Radio Currents Online – Jun 23 – Jun 29, 2003
Jun 1, 2003 12:00 PM
Radio technology news updated as it happens.
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Senate Committee Passes FCCReauthorization Act
Washington, DC – June 26, 2003 – The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved by voice vote, S. 1264, the FCC Reauthorization Act of 2003. Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Hollings (D-SC) introduced the legislation on June 13, 2003.
The legislation is designed to reauthorize the FCC. This independent agency has not been reauthorized since 1991. The bill does the following:
- Reauthorizes the Commission through fiscal year 2008. It would require that all application and regulatory fees paid to the Commission be deposited with the Commission subject to appropriations.
- Establishes the timing and the standard the FCC will use for reviewing its broadcast ownership rules and lengthens from two years to four years, the interval between reviews.
- Bans any payment or reimbursement for travel costs for FCC officials or staff from a nongovernmental sponsor of a convention, conference or meeting, but authorizes additional funds to permit the FCC to pay these costs.
- Authorizes the Commission to allocate sufficient funds to be used for an audit of the e-rate program to determine whether any fraud or abuse has occurred during the operation of the program.
- Provides the FCC the authority to promulgate regulations necessary to require video descriptions of television programming to assist those who are visually impaired.
- Prevents successful bidders for spectrum at FCC auctions to avoid their obligations to the Federal government by filing for bankruptcy.
The Committee also adopted the following amendments to S. 1264:
- A perfecting amendment by Senator McCain and Senator Hollings to extend the authorization to 2008; to require the Commission to initiate a proceeding to determine whether it is economically and technically feasible to include the “crawlers” in the video description rules and other technical changes.
- An amendment by Senator McCain to require the FCC to initiate a proceeding to provide guidance regarding its political advertising regulations, and to adopt procedures to resolve complaints regarding political ads.
- An amendment by Senator Hollings to provide additional sanctions for the broadcast of obscene or indecent matter.
- An amendment by Senator Stevens (R-AK) to direct the FCC to undertake a rulemaking with respect to digital translators in rural areas.
- An amendment by Senator Sununu (R-NH) to provide for quadrennial review of the media ownership rules by the FCC.
- An amendment by Senator Lautenberg (D-NJ) to phase out the attribution discount permitted for UHF TV stations.
Mitsubishi Licenses HDRadio Technology
Columbia, MD and Warren, NJ – June 26, 2003 – Mitsubishi Electric has signed a license to develop products using Ibiquity’s IBOC technology, which is branded HD Radio. Mitsubishi’s U.S. subsidiary, Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America, will integrate Ibiquity�s technology into automotive receivers slated for availability in 2005. Mitsubishi Electric Automotive America supplies automotive electronic products to Daimler Chrysler, Mitsubishi Motors, Volvo and other leading automakers.
Jefferson-Pilot SelectsHarris Consoles
Cincinnati – June 26, 2003 – Jefferson-Pilot Communications has purchased eight Harris consoles for its group member stations in Miami, San Diego, Atlanta and Denver. The consoles are from Harris’ Legacy and BMXdigital on-air console lines.
The Harris consoles are to be used at WSTR-FM Atlanta, GA; WAXY-AM Miami, FL; KSON-FM San Diego, CA; KYGO-FM Denver, CO; and WLNK-FM Charlotte, NC. Along with the Legacy consoles, KYGO-FM and KSON-FM have both ordered cabinetry and furniture from the Harris line to complete their studios.
Romanian Radio NetworkInstalls 142 Optimods
Tempe, AZ – June 16, 2003 – Orban/Circuit Research Labs sold 105 Orban Optimod-FM 2200D audio processors and 37 Optimod-AM 9200D audio processors to Romanian Radiocomunicatii S.A., Romania’s state-owned broadcast organization. The equipment was purchased through Harris as part of an $85 million contract. The equipment contract will substantially upgrade and expand the nation’s broadcasting infrastructure and spans a period of three years.
The Orban audio processors will be installed at transmitter sites spread throughout Romania.
Adobe Acquires Cool Edit Pro
San Jose, CA – May 19, 2003 – Adobe Systems and Syntrillium Software have reached an agreement whereby Adobe will acquire the technology assets of Syntrillium Software. Syntrillium’s flagship product, Cool Edit Pro, will join Adobe’s existing line of professional digital video products. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Adobe gains an established audio editing product to compliment the company’s existing image and video editing products.
