Digital Radio Update – October 25, 2006

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Digital Radio Update � October 25, 2006

Oct 25, 2006 1:30 PM, By Mark Krieger, CBT

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Index:

  • World DAB Forum Convenes in Seoul
  • WIYY Sets Thousand-Station Mark
  • NPR, WGBH to Develop Digital Radio Aids for Sensory Disabled
  • XM-equipped Lexus' Roll into Dealerships
  • Rebate Program Poised to Boost Receiver Holiday Sales
  • MPEG Surround Awaits Acceptance
  • Digital Broadcast Flag: Recording Industry Savior or Fools Errand?
  • IBOC by State: Colorado
  • An Introduction to the New Language Surrounding HD Radio
  • Fraunhofer's SX Pro Automatically Converts Material to 5.1
    To receive these articles twice a month in your e-mail, subscribe to the Digital Radio Update - Insight to IBOC e-newsletter. Click here to subscribe.NewsWorld DAB Forum Convenes in Seoul
    Digital broadcasters and vendors involved with the Eureka 147 family of DAB and DMB technologies will meet for the 12th meeting of the World DAB Forum Assembly on Oct. 30 and Oct. 31 at the JW Marriott Convention Center in downtown Seoul, ROK. Rho Jun-Hyong, South Korea's Minister of Communication and Information, will deliver the forum's keynote address.Another highlight of the two day event is a presentation on the success of Digital Mobile Broadcasting (DMB) in South Korea, where the commercial roll-out of DMB is expected to generate the sale of about two million DMB consumer devices by the end of December.Other sessions will discuss topics such as new audio coding for DAB/DMB, VHF spectrum allocation, growth in EU markets and DAB/DMB in China.A complete program of events can be downloaded at www.worlddab.org/events.phpWIYY Sets Thousand-Station Mark
    Hearst Radio's WIYY-FM in Baltimore now lays claim to being the 1,000th station in the United States operating with an HD Radio digital hybrid signal. Ibiquity Digital CEO Robert Struble marked the occasion by noting that the number of broadcasters operating in HD Radio has nearly doubled in 2006, and that his company now expects the figure to reach 1,200 by the end of December.Some industry insiders have suggested that the four-figure milestone could be significant for HD Radio in terms of chipping away at the continued reluctance of automakers to integrate HD Radio-compatible receivers in OEM audio systems.Known locally as 98 Rock, WIYY is the radio flagship for Baltimore Ravens football, and features a hard rock format. No word yet on what's planned for the station's HD-2 multicast channel.NPR, WGBH to Develop Digital Radio Aids for Sensory Disabled
    The Department of Education's National Institute of Disability Rehabilitation and Research has awarded a federal grant to NPR and WGBH's National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) to develop accessible radio technology for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or visually impaired.The Accessible Digital Radio Broadcast Services grant--in the amount of $150,000 for the first year--will help fund an anticipated three-year research and development project to develop, test and assess radio technology designed to serve the needs of people with sensory disabilities.NPR and the NCAM will convene a group of experts from broadcasting, academia and non-profit service organizations to serve the needs of people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired with the overall goal of guiding the design of prototype digital radios to be evaluated by end users. At the conclusion of the study period, the design criteria will be given to receiver manufacturers and recommended as the "best operating practice."The project's total budget for the first year is $227,810. The Department of Education grant will cover 65 percent of the project costs for the first year, while NPR will fund the remaining 35 percent. Additional federal funding after the first year is dependent on congressional appropriations.BusinessXM-equipped Lexus' Roll into Dealerships
    Washington - Oct 25, 2006 - The first of the all-new Lexus LS series with standard, factory-installed XM Satellite Radio and XM Navtraffic are now available at dealerships. The Lexus LS 460 L long wheel base model is arriving at dealerships factory-equipped with XM Satellite Radio's 170 channels of coast-to-coast entertainment and XM Navtraffic's real-time traffic information system as standard features. Factory-installed XM Radio is also available in the 2007 LS 460, which includes the service in its navigation packages.XM Satellite Radio now has more than seven million subscribers to its satellite radio service. Its Navtraffic service provides alerts regarding traffic delays, detours and road closings through the in-car navigation system. Navtraffic is currently available in 44 major U.S. markets.Rebate Program Poised to Boost Receiver Holiday Sales
