New HD Radio receiver technology to be at NAB


HD RadioPalm Beach, FL-based Digital PowerRadio (DPR), an advanced radio techniques technology company, will present a technology to significantly improve the performance and coverage of currently deployed HD Radio systems through enhanced receiver processing.  The technology requires no changes in existing transmission formats or infrastructure; the coverage gains are achieved through changes in radio receivers’ baseband receiver chip.

One of broadcasting’s biggest opportunities is assuring strong HD Radio reception into smart phones and other mobile and portable devices, as well as auto and table-top radios. The DPR technology will provide coverage gains of approximately 5 dB hybrid for FM signals in mobile handsets/smart phones and tabletops in buildings, and approximately 7 dB of gains into auto receivers for hybrid FM broadcast signals. Similar gains will be realized for AM hybrid broadcasts.

DPR will also present even greater performance improvements which can be achieved through relatively simple modifications of the HD Radio air interfaces for all-digital AM and all-digital FM HD Radio, when deployed. DPR foresees gains up to 10 dB, and possibly more, for all-digital AM all-digital FM, with the DPR air interface modifications.

Dr. Brana Vojcic, the main inventor, is a professor at The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and an expert in advanced radio techniques. Dr. Vojcic will make presentations at the NAB Annual Show in Las Vegas, on Monday, April 8, from approximately 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Room S 224, and on April 9, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, in Room S 224.

“This can be a game changer for radio broadcasters and we’re very excited about this new technology”, said George Beasley, CEO of Beasley Broadcast Group, Inc., an investor in DPR.

“The DPR technology offers a superior HD Radio system that achieves maximum performance, and drives greater consumer adoption and use,” said Mark Fowler, Managing Member of DPR, and former chairman of the FCC.  “It provides a growth vehicle for the broadcast industry into all kinds of radios, including mobile handset platforms, such as smart phones.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Reception that drops out on HD2, HD3 and HD4 multicast channels—one of the biggest reasons to buy and HD Radio–has also been one of biggest reasons for lackluster consumer adoption. The main signal just reverts to analog when the signal is impaired, and less noticeable. We’ve gotten FCC permission to boost the HD Radio signals from the transmitter and that has helped, but this DPR technology may be able to close the loop. Receiver manufacturers will certainly be interested.