Radio Currents Online - Oct 6 - Oct 12, 2008

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Radio Currents Online - Oct 6 - Oct 12, 2008

Oct 6, 2008 8:00 AM


Arbitron Accelerates Start Date for Cell-Phone-Only Sampling
New York - Oct 2, 2008 - Arbitron has announced plans to introduce cell-phone-only households to its diary survey sample, starting with 50 markets for the Spring 2009 survey. This is six months earlier than the company first planned. Arbitron will also establish a sample-quality benchmark in diary markets for persons aged 18-54 equal to a Designated Delivery Index of 80. Reporting of the diary market sample performance versus the new benchmark will begin with the current Fall 2008 survey.

"The Radio Advisory Council and the Diary Market Owner Operator Caucus, which have been working closely with Arbitron on these matters since last year, deserve credit for encouraging Arbitron to speed the introduction of cell-phone-only sampling in diary markets and to introduce a sample quality benchmark for 18-54 year olds, the demographic on which most radio advertising is focused," said Steve Morris, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Arbitron. "This new benchmark will narrow the present sample guardrails in diary markets and add greater transparency to the sample quality in all diary markets."

Beginning with the Spring 2009 survey, Arbitron will add cell-phone-only households to the sample frame in 50 diary markets. Arbitron also plans to expand cell-phone-only household sampling to a total of 125 diary markets with the Fall 2009 survey. The specific market lists are not yet finalized. Portable People Meter markets already include cell-phone-only households in their panels.

Starting with the Fall 2008 survey, Arbitron plans to establish a sample benchmark for persons aged 18-54 in all diary markets equal to a Designated Delivery Index of 80. The new benchmark is based on the same metric the company uses to gauge its PPM sample quality performance. The DDI is defined as the actual sample size for a given demographic (persons aged 18-54, in this case) divided by the target sample size times 100. Should the actual sample performance fall below an 80 DDI in a given market/survey, Arbitron will focus its efforts to bring the sample performance above that threshold in subsequent surveys.

FCC Sets Plans for 700MHz Public Safety Block
Washington - Sep 25, 2008 - The Federal Communications Commission adopted a third further notice of proposed rulemaking that proposes to license the 700MHz D Block spectrum as part of a revised 700MHz public/private partnership for a nationwide, interoperable broadband network in the 700MHz band. The notice proposes to retain a public/private partnership framework for the 700MHz band absent other sources of funding. It proposes a modified set of rules to govern the D Block and a revised auction plan for assigning D Block licenses.

Specifically, the FCC proposes to use the competitive bidding process to determine whether, based on greatest population coverage and highest bid(s), the D Block spectrum would be licensed to a single licensee on a nationwide basis or to regional licensees on the basis of 58 public safety regions. If the D Block is licensed on a regional basis, the auction results also would determine the particular air interface technology that would be deployed across the nation by the D Block licensee(s) when building out the interoperable broadband network(s), which would facilitate the ability of public safety entities to communicate outside of their home regions. With regard to the D Block license term and performance requirements, the notice proposes to extend the license term to fifteen years and to adopt performance benchmarks applicable at the fourth, tenth, and fifteenth years under the life of the license(s).

The Notice also proposes and seeks comment on rules involving significant clarifications and revisions of the respective obligations of the D Block licensee(s) and the public safety broadband license regarding the construction and operation of the shared wireless broadband network.

The clarifications and revisions address the use of spectrum in the shared wireless broadband network (including requirements regarding public safety priority access to commercial capacity in emergencies), the technical requirements of the shared wireless broadband network (including detailed proposals relating to interoperability, robustness, capacity, quality of service, and security), the coverage requirements of the broadband network(s), and the respective operational roles of the D Block licensee(s) and the public safety broadband licensee.

Because the D Block did not meet its $1.3 billion reserve price in the 700MHz auction held in early 2008, the FCC sought comment in May on whether it should revise the 700MHz public/private partnership and reauction this spectrum. These rules included the creation of a 10MHz license in the D Block to be part of a public/private partnership with the adjacent 10MHz of spectrum dedicated to a public safety broadband license. To ensure that all aspects of this critical initiative are given careful consideration, the Commission seeks additional public comment on this latest proposal, which was largely developed from the input, ideas and recommendations received from public safety organizations and officials, government representatives, wireless carriers and manufacturers across the country.

