosmos-Clear Channel
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWZZR- FM 94.3TalkComedy-Clear Channel
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWXEL- FM 90.7Classical/NPR--Barry Telecommunications
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWSBR- AM 740Bus News--Beasley Broadcast Group
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWMEN- AM 640Sports--Crystal Boynton Beach
    West Palm Beach-Boca RatonWMNE- AM 1600Family Hits--Radio Disney

    Eye on IBOC

    NAB Touts Electronic Program Guide Development at Radio Show
    Among some key pieces of digital radio technology introduced in Austin, TX, last month was a prototype Electronic Program Guide (EPG) system for HD Radio. Developed under the NAB's Fastroad technology advocacy program by BIAfn, Broadcast Signal Lab (BSL) and Unique Interactive, the system provides users with an interactive on-screen guide to scheduled broadcast programming. NAB also used the occasion to release a report outlining requirements and potential consumer applications of the new technology.

    The concept of radio program guides is as old as the radio medium, yet it's been many decades since most newspapers ceased printing them. While a few stations still publish program guides in the U.S., the idea of having them universally available on receivers is something quite new to American consumers.

    Originally developed for application in Eureka-147 DAB systems in Europe, developers note that EPG for radio is more difficult than TV for a number of reasons, including the mobile nature of radio listening and the wide variation in receiver displays.

    Taking these challenges into account, the EPG report presents what the authors believe to be a workable design for a U.S. radio EPG system utilizing HD Radio technology. Four possible delivery architectures accommodating a range of station needs are presented, from stand-alone to cooperative cross-carriage among station groups, or even an entire radio markets market.

    The full text of the report and information on the NAB FASTROAD technology advocacy program are available at

    HD Radio Terminology

    The New Language of Digital Radio
    P3 interleaver select (P3 IS): In FM IBOC service mode MP2-MP5, the P3 logical channel may utilize either a short or long interleaver depth (time span) depending on the state of P3 interleaver select. This control bit is received from L2 via the SCCH. When the state of P3 IS changes (as detected on an L I frame boundary) while transmitting in service mode MP2-MP5, there will be a discontinuity in the transmission of the P3 logical channel.

    service mode: A specific configuration of operating parameters specifying throughput, performance level and selected logical channels.

    system control channel (SCCH): A channel which transports control information from the Configuration Administrator to Layer 1 and also conveys status information from Layer 1 to Layer 2, through the system control processing.


    Aluratek Introduces Net Radio "Dongle"
    Aluratek says its new AIRJ01F USB Internet Radio Jukebox will allow PC users with Internet access a user-friendly interface for more than 13,000 radio stations streaming from more than 150 countries – all without installing any new software on their computer.

    The AIRJ01F takes a unique approach to the challenge of navigating and accessing a virtual sea of Internet radio stations with a single USB dongle-style package that contains all the needed firmware, while the host PC sound hardware and network connection do the rest. Users can search for stations geographically or by more than 50 music genres, and favorites can easily be saved to a special folder on the device.

    The product's unusual design may have special appeal to office-bound types worried about installing unauthorized software on company PCs. After surfing world radio outlets while at work, the user can simply remove the device and takes it home at day's end.

    New Insignia NS-HD3113 Does it All
    Consumers who demand multi-functionality from their home entertainment devices have something to cheer about. The new NS-HD3113 bookshelf audio system not only features AM/FM HD reception with Itunes tagging technology, but also detachable two-way speakers and CD/DVD multi-format audio and video playback capability at a $200 price point.

    The company is also offering its new NS-HDTune AM/FM HD Radio component tuner for about $150.

    Insignia says it will market both devices exclusively through Best Buy online and retail outlets.

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