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Ibiquity Reveals Codec; NRSC Official Calls It “Spectacular” Improvement

Ibiquity Reveals Codec; NRSC Official Calls It "Spectacular" Improvement

The digital radio rollout may be about to get a badly needed shot in the arm.
Ibiquity Digital Corp. says it has a revised codec for its HD Radio system, and the chairman of the NRSC DAB subgroup has given it a strong initial endorsement.
The codec is called HDC and was developed jointly with partner Coding Technologies, developer of the aacPlus codec. Ibiquity says HDC has been customized for terrestrial AM and FM broadcasts. Coding Technologies says its Spectral Band Replication enables high audio quality at low bit-rates.
“We’ve been working behind the scenes for quite some time on HDC and believe all of our commercialization partners will be thrilled with the audio quality of HD Radio,” stated Ibiquity Digital President/CEO Robert Struble in making the announcement.
“With the incorporation of HDC, our expectations are for a faster rollout amongst radio stations and receiver manufacturers.”
Martin Dietz, president and CEO, Coding Technologies said in the announcement, “It was a challenging task to modify both encoder and receiver implementations in time for Ibiquity’s launch, and we made it. The incorporation of SBR into the HD Radio System allowed Ibiquity to achieve the level of performance needed for low bit-rate audio quality.”
“The improvement in audio quality on AM is spectacular with the HDC codec and there is improvement in FM quality as well,” said Milford Smith, chairman of the NRSC DAB Subcommittee, in a release from Ibiquity.
“Several months ago, the NRSC steering committee suspended the standard setting process for IBOC digital radio and requested that Ibiquity find an effective solution to address our concerns. In my opinion, they have found that solution. Working in conjunction with my colleagues on the steering committee of the NRSC DAB subcommittee and its sponsoring organizations, we will give very serious consideration to resuming the standards setting process.”
The first generation HD Radios due on store shelves soon will contain Texas Instrument DSP chips. Naresh Coppisetti, digital radio business manager at Texas Instruments, stated, “The HDC codec is functioning on TI’s DRI200 digital baseband using TI’s software radio platform.” This, he said, will allow receiver makers to attain their product launch schedules.
Coding Technologies says its Spectral Band Replication technology is part of the Digital Radio Mondiale open standard and a core object type of MPEG-4 Audio.
Unknown as yet is whether Ibiquity’s former codec, PAC, is part of the “revised” codec. Further details will be reported today and in days to come at