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HD Radio: Who Was First?

HD Radio: Who Was First?

Independent broadcaster WJLD(AM) in Birmingham, Ala., says it’s the first non-Ibiquity AM test station to air HD Radio. It has been using BE equipment.
The station is using a Broadcast Electronics ASi 10 signal generator and a BE AM-1A transmitter to transmit the digital signals over the AM band. “This is definitely going to level the playing field for AM,” said WJLD owner and engineer Gary Richardson.
Radio World previously reported that WOR(AM), New York, an Ibiquity test station, was the first AM to go 24/7 with a digital signal. Tom Ray of WOR wrote to Radio World this week, “We still consider ourselves the pioneering IBOC station in the U.S. We turned it on the day after the FCC said ‘go,’ regardless of whether we had ‘prototype’ equipment, and we’ve been going full steam ahead.”
HD Radio also had been tested on numerous stations prior to last fall’s FCC announcement. Stations are now issuing claims about who was to go HD first in their market. Ibiquity President/CEO Robert Struble told Radio World at the CES show said WOR was the first AM to go “online” with IBOC and promote it aggressively, while WJLD was the first non-Ibiquity test station to convert to HD Radio.
“All these claims, in some shape or form, are accurate,” he said. “We couldn’t be more pleased that stations are competing to say who goes first.”
He said Cox station WMMO(FM), Orlando, was the first station to broadcast the current version of the technology back at a previous NAB Radio Show.

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