To receive these articles weekly in your e-mail, subscribe to the
NAB Insider e-newsletter from Radio magazine. Click here to subscribe.
Convention Attendance Hits97,544
Following a few years of declining attendance, NAB2004 has hit a
high point. Previous attendance figures for the NAB convention
About 1,400 companies exhibited at the convention.
Crystal Radio Award WinnersAnnounced
Announced during the Radio Luncheon, the National Association of
Broadcasters has named the 10 recipient of the NAB Crystal Radio Awards
competition. The 10 NAB Crystal Radio Award winners were selected from
a pool of 40 finalists. The winners are:
Multichannel IBOC MakesImpressions
There were three examples of multichannel IBOC systems displayed
during the convention.Two were on the convention floor and one was
shown in a suite in the Hilton hotel.
The off-floor demonstration was provided by Telos Systems and Omnia
Audio, which demonstrated the latest technology from the Fraunhofer
Institute (FhG), the developers of MP3 and other MPEG audio codecs. The
5.1 channel surround demo is able to place the encoded audio data with
the 96kb/s spectrum of an FM IBOC signal.
The system works with the existing HD Radio codec and transmission
equipment and is fully compatible with stereo broadcasts. It uses about
80kb/s for the stereo information and the remaining 16kb/s for the
surround data. Radios incapable of decoding the surround data simply
In an in-vehicle demonstration, Harris demonstrated a 5.1 surround
sound system that featured Harris' Neustar audio processing in a Hummer
vehicle equipped with a Kenwood HD Radio receiver.
Both demos displayed the 5.1 channel capabilities, but did so in
different ways. The Telos/Omnia demo compared a source original 5.1
recording to the Fraunhofer-encoded signal, while the Harris demo used
stereo music with 5.1 channel promos and liners. The Frauhofer version
allowed listeners to compare the coding, while the Harris demo showed
the flash of the technology.
In addition, Harris demonstrated the first phase of the Tomorrow
Radio Project, a joint research and technology development effort with
National Public Radio (NPR) and Kenwood USA. The project was created to
explore the possibilities available to public broadcasters with digital
radio. Using the increased bandwidth provided by HD Radio, NPR, Harris
and Kenwood are able to broadcast a main channel and supplemental audio
channel (SAC) on the same FM frequency.
The Tomorrow Radio system was profiled in the March 2004 issue of
Radio magazine. You can read that article by following this link
The Radio magazine Pick Hits panel acknowledged the
multi-channel audio IBOC technologies during the Pick Hits selection
process. The group bestowed one or three Technology Honors to the work
being done in this area.
|New Products from the
Neutrik Acoustilyzer AL1
The extended functionality of the Acoustilyzer AL1 includes
acoustical measurements such as sound level metering with LEQ, SEL and
short time LEQ; real-time frequency analysis in 1/1, 1/3 octave bands;
FFT analysis down to 1Hz resolution; reverberation time measurements
RT60 and delay measurements.
Yes Networks Interactive MusicSystem
This company has developed a system that allows a mobile phone user
to rate, share and buy any song that has played in the last 24 hours
and to participate in live polls and promotions. By dialing #YES (937)
on their mobile phones, callers will have access to the play lists of
2,500 radio stations to respond to any song that played in the last 24
hours. By stating the name of the station and the time the song played,
the caller will hear a sample of the song as well as information about
the artist, track and album. Participants can rate the song, download
the ring tone, buy the CD and tell friends about the song they have
MGE UPS Systems EPS8000
The EPS8000 uninterruptible power system (UPS) provides true online
backup at power ratings up to 800kVA with engine generator
compatibility to ensure smooth operation for transmitters, while
providing protection from crowbar events. High efficiency operation
reduces operating costs, while an informative graphic interface eases
Audemat-Aztec Navigator 007
This portable FM field strength meter offers a built-in modulation,
pilot, RBDS monitor. It is delivered with an external GPS receiver for
mobile RF survey on a single FM station. While driving, RF readings and
GPS coordinates are recorded on a laptop.
Digigram HR series
The HR (high resolution) series of PCX sound cards features
24-bit/192kHz converters, more advanced functions, more processing
power and greater flexibility for custom developments. The PCX882HR and
PCX881HR multichannel sound cards offer hardware sample rate converters
on all inputs for simultaneous recording of digital signals with
different sampling frequencies, a 66MHz/64-bit PCI interface and a more
powerful on-board DSP. Eight inputs and eight outputs are provided -
digital I/Os in the PCX881HR and analog and digital I/Os in the
PCX882HR. Maximum levels of the analog inputs and outputs are +24dBu.
Digigram plans to continue to grow and develop the HR series.