    Ibiquity Digital has teamed up with electronics retailers nationwide to roll out an HD Radio Holiday Rebate Program that will refund between $25 and $50 on the purchase of select HD Radio receiver products. The program applies to 20 HD Radio consumer products and will run through Jan. 14, 2007.National HD Radio retailers include Radio Shack, Tweeter, Amazon.com, Crutchfield and select Circuit City outlets. There are also a number of other regional and specialty retailers now carrying HD Radio products, including ABC Warehouse, Harvey Home Entertainment, Hifi Buys, Ken Cranes, Mickey Schorr Mobile Electronics, Showcase Home Entertainment and Sound Advice.Rebates of $25 are available on specific product models from Accurian (Radio Shack), DICE, Directed, JVC, Kenwood, Metra, Peripheral and Sangean.The $50 rebates are being offered on specific product models from ADA, Tune Suite, Alpine, Boston Acoustics, Cambridge Sound Works, Denon, Directed, Integra, Niles Audio, Panasonic, Polk Audio, Rotel and Sangean.Detailed information on the Holiday HD Radio Rebate program is available at www.hdradio.com.MPEG Surround Awaits Acceptance
    San Francisco � Oct 25, 2006 � Agere Systems, Coding Technologies and Fraunhofer Institute showcased their MPEG Surround audio compression technique at the Audio Engineering Society's 121st show Oct. 6 through Oct. 8. MPEG Surround is a compression technique for multichannel audio signals. The system provides full backward compatibility to stereo equipment and scalability in terms of the bit rate used for describing the surround sound image. Other features include a matrix surround mode for multichannel audio based on a stereo signal, and a binaural mode for spatial rendering and reproduction of multichannel audio on stereo playback devices.Eye On IBOCDigital Broadcast Flag: Recording Industry Savior or Fool's Errand?
    An interesting take on fee-free consumer capture, labeling and indexing of broadcast music recently emerged in the form of new piece of USB-based consumer gadgetry for the home PC. But unlike controversial HD Radio digital terrestrial or satellite broadcast recording functionality, the FM Instant Music Device from ADS Tech apparently takes advantage of analog or streamed broadcasts using the accompanying RDS title and artist data to help categorize, cut, sort and save individual music cuts.According to ADS Tech's press release, the Instant FM Music device "not only finds and records the user's favorite songs, podcasts and sporting events automatically, it separates and identifies the songs for easy playback�with a street price of less than $40, the Tivo-like device provides Windows XP users with a substantial savings over paying satellite subscription fees. By including both Instant Radio and Snaptune One software, users can tune to their favorite local FM or Web radio stations, sit back and watch as Instant FM Music finds and records a single song or schedules the automatic recording of a station's entire playlist.""With Instant FM Music, consumers can select any of their local FM radio stations or Web radio broadcasts from anywhere in the world," said Bill Baxter, president of Snaptune. "By including Snaptune One with this incredibly inexpensive and easy-to-use product, ADS enables consumers to capture their favorite songs, new music in their preferred genre or complete selections from their favorite artists. Coupled with the ability to transfer their selections to a mobile player, consumers can enjoy their recordings whenever and wherever they want.""Best of all, they can do it without having to buy special equipment or pay subscription fees," Mike McCoy, ADS Tech president said. "Satellite radio equipment costs can range from $49 to hundreds of dollars and then there are monthly fees of $10-$13; but with Instant FM Music, consumers have more features, more benefits and no fees."While the functionality and ultimate recording quality of such a low-cost device may fall short of the manufacturer's lofty claims, ADS Tech's product does highlight the fact that novel technology applications continue to lead attempts to fully control the flow of media content. With mass storage costs plummeting, what's to stop a vendor from providing consumers with a sophisticated, yet inexpensive platform for recording analog radio