Audio Fidelity Will Be Big at PREC 2010

Manufacturers will detail HD Radio power increase options as well
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How a station might implement the FM IBOC power increase, the fundamentals of audio processing, radio captioning and coming advances in Public Radio Satellite System receivers among topics planned for discussion at the 2010 Public Radio Engineering Conference.

The PREC takes place April 8–9 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas just before the spring NAB Show; some sessions will be shared with the PBS Tech Con. The registration fee includes admission to the SBE Ennes workshops on April 10.

Roger Karwoski, assistant general manager and chief engineer of KBIA(FM), Columbia, Mo., has titled his presentation "Last Mile Via IP," a discussion of his efforts to put a repeater station on the air in rural Missouri and electing to use a wireless connection to feed IP audio to the repeater.

The KBIA experience is an early example of a trend in which, for cost and availability reasons, audio over IP becomes the best choice for a main STL feed, according to Dan Mansergh, director of engineering for KQED Public Radio, San Francisco and vice-president of the Association for Public Radio Engineers, which organizes the PREC.

WFMT(FM) Chicago's Chief Engineer Gordon Carter will focus on the fundamentals of audio processing including a discussion of the balance between dynamic range and loudness.

Like Carter's station, KUVO(FM) in Denver is a classical format station that pays special attention to its audio, in particular for live broadcasts of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Chief Engineer Mike Pappas said he'll share his experiences using audio loudness specifications originally developed for HDTV multichannel audio to avoid the "too loud or too soft" problem.

NPR Labs will update attendees on grant projects including captioned radio, an application possible with stations transmitting an HD Radio signal.

Public Radio Satellite System employees will detail upgrades planned for the PRSS programming distribution system. New satellite receivers are being designed to help the ContentDepot program delivery system accommodate more features, according to Mansergh.

Where the updating of the next-gen Emergency Alert System stands is also a topic planned for discussion. Panels from manufacturers detailing how stations might achieve an FM HD Radio power increase will round out the program, specifying how those who transmit in HD now might get additional power out of their RF system using transmitters, filters, antennas and combiners. Manufacturers also will focus their power discussions for those whose stations haven't yet deployed IBOC but plan to.

Paid registrations for the PREC are due by March 31. Download a registration form at www.nprlabs.org/apre. Direct questions to Jobie Sprinkle at WFAE(FM) in Charlotte, N.C., at jsprinkle@wfae.org.

Companies that have announced support for PREC 2010 are Broadcast Electronics, Harris, Nautel, DTS-Neural, ERI, NPR Labs and PRSS.

— Leslie Stimson

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