Transmission Vendors Focus on HD Radio Power Increase as NAB2010 Opens

IBOC Radios displayed in Ford, Volvo as well as “Active Radio Emergency Alert” capability
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As the NAB Show 2010 exhibition floor opens, we’ll see how the estimated attendance of 85,000 holds up. Attendees will see HD Radios displayed in a Ford and a Volvo, and transmission gear manufacturers are eager to tout their features to enable customers to achieve higher FM digital power. EAS is a big theme for radio at this show as well, as the industry prepares for next-gen alerting capability.

Radio booths are in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center this year, to integrate them more with the rest of the show.

In a prominent place in the hallway between the North and Central Halls, iBiquity is displaying factory built-in HD Radios in a Ford 2011 SuperDuty pick-up truck and a Volvo XC60. “People can sit in the vehicles and listen to HD Radio,” an iBiquity spokesman told me. The company believes showing the radios in more mainstream (not luxury) vehicles will show its momentum in OEM.

iBiquity folks are talking about new features now supported by its latest software release to transmission manufacturers, features like single frequency network digital boosters as well as support for remote command and control and asymmetrical sideband transmission.

Though not yet approved by the FCC, transmission manufacturers here tell me they believe the commission will approve asymmetrical sideband transmission once it has data from stations that get STAs to do it and some experience with the transmission methodology, which is seen as a way for some stations to achieve a power boost without interfering with their analog neighbors.

Support for what iBiquity is calling “Active Radio Emergency Alert” capability is also being demonstrated in its booth (Central Hall Booth #C151.) The company is displaying a prototype radio for receiving emergency alerts, supporting multilingual text and audio. The radio “wakes up” when it receives the alert.

HD Radio Cars at the NAB Show

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