Radio Currents Online - Nov 10 - Nov 23, 2003
Nov 1, 2003 12:00 PM
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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AES Call for Papers DeadlinesApproach
New York - Nov 19, 2003 - The 116th AES Convention in Berlin (May 8to May 11) and 25th AES International Conference in London (June 17 toJune 19) have both issued calls for presenation entries. The 116thConvention submission deadline is Dec. 1. The deadline for the 25thInternational Conference on Metadata for Audio is Dec. 10, 2003.
For detailed information on submission of technical papers, visit www.aes.org.
CBI Annual Convention Sets AttendanceRecord
Dallas - Nov 18, 2003 - The Collegiate Broadcasters, Inc. (CBI) setan attendance record at its annual convention in Dallas on Nov. 6 to 9.More than 2,700 college media students and faculty advisers attendedthe conference, which featured 70 broadcast-related sessions, nearlydouble the number of sessions held the previous year.
The CBI sessions featured speakers from Belo, National Public Radio,WAY-FM, Salem Radio Network, Live 365, Media Unbound, CommunicationsTechnologies, the Society of Broadcast Engineers and others. Theconference included a trade show featuring many broadcast equipmentvendors.
The members meeting included announcement of the CBI Board of Directorselection results. The members re-elected CBI vice chairman WillRobedee, KTRU, Rice University, to the board. The members also electedRob Bigalke, Louisiana State University Student Media, to the boardfrom a field of five candidates.
CBI is working with the College Media Advisers (CMA) to presentbroadcasting sessions for students and advisers at a spring conferencein New York City. That conference will be held at the Roosevelt Hotel,March 18 to 20, 2004. Details are available at the CBIwebsite.
Next year's Fall Student Media Convention will be held at the NashvilleConvention Center, Nov. 4 to 7, 2004.
FCC Continues to Support Odd-lengthFederal Political Spots
Washington - Nov 14, 2003 - The FCC denied an NAB petition toreinstate a previous ruling (in effect from 1994 until 1999) thatstations are not required to sell odd-length time (for examplefive-minute ads) to federal candidates. The FCC held that broadcasters'obligation to provide reasonable access to a legally qualified federalcandidate precluded any blanket ban on non-standard length time.Stations still may evaluate requests for time on a case-by-case basis,taking into consideration: (1) how much time was previously sold to thecandidate; (2) disruption to station's regular programming; (3)likelihood of equal opportunity requests by opposing candidates; and(4) the timing of the request.
FCC Makes AdditionalUnlicensed Spectrum Available
Washington, DC - Nov 13, 2003 - The FCC has made available anadditional 255MHz of spectrum in the 5.470 to 5.725GHz band forunlicensed devices.
In the Report and Order approved on Nov. 12, the Commission made thespectrum available for use by unlicensed National InformationInfrastructure (U-NII) devices, including radio local area networks(RLANs), operating under Part 15 of the FCC�s rules. Thisincreases the spectrum available for use by unlicensed devices in the5GHz region of the spectrum by nearly 80 percent and is a significantincrease in the spectrum available for unlicensed devices across theoverall radio spectrum. The FCC expects that this action will alsoharmonize the spectrum available for these U-NII devices throughout theworld, enabling manufacturers to reduce product development costs byallowing the same products to be used in many parts of the world.
The new spectrum is part of an effort to enable continued growth andinnovation in wireless broadband services, including services offeredby wireless Internet service providers (WISPs). WISPs use unlicenseddevices to provide a broadband alternative for rural and underservedareas. Although they are a relatively nascent industry, theirdeployment rates have been increasing rapidly.
In addition to making additional spectrum available for U-NII devices,the Commission also adopted several allocation changes consistent withthe results of the 2003 World Radio Conference and an agreement reachedwith the U.S. Department of Defense, the National Telecommunicationsand Information Administration (NTIA). These changes will ensure thatcritical Federal Government operations are protected from harmfulinterference. In addition to the allocation changes, to provide federalusers with additional protection from harmful interference, the orderrequires that U?NII devices operating in the 5.250 to 5.350GHz and the5.470 to 5.725GHz bands use dynamic frequency selection (DFS), alisten-before-talk mechanism and transmit power control (TPC).
Report and Order FCC 03-287, ET Docket No. 03�122.
DRM Intros Participation Option
New Delhi � Nov 17, 2003 - The Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)consortium will unveil a new participation option called DRM Supporterthis week at the ABU-AIR (Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union and All IndiaRadio) Regional Symposium on Digital Radio. Created to foster rapid DRMadoption and implementation in markets worldwide, the DRM Supporterlabel is designed for companies and individuals interested in anyaspect of digital radio, from broadcasting to manufacturing, publicityand sales. It offers broadcasters, publishers, content providers andothers a way to showcase their DRM involvement. DRM Supporters willreceive implementation information and the rights to display a DRMSupporter logo, and will be listed on DRM's website. The cost of thisparticipation is $100.
