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Digital Radio Update – August 21, 2008

Digital Radio Update – August 21, 2008

Aug 21, 2008 12:01 PM, By Mark Krieger


  • Deadline for 2008 CPB Digital Upgrade Grants Approaches
  • Siport, NXP Tout New Digital Radio Chips
  • Radiopaq Rp5 Mixes On-Air/On-line Digital Radio
  • IBOC by State: Ohio
  • Wimax Merger in Dispute — And What it Means to Radio
  • The New Language of Digital Radio
  • An In-dash HD Radio Receiver for Under $50?
  • NewsDeadline for 2008 CPB Digital Upgrade Grants Approaches
    The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), along with is member station Digital Consultation Panel, has recommended an additional allocation of funds for the conversion of digital radio transmitters, and is actively soliciting grant applications from CPB-eligible organizations for digital transmission upgrades in its FY 08 funding cycle. Deadline for receipt of applications is Sept. 29.To date, CPB says it has approved funding for the digital conversion of 697 public radio transmitters. More than 400 public radio stations have completed conversions and are now transmitting digital signals. Of those, 127 are multicasting for a total of 168 multicast streams.For more information and application forms, go to, NXP Tout New Digital Radio Chips
    Two HD Radio chip manufacturers are making noise regarding their latest products targeting the developing HD Radio market.Siport, a consumer electronics IC developer, is promoting that its SP1010 single-chip HD Radio receiver has completed comprehensive product qualification and received HD Radio Ready certification from Ibiquity Digital. The company says LG-Innotek is currently sampling an HD Radio module based on the new device.Siport is promising production quantity availability of the SP1010 later in September.Meanwhile, NXP Semiconductors, an independent semiconductor company founded by consumer electronics giant Philips, says it has developed a multi-standard radio integrated circuit (IC) for in-car digital radio reception. The company claims the new single-chip product, dubbed SAF3560, supports HD Radio, DAB, DAB+, DRM and T-DMB Radio reception with the goal of reducing development costs and logistics complexity for OEM car audio manufacturers.Development of the SAF3560 reflects the need of receiver manufacturers to address a fractious mix of digital radio technologies now being deployed worldwide. For example, automakers producing product for the European market are currently challenged by a weave of DAB, T-DMB, DRM, and even HD Radio now being broadcast there.NXP notes the new SAF3560 supports the latest HD Radio features, like Itunes Tagging, as well as provisioning for field software upgrades.BusinessRadiopaq Rp5 Mixes On-Air/On-line Digital Radio
    Radio lovers in the UK will soon have a new platform for exploring music on local analog and digital radio as well as a constellation of radio outlets on the Internet. Radiopaq’s new Rp5 tabletop audio system allows users to listen to online radio via a Wi-fi connection, alongside analog and digital stations without the need for a PC. But what’s really innovative about the new Rp5, according to company officials, is its ability to search for programming by name, genre, country or language.In February, the company launched, an Internet radio gateway site. The company promises its users thousands of radio stations from around the world, along with a comprehensive podcast library and dedicated news service. The Rp5 makes use of the website to achieve what Radiopaq president Prash Vadgama calls “seamless interaction between the website and the hardware.”Other Rp5 features include an MP3 player with USB access, analog FM and DAB tuners, remote control, headphone jack, and a five-way speaker system with up to 25W of audio drive. Scheduled for delivery late next month, the Rp5 will retail for about US $468.IBOC Across AmericaIBOC by State: Ohio
