IBiquity Doubts DPR Performance Claims
     

IBiquity Digital isn’t quite sold on the claims made by Digital PowerRadio.

We reported that DPR says its computer simulations show its new HD Radio chip designs could provide coverage gains for all-digital AM, all-digital FM as well as the current hybrid versions of the system.

IBiquity President/CEO Bob Struble says the company knows DPR’s scientist well. Dr. Brana Vojcic, a “gifted scientist,” helped in the early development of the IBOC system.

However, in this instance, he seems to be working with old data, according to Struble. “Unfortunately, we don’t think [the DPR system] is likely to yield performance improvements. We think the simulations are largely based on the system as it was 10 to 12 years ago, and not what we’ve got in the field now,” he said.

IBiquity has incorporated some of DPR’s suggested improvements over the years, and “we’re thrilled that people are innovating around the technology,” Struble said, pointing to improvements in features and performance.

IBiquity has discussed the system with DPR and with the NAB technical committee. “If anybody’s got any improvements for the HD Radio system we’re all ears,” says Struble, adding that the company has incorporated improvements over the years by people both inside and outside the company.

We recently reported those periodic improvements automakers were interested in for AM that included antenna changes, as well as enhancements with the blend back and forth between the digital and analog signals.

IBiquity is going to keep working with the NAB technical committee and DPR, and share the results of its computer simulations. “Overall, we stand ready to work with anyone who’s got ideas and I think the improvement in the performance of the system over the years has indicated that,” according to Struble, pointing to the early days of the rollout when there were limited numbers of HD Receivers in the market to now, with the advent of HD Radio audio, data and traffic included in automakers’ big screen infotainment systems.

When asked for comment, DPR said it stands by its research.

In a statement, Dr. Vojcic said: “DPR performed a comparative analysis between a set of conventional algorithms and advanced communication receiver algorithms based on DPR inventions. Our understanding, in part based on discussions with iBiquity, is that the assumed conventional algorithms are representative of the algorithms deployed in iBiquity software licensed to the chip vendors. There is no substance to their claim.

Related:
Digital PowerRadio Seeks a Superior HD Radio System
DPR — Enhanced Receiver Processing Can Improve HD Radio

 


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Innovators in the art and science of digital modulation are quick to point out that the iBiquity methodology will be technically obsolete within a decade. On the AM-MW band, relying on phase-modulated narrow sidebands is a substandard approach to digital. iBiquity works great on conventional FM-VHF carriers but there's actually room for dozens of digital radio stations on one carrier.
By Peter Blake on 3/29/2013

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