The Virtuoso, V10, is a 10kW FM HD Radio transmitter using a linear,
adjustable bias, broadband design. It is capable of up to 3.2kW
digital, 7.7kW hybrid or 11kW analog operation. Because it is frequency
agile, it can be used for N+1 configurations in conjunction with the
Maestro digital exciter. RF power modules and associated switch mode
power supply modules are hot-plug for ease of service. Maximum
redundancy features include provision for duplication of exciters, IPA
and IPA - power supply and low voltage power supply. The unit features
a graphic user interface, diagnostic flow diagram and event log.
Compact and lightweight construction allows installation at sites with
space and floor loading constraints.
Harris RMX Digital
The newest addition to the family of VistaMax-enabled, networkable
consoles is the RMX Digital on-air digital radio console. The RMX
Digital was developed for radio broadcasters who asked for a digital
version of the PR&E Radiomixer Analog Console-but with the features
of the BMX Digital and Legacy consoles. RMXdigital offers a secure
upgrade path with analog and digital inputs and outputs, allowing
broadcasters to start with analog and easily upgrade to digital when
they are ready. The system features the same switches and LED
illuminators as those used in the BMX Digital, and the same
construction with support for multiple mix-minus feeds.
Middle Atlantic Products FanControl Top
These products are comprised of integrated fans and grills as well
as the company's FC-4 proportional thermostatic fan control, varying
the speed of the fans, and based on the enclosures interior
temperature. The four products in the series all come with fans, fan
grills and fan control preinstalled. The MW-4QFT-FC fits the MRK and
WRK racks and has four, 4-1/2" fans. The MW-10FT-FC fits MRK and WRK
racks and has one 10" fan. The ERK-4QFT-FC fits ERK racks and has three
4-1/2" fans while the ERK-10FT-FC fits ERK racks and has one 10"
Msoft Msoftplayer 2.0
This system works with a standard internet browser and will provide
Macintosh or Windows-based DAW users with a file player for sending
single or multiple audio file copies from the Msoft server to their
workstations. Currently for Macintosh OS 9, OS X 10.2 and above, the
company also offers a new Windows version as well, giving Macintosh and
PC users a uniform cross platform experience. A scrub-able waveform
display that allows users to select just the portion of the audio file
to be sent to the DAW. Users can also use this product to batch
transfer copies of audio files they have saved to a project list. The
download path can be set to any place the user wishes to save their
Mackie Big Knob Command System
This product is a source selection and communications box for
DAW-based studios. Big Knob's name is inspired by its most prominent
feature - a large, convenient volume knob that provides easy access for
precise level adjustments. Also handy are three buttons for quick
switching between three sets of studio monitors, a built-in talkback
microphone, input source select for as many as four different stereo
sources, dual headphone outputs with an independent headphone mix bus,
as well as mono, mute and dim switches. A host of rear-panel
connections include a dedicated DAW mix input as well as three
independent two-track stereo inputs, each with variable gain control as
well as +4dB and -10dB selection buttons. Three 2-track stereo outputs
also provide +4dB and -10dB selection buttons. Other connections
include a DAW phones mix input, a phono preamp input, outputs for up to
three sets of control-room monitors as well as one set of in-studio
monitors and a talkback foot switch input.
Keynotes Focus on TV
There were several keynote speeches provided at NAB2004, most of
which covered television and the transition to DTV nicely. Absent from
many was any mention of radio.
One exception was the Broadcast Engineering Conference Keynote
speech by Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics
Association. His speech covered many points. One mention related to the
adoption of a standard for AM stereo, which he used to illustrate his
point of an incorrect introduction of technology. Better points were
made relating to RBDS and IBOC.
The CEA is pushing Radio Broadcast Data Systems. Shapiro noted that
RBDS is an opportunity waiting in 20 million car radios. Shapiro graded
the RBDS effort in the U.S. as a B+ because the idea was right, it is
happening, but it has taken much longer here than in Europe.
In 1993 Shapiro suggested that digital radio is the inevitable
future, but that the then-proposed IBOC system was flawed and had to be
redone. With current success of satellite radio and the ongoing work
with IBOC, Shapiro gave the IBOC efforts an A.
The Pick Hit Winners ofNAB2004
magazine announced the 15 winners of the annual Pick Hit Awards. Now
in its 20th year, the Pick Hit Awards recognize new product
introductions at the NAB convention that offer significant
technological improvements and serve everyday applications.
The Pick Hits judges operate independently from one another and remain
anonymous to everyone including other judges until the selection
meeting. This ensures that the products chosen are truly representative
of the industry, that the judges were not persuaded in any way, and
that the entire selection process is as fair as possible. The judge's
identities are published in the June 2004 issue.
The Radio magazine NAB2004 Pick Hit Award winners are:
Belar HD Radio Monitor
Broadcast Electronics Big Pipe
Broadcast Electronics XPi10
Broadcast Tools WRC-4
Dovetail Science DBM-300
Henry Engineering Studio Drive
Microgen TS 9000
Middle Atlantic WR Series rolling/rotating racks
Narda Selective Radiation Meter
Rohde & Schwarz FSH3
Tieline Imix G3
Complete details will be in the June 2004 issue of Radio