    Ibiquity has a list of stations with licensed HD Radio technology and notes those on the air now. IBOC by state looks at various states and lists the stations making the transition. There are 89 stations in the Buckeye State broadcasting 143 HD Radio channels.MarketStationHD1 FormatHD2 FormatHD3 FormatOwner AkronWKSU-FM 89.7ClassicalFolk AlleyClassicalKent State University AkronWKDD-FM 98.1Hot ACAC – Rhythmic-Clear Channel AkronWAKS-FM 96.5Top 40KiWi Radio-Clear Channel CantonWRQK-FM 106.9RockLive Music-Clear Channel CantonWHOF-FM 101.7AC60s and 70s Hits-Clear Channel CincinnatiWRRM-FM 98.5AC/Soft Rock–Cumulus Media Partners CincinnatiWIZF-FM 101.1Urban–Radio One CincinnatiWGUC-FM 90.9ClassicalJazz-Cincinnati Public Radio CincinnatiWUBE-FM 105.1CountryCountry-Bonneville International CincinnatiWFTK-FM 96.5Rock–Cumulus Media Partners CincinnatiWKRQ-FM 101.9Hot ACInternational Hits-Bonneville International CincinnatiWLW-SM 700News/Talk/Sports–Clear Channel CincinnatiWEBN-FM 102.7RockNew Alternative-Clear Channel CincinnatiWYGY-FM 97.3CountryExtreme Rock and Hip Hop-Bonneville International CincinnatiWSAI-AM 1360Sports–Clear Channel CincinnatiWCKY-AM 1530Sports–Clear Channel CincinnatiWOFX-FM 92.5Classic RockAAA – The Summit-Clear Channel CincinnatiWMOJ-FM 100.3Urban AC–Radio One CincinnatiWNNF-FM 94.1Hot ACChill (Young and Hip)-Clear Channel CincinnatiWMUB-FM 88.5News/Talk/JazzJazzBBC World ServiceMiami University CincinnatiWKFS-FM 107.1CHRClassic Hip Hop-Clear Channel CincinnatiWSWD-FM 94.9Alternative–Bonneville International CincinnatiWVXU-FM 91.7News/InfoAlternative Rock-Cincinnati Public Radio ClevelandWENZ-FM 107.9Urban/Hip Hop–Radio One ClevelandWWMK-AM 1260Family Hits–Radio Disney ClevelandWNWV-FM 107.3Smooth JazzTraditional Jazz-Elyria-Lorain Broadcasting Company ClevelandWDOK-FM 102.1Soft ACSoft Rock-CBS Radio ClevelandWNCX-FM 98.5Classic RockSpanish CHR-CBS Radio ClevelandWGAR-FM 99.5CountryClassic Country-Clear Channel ClevelandWMVX-FM 106.5Hot ACJoke Joke-Clear Channel ClevelandWTAM-AM 1100News/Talk–Clear Channel ClevelandWCLV-FM 104.9Classical–Cleveland Classical Radio ClevelandWQAL-FM 104.1Hot ACTriple A-CBS Radio ClevelandWMJI-Fm 105.7Oldies50’s and 60’s Oldies-Clear Channel ClevelandWMMS-Fm 100.7RockActive Rock-Clear Channel ClevelandWZAK-FM 93.1R&B Oldies–Radio One ClevelandWKRK-FM 92.3Modern RockNew Rock-CBS Radio ColumbusWTVN-AM 610News/Talk/Sports–Clear Channel ColumbusWSNY-FM 94.7Lite Rock–Saga ColumbusWCOL-FM 92.3CountryNew Country-Clear Channel ColumbusWYTS-AM 1230Talk–Clear Channel ColumbusWCKX-FM 107.5Urban–Radio One ColumbusWRXS-FM 106.9-2-T.B.D.-Clear Channel ColumbusWNCI-FM 97.9CHRStevie’s Boom Room-Clear Channel ColumbusWLZT-FM 93.3ACClassic Dance-Clear Channel ColumbusWODB-FM 107.9Oldies–Saga ColumbusWBNS-FM 97.1Hot AC–RadiOhio ColumbusWJZA-FM 103.5Smooth Jazz–Saga ColumbusWJYD-FM 106.3Gospel–Radio One ColumbusWBWR-FM 105.7RockFull Metal Racket-Clear Channel ColumbusWNKK-FM 107.1Country90’s Alternative-Wilks Broadcast Group ColumbusWOSU-AM 820News/Talk–The Ohio State University ColumbusWOSU-FM 89.7ClassicalNews/Talk-The Ohio State University ColumbusWCLT-FM 100.3CountryNews/TalkNews/Talk/Sports (WCLT-AM)WCLT Radio ColumbusWXMG-FM 98.9R&B Oldies–Radio One CoshoctonWOSE-FM 91.1ClassicalClassical-Ohio State University DaytonWMMX-FM 107.7Hot ACChristian AC-Clear Channel DaytonWTUE-FM 104.7RockDeep Tracks and Live Rock-Clear Channel DaytonWYSO-FM 91.3AAA/NewsAAA-Antioch University DaytonWCSU-FM 88.9Urban/Jazz/Gospel–Central State University DaytonWFCJ-FM 93.7InspirationInspirational and Praise music-Miami Valley Christian Broadcasting Association DaytonWLQT-FM 99.9Lite