Radio Currents Online - Aug 25 - Sep 07, 2003
Sep 1, 2003 12:00 PM
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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Senate Panel Backs FurtherOwnership Action
Washington - Sept 4, 2003 - A U.S. Senate panel voted to prohibitthe FCC from enforcing its new rule allowing TV broadcast networks toacquire more local stations. The action would bar the new rules fromtaking effect for one year. This comes one day after a federal appealscourt blocked the rules from going into effect pending judicial review.On a voice vote, the Senate Appropriations Committee agreed to preventthe FCC from spending money to allow companies to reach more than 35percent of the national audience. The provision was attached to the$38.4 billion annual spending bill for the FCC, and the Commerce, Stateand Justice departments.
The U.S. House of Representatives has already passed a similar measurebut the White House has threatened to veto the spending bill because ofthe FCC provision.
Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain has already dissapprovedof the Appropriations Committee decision, stating that this committeehas usurped the jurisdiction of his committee. McCain characterized theAppropriations Committee action as a "misuse of the appropriationsprocess" and that his committee already sent a bill to the flooraddressing the issue.
FCC Ownership Rules Delayed byFederal Court
Philadelphia - Sept 4, 2003 - Following a motion and petition by thePrometheus Radio Project, a non-profit association that supportsmicropower and community-based radio, the U.S. Court of Appeal for theThird Circuit granted a stay to the FCC rules that were about to gointo effect, allowing for broadcast station ownership rules to changeas per the FCC ruling from one month ago. The court wants toinvestigate the claims made by the Prometheus Project that the newrules would cause irreversible harm to the media landscape if enacted.In addition, if the rules were to take effect, Prometheus claims thatit would be impossible to undo any ownership changes that benefitedfrom the change. The Circuit Court also stated that the there would beno harm in granting the stay until a judicial review wascompleted.
It is likely that Congress will overturn part of the FCC rule changesin due time.
World DAB Forum, DRM Agree to FutureCooperation
IFA, Berlin - Aug 30, 2003 - Two leaders in the global digital radiocommunity have struck an agreement to collaborate on the development oftheir systems, paving the way for the digital radios of the future. TheWorld DAB Forum and the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Consortiumannounced their co-operation during a press conference at the IFAconsumer electronics event in Berlin, Germany.
The two organizations, which have many members in common, have agreedto cooperate in fostering conditions that are favourable for bothdigital systems. It is anticipated that this close collaboration willpave the way for a new genre of future digital radios on the market,enabling listeners to receive any digital radio service without havingto worry about the underlying transmission system.
The World DAB Forum is an international, non-governmental organizationwhose role is to promote the awareness, adoption and implementation ofDAB digital radio worldwide. Its members include public and commercialbroadcasters, receiver manufacturers and other companies and bodiescommitted to converting the technology behind Eureka 147 system into acommercial marketing success. More info is available at www.worlddab.org
DRM is a non-proprietary, digital system for short-wave, medium-wave/AMand long-wave with the ability to use existing frequencies andbandwidth across the globe. The DRM system was developed, tested andstandardized by the DRM Consortium. Founded in Guangzhou, China in 1998and headquartered in Geneva, the consortium has expanded into a groupof 82 broadcasters, network operators, equipment manufacturers,broadcasting unions, regulatory bodies and NGOs representing 29countries. More info is available at www.drm.org
FCC Announces SettlementPeriod Pending LPFM Apps
Washington - Aug 28, 2003 - The FCC's Media Bureau has announced asettlement period for the mutually exclusive Low Power FM (LPFM) newstation applicants named in a six-page list. The list of affectedapplicants can be viewed at these links: Excel format, Acrobat format. Requests for approval of universalsettlements that are filed by Oct. 31, 2003, and that satisfy allrequirements set forth below will receive expedited processing.
