NAB’s technology advocacy program, NAB FASTROAD, displayed a prototype Electronic Program Guide system for HD Radio at the BIAfn Financial Network booth during the recent NAB Radio Show.
The system includes an interactive on-screen guide that displays scheduled broadcast programming; proponents say it’s suited to serve the needs of local HD Radio stations. RW’s detailed pre-show report on the status of EPG is here.
The system was featured in conjunction with the release of a FASTROAD-commissioned report that describes the key business requirements and consumer-use scenarios for various HD Radio-based EPG system designs.
The goals of the NAB FASTROAD project are to develop business requirements, system architecture and specs for an HD Radio-based EPG. The team — BIAfn, Broadcast Signal Lab and Unique Interactive, which has developed similar EPG services for the Eureka-147 technology in Europe — has worked with iBiquity Digital in coordinating the demo and report.
Implementing an EPG for radio is more difficult than for TV due to a variety of factors, including the mobile nature of radio listening and the variety of receiver displays, the report reveals.
Taking these challenges into account, the report presents what the authors believe to be a workable design for a U.S. radio EPG system using HD Radio technology. Four possible delivery architectures are presented in the report, from each station carrying its own EPG data to various methods of cross-carriage via cooperation among station groups, or even an entire radio market.