ACOldies from the 60s-Clear Channel DaytonWDKF-FM 94.5Top 40Urban Variety-Clear Channel DaytonWDPR-FM 88.1Classical–Dayton Public Radio DaytonWIZE-AM 1340Sports–Clear Channel DaytonWDSJ-FM 106.5Smooth Jazz–Clear Channel DaytonWXEG-FM 103.9AlternativeAll New Alternative-Clear Channel DaytonWEEC-FM 100.7ChristianSouthern Gospel-World Evangelistic Enterprise Corporation GenevaWKKY-FM 104.7Country–Music Express Broadcasting Corp. of Northeast Ohio GreenvilleWDPG-FM 89.9Classical–Dayton Public Radio KentWNRK-FM 90.7Classical–Kent State University MansfieldWOSV-FM 91.7ClassicalNews/ClassicalClassicalOhio State University MarionWOSB-FM 91.1ClassicalClassical-Ohio State University Port ClintonWXKR-FM 94.5Classic Rock–Cumulus Media PortsmouthWOSP-FM 91.5ClassicalClassical-Ohio State University ToledoWCWA-AM 1230Sports–Clear Channel ToledoWIOT-FM 104.7RockRock “Nitro”-Clear Channel ToledoWKKO-FM 99.9Country–Cumulus Media ToledoWRQN-FM 93.5Oldies–Cumulus Media ToledoWWWM-FM 105.5Hot AC–Cumulus Media ToledoWVKS-FM 92.5CHRTop 40 Dance-Clear Channel ToledoWSPD-AM 1370Sports/Talk–Clear Channel ToledoWRVF-FM 101.5AC”Aimee” Adult Contemporary-Clear Channel ToledoWRWK-FM 106.5Alternative–Cumulus Media Youngstown-WarrenWNCD-FM 93.3Classic RockT.B.D.-Clear Channel Youngstown-WarrenWHOT-FM 101.1CHR–Cumulus Media Youngstown-WarrenWQXK-FM 105.1Country–Cumulus Media Youngstown-WarrenWYFM-FM 102.9Classic Rock–Cumulus Media Youngstown-WarrenWMXY-FM 98.9Mix ACT.B.D.-Clear Channel Youngstown-WarrenWYSU-FM 88.5Classical/News/InfoClassical-Youngstown State UniversityEye on IBOCWimax Merger in Dispute — And What it Means to Radio
    Champions of open-network mobile broadband may be getting a taste of the frustration advocates of Sirius XM’s merger felt when the deal stalled for almost 18 months while the NAB heavily lobbied the FCC to quash the deal. An interesting parallel to that misadventure began just a few weeks ago, when AT&T filed their own petition with the Commission opposing a pending multi-billion dollar deal between carriers Clearwire and Sprint/Nextel designed to launch a nationwide Wimax 4G wireless broadband service.Like the protracted sat radio merger debate, the current controversy centers around spectrum use and a bitter race to establish a distribution model for the delivery of U.S. mobile entertainment and information content. The story is a significant one for broadcasters, because a successful rollout of Wimax is certain to launch a new wave of dedicated audio and video appliances designed to pull content directly from the Web to consumers, no matter where they go. With networks speeds of up to 2mbps, Wimax would be poised to offer consumers a delivery pipe vastly superior to that of HD Radio or satellite radio.Those unfamiliar with the Wimax saga should note that the system is essentially an open standard, with a family of IEEE specifications supporting it. As originally envisioned, Wimax takes the familiar network transparency of Wi-fi and extends the range of each node by many kilometers through the use of high power transceiver sites. Unlike current 3G wireless broadband networks where the carrier ultimately controls which devices can access the network (think AT&T/Iphone), Sprint has promised its new Wimax service will be an open, high-transparency network, with Intel-produced chipsets available to just about any manufacturer that cares to imbed them in their product. In theory at least, this would allow consumers with a service plan to operate a variety of devices on the network with full access to a galaxy of content and services.But Wimax’s launch, with all its populist appeal, has been an exercise in delays. While Sprint originally tried to go WiMax alone with its Xohm venture, it quickly realized it lacked the capital, infrastructure and spectrum