National Association of Broadcasters

September 23, 2009
Ann Marie Cumming
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New Quality Measurement Technique For FM IBOC Developed

--iBiquity reference document with details submitted to NRSC at NAB Radio Show--

PHILADELPHIA -- A new, standardized method for determining the transmission quality of an FM IBOC signal called Modulation Error Ratio (MER) has been developed by a group of technologists that promises to offer broadcasters a new, standardized technique for verifying the quality of FM IBOC transmissions. As a result of this development, transmission and signal measurement equipment manufacturers will be able to offer the industry new and improved devices for making FM IBOC signal quality measurements.

This development effort resulted from the National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC) drafting of NRSC-G201, NRSC-5 RF Mask Compliance: Measurement Methods and Practice, which was adopted by the NRSC in April 2009. The NRSC is a technical standards-setting body co-sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

The MER measurement technique is described in a new iBiquity Digital Corporation "reference document" entitled Transmission Signal Quality Metrics for FM IBOC Signals. At today's meeting of the NRSC's Digital Radio Broadcasting (DRB) Subcommittee, iBiquity submitted this document to the group, which will now consider incorporating this new technique into the NRSC-5 IBOC Digital Radio Broadcasting Standard as well as the NRSC-G201 Guideline document.

The selection of MER as the HD Radio transmission signal quality metric for the FM IBOC signal and the method of measuring MER on the FM IBOC signal was developed by a working group of technologists representing iBiquity Digital, Broadcast Electronics, Continental Electronics, Harris Broadcast, Nautel Ltd., and other interested participants from the US radio broadcast industry. This group of technologists reached full consensus on the standardized method for FM IBOC signal MER measurement described in the document submitted to the NRSC today.

Geoff Mendenhall, VP Transmission Research and Technology at Harris, and Harris' representative to the NRSC, led the team developing the MER measurement standard. He said that "The development of transmission signal quality metrics for FM IBOC signals will give broadcasters confidence that their HD Radio transmission system is truly delivering a high quality signal to their listeners. It is now possible to fully characterize the performance of the complete HD Radio transmitter facility."

About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $172 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES - Where Entertainment, Technology and Business Converge. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA's industry services. Find CEA online at www.CE.org.

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.

About iBiquity Digital:
iBiquity Digital Corporation is the developer of the digital HD Radio™ system, which is fueling the digital radio revolution in the United States and around the world. 1,900+ HD Radio AM and FM stations are on the air in the United States, with over 1,000 new HD2/HD3 multicast channels. The only digital broadcast system approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for AM and FM radio in the United States, the HD Radio system allows stations to broadcast digital signals in tandem with their analog signals, providing broadcasters with a platform to offer crystal-clear, CD-quality sound and scrolling text and graphics; as well as multiple channels of programming on the same FM frequency (multicasting) and advanced services such as traffic updates; content…all subscription free.