This universal settlement period is designed to facilitate the rapidlicensing of new LPFM stations. During this filing period, theCommission will waive its rules and permit settling applicants to filemajor change amendments specifying new FM channels. This limited waiverpolicy will allow settling applicants to use all available FM channelsto resolve technical conflicts and obtain construction permits. TheMedia Bureau has reactivated its LPFM channel-finder tool to helpapplicants identify available alternative frequencies. This utility isavailable at www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/lpfm_channel_finder.html. Thiswaiver opportunity for Windows I, II and III filers will end at theclose of this settlement filing period. No other major changeamendments will be accepted. Minor amendments also may be filed as partof a settlement. Applicants are encouraged to use time-share agreementsand technical amendments to eliminate conflicts.
In addition, to provide settling applicants with maximum flexibility,the Commission will waive another rule and permit the receipt ofconsideration in excess of legitimate and prudent expenses. As aresult, no applicant will be required to satisfy the relatedcertification and disclosure requirements, but settling applicants mustcomply with the Commission�s general settlement rules in allother respects.
Time-share proposals must be in writing, signed by each time-shareproponent, and submitted as part of the settlement proposal. Eachtime-share proponent must propose to operate its LPFM station for atleast 10 hours per week.
Webcaster Alliance Filescomplaint Against RIAA
Las Vegas - Aug 27, 2003 - Webcaster Alliance (WA) has filed acomplaint alleging anticompetitive conduct against the RIAA and itsleading members. In July, the alliance notified the RIAA of itsintention to initiate legal proceedings unless the RIAA took concretesteps to address anticompetitive conditions that the WA believes willthreaten to eliminate small commercial webcasters and injure the musicmarket.
Webcaster Alliance's allegations arise from an alleged unlawfulagreement among certain participants in the December 2002 agreementbetween the RIAA and certain webcasters that was allegedly intended toharm competition, which would in turn harm the distribution ofindependent music that competes with RIAA material.
Read the Webcaster Alliance complaint against the RIAA:
Patent Awarded for Internet RadioAd Insertion
Denver - Aug 15, 2003 - David Minter and Albert Baldocchi have beenawarded US patent 6,577,716 covering insertion of advertising and othercontent into radio broadcasts streamed over the Internet. The patent istitled Internet Radio System with Selective ReplacementCapability.
The patent application was envisioned to allow local content to bedistributed nationally with alternate advertising that is moreappropriate to the Internet audience. The processes covered under thepatent are already in limited use today. The patent holders plan towork with the companies that are already using this process to developlicensing agreements.
Radio magazine expects that companies already providingad-insertion services will take appropriate measures to dispute thepatent if they can prove that their use predates the application.
FCC to Study Effect of Towers toMigratory Bird Paths
Washington - Aug 20, 2003 - The FCC has adopted a Notice of Inquiryto gather comment and information on the impact that communicationstowers may have on migratory birds. This inquiry is part of theCommission�s environmental and historic preservation action planannounced by Chairman Powell in May 2003.
The point is to determine whether towers pose a significant risk tobirds as they migrate during the year. To the Commission�sknowledge, to date there have been no studies sufficient to support areliable estimate of the number of migratory birds that may have diedas a result of collisions with communications towers. Some literaturesuggests that certain factors, such as tower height, lighting systems,type of antenna support structure and location, may increase ordecrease the hazards that towers pose to migratory birds, there doesnot appear to be systematic research on an adequate scale regardingexactly how and to what extent, if at all, these factors contribute toany risk to migratory birds.
The inquiry is designed to gather comment and information on scientificresearch and other related data relevant to migratory bird collisionswith communications towers. Depending on the record developed in thisproceeding, the Commission will consider whether the current state ofresearch would support further action, including possible amendments ofits environmental rules.
DRM Announces IFA 2003 Plans
Berlin - Aug 25, 2003 � Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), whichdebuted earlier this summer, will be exhibiting at IFA 2003, theconsumer electronics show. Six weeks ago in Geneva, 16 broadcasterssent the world�s first DRM broadcasts across the globe. Sincethen, the number of stations transmitting live, daily DRM programs andperiodic specials has risen to 25. DRM will showcase live broadcasts ona range of receivers, including a new second-generation DRM consumerradio that will be available for distribution later this year.