The public comment period for this Notice will begin once it is published in the federal registry and run for a period of 30 days, with reply comments due within 40 days from federal register publication.

WT Docket Nos. 06-150; PS Docket No. 06-229

Arbitron Commercializes PPM in Eight Markets
New York - Oct 6, 2008 - Arbitron has commercialized its Portable People Meter radio ratings services in eight new markets. Arbitron has released radio audience estimates for the September 2008 PPM survey month (Aug. 21 - Sept. 17) to its subscribers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Nassau-Suffolk, Middlesex-Somerset-Union, Riverside-San Bernardino and San Jose.

Effective today, the PPM radio audience estimates for these markets should be used as the basis for transactions of radio commercial time among subscribing stations, agencies and advertisers. In addition, the July and August PPM survey months, which Arbitron had previously released as pre-currency information, are now designated as currency data. The Spring 2008 diary-based radio audience report (April 3-June 25) is no longer deemed currency for buy/sell transactions.

125th AES Draws Quality Crowd
San Francisco - Oct 8, 2008 - The Audio Engineering Society has announced the attendance figures for the recently completed 125th AES Convention. The 407 exhibits drew 17,892 attendees from Oct. 2-5, 2008.

The 127th AES Convention will be held in New York City at the Jacob Javits Center, Oct. 9-12, 2009.


HD Radio Hits Manufacturing Milestones
Columbia, MD - Oct 8, 2008 - Ibiquity Digital announced several milestones in manufacturing for the digital radio technology.

The heart of any HD Radio receiver is the HD Radio chipset to decode the digital signals. More than 1.5 million HD Radio chipsets have been shipped. Several chip makers build HD Radio chipsets, including Texas Instruments (DRI200, DRI250, DRI302, DRI352 processors) and NXP (3550 and 3555).

Once manufactured, these chipsets are integrated into modules for receiver manufacturers to install in systems. In Shenzhen, China, more than 1 million HD Radio modules have been manufactured for retail radio receivers using the Texas Instruments DRI Series chipsets. Jeff Jury, COO of Ibiquity Digital, noted, "As next-generation products come to market, there has been a significant drop in product development and production time. Many products are going through this cycle in less than six months, contributing to the rapid growth of products coming to market."

There's even a milestone on the consumer product side. More than 100 discrete HD Radio products have been certified over the last several years by Ibiquity, Intertek and Toko. These include clock radios, table-top sound systems, stereo tuners, high-end home components, transportable units and Ipod docks, as well as automobile OEM head units, aftermarket headunits, tuner boxes and plug and play upgrade kits.

Ibiquity had been certifying most HD Radio products in its Maryland Lab. As the number of products increased, the company licensed Japan-based Toko and then Hong Kong-based Intertek to help certify products in Asia.

Play MPE to Receive US Patent for DMDS
Vancouver, BC - Oct 6, 2008 - The United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued a Notice of Allowance for the Destiny Media Technologies Digital Media Distribution Method and System patent application (USPTO Publication No. 20020146122). Destiny's digital distribution claims are also protected internationally by its PCT application published on Sept. 7, 2001 (WIPO Publication No. WO 01/65796) under the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). When granted, the U.S patent will have a foreign priority date of March 3, 2000. It is expected that the final patent will be issued about February 2009.

Destiny has also filed for a second patent for its watermarking technology, Methods For Watermarking Media Data (USPTO Publication No. 20080098022). This second patent application was published in April 2008 and is currently in front of a USPTO examiner for consideration. These two technologies provide the core security for the Play MPE system, which is used to securely distribute songs, music videos, radio shows, digital promos. and other content.

Burk Technology Appoints BD Electronics as Distributor in Mexico
Littleton, MA, and Guadalajara, Mexico - Oct 10, 2008 - Burk Technology selected BD Electronics as the exclusive distributor for Burk's complete line of transmitter remote control products in Mexico. The move is the result of Burk Technology's growth in Mexico and Latin America.

Effective at once, BD Electronics assumes distribution of Burk Technology products to dealers and end-users in Mexico. Customers in Mexico may continue to purchase through any Burk Technology dealer, and now have access to local support and repair services provided by BD Electronics. Products will ship from BD Electronics' offices in Mexico City and Guadalajara, eliminating import complications for dealers and broadcasters.

