NPR to Offer Five Services for Multicast; Swaps ‘Tomorrow Radio’ Brand Name

NPR to Offer Five Services for Multicast; Swaps ‘Tomorrow Radio’ Brand Name
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NPR to Offer Five Services for Multicast; Swaps ‘Tomorrow Radio’ Brand Name

NPR has added additional programming to its lineup for its member stations that plan to multicast their HD Radio signals.
In January, NPR said it would offer four channels, for free to members, beginning this summer. Now the network has added an additional channel — electronica. The other planned channels are jazz, classical, triple-A and folk.
There are 56 public radio stations broadcasting in HD Radio, with a total of 312 public stations committed to converting in coming months, according to NPR.
According to the announcement from NPR, VP for Engineering and Operations Mike Starling called digital radio "the biggest innovation in radio since Armstrong invented FM in 1933.
“Public radio looks at multicasting with HD Radio as more than just a new technology. It’s a creative, cost-effective way to extend our public service at a time when demand for public radio is greater than ever," Starling continued in the statement.
Under the Tomorrow Radio initiative, NPR, Kenwood and Harris combined efforts to test the concept of splitting a station’s FM IBOC signal into several channels to see if the extra channels would survive a mobile environment.
Twenty-four NPR member stations will begin multicasting in 2005.
The network said it has set up a Multicast Receiver Team made up of seven member stations: WOSU(FM), Columbus; WUSF(FM), Tampa; WFAE, Charlotte; WNYC New York Public Radio; Chicago Public Radio; Northern Indiana Public Radio; and Colorado Public Radio. The group is talking to receiver manufacturers that answered NPR’s request for proposals for receivers containing the ability to decode multiple IBOC signals. NPR hopes to chose a receiver this spring.
Kenwood has been certified by NPR to use the “NPR Multicast” brand logo on its HD Radio receivers, the KTC HR100-TR and KTC HR100-MC units.