Following a DRM press conference, a DRM Symposium will be held in whichDRM�s experts will delve deeper into the system�s technicaland commercial features. Scheduled to speak are Michael Pilath ofT-Systems Mediabroadcast, Michael Knietzsch of Thales Broadcast andMultimedia, Christian Hoerlle of Telefunken Sender Systeme Berlin,Stefan Meltzer of Coding Technologies, Gerd Kilian and Olaf Korte ofFraunhofer IIS, Wolfgang Schaefer of Robert Bosch GmbH, and MarkusZumkeller of Sony International Europe.
At IFA 2003, Coding Technologies (CT) will present the first, 2G DRMconsumer radio, the DRM Receiver 2010. A joint development by CT, Mayahand others, the DRM Receiver 2010 is smaller and less expensive thanthe first-generation models. As the first mass-produced DRM receiver,it will be ready for distribution in late 2003.
Fraunhofer IIS will present the DRM FhG Prototype Receiver, the NewsBoxDRM Radio. It is a DRM receiver prototype designed to fit in a 19"hi-fi tuner rack, developed in the BMBF project, Radio Mondo. It playsDRM audio and text, and permits navigation within the new dataapplication News Service Journaline, conveying categorized news in textform. Fraunhofer will also showcase the professional receiver, FhGSoftware Radio and the DRM Software Radio.
Robert Bosch GmbH will showcase a modified car receiver that receivesDRM signals on long-, medium- and short-wave (49m band only), using aconventional integrated RF front-end up to the first IF. Digitaldecoding of the DRM signal is managed by a PC. Data services includingInternet pages, slide shows and text will also be demonstrated.
Telefunken Sender Systeme Berlin will organize the technical equipmentfor several live demonstrations. These include a fully modulated DRM MWsignal from Deutschlandradio Berlin�s site in Berlin/Britz, witha TRAM line transmitter TRAM25 and the newly developed Modulator DRMDMOD 2; Single Channel Simulcast on long-wave from T-Systems siteZehlendorf with a TRAM line transmitter TRAM/P500 L and Modulator DRMDMOD 2; Single Channel Simulcast on MW from T-Systems site atZehlendorf with a TRAM line transmitter, TRAM 50 and Modulator DRM DMOD2; DRM transmissions from Putbus, R�gen with a 10kW TRAMtransmitter and the modulator DRM DMOD 1; DRM transmissions onshort-wave in the 11m Band from DeutschlandRadio Berlin�s site inBerlin/Britz with DRM DMOD 1 and a 1kW output amplifier; and DRMtransmissions on short-wave from Wertachtal.
T-Systems Mediabroadcast will present the data service DRM MobilePresenter (MP). It allows for wireless transmission of character-basedinformation and simple pixel diagrams to an end device, such as an LEDticker module display. MP-based applications allow content providers tosend information quickly. DRM transmissions can distribute thisinformation over large areas, with few or single transmitters.
Dalet Plus Hits 2,000Mark
Paris - Sept 5, 2003 � Dalet Digital Media Systems announcedthat Dalet Plus products have been adopted by 33 organizations,totaling more than 2,000 workstations worldwide. The Dalet Plusplatform was introduced last year and has since evolved into fourdistinct applications: Dalet Plus News Suite, Dalet Plus Media Library,Dalet Plus Radio Suite and Dalet Plus ActiveLog.
Dalet's international client list consists of Dalet Plus installationsfor television, radio, education, corporate and governmentorganizations. The company's customers include Fashion Show Mall (LasVegas), KQED (San Francisco), United States Senate (Washington, D.C.),Washington and Lee University, Canal Sur (Spain), Cyprus Broadcasting(Cyprus), Catalunya Radio (Spain), Institut National de l'Audiovisuel(Paris), Parlement de Bruxelles (Belgium), Radio France International,Radio T�l�vision Marocaine, Radio Mauritanie, Russian StateTelevision and Radio, Slovak Radio, Universidad Aut�noma deBarcelona (Spain), Warsaw University, Scottish Parliament, SKY NetworkTelevision (New Zealand) and World Audio (Australia).
