AM/FM Digital Radio Coming To Test Markets


Twelve test radio stations in six U.S. cities have been selected by USA Digital Radio for its final stage of fielding testing for AM/FM digital radio. The six cities receiving the In-Band On-Channel Digital Audio Broadcast (IBOC DAB) tests are New York, Washington, San Francisco, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Columbia, Md.

"As part of our development efforts, USA Digital Radio has logged more than 10,000 hours of IBOC DAB live broadcasts," said Robert J. Struble, president and CEO of USADR. "Now our leadership continues as we finalize our commercialization efforts by concluding our IBOC DAB test program at these major market stations. This broad testing platform will provide regulatory bodies with the information they need to finalize plans for IBOC DAB implementation."

Digital Audio Broadcasting is a digital method of transmitting CD quality audio signals to radio receivers. Listeners benefit from superior sound quality without static, hiss and noise, and with reduced interference. Also, listeners may receive expanded data services, such as station and program content, stock and news information, local traffic and weather, and email and Internet access. The technology works for both AM and FM radio and would allow broadcasters to convert from analog to digital without a service disruption or having to change frequency.

The 12 radio stations are WCBS-AM (880) and WNEW-FM (102.7) in New York; WETA-FM (90.9), WHFS-FM (99.1), WJFK-FM (106.7) and WTOP-AM (1500) in Washington; KLLC-FM (97.3) and KYCY-AM (1550) in San Francisco; WPOC-FM (93.1) in Baltimore; WNOP-AM (740) and experimental test station 1660-AM in Cincinnati; and experimental test station 93.5-FM in Columbia, Md.

"It is important to choose multiple test markets that provide representative environments faced by radio stations around the country," said Glynn Walden, vice president of broadcast engineering for USADR. "We carefully selected these stations based on the guidelines established by the National Radio Systems Committee, which require challenging tests in conditions of multipath, noise and interference. Successful performance in these rigorous test environments will prove our system's superiority as we continue to push forward with plans to bring IBOC to market."


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