The National Association of Broadcasters, Ibiquity, and four major broadcast equipment manufacturers are all working together to try to make it easier and more budget friendly for radio stations to upgrade to HD Radio. The team intends to make the upgraded technology available to station owners at the NAB Radio Show in Las Vegas.
Bigger terrestrial radio ownership groups led the charge in getting HD Radio exposure and launched. This latest move targets medium and smaller stations to follow suit. HD Radio now has over 1,600 channels broadcasting.
The challenge for HD radio now is to get consumer acceptance, and installations into the automobile channel. Ibiquity has been lobbying the FCC to have HD technology incorporated into SDARS receivers capable of getting traditional AM and FM signals. Such a move, if implemented as a concession for the SDARS merger would enable broad based installations into cars, and circumvent the need for Ibiquity to negotiate with the major automotive brands.
NAB PRESS RELEASE
NAB AND PARTNERS UNVEIL RESULTS OF PROJECT TO LOWER HD RADIO UPGRADE COSTS FOR STATIONS
-- 'Embedded Exporter' technology unveiled at the NAB Show --
LAS VEGAS -- The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) today unveiled the results of an unprecedented partnership with iBiquity Digital Corporation and four broadcast equipment manufacturers to accelerate the commercial development of products based on next-generation HD Radio "Exporter" technology. The products, which significantly reduce a radio station's cost to upgrade to HD Radio, are being introduced and made available for purchase during the NAB Show in Las Vegas.
"NAB is playing a critical role in the creation of new technologies to benefit our members and promote the future of broadcasting," said NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr. "This is just one example of how we're fulfilling our advocacy promise to broadcasters."
HD Radio stations use the Exporter to combine multicast audio channels and advanced data services along with a station's main audio channel into a format suitable for transmission. NAB and iBiquity, the developer of HD Radio digital broadcasting, worked with four manufacturers -- BE, Continental, Harris and Nautel -- to accelerate the development and implementation of this next-generation technology. Known as an "Embedded Exporter," the technology further reduces the size and cost of HD Radio transmission facilities.
The project began in 2006, and the newly formed NAB HD Radio Technology Advancement Task Force was charged with overseeing the effort, culminating in today's announcement.
Task Force Chair and Beasley Broadcast Group Executive Vice President and CFO Caroline Beasley said, "NAB is putting its money where its mouth is when encouraging stations to broadcast in digital. This new technology will give a big boost to the advancement of HD Radio, which ultimately means more choices and better sound quality for our listeners."
Because of NAB's contribution to this effort, NAB members receive an additional discount on these already cost-reduced products. All four manufacturers are displaying, and offering for sale, products incorporating Embedded Exporter technology at the 2008 NAB Show.
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