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Enhanced RDS Standard Tested This Week

Enhanced RDS Standard Tested This Week

Compatibility tests are being conducted this week in Washington state as part of an effort to expand RDS displays in receivers.
Broadcast Electronics, Kenwood, Entercom, CBS Radio, Clear Channel and others are participating in the tests of an upgraded RDS standard, as are participants from other countries. BE and Kenwood are sponsoring the tests. Stations, receiver manufacturers and cell phone makers are interested as they develop products based on the new standard. Kenwood hopes to demo a radio based on RT+ at CES in January.
The group meeting of RDS leaders from Europe, Japan and the United States is being held in Bellevue, Wash.; they are testing Radio Text Plus (RT+), a standard passed by the RDS Forum in June for tagging specific Radio Text elements under a variety of categories.
Proponents say RT+ builds on the current Radio Text standard by adding category codes to existing text streams. This creates opportunities to display elements such as song title, artist name, traffic updates and weather readouts.
Entercom VP Engineering Marty Hadfield said the RT+ functionality will give stations “the ability to tie purchasing to the information that we’re sending out.”
BE said it made minor field modifications to its RDS generator and The Radio Experience studio application for RT+ testing.
Nokia, broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) and the research institute IRT (Institut für Rundfunktechnik) developed the RT+ standard.
Seattle stations owned by Entercom and CBS are hosting the broadcasts and using BE’s RDS generators to generate RT+. The RDS signals are being picked up by various prototypes supplied by some of the participants. The stations are using The Radio Experience by BE to generate the text displays for both analog FM and HD Radio. Clear Channel is supplying an RT+ enabled signal through a local station.
Testing began Sept. 11 and concludes Friday (Sept. 15) with an engineering review that includes the broadcast of artist, title, album name, station name as well as weather, traffic and stock market information. Each data element is independently identified within the RT+ system.