Radiomagazine will supply more details of the agreement as they are announced.
BBC invests in APT Milano
UK – June 24, 2003 – The BBC has recently made a major investment in the Worldnet Milano, from APT, by purchasing 11 units over a three-month period for use with Radio 3 remote broadcasts in London, Manchester and Glasgow.
The BBC�s decision to invest in the Worldnet Milano came after extensive listening and functionality tests during the 2002 Proms, and was based on a number of key issues: audio quality, ISDN transmission reliability and transcoding. The reliability issue is handled by the Milano’s ability to bond three ISDN lines for 20kHz transmission at 384kb/s. If one line is lost, the unit will automatically drop to 15kHz without a glitch. Another determining factor for the BCC was the low coding delay.
Sirius Breaks 100KSubscribers
New York – June 23, 2003 – Sirius has crossed the 100,000 subscriber mark this month. At the close of business on June 20, Sirius had 100,233 subscribers on its nationwide service of 60-commercial-free music streams and 40+ streams of news, sports and entertainment.
Texas Instruments Uses RadioscapeTechnology in Digital Radio Chip
London – June 23, 2003 – Texas Instruments (TI) has launched the DRE310, which uses a custom-developed Eureka 147 digital audio broadcast (DAB) software stack from Radioscape. While the DRE310 baseband targets handheld and portable applications, it also has applications for automotive applications.
The DRE310 uses an enhanced version of the DAB software stack that was created for TI’s DRE200. Radioscape will follow with a module based on the DRE310 that will be called the RS310. The module will be shipping toward the end of 2003.
One of the key attributes of the DRE310 is that it can decode more than one channel simultaneously, which is particularly useful for automotive applications. For example, one audio channel could be decoded for radio listening, while a data channel containing traffic flow information could be made available to a navigation system. In addition, recording and playback features have been integrated into the baseband, which gives the user the ability to listen to a particular program at a later time.
Additional features integrated into the DRE310 include time-shifted audio, announcement support, service linking (FM/ensemble switching), TII (Transmitter Identification Information) and MP3/Windows Media Audio (WMA) CD support. These features are also facilitated by the integration of key peripherals, such as a USB 2.0 full-speed (12Mb/s) interface, I2C, a real-time clock and a direct interface to a Multimedia card (MMC), Memory Stick and SD storage media.
Orban/CRL Adds Schulke
Tempe, AZ – June 13, 2003 – Glenn K. Schulke has been named manager of new product marketing for Orban/CRL. He will work to promote the sale of new Orban/CRL products.
Schulke was formerly the president and CEO of Open Technologies, based in Tempe. The firm was a distributor and systems integrator for networking and communications product for Unix and Linux based systems and was a leading provider of automated data collection and document management systems. Schulke is also the co-founder, developer, and managing director of Patient Doctor Voice Exchange (PDVX). PDVX provides physician and patient voice processing based contact management software that enables physicians to deliver test results, appointment reminders and other patient contact services to primary care patients quickly and easily through PDVX’s in-practice system. He was also the founder and vice-president of Unizone, a Unix and Linux products distribution and systems integration firm. In his various positions, Schulke has performed consulting and integration services for GE Medical Systems, Intel, Premier Radio Networks, Texas Instruments and America West Airlines.
As a published author, Schulke has written a variety of technical and non-technical articles for various international trade publications over his career, and has served on the board of directors of industry associations and other technology companies. He previously taught Unix system administration at the college level. In 2000, he was selected and served on the Tempe Mayor’s Business Roundtable to assist the mayor and city officials in guiding the City of Tempe in developing a world-class technology infrastructure – one to attract world-class high technology companies to Tempe.
Schulke holds a degree from Arizona State University in Business (1981) specializing in technology marketing. As the founder and president of the Southwest Uniforum UNIX user’s group, Schulke ran Uniforum International’s southwestern United States affiliate chapter for almost 10 years, and he was the first to serve as affiliate advisor to Uniforum International’s board.
Cot� Joins Middle AtlanticProducts
Riverdale, NJ – June 20, 2003 – Middle Atlantic Products has hired Diane Cot� as the company’s western regional sales manager. In her new position, Cot� will work to increase the specification position of Middle Atlantic Products’ low-voltage mounting solutions by working closely with architects, consultants, contractors and end users in her region, as well as working with the company�s manufacturer representative firms and distributors.
