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Public Radio Engineers Discuss Receiver Displays

PREC 2013 underway at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas

NPR Engineer Rich Rarey shed some light on NPR Labs’ accessible radio project for the deaf and hard-of-hearing today for attendees of the Public Radio Engineering Conference here in Las Vegas. The demo project, which we recently reported on, would use satellites to deliver a text alert from the FEMA IPAWS system to Gulf Coast states. “Today, people expect to see addressable radios,” Rarey told the some 65 attendees.

The idea is to tie-in the alert to prompt the receiver to activate a bed shaker and a bright light. The project, which got underway in January, is expected to take about 12 months.

Steve Johnston of Wisconsin Public Radio said its stations are implementing Program-Associated Data in stages, some 25 out of 33 facilities have it so far. NPR Labs’ John Kean discussed a streaming codec evaluation.

The National Radio Systems Committee is set to vote on a draft guideline Saturday on consistent metadata distribution, all the way from producers, to networks to stations, according to KQED’s Dan Mansergh. Consumers expect to see some information about the programs they’re listening to displayed on their receivers, he said.