transmission, A/D converting it at high digital resolution and then using smart software to sort, catalogue and store individual music cuts for selective playback?No digital broadcast flag is going to fix this. The painful fact for content producers remains that attempts to control the flow of content through the use of technologic trap doors will always be one step behind the curve.Google's recent acquisition of You Tube ought to serve as a message to the recording industry regarding the futility of trying to hog-tie technological development through litigation and legislation, when it could instead be working productively with broadcasters to make radio an integral part of the audio content showcase and distribution system of the future.IBOC Across AmericaIBOC by State: ColoradoIbiquity has a list of stations that have licensed HD Radio technology. IBOC by state will look at various states and list the stations that are making the transition.MarketStationMain FormatHD2 FormatOwnerAspenKUUR-FM 96.7Soft AC�CO Radio MarketingColorado SpringsKCBR-AM 1040Chrst/Talk�DRJ Broadcasting, LLCColorado SpringsKCCY-FM 96.9Country�Clear Channel RadioColorado SpringsKCME-FM 88.7Clscl/Jazz�Cheyenne Mountain Public Broadcasting HouseColorado SpringsKCMN-AM 1530Adlt Stndrd�DRJ Broadcasting, LLCColorado SpringsKIBT-FM 96.1Urban/HpHop�Clear Channel RadioColorado SpringsKKLI-FM 106.3Soft AC�Clear Channel RadioColorado SpringsKVUU-FM 99.9Hot AC�Clear Channel RadioDenver-BoulderKALC-FM 105.9Hot ACComedy�Entercom Communications Corp.Denver-BoulderKBCO-FM 97.3AAAPerfomance Studio C Sessions�Clear Channel RadioDenver-BoulderKBPI-FM 106.7AORAll New Rock�Clear Channel RadioDenver-BoulderKCFC-AM 1490News/Talk�Colorado Public RadioDenver-BoulderKCFR-AM 1340News/Info�Colorado Public RadioDenver-BoulderKDDZ-AM 1690Children�ABC RadioDenver-BoulderKGNU-AM 1390Eclectic�Boulder Community Broadcast AssociationDenver-BoulderKHOW-AM 630Talk�Clear Channel RadioDenver-BoulderKIMN-FM 100.3Hot ACJammin' Oldies�CBS RadioDenver-BoulderKJMN-FM 92.1Span/CHR�EntravisionDenver-BoulderKKFN-AM 950Sports�Lincoln Financial MediaDenver-BoulderKKZN-AM 760Talk�Clear Channel RadioDenver-BoulderKLDC-AM 810Cst/Rlg/Gsp�Crawford Broadcasting CompanyDenver-BoulderKLTT-AM 670Christian�Crawford Broadcasting CompanyDenver-BoulderKLVZ-AM 1220Chrst/Span�Crawford Broadcasting CompanyDenver-BoulderKLZ-AM
    560Sports�Crawford Broadcasting CompanyDenver-BoulderKMGG-FM 95.7Top 40Spanish Oldies�Clear Channel RadioDenver-BoulderKMXA-AM 1090Span/Varty�EntravisionDenver-BoulderKOA-AM 850Nws/Tlk/Spt�Clear Channel RadioDenver-BoulderKOSI-FM 101.1Lite RockBlues�Entercom Communications Corp.Denver-BoulderKPOF-AM 910Inspiration�Pillar of FireDenver-BoulderKQMT-FM 99.5Prgvs/ClRckLive Rock�Entercom Communications Corp.Denver-BoulderKTCL-FM 93.3AlternativeClassic Alternative�Clear Channel RadioDenver-BoulderKUVO-FM 89.3Jazz�Denver Educational BroadcastingDenver-BoulderKVOD-FM 90.1ClassicalNews-KCFR�Colorado Public RadioDenver-BoulderKWLI-FM 92.5CountryWillie - Heritage Country�CBS RadioDenver-BoulderKXKL-FM 105.1Oldies50's & 60's�CBS RadioFt. Collins-GreeleyKTRR-FM 102.5AC�RegentFt. Collins-GreeleyKUAD-FM 99.1Country�RegentFt. Collins-GreeleyKUNC-FM 91.5Public�Community Radio for Northern ColoradoVailKPRE-FM 89.9News/Clscl�Colorado Public RadioProductsFraunhofer's SX Pro Automatically Converts Material to 5.1
    Erlangen, Germany � SX Pro from the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits automatically converts stereo material into 5.1 surround sound. To create surround sound from regular stereo music, SX Pro analyzes the audio signal and identifies characteristic sound elements. An algorithm redistributes these elements to create a natural surround sound listening experience without adding artificial reverberation.The incorporation of SX Pro processing into professional media production and audio editing tools will allow surround versions of existing stereo source material to be produced using the creative control over the upmix process offered by SX Pro. Radio broadcasters offering new surround services may also convert their existing content to surround sound automatically, to match the presentation of new surround tracks.SX Pro will be available for integration in software, consumer electronics and professional hardware by the end of 2006.HD Radio TerminologyThe language surrounding HD Radio
    system control: Data from Layer 2 specifying service mode and analog diversity delay.system control processing: The function that generates the system control data sequence.

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