BD Electronics is a leading broadcast integrator in Mexico, with more than 20 years of experience in sales, installation and technical support for the broadcast industry. BD Electronics operates offices in the major cities of Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Sales Call

The Adam A5 has been deployed in Iraq. Staff Sergeant Jim Blaine of the 354th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, an army reserve unit, has been a broadcast journalist in the Army for 12 years and is currently stationed at Camp Liberty near the Baghdad International Airport, just minutes west of downtown Baghdad. He is part of a public affairs team that provides broadcast, print and marketing services as well as producing news stories on members of the military and civilians. The team also provides media to the Digital Video Imagery and Distribution System, a key component of news reporting for the outside world.

Blaine and his team rely on Adam A5 powered monitors as part of their mobile production studio. Facilities in combat zones must be highly mobile, able to withstand extreme temperatures and dust, and provide the highest quality possible for critical news reporting and documentation purposes.

Whisperings, an Internet Radio broadcast founded by pianist and composer David Nevue, is using the Stream Guys Revenue Stream subscription platform to generate revenue for its premium online radio outlet. The Stream Guys Revenue Stream service enabled Whisperings, an Internet Radio broadcast that exclusively features solo piano music, to become entirely listener supported. International Datacasting Corporation in partnership with its New Zealand distributor AVW, has been selected by The Radio Network (TRN) to update the broadcaster's satellite distribution network using IDC's Superflex Pro Audio satellite products. The Radio Network consists of 128 stations operating across 26 markets in New Zealand.


D&M Holdings Reorganizes Sales and Marketing Group
Mahwah, NJ - Oct 5, 2008 - D&M Holdings has formed a new operational group to oversee sales and marketing of its professional products in the Americas. Named the Business and Professional Group - Americas, it unites all D&M Holdings' professional businesses under one sales and marketing banner. The Business and Professional Group - Americas will manage the Allen & Heath, Calrec Audio, Denon DJ, Denon Professional and Marantz Professional brands.

D&M Holdings acquired Calrec Audio in August 2007 and Allen & Heath in April 2008.

The company announced several appointments to the newly created group's executive team. Courtney Spencer was named senior vice president, Business and Professional Group - Americas. He will oversee sales and marketing for all of D&M's professional brands in the Americas. For 12 years, Spencer was a vice president and general manager for Sony Electronics' Broadcast and Professional Group.

Jim Wilmer was promoted to director of sales for Calrec Audio. Wilmer was Calrec's U.S. sales manager for the past eight years. Claude Hill was appointed regional sales manager for Calrec for the central and eastern U.S. and for Latin America.

Paul Mathis continues as senior vice president of sales and marketing for D&M Professional - Americas, which includes Denon DJ, Denon Professional, and Marantz Professional. Neil Altneu has been named the director of sales for Denon DJ. Altneu most recently served at Pioneer Electronics.

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Heil Sound Hires Jost
Fairview Heights, IL - Sep 12, 2008 - Heil Sound has hired Phil Jost to be the vice president of sales and marketing. Jost joins the company from Loud Technologies where he served as sales manager for the Midwest territory. Jost spent 14 years with St. Louis Music prior to its acquisition by Loud.

His primary focus will be on sales and marketing of Heil Sound professional microphones for the United States and Canada, with an emphasis on organizing and expanding the current Heil distribution network via reps and dealers.

Radio Industry Veterans Join Nautel
Hackett's Cove, NS, and Bangor, ME - Oct 8, 2008 - Nautel has added several radio veterans to its sales and engineering teams. John Bisset and Ellis Terry have joined Nautel in sales positions, and Steve Schmitt has joined in a sales engineering role. Between them they have a combined experience of more than 70 years.

John Bisset, who was awarded the SBE Educator of the Year recognition in 2007, has worked as a chief engineer, contract engineer, and sales engineer with companies including Harris and Broadcast Electronics. His new role at Nautel will be regional sales manager, Europe and Southern Africa.

Ellis Terry joins Nautel as the western US regional sales manager. He has held senior sales roles at BE and Harris, as well as a number of chief engineering positions in the United States. Ellis joins the rest of Nautel's seasoned US sales team including Jeff Welton, central region sales; Gary Liebisch, eastern region sales; and Gary Manteuffel, director of national accounts.

