Responding to growing international interest in HD Radio broadcasting, Broadcast Electronics (BE) and Metro Radio, in cooperation with iBiquity Digital, conducted the first HD Radio demonstration at the ITU Telecom World 2006 conference during week of 8 December.
Demonstrations took place in Hong Kong, the gateway to the Pacific Rim and the world center for radio receiver manufacturing.
Metro Radio, one of the largest commercial broadcasters in Hong Kong, successfully demonstrated HD Radio technology as a digital broadcast standard compatible with analog transmission on the host frequency as well as adjacent channels.
For the demonstration, BE supplied a BE FMi 106 transmission system, which broadcast the HD Radio signal at low-power on 100.1 MHz. Digital signals were picked up by an HD Radio receiver for the duration of the conference. “BE supplied us with the best broadcast equipment and support to prove the success of HD Radio in Hong Kong,’ said Tim Chan, Chief Engineer Metro Radio.
Initial testing revealed to ITU conference-goers that digital HD Radio signals can be broadcast at the same time as analog FM on an existing licensed FM frequency, without causing prohibitive interference to the analog FM broadcast or neighboring analog FM stations. Commented Michael Burgett, Broadcast Electronics Vice President Global Sales, “The success of this demonstration is critical because it effectively enjoins Pacific Rim broadcasters and receiver manufacturers in making HD Radio broadcasting happen around the world.’
“With BE’s successful demonstration of the HD Radio system in Hong Kong, we’re optimistic that other Chinese provinces will consider HD Radio technology as a digital alternative,’ said Perry Priestley, Director International Business Development for iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of HD Radio technology.
Developed by iBiquity Digital, the HD Radio system is based on IBOC (In-Band-On-Channel) technology, which operates on both AM-MW and FM VHF band II. The result is that AM stations can achieve “FM quality” sound and FM stations can achieve “CD-like quality” audio and carry multiple audio program streams (known as multicasting). Many advanced data services are also enabled by this technology.
The Pacific Rim interest in HD Radio broadcasting centers on the system’s ability to piggyback digital broadcasts onto existing AM and FM frequencies without interrupting the analog service currently available to listeners. Also drawing interest by receiver manufacturers is that the HD Radio receivers currently designed and mass produced for the U.S. market, where more than a thousand HD Radio stations are on the air, will also receive HD Radio broadcasts by stations elsewhere around the world.
BE has installed HD Radio systems in Europe, Asia and Latin America, including France, Philippines and Brazil, among others.
Broadcast Electronics offers turnkey transmitter packages for analog FM and medium-wave as well as for HD Radio at a variety of power levels.