DRM will continue to offer its existing DRM Membership options forcompanies that wish to have full, pro-active involvement and votingrights on technical and commercial matters.
The DRM Supporter program will open on Dec. 15, although applicants mayregister their interest now at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicationsmust be approved by DRM before ratification. Full details of the DRMSupporter option will be published on www.drm.org in December.
Ibiquity Unveils Data ServicesInterface
Columbia, MD- Nov 12, 2003 - Ibiquity Digital has made available theinitial Advanced Application Service application programming interface(AAS API), and the release of version 1.0 of the HD BML (BroadcastMultimedia Language) protocol. Together, HD BML and the AAS API willserve as the primary building blocks for developers creating multimediaprogramming and services that fully use the wireless data capabilitiesof Ibiquity's IBOC technology carrying the HD Radio brand.
Ibiquity worked with the World Wide Web Consortiums (W3C) SynchronizedMultimedia Integration Language (SMIL) to ensure broadcasters of theimmediate availability of widespread developer resources supportingapplication development and the long-term suitability. The version 1.0release of the HD BML protocol incorporates significant feedback gainedfrom broadcasters, receiver manufacturers and application developersfollowing the standard's draft release for evaluation at NAB2003.Specific new features contained within version 1.0 include support foradvanced multi-level advertising and informational services, uniformmethod for rendering various graphical and data formats and streamlineduser interaction and navigation techniques. Support for third-party andnewly developed applications is also enabled through the release of thenew AAS API that provides service providers, broadcasters anddevelopers with common and universal access to all of the featuressupported by HD Radio's wireless data services.
Specifications for HD BML v1.0 is available at Ibiquity's website byfollowing this link. A white paper detailing the AAS API isavailable at this link.
Arbitron Updates CensusData
New York - Nov 14, 2003 - In its efforts to provide the mostup-to-date survey information, Arbitron has updated the census dataused to determine market rankings for the Fall 2003 ratings period. Theradio ratings service has created an online tool to compare the Fall2003 and Spring 2003 12+ population estimates. To use the tool, go tothis link at the Arbitron website.
The Market-Specific Population Estimate Comparison Tool provides aside-by-side comparison of market population estimates to show howmarket estimates have changed from Spring to Fall 2003. The populationestimates used for the comparison are those updated yearly byClaritas.
Arbitron notes that certain factors are important to consider whenviewing the data. Differences between a market's new populationestimates and the current estimates should be viewed as technicaldifferences, not actual movement of people in or out of a market. Thesedifferences are a consequence of the estimating process. While the datawere updated using a variety of federal, state and local sources, noneof these sources are as accurate as the Census itself. In most casesthis process is very reliable. In certain situations, however, there ispopulation movement that is undetected or misreported by thestatistical sources used to update population estimates.
To see the current rankings of the surveyed radio markets, follow this link.
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WNNK to Install Interleaved HD RadioAntenna
Raymond, ME - Nov 20, 2003 - Dielectric Communications is workingwith Cumulus on the installation of the Dielectric's first interleavedanalog/IBOC FM antenna. WNNK Engineering Manager Dave Supplee suggestedthe Harrisburg, PA, market to Cumulus because of the mountainousterrain and multipath issues. Gary Kline, corporate director ofengineering agreed because the location should provide an opportunityto evaluate IBOC in a severe multipath location.
Dielectric�s development of the interleaved antenna design hascreated an improvement in isolation between the antenna elements. As aresult of the increased isolation, the electrical performance of theantenna is stable, effectively eliminating elevation and azimuthalpattern deviation between the analog and digital signals.
Combined with the use of circulator technology in the RF system,Dielectric expects this design to meet or improve on the 36dB isolationspecification for IBOC. Both scale model and full-size tests of theinterleaving scheme have shown no change in the antenna patterns byadding the IBOC bays to an existing analog antenna.
WNNK recently took delivery of the two-bay, full-wave-spaced DielectricDCR-M side-mounted antenna. This antenna will radiate the Class BFM�s analog signal. This month, the interleaved two-bay IBOCantenna and IBOC transmitter will be installed.
OMT Acquires Assets ofMusicmusicmusic
Winnipeg, MB - Nov 19, 2003 - Through a wholly-owned subsidiary, OMThas purchased the assets of the former Musicmusicmusic, a Toronto-basedmultimedia content provider previously traded on the Neuer Markt of theFrankfurt Stock Exchange under the symbol MU5. The acquisition providesOMT with one of the world's largest media databases containing over365,000 high quality digital audio tracks and several thousand digitalDVD movie and video game trailers. The SQL content management databaseand a secure Internet-based content delivery system, also acquired aspart of the transaction, provides the infrastructure to immediatelydeliver subscription-based multi-media services to existing clients andnew customers.
