NRSC Updates IBOC Standards

img The National Radio Systems Committee adopted an updated version of its in-band, on-channel digital radio broadcasting standard, NRSC-5-C. The membership adopted the changes at a meeting during the Radio Show in Chicago.

The new version includes more than 70 modifications that take into account newer features of HD Radio, including asymmetrical sideband transmission and the FM power increase.

The NRSC said a major part of the work has been the update of "reference documents" by iBiquity Digital Corp., which contain the technical details of the standard.

NAB and CEA co-sponsor the NRSC. NAB EVP/CTO Kevin Gage commended the group, made up of engineers who volunteer their time. He said the updates provide for a more robust digital signal and improved coverage.

CEA SVP Research And Standards Brian Markwalter said HD Radio is gaining momentum, citing recent announcements from automakers like Toyota, Lexus and Kia that indicate “more consumers will be using this technology in their cars, and today's improvements to the standard will make the consumer experience even better."

The IBOC Standards Development Working Group, chaired by Dom Bordonaro, chief engineer, Cox Broadcasting – Connecticut, developed “NRSC-5-C, In-band/on-channel Digital Radio Broadcasting Standard.” The working group is a subgroup of the Digital Radio Broadcasting Subcommittee, which adopted the changes. Andy Laird, vice president and chief technology officer for Journal Broadcast Group, co-chairs the subcommittee with Mike Bergman, vice president of new digital technologies at Kenwood USA.

The updated standard will soon be available on the NRSC website, following a final review.

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All of a sudden HD Radio adoption by automakers is skyrocketing, but on the transmitter side the existing HD stations have not been taking advantage of the increase in the power limit so HD reception is often marginal. Hopefully this update will help station owners and engineers understand that HD is here to stay and that they have to move forward if they want to stay relevant as an entertainment source.
By Jason Jarrell on 9/16/2011

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