A company called Digital PowerRadio says it has a technology that improves the performance and coverage of HD Radio transmissions — especially important as HD has begun migrating to handheld receivers and eventually, cellphones. Its officials say they can achieve these goals with stations that have deployed HD through “enhanced receiver processing techniques.”
The technology requires no changes in existing transmission formats or infrastructure; the coverage gains are achieved through changes in radio receivers’ baseband receiver chip, according to the company, which plans to present a paper on its technology at the upcoming NAB Show.
Beasley Broadcast Group CEO George Beasley is an investor in DPR. He is quoted by the company saying its technology could be a game-changer for radio. The company says its system “will provide coverage gains of approximately 5 dB hybrid for FM signals in mobile handsets/smart phones and tabletops in buildings, and approximately 7 dB of gains into auto receivers for hybrid FM broadcast signals. Similar gains will be realized for AM hybrid broadcasts,” according to the announcement.
DPR Managing Member Mark Fowler, who was FCC chairman from 1981 to 1987, says the technology “provides a growth vehicle for the broadcast industry into all kinds of radios, including mobile handset platforms, such as smart phones.” Fowler is now chairman of The Fowler Group, a telecom consultancy, according to his LinkedIn profile. He’s also on the Beasley board.
At the show, DPR plans to present performance improvements that it says can be achieved through modifications of the HD Radio air interfaces for all-digital AM and all-digital FM HD Radio, when deployed. “DPR foresees gains up to 10 dB, and possibly more, for all-digital AM and all-digital FM, with the DPR air interface modifications,” according to the announcement.
George Washington University Professor Dr. Brana Vojcic is the main inventor of the DPR technology. He’s slated to present a paper on this topic Monday, April 8 as part of the Broadcast Engineering Conference at 2:15 p.m. in S228 and an Info Session as part of the BEC on April 9 from 10 a.m. to noon in S224.
RW has reached out to iBiquity Digital for their comment on this story.
Read a Radio World Q&A with Mark Fowler about Digital PowerRadio.