Board members of the National Association of Broadcasters appear to be taking a more visible role in advocating for the HD Radio rollout.
The association played a prominent part in bringing together Ibiquity and four transmitter manufacturers to accelerate development of products based on next-generation HD Radio “exporter” technology, according to participants. The products are intended to reduce a station’s cost to implement HD Radio. NAB officials say the association has invested more than $1 million in the effort.
The idea started in 2006; the new NAB HD Radio Technology Advancement Task Force was charged with overseeing the project.
HD Radio stations use the exporter to combine multicast audio channels and advanced data services along with the main audio channel. NAB and Ibiquity worked with Broadcast Electronics, Continental, Harris and Nautel to accelerate development and implementation of the “embedded exporter” technology; and the resulting products were on display in the booths of those companies this week.
Beasley Broadcast Group Executive VP/CFO Caroline Beasley chairs the task force; she said this announcement is NAB “putting its money where its mouth is when encouraging stations to broadcast in digital.” Steve Newberry, vice chair of the NAB Radio Board and president/CEO of Commonwealth Broadcasting, played an important role in the project, participants said.
“First-generation exporters have been cost-prohibitive up until now,” he said. “This new technology makes it possible to build a less expensive exporter.” Estimated savings in a typical conversion package is about $10,000.
NAB members will receive an additional discount as a benefit to members of the project.