Cot� comes to Middle Atlantic Products from APW, where she was most recently western regional sales leader. Prior to APW, Cot� spent 10 years with The Enright Company, a professional video and multimedia representative firm covering northern California and Nevada. She also held positions with Centro and Sony Corporation of America.
She is based is based in San Jose, CA, and can be reached at [email protected] or 408-984-8970.
OMT Addsto Technical Support Department
Winnipeg, MB – June 1, 2003 – OMT Technologies has added Ben Johnson to the company’s Imediatouch and Imedialogger Technical Support Department.
Johnson�s primary role will be to manage support calls to continuously improve the responsiveness of OMT’s technical support delivery and follow-up. Most recently, he worked in a major support call center for Convergys, and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to OMT’s customer support team.
Staco Updates Website forBroadcasters
Dayton, OH – June 27, 2003 – The www.StacoPower.com website has been developed to address the specific needs and interests of people working in the broadcast industry. The site offers insight on different power technologies and how they can be used for studio, technical center, mobile and transmitter applications. An overview of Staco Energy�s power quality protection equipment and links to detailed product information and brochures in PDF format are available.
Audioscience Releases HPI DriverSoftware Under GPL
New Castle, DE – June 20, 2003 – Audioscience, a manufacturer of digital audio products for the broadcast industry, has released its Hardware Programming Interface (HPI) audio adapter driver software as source code under the General Public License (GPL) open source license.
The HPI allows application developers to exploit the advanced digital processing features that Audioscience cards feature, such as multiple stream MPEG compression, time scaling and automatic fades.
“Linux is becoming more important to the broadcast and professional audio industry,” said Eliot Blennerhassett, senior engineer for Audioscience. “Moving our HPI code to the GPL licensing scheme is a prelude to providing support for our products under important Linux standards such as the ALSA audio programming interface.” Although the actual driver code is being released under GPL, the interface components used by audio applications have a less restrictive license model that will allow both propriety and open source software to use the HPI.
The HPI source code is available from Audioscience’s website (www.audioscience.com) in the download section.
Updates will be made periodically available as new adapters and features are supported.
Eventide Ships Reverb 2016
Little Ferry, NJ – June 20, 2003 – The sound of Eventide’s SP2016 reverb has been recreated in the Reverb 2016, manufactured by Princeton Digital. This new product is now shipping. The reverb features dedicated controls and menu-free operation in a single rack space, roadworthy chassis. The unit recreates the original reverb algorithms of the Eventide SP2016 � stereo room, room reverb and high density plate, as well as new enhanced versions of each algorithm designed to take advantage of additional processing power, yielding higher reflection density. The original algorithms were the result of a five-year effort that began at Eventide in 1978 and culminated in the introduction of the SP2016 in 1980.
V-Soft Adds ZIP Code-Signal SearchTool
Cedar Falls, IA – June 23, 2003 – V-Soft Communications has added a new ZIP code-signal look-up feature to its website. The ZIP code-signal look-up tool can find the signal strength of AM and FM stations at ZIP code centers anywhere in the United States. The feature is a free V-Soft Communications� website service.
After a user enters a ZIP code, the program searches at the ZIP code center coordinates and displays all AM stations with a threshold signal of 45dBu (0.178 mV/m) and FM stations with a signal level of 50dBu (.316 mV/m) or higher. The search results detail the station�s call sign, city of license, state, frequency, signal in dBu and mV/m and the facility identification number.
The ZIP code-signal look-up tool also allows the user to search the database using a station call sign. ZIP code areas that receive threshold signal strength at the specified call sign are listed along with the station�s signal strength in dBu and mV/m.
All signal calculations are made using the standard FCC methods, which for FM include use of the 30 arc-second NGDC terrain elevation database and for AM use of the M3 groundwave curves. Directional patterns are also considered. Consequently, the Web page output is an accurate representation of a station�s signal strength using concise values.
The signal look-up tool can be accessed at www.v-soft.com/ZipSignal or by clicking on AM FM ZIP Signal on the V-Soft.com home page.
Dynaudio Acoustics AIR SeriesAdds 192kHz Support
Risskov, Denmark – June 20, 2003 – With the new AIR software update version 1.10, the AIR series from Dynaudio Acoustics can now operate at a sample rate of 192kHz. The update also enhances existing features such as bass management, and adds a single parametric EQ for the sub channel and preset storage of setup information. In addition, the AIR 20 now carries the THX PM3 certification.