Steve Schmitt has joined the company in the role of sales engineer. Schmitt previously held a similar position at Broadcast Electronics and his background includes considerable experience in customer service at both BE and Harris. He will be responsible for developing integrated solutions for Nautel's growing worldwide base of customers.

Audio Precision Honors Accoustician
Beaverton, OR - Oct 9, 2008 - Audio Precision (AP) helped to stage a reception in honor of professor Angelo Farina, the Italian theoretical and applied acoustician. Professor Farina's research into and development of impulse response measurement techniques based on exponential sine sweeps for use in electronic systems and acoustic environments are part of the foundation of the audio measurement technology of Audio Precision's APx range of audio analyzer instruments.

More than 50 acoustic and audio specialists, leading industry and academic figures and journalists gathered at the Casa della Musica at the historic Palazzo Cusani in Professor Farina's native city of Parma, Italy on Sept. 18, 2008 for a relaxed evening of lectures, discussions, and presentations, followed by some fine food and wine at Parma's renowned restaurant Parma Rotta.

Jointly organized by AP and its Italian distributor Audio Link, the evening began with a lecture on ESS measurement techniques from professor Farina, included a talk from Audio Precision Vice President of Engineering Dr. Tom Kite on the implementation of Farina's techniques in AP's measurement tools, and also saw AP present an eight-channel APx585 audio analyzer to the University of Parma, Professor Farina's place of work. Before the reception broke for dinner, attendees were also treated to a demonstration of the state-of-the-art sound systems at the recently opened Casa del Suono (House of Sound), a sonic research and exhibition center co-funded by, among others, Parma's University and City authorities and situated in a refurbished Renaissance church across the street.

Eye on IBOC

Ibiquity Releases Reference Designs for Portable and USB Products
Shenzhen, China - Oct 8, 2008 - Ibiquity Digital is offering its licensed HD Radio developers a reference platform for low-cost, low-power, battery-powered portable and USB-connected HD Radio products. Available for demonstration for the first time at the Hong Kong Electronics Show, the developers' package includes schematics, bill-of-material, layout and software.

This provides portable product manufacturers with a standard reference design to enable quicker time to market development. The reference platform is based on Samsung EM's Core-CR module measuring 20.0 x 13.0 x 2.3mm. The Core-CR module is a surface-mount device (SMD) package, which consists of a dual chip (RF -IF Peripheral and Baseband), dedicated memory SDRAM (64Mbit), and flash memory (8Mbit). The Samsung Core-CR Module has a total power consumption of 210mW and allows for 15 hours of continuous operation.

The portable HD Radio unit uses an Atmel AVR32 (AT32UC3A) as its host microprocessor. The portable reference platform has support for MP3, USB on-the-go, and an SD card interface. The reference has monochrome graphic LCD 128 x 64 and uses two AA alkaline batteries.

Ibiquity states that the USB design will greatly assist its partners in developing HD Radio data services and advanced visual-radio user interfaces. The USB reference design provides manufacturers with a path to add HD Radio technology to a PC, a portable navigation device or any device featuring a USB port.

The reference platform is capable of working with various new-generation radio modules (using Ibiquity's 2129 or 2023 interfaces). With the ability to accept two modules, the reference is suitable for developing products requiring a second tuner for data applications. The reference is provided in a hide-away-box form factor measuring 145 x 100 x 42mm and requires only USB and antenna connections.

The USB HD Radio reference design uses Atmel's AVR32 (AT32UC3B) as its slave microprocessor. Any attached USB host processor is able to receive audio and communicate with the reference platform over standard protocols (USB audio-class/USB HID-class), thereby requiring no proprietary drivers. In addition to USB audio, the reference design provides analog audio output and digital SPDIF output. The device can be powered by USB or an external supply.

Ibiquity Certifies Samsung and Innotek HD Radio Modules
Shenzhen, China - Oct 8, 2008 - Ibiquity Digital has certified Samsung Electro-Mechanics' new 2023-CR low-power HD Radio module and the LG Innotek TMHS-S001T.

The Samsung module is the first one designed with Samsung's new RF and decoder chipset SEMHDR100A and SEMHDRC200A. In addition to the 2023-CR module, Samsung is preparing a small footprint module for portable applications called the Samsung Core-CR. The target production schedule is the end of 2008.

