Bump in the Road to Digital Radio

Guess what? The sound quality of the new “HD Radio” system sucks! That’s the verdict of none other than the National Radio Systems Committee, the industry-sponsored group that develops radio broadcast standards in the U.S.

In an internal memo dated May 14 (.pdf, 94K), Milford Smith, chairman of the NRSC subcommittee on digital radio, announced it is “temporarily suspending its IBOC-DAB standards-setting process.” This is due in part to the results of recent on-air tests and a private demonstration held at the Washington, D.C. studios of National Public Radio. The evidence mostly involves the AM side of the iBiquity-engineered digital radio system. Read More

Behind the Numbers @ the FCC Enforcement Bureau

At its October 10 meeting, the Commission’s decision to approve a standard for digital radio drew the headlines. But there were three items on the meeting’s agenda, one of which was the Enforcement Bureau’s release of its yearly Progress Report.

We’ve condensed the microradio-related enforcement news from the presentation and assembled a special report on what was revealed. My favorite highlight involves the Bureau’s number-fudging on enforcement actions finally catching up with it: the report claims fewer “pirate radio” enforcement actions than previous agency statements suggest. The discrepancy is not gigantic, but large enough to be noteworthy. Read More