APT Intros Apt-x Evaluation Module
Belfast - Sept 5, 2003 - Audio Processing Technology (APT) hasintroduced an evaluation PCB. Now companies interested in licensingApt-x digital data compression algorithms can do so in their own labs.The evaluation PCB has S/PDIF digital interfaces. Developers can alsoaccess functionality such as bit-rate modes, algorithm selection,adjustable or bypassed sample-rate conversion and integral autosync byconfiguring the DIP control switches or the settings within thesupplied Windows GUI. The module is also supplied with an expansionheader to allow developers access to the full data path.
Both Standard and Enhanced Apt-x algorithms are available to licenseeson various formats including Motorola 56xxx, Analog Devices, ARM, ASICand DLL.
Texas Instruments Intros AM/FM/IBOCChipset
Dallas and Columbia, MD - Sept 5, 2003 - Texas Instruments andIbiquity Digital have released plans to introduce the first single-chipbaseband to integrate all of the digital functions required to build acombined analog AM/FM and IBOC receiver. For use in automotiveapplications, TI's second-generation IBOC digital baseband, is based onTI's programmable digital signal processor technology, and a new,complementary intermediate frequency (IF) analog front end (AFE). Theunit can also provide audio processing, and MP3 and Windows Media Audio(WMA) CD support on the baseband.
Crown Receives ISO Certification
Elkhart, IN - Aug 31, 2003 - Crown International has received ISO9001:2000 certification of its Quality Management System. Crownoriginally achieved certification to the ISO 9002:1994 standard in1999. This new version of the ISO quality standard places a greateremphasis on top management involvement in the Quality System as well asa focus on continual improvement. Additionally, the audit forcompliance with the standard now examines the extent to which acompany's Quality System contains customer-focused elements, includingunderstanding needs, meeting requirements, keeping customers informedand measuring satisfaction. A company receives ISO 9001:2000certification on verification by an independent auditor that it hascomplied with the standard.
Jutel Gets Big Investment Push
Oulu, Finland - Aug 25, 2003 - Europe's capital investor group 3iand the management of Jutel have struck a deal that will put 5 millioneuros into Jutel's business operation. Jutel develops and marketsdigital content management systems for broadcasters. Radioman is thecompany's flagship product.
The 3i Group investment will increase the number of Jutel'sshareholders. After the new ownership arrangements, Jutel will havethree major owners: 3i Group plc, Polar Electro Group and theoperational management together with Jutel's employees. Until 2000,Jutel's business operations mainly concentrated on the broadcastingmarkets of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), but since thenthe company has been expanding its markets. At the moment, Jutel'sbusiness and operational opportunities are global, Asia and NorthAmerica being the most important regions for expansion.
Burk Appoints NewManagers
Littleton, MA - Sept 3, 2003 - Burk Technology has appointed newdepartment managers to head the operations and customer supportdepartments at the company�s facility in Massachusetts.
Kevin Frappier has been promoted to the position of operations manager,where he oversees day-to-day manufacturing operations. Frappier came toBurk Technology in 1996, and served as the customer support manager forthe past four years.
To take responsibility for the customer support department, RobynCloutier joined the company. Cloutier brings 15 years ofcustomer-service experience to the position. She is credited withimplementing new processes to reduce customer wait time and align thedepartment with Burk's ISO9001:2000 Quality Policy.
James Murphy was also added to the customer support team.
Harris Appoints Berger to DistrictSM
Cincinnati - Aug 26, 2003 - The Harris Broadcast CommunicationsDivision (BCD) has promoted Scott Berger, previously a Broadcast Centerinside sales representative, to BCD district sales manager for theNorth American radio sales team. Berger will begin his newresponsibilities immediately, while continuing in his Broadcast Centerrole during the transition. He will be responsible for the Ohio,Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky sales territory.
