HD Radio Becomes A Reality

Fourteen years after the first AES forum on digital broadcast was held in New York, HD Radio has become a reality. The latest forum, held on Friday, discussed the latest technology, which now includes Eureka, IBOC/HD radio, satellite radio, Tomorrow Radio, and a variety of listening environments.
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Fourteen years after the first AES forum on digital broadcast was held in New York, HD Radio has become a reality. The latest forum, held on Friday, discussed the latest technology, which now includes Eureka, IBOC/HD radio, satellite radio, Tomorrow Radio, and a variety of listening environments.

Digital radio has allowed the delivery medium to evolve beyond stereo, leading to the introduction and accelerating adoption of broadcast surround sound. On Saturday, the 117th AES Convention is hosting a Special Event entitled, Surround Sound for Digital Radio (Room 305/307), which will discuss the available surround delivery systems and how they work within the various broadcast and bandwidth restraints.

The Special Event’s panel, moderated by Emil Torick, will include representatives from key players within the multichannel radio community, including Telos Omnia, Dolby Labs (Booth 1402), SRS Labs (Booth 721C), iBiquity, XM Satellite Radio and Neural Audio (Booth 2903).

The panel will include a sample from the recent live 5.1 broadcast of a Diane Reeves performance, with full orchestra, engineered by panelist Mike Pappas, chief engineer at Denver’s KUVO FM. Pappas relates that the Neural Audio codec, which was used to generate an accurate and trouble free stereo downmix for the vast majority of the station’s audience, delivers rock-solid imaging, unlike some matrix systems.

Neural has outfitted an Acura TL car, factory-fitted with a 5.1 playback system as standard, with its low-cost decoder. The demonstration offers attendees the opportunity to experience the original KUVO broadcast from stereo CD in its full 5.1 glory.

APT’s WorldNet SkyLink (Booth 240), developed in conjunction with Skywalker Sound, also enables the delivery of multichannel digital audio, via TCP/IP. The unit, employing the apt-X compression algorithm, was recently used during ORF Austrian National Radio’s first-ever multichannel radio transmission.

For its annual Long Night of Radio Art event, ORF specified WorldNet SkyLink as a key part of its multichannel broadcast transmission chain. WorldNet SkyLink enabled ORF to send Dolby Digital 5.1 audio to the ASTRA satellite uplink over IP using a single unit; without it, the broadcaster would have required two boxes for the multichannel transport.

Also at the show, Orban/CRL Systems (Booth 841) is showing its industry standard broadcast processing technology. Several of the company’s products are designed for use in HD Radio, in digital FM and analog AM formats, as well as for web streaming of broadcast signals.