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RDS Demoed for Pubcasters

RDS Demoed for Pubcasters

Some in public radio are promoting the concept of RDS as a way to keep up with radio technology in the interim before converting to digital. During an RDS demo at the Public Radio Leadership Conference, Jim Paluzzi, new vice president of applied technology for Colorado Public Radio, said to attendees, “We need to use this. In the top 50 markets, Clear Channel is putting up song title and artist on its stations.”
First, attendees saw examples of program associated data included with the digital signal from Washington noncoms WETA and WAMU. PAD is part of the IBOC data stream should stations wish to use it.
Then, attendees saw demos of RDS including PS scrolling data – song title and artist names and a telephone number to call during fundraisers. NPR engineers Jan Andrews and John Kean participated in the demo.
Steve Johnson, newly promoted to general manager of Boise State Radio, manned the transmit portion of the demo. He used a laptop as the source of audio and data. The audio went to a low-power 100-milliwatt transmitter, while the data was fed into an Inovonics 712 RDS encoder. The low-power subcarrier signal on 90.7 MHz was received using an RDS table radio from Cambridge SoundWorks 730, which retails for about $199. He ball parked the cost of doing basic RDS at roughly $800, including installation of an RDS encoder at a transmitter site.