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HD Radio Gets Into Alerts

Participants in Louisiana test say CAP EAS messages with audio and text were sent across an HD Radio broadcast

HD Radio broadcasts can transmit next-gen EAS audio and text messages using the Common Alerting Protocol, according to Sage Alerting Systems, Global Security Systems and iBiquity Digital.

On April 6, the companies announced, Guaranty Broadcasting station WTGE(FM) in Baton Rouge, La., became the first FM station to broadcast CAP-EAS messages over HD Radio. The station used a Sage Digital Endec; CAP-EAS messages are received on that box from GSSNet, a satellite data delivery system, or the Internet. The messages are processed, converted and transmitted over an HD signal, where the alerts are heard on enabled HD Radio receivers.

Test CAP EAS messages with text were sent across the HD Radio broadcast channel successfully, according to the companies, verifying that the digital technology is compatible with the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) and other emergency notification systems. A live demonstration of the text delivery was performed here at the NAB Show.

President/CEO Bob Struble said now consumers “will be able to receive critical potentially life-saving information on HD Radio-enabled devices.” Sage VP Gerald LeBow said the company would continue to support “all alert dissemination pathways including AM, FM and HD Radio.”

Arthur “Bo” Hoover, a broadcast engineer and head of Technical Service Group, did the installation along with Sage and GSS at WTGE.