to achieve the critical mass needed for a successful startup. That’s where Clearwire, a mobile broadband provider with additional spectrum and cash, enters the picture. Last May, the two entities agreed to partner in the creation of a new carrier bearing the Clearwire name, and the deal gained momentum with a $3 billion cash infusion from Intel, Google and several Cable TV firms. Between them, the two parent companies now have Wimax networks beta testing in Baltimore, DC, Chicago, and Portland, OR, with build-outs currently underway in several other markets.All this leads up to the current dilemma facing the FCC as it ponders final approval of the Sprint/Clearwire deal. On July 24, telecom leviathan AT&T filed a petition with the Commission requesting denial of the merger on the grounds that the new broadband provider could substantially impact competition in the mobile communications market. Although it might not be a deal killer, a lengthy approval delay could blunt Wimax’s momentum, while AT&T and Verizon improve their positions.Critics of AT&T’s petition claim that AT&T is acting purely out of self-interest, because it may not be able to get its own proprietary 4G EDO broadband network off the ground for at least a couple more years. But the core of AT&T’s objection centers on Clearwire’s leases of spectrum in the former Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS), now referred to as the Educational Broadband Service (EBS) in the desirable 2.5GHz band. The crux of AT&T’s argument is that EBS spectrum leased from EBS license holders would give the newly emerging Clearwire an unfair advantage in the race to establish true high-speed mobile broadband. And that could be a point with the potential to flummox a lame-duck FCC Chair.While the outcome of AT&T’s petition on the FCC’s disposition on the Sprint/Clearwire merger is unknown, one thing is certain: Broadcasters, particularly radio broadcasters, need to keep a sharp eye and an open mind tuned in on the Wimax rollout. With more than a dozen models of dedicated Wi-fi radios now on the market, Wimax dashboard radios, along with a host of other mobile applications, can’t be far behind. Savvy owners and programmers would do well to begin planning on how to ride — rather than be buried by — what could be a building Wimax wave.HD Radio TerminologyThe New Language of Digital Radio
    L1 block: A unit of time of duration TMsub>b. Each FM IBOC L1 frame comprises 16 L1 blocks. Each AM IBOC L1 frame comprises eight L1 blocks.L1 block pair: Two contiguous FM IBOC L1 blocks. There is no AM IBOC counterpart. A unit of time duration Tp.L1 block pair rate: The rate, equal to the reciprocal of the Layer 1 block pair duration, at which Tp selected transfer frames are conducted through Layer 1.L1 block rate: The rate, Rb, equal to the reciprocal of Tb.L1 frame rate: The rate, Rf, equal to the reciprocal of the L1 frame duration, Tf at which selected.ProductsAn In-dash HD Radio Receiver for Under $50?
    It’s true, says mail order electronics vendor Crutchfield. In a bit of late summer serendipity for audio fans, the company is currently offering JVC’s KDHDW10 in-dash CD Receiver for $99.99. Clever buyers who purchase an extra item to take their order over $100 are eligible to receive a $20 markdown for coupon code “3A825”. But the big markdown comes when the buyer submits a $50 rebate coupon available from the HD Radio Alliance’s website, bringing the buyer total after rebate to just $29.99, plus taxes, shipping and handling — which still leaves the total cost at under $50.The deal reportedly ends Aug. 31.UPDATE
    Since this story was posted, Crutchfield discovered the unintentional loophole that was created to provide the very inexpensive price. The offer was removed once the situation was realized.