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CMR Prepares to Air More HD Radio Channels

Canadian FM has several multicast channels for different languages

Canadian Multicultural Radio in Toronto is preparing to launch more HD Radio channels.

The standalone FM is using HD Radio on an experimental basis, since Canadian stations can do so voluntarily.

CMR quietly launched an HD Radio signal in December and is now promoting the change. On its main FM signal, the broadcaster airs 24 languages aimed at Toronto’s ethnic groups. The broadcaster also programs several multicast channels: HD2 is in Tamil, HD3 is Hindi and Urdu and HD4 is Punjabi, according to Marketing Director Ragavan Paranchothy. Now, CMR is preparing to launch additional channels and more languages.

When asked why the broadcaster was interested in transmitting with a digital signal, Paranchothy tells me: “This is our 10th year on the air. We wanted to do something new.”

The broadcaster is excited about the prospect of serving more ethnic listeners with additional channels and calls itself “Canada’s first-ever HD Radio station” on-air.

Corus Entertainment’s CING(FM), Hamilton, Ontario, tested HD Radio, too, we’ve reported. CMR says it’s the only Canadian broadcaster adding additional programming in HD.

CMR is employing RDS text on its analog signal for receiver displays and plans to transmit digital data as well, according to Paranchothy.

The broadcaster upgraded its FM analog transmission equipment when it went digital, using a Nautel transmitter, he tells me.

CMR is working with iBiquity Digital to get receivers to be used as giveaways; those will probably be either a handheld device and/or an in-car digital adapter, he says.