Berger joined Harris in August 2002 from Clear Channel Communicationswhere he was an advertising and non-traditional revenue (NTR) accountexecutive. While in that position, Berger was responsible for sellingnew marketing concepts. Prior to Clear Channel, Berger was a member ofthe United States Air Force.
APT Adds Two to Staff
Belfast - Aug 25, 2003 - Audio Processing Technology (APT), thedeveloper of Apt-X, has appointed two new members to its staff.Formerly with telecommunications company Nevada, Kevin Campbell hasjoined APT as customer support (hardware) manager, with responsibilityfor after-sales support across the company's entire range of hardwareproducts, including the Worldnet series. He will be the first point ofcontact for existing customers.
APT has also appointed Dr. Trevor Scott PhD as licensing supportmanager with responsibility for helping new licensees to integrateAPT's Apt-X algorithm into third-party products. Scott, who waspreviously based in New York, joins the company from the bankingindustry where he wrote specialized software. He also has extensive DSPimplementation knowledge in mission-critical applications.
Tramont to Become Chief ofStaff
Washington � Aug 20, 2003 � Bryan Tramont is currentlyserving as Powell's senior legal advisor, advising him on FCC agendaand circulate issues, and specifically on wireless, international,technology and consumer concerns. Before joining the FCC, Tramont wasan attorney with the law firm of Wiley Rein and Fielding. He alsoclerked for the Honorable Duane Benton on the Supreme Court for hishome state of Missouri.
Tramont replaces Marsha MacBride, who had served in the position sincePowell became chairman in 2001, and who announced on Monday that shewas stepping down as chief of staff.
Intelix Adds Smith to Sales
Middleton, WI - Aug 14, 2003 - Intelix, a U.S. manufacturer of audioand video hardware and software, has added Amos Smith to its growingsales network. Smith will serve as an Intelix inside sales engineer andprimary sales representative for Northern Wisconsin, Minnesota, NorthDakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and most ofMissouri.
Smith is the newest addition to Intelix�s sales representationteam approach, instituted in May 2003. Through the team approach,design, sales and support are accomplished by a two-person team ofprofessionals who are familiar with every stage of the audio and videoinstallation. Smith will be working with Intelix applications engineerAlan Grout.
Smith served as an account executive with The Tape Company and as anational sales associate for design and sales with Full CompassSystems.
Wegener Adds Key Managers
Duluth, GA � Aug 18, 2003 - Wegener has made key managementadditions and changes to the company�s sales, marketing andengineering departments. The company has appointed Jay Batista to thenewly created position of vice president, corporate development.Batista comes to Wegener from Harris Corporation�s BroadcastCommunications Division where he led a sales and marketing team of foursales directors and more than 60 sales people. In his new positionBatista is responsible for creating and implementing a new corporatesales strategy.
Batista holds a BA from Miami University (Ohio), and an MA in broadcastmanagement from Ohio University. He has been a frequent speaker atindustry conferences on the subject of digital television.
Kamy Merithew joins Wegener as vice president, marketing. Merithewcomes from Motorola/General Instrument where she served as product linemanager for professional satellite video receivers used in thebroadcast and cable industries. Merithew holds a BS in generalengineering from Harvey Mudd College, and an MS in electricalengineering from the University of California at San Diego.
Jeff Simyon has been named vice president, control systems engineering.Simyon has managed Wegener's Compel Network Control Group. Simyon holdsa BSEE from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Orban Updates Digital AudioManual
San Leandro, CA - Sept 3, 2003 - Orban has released the 2003 editionof Maintaining Audio Quality in the Broadcast Facility. Therevised edition is available for free download from www.orban.com. The filecan be saved locally with the usual Internet browser commands. Thisedition has more material about digital than previous editions, and itdebunks common digital audio myths.
This version uses some of the enhanced functions of Adobe Acrobat 6,but previous version of Acrobat Reader will be able to view thematerial.