Industry Standards Organization Calls IBOC "a Chance to Revitalize AM Broadcasting"
Las Vegas, NV - April 8, 2002 - iBiquity Digital Corporation, the sole developer and licenser of digital AM and FM radio broadcast technology in the United States, announced that on Saturday, April 6, the National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC) endorsed its IBOC (In-Band, On-Channel) AM technology and recommended that the FCC authorize the technology as an enhancement to the current analog AM broadcasting system in the US for daytime usage. The committee, which is jointly sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), wrote in its report that "IBOC offers a chance to revitalize AM broadcasting - offering near FM-quality stereo reception." The NRSC endorsed the use of iBiquity's FM IBOC system in November 2001.
Based on the test results available, the NRSC urged the FCC to move forward immediately with approval of AM IBOC as a daytime service. The report emphasized that "by the [FCC] authorizing this digital service as daytime only, AM listeners will immediately derive the benefits of improved quality and durability with minimal potential of additional interference." The committee also recognized IBOC will provide new data services and improved immunity from reception problems associated with analog AM radio. iBiquity intends to continue to work with the NRSC to provide additional information about the nighttime operation of AM IBOC, with the goal of obtaining an endorsement of nighttime service in the near future.
The NRSC's recommendation to the FCC is the result of a test program devised and executed by the committee to determine the viability of iBiquity's AM IBOC technology and its benefits in comparison to today's analog broadcasting. The test program included field tests at three commercial and one experimental AM radio station, and laboratory and subjective sound quality evaluations of hundreds of audio samples. All field tests and evaluations conducted as part of the NRSC AM test program were monitored or performed by independent laboratories in accordance with procedures developed by the NRSC.
iBiquity's IBOC technology provides the foundation for the radio industry's transition to digital broadcasting. Through the integration of the digital exciters being introduced today into their existing operations, stations can begin offering the appreciably higher audio quality, enhanced reception and wireless data services made possible by digital technology. In addition, IBOC has been designed to occur simultaneously with the station's existing analog transmission and within the existing spectrum allocation. As a result, existing radios will continue to receive analog signals while new IBOC-based receivers will have the ability to receive both analog and digital signals with stations continuing to be found at their current locations on the dial.
"We were very pleased with the results of the AM IBOC system tests," said Milford Smith, vice president of engineering for Greater Media and NRSC DAB subcommittee chairperson. "The results indicate that the audio quality of AM IBOC is significantly better than today's analog AM and should be capable of being clearly heard in areas where analog is currently unacceptable to most listeners."
"AM IBOC promises to eliminate much of the interference that plagues the AM band today," said Charlie Morgan, senior vice president, Susquehanna Broadcasting. "This and the other benefits that IBOC offers broadcasters and consumers makes a strong case for moving forward while iBiquity is conducting additional tests on the system's nighttime operation. The NRSC stands ready to work with the FCC to move its approval of AM and FM IBOC forward."
About the NRSC
The NRSC is jointly sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters and the Consumer Electronics Association. Its purpose is to study and make recommendations for technical standards that relate to radio broadcasting and the reception of radio broadcast signals. The NRSC is a vehicle by which broadcasters and receiver manufacturers can work together towards solutions to common problems in radio broadcast systems. The DAB subcommittee, which was established to evaluate the IBOC DAB technology, includes participants from over 50 companies involved in the radio broadcasting and consumer electronics industries.
About iBiquity Digital (www.ibiquity.com)
iBiquity Digital is the sole developer and licenser of digital AM and FM broadcast technology in the U.S., which will transform today's analog radio to digital, enabling radically upgraded sound and new wireless data services. The company's investors include 14 of the nation's top radio broadcasters, including ABC, Clear Channel and Viacom; leading financial institutions, such as J.P. Morgan Partners, Pequot Capital and J&W Seligman; and strategic partners Ford Motor Company, Harris, Lucent, Texas Instruments and Visteon. iBiquity Digital is a privately held company with operations in Columbia, MD, Detroit, MI and Warren, NJ.
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