The HD Radio modules introduced by LG Innotek are the first certified HD Radio modules designed with Siport's SP1010 single-chip HD Radio receiver. The Siport SP1010 solution received full HD Radio certification in mid-August 2008.

LG Innotek is releasing a line of HD Radio modules that incorporate the SP1010 that will offer variations for home audio video receivers with built-in AM and FM antenna connector, miniaturized modules for delivery of broadcast audio and data services on personal navigation devices (PNDs), automotive navigation systems, personal media players (PMPs) and other consumer electronics platforms.


NTI Extends Minirator MR-Pro Capability
Beginning in fall 2008, new deliveries of MR-Pro will include extended mass storage RAM capacity of 512MB, allowing storage of 16 times more test signals. The extended memory capacity enables clients to store all their important audio test signals, audio announcement and favorite listening tracks of up to 80 minutes in the non-volatile memory. All earlier MR-Pro units can be factory upgraded with the new memory.

A new firmware version 2.10 has been released for the MR-PRO, offering compatibility with the Apple MAC OS versions 10.4 onwards running on G4/ G5 as well as on the new X86 architectures. Also, in response to customer feedback the impedance measurement of the MR-PRO now handles power calculations for 35V, 140V and 200V voltage distribution systems. This test of the calculated apparent power simplifies the load verification in distributed loudspeaker systems.

Along with the firmware V2.10, a WAV file set with sinusoidal subsonic frequencies between 1Hz and 10Hz is available for download. Each file generates a pure, low distortion sinusoidal waveform at a fixed frequency. With this set of wave files the MR-PRO serves as a signal stimulus for vibration sources.

Sound Devices Updates 788T Firmware
San Francisco - Oct. 3, 2008 - With the latest revision of firmware, the 788T gains several key features including improvements in metadata handling, where changes are applied to files across all attached drives, and all files for a given take. This helps to further streamline the communication between crew in the field and in post. To allow for the connection of digital microphones, users can now enable the 788T's on-board sampling rate converters when needed to support multiple AES42 microphones. This makes the 788T one of the first recorders to allow for the connection of an AES42 digital microphone.

As multi-microphone surround recording becomes more prevalent, the firmware helps provide several new headphone modes for the 788T to facilitate monitoring multi-mic surround recording in the field. The update also provides new capabilities to the limiter, to offer the user more recording options.

Sound Devices Updates Wave Agent Utility Software
San Francisco - Oct. 3, 2008 - Compatible with both Mac and PC platforms, the new software provides comprehensive metadata editing tools for WAV and associate metadata files, as well as file playback for sound files recorded with the company's 7-Series Digital Recorders.

Available immediately, as a no-charge download from the company's website, Wave Agent helps users manage and edit Broadcast Wave file metadata and iXML metadata as well as allowing for batch editing of large file libraries. Wave Agent users are offered the flexibility to modify sound report templates to meet the needs of each project. Additionally, the software generates sound reports in PDF format, ensuring the reports can be viewed regardless of the editing application being used.

The software's interface is user-friendly and is designed for speed, making sense of the often-complex metadata generated by the current generation of field recorders. Wave Agent has a large display for time code, actual time, and remaining time counters.

In addition to the administration of metadata, the software allows for the playback and conversion of any type of WAV file (poly, mono, bit depth, sample rate). Wave Agent converts WAV file between monophonic and polyphonic formats. It also features an intelligent batch mono-combine function. Users also have the ability to control the gain, pan, solo and mute tracks during playback. To help correct sync issues in post, Wave Agent users can modify time code frame-rates to correct mistaken frame-rate settings.

Audio-Technica Offers New Option for Flagship Studio Headphones
Audio-Technica has debuted a straight-cable option for its flagship ATH-M50 professional studio monitor headphones, the new ATH-M50s. Offering the exact same comfort and superior audio quality as their original coiled-cable counterparts, the ATH-M50s headphones were created for end users who prefer straight-cable professional studio headphones for tracking and other applications.

The ATH-M50s professional studio monitor headphones, with a single-sided 11'' straight cable terminating to a 3.5mm stereo connector with screw-on 1/4" adapter, is now available.