This story is copyright Radio World.
Cox Radio plans to ask consumers what they think about how multicast channels should be identified on HD Radio receivers.
The radio group owner also has invited radio and CE industry representatives to participate in its qualitative research project, which Cox will coordinate and fund this fall to help answer the supplemental ID question. Research results will be made public, according to a spokesman for Cox Radio Interactive.
In the NRSC task group on the multicast ID issue, Cox had floated a proposal for a new numbering system to help brand the digital channels as unique, as previously reported by Radio World.
At the NAB Radio Show, that group disbanded. The group could not reach a consensus on a numbering scheme but did recommend that a new numbering scheme involving something other than traditional frequencies should not be used.
After months of study, the group decided the topic is not a technical issue and made some general recommendations to the NRSC sponsoring organizations, NAB and CEA. The group felt a “suffix” numbering scheme, or what is used now, should remain the same, linking asupplemental channel to the main heritage station. So for example, the first supplemental channel would have a “2” after either the frequency or calls.
The general recommendations are: multicast content should be identified by a unique and simple label, new content identification should be easy to market, identification of new content locations should not be confusing, HD Radio receivers should a consistent numbering scheme for identifying main and supplemental service; and future technology developments should be pursued to enhance the user experience.
Receiver manufacturers, in the meantime, would continue to link the supplemental channels visually with their main channels, such as WXYZ-HD2, 3 and so on.