These new media services include a commercial music service, brandedInternet streaming radio service, digital audio updates services forradio stations and a retail CD, DVD and video game previewing service.OMT plans to distribute these new services jointly through selectbusiness partners across North America.
OMT manufactures the Mediatouch line of radio automation software.
Coding Technologies, BeijingE-World form Joint Venture
Stockholm, Sweden - Nov 18, 2003 - Coding Technologies, the creatorof SBR codec enhancement, and Beijing E-World Technology, the creatorof the Chinese Enhanced Versatile Disc (EVD) format, have establised ajoint venture, Beijing Media Works, to create and license a new audiocodec. This new SBR-enhanced codec, EAC 2.0, is already specified inthe EVD format and will also be targeted for use in other Chineseapplications.
Beijing Media Works is based in Beijing, with additional engineeringfacilities in Nuremberg, Germany. This selection of office locationswill allow for close business and engineering collaboration between thejoint venture and both parent companies.
SBR-enhanced EAC will be licensed exclusively in Greater China by thejoint venture and in the rest of the world by CodingTechnologies.
Spectral Band Replication (SBR) is a unique bandwidth-extensiontechnique that enables audio codecs to deliver the same quality at halfthe bit-rate. In practice, SBR is wrapped around a core perceptualaudio codec to enhance its efficiency in a backward- andforward-compatible way. Based on the principle that the high and lowfrequencies of an audio signal are highly correlated, SBR-coupledcodecs use the core to only encode the low frequencies and use the SBRto encode the high frequencies with low overhead.
Enhanced Audio Codec (EAC) is an enhanced audio codec developed andowned by Beijing E-World that uses a unique perceptual model tocompress the audio signal by using the redundancy as well as therelevancy. The EAC codec supports mono, stereo and 5.1 surround-soundmodes for encoding and decoding. EAC is part of the EVD systemspecification.
Rohn Enters Into Agreement for Sale ofAssets
Frankfort, IN - Nov 14, 2003 - Rohn Industries and its subsidiaries,after having filed Chapter 11, have entered into an asset purchaseagreement with SPX. The Asset Purchase Agreement provides for the saleof certain assets of the Rohn to SPX for the amount of $5.45million.
Through its broadcast and communication systems and services division,SPX provides analog and digital TV and FM systems, high-frequency andmedium-frequency antennas, transmission lines, towers and radiofrequency filter systems for the broadcast market. SPX also is a majorsite developer for the PCS/cellular industry. Its brands includeDielectric, Central Tower, TCI, Flash Technology, BrookstoneTelecommunications and Flexline.
Microsoft's SPOT WatchesDelayed
Las Vegas - Nov 17, 2003 - The IDG New Service reports that watchesequipped with Microsoft's Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT)won't be available until early next year, missing the holiday shoppingseason target. The concept was unveiled at Comdex in 2002 withmanufacturing partnerships with Fossil, Suunto and Citizen Watchannounced in January 2003 at the Consumer Electronics Show.
SPOT will be highlighted by Microsoft at CES in 2004, but Microsoftwill not reveal if the convention will see the technology launch.
SPOT watches and the MSN Direct service, the service that feeds thewatches, will be available in the U.S. and Canada initially. Thewatches receive their data via FM subcarriers in the top 100 U.S.metropolitan areas and the largest Canadian cities.
Microsoft and watchmakers Fossil and Suunto Oy of Finland only recentlystarted a large test, too late to make the December gift-giving season.For the watches to be widely available around the holidays, they wouldhave to be shipping to retailers in September, says Roger Gulrajani,director of SPOT at Microsoft.
UK Digital Radio Manufacturers ChooseTI
Dallas - Nov 13, 2003 - Texas Instruments introduced Eureka-147 DABreceiver modules in March 2003. Since then, several digital radiobrands in the UK have decided to use this chipset. Six of the ninebrands using DAB modules include Acoustic Solutions Limited, CambridgeAudio, Hitachi, Intempo, Morphy Richards and Roberts Radio Limited.Gyrosignal, Samsung Electro-Mechanics and TBK Electronics are theleading module makers that are using TI's chipset along with softwarefrom Radioscape.
Sony and BMG to Form Joint MusicGroup
New York - Nov 6, 2003 - The international media and entertainmentcompanies Bertelsmann AG (BMG) and Sony have signed a non-bindingletter of intent to form a jointly owned recorded music company to becalled Sony BMG. The company will be 50 percent owned by Bertelsmannand 50 percent owned by Sony.
The joint venture of BMG and Sony Music Entertainment will combinetheir recorded music businesses. The new company would not include thecompanies' music publishing, physical distribution and manufacturingbusinesses.
Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, currently Chairman and Chief Executive Officer ofBMG, will serve as chairman of the board of the new joint venture. Theboard of directors of the new company will be made up of an equalnumber of representatives from Sony and Bertelsmann. Andrew Lack, chiefexecutive officer of Sony Music Entertainment, will be chief executiveofficer. The newly formed joint venture will include senior executivesfrom both music groups.
Consummation of the transaction remains subject to a number ofconditions, including approvals of the regulatory authorities in the USand the European Union.
Andrew Appoints Byrnes as VP andGM
Orland Park, IL - Nov 11, 2003 - Joan M. Byrnes has joined Andrew inthe newly created role of vice president, satellite communications. Inthis position, she will be responsible for managing Andrew's globalsatellite communications lines of business. Byrnes was the former chiefoperating officer at Loral Skynet, a division of Loral Space andCommunications, where she had responsibility for marketing, sales,business operations and profitability for Loral Skynet's productlines.
Prior to the acquisition of AT&T Skynet Satellite Services by LoralSpace and Communications, Byrnes held a number of senior positionswithin AT&T, including roles in strategic planning and businessdevelopment, product management, business network sales and networkoperations.
Byrnes serves on the board of directors of the Society for SatelliteProfessionals International (SSPI), a non-profit satellite associationdedicated to providing a forum for increasing awareness andprofessionalism in the satellite industry, and is its current chairman.She is also on the advisory board for SATCON, a conference boardfocusing exclusively on applications of satellite technology forexisting and emerging growth segments.
Byrnes holds a BA degree in English from Montclair State University andan MBA from Rutgers University. She has also completed variousexecutive programs, including the Executive Program on ManagementDevelopment from the Business School at Berkeley, University ofCalifornia, and the Executive Sales Program at Kellogg.
White Joins S.C.M.S.
Pinevillle, NC - Nov 10, 2003 - S.C.M.S. has appointed Art White asthe South-Atlantic representative for broadcast products. White mostrecently worked for RDS as sales manager and will continue to sell theRDS products worldwide.
White brings many years of RF and audio experience in engineering,sales, marketing and station ownership to SCMS. He also representedCetec-Schaffer for many years in the Middle Atlantic States andoperated his own engineering and sales organization. He has clientsthroughout the world.
White�s office is located in Peachtree City, GA. He will sell RF,audio and digital products for S.C.M.S. He can be reached at770-632-1295 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
This addition brings the total number of S.C.M.S. field sales officesto seven.
AES Launches Job Posting Board
New York - Nov 20, 2003 - The Audio Engineering Society (AES) haslaunched its Job Posting Board on the AES website. The board can beaccessed directly at www.aes.org/jobs. AES members can view the latest jobclassifieds posted by AES sustaining members. Sustaining members cansubmit audio job opportunities by sending an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Terrasonde Launches NewWebsite
Boulder, CO - Nov 18, 2003 - Terrasonde has launched a new corporatewebsite, www.TerraSonde.com, with many new features. Featuringdrop-down menus, an interactive user support forum, news andinformation, online product registration, online unlock code requestform and an expanded section on the Institute for Audio Excellence(Terrasonde and Auralex's virtual audio training facility), the site isbuilt to be informative and functional, yet retain the look and feel ofTerrasonde's new corporate identity.
Stardraw.com Launches NewWebsite
London and New York - Nov 17, 2003 - Software provider Stardraw.comhas launched its new website, which went live at the beginning ofNovember. In addition to new styling, www.stardraw.com boasts are-worked navigational structure to facilitate finding information.
Eimac Releases Tube ReferenceBook
San Carlos, CA - Nov 17, 2003 - The Eimac division of CPI hasreleased the latest edition of the Care & Feeding of Power GridTubes handbook. This new edition is an updated edition of the Eimacpublication, which is sometimes referred to as the "tube bible." Theupdates include additional information on oxide cathodes, grids,anodes, vac-ion pumps and cooling, including a discussion of multiphasecooling. Examples have been updated to reflect tubes currently incommon usage. In addition, a new section covering inductive outputtubes (IOTs) has been added. Eimac has taken the original work of theproject and added new material to make this publication timely and upto date.
The book is available through Eimac's global distributor, RichardsonElectronics. Contact Richardson at 800-882-3872 or email@example.com.
Audio Science Releases Linux ALSADriver
New Castle, DE - Nov 10, 2003 - Audio Science has released anAdvanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) driver for its range ofprofessional audio adapters. The ALSA driver allows standard Linuxapplications to play, record and mix PCM audio using the Audio Sciencerange of professional sound cards.
The source code is available as a patch to ALSA driver source fromAudio Science's website at www.audioscience.com in the download section. Updateswill be made periodically available as new adapters and features aresupported. The code is released under the terms of the GPL. Advancedfunctions, such as time scaling (TSX) and on-card MPEG audioprocessing, can still be accessed through the Audio Science HPIinterface (also recently released under GPL).
More information on ALSA is available at www.alsaproject.org.