Simplifying EAS Alert Insertion on HD Subchannels

Work of the NAB Radio Technology Committee pays a dividend

Paul McLane, Radio World

A highlight of our recent Pro Audio & Radio Tech Summit was the session “Building the Virtual Air Chain.” Among the speakers was Alan Jurison, senior operations engineer for iHeartMedia and a member of the NAB Radio Technology Committee.

He explained a committee project intended to help broadcasters insert local EAS alerts onto HD Radio subchannels that normally are fed their programming from another city or from the cloud.

Jurison said that achieving this in the past has been cumbersome, requiring a local master EAS encoder/decoder and some kind of audio switching device to interrupt the audio.

“We have a wide variety of formats at iHeartRadio, and we like to feature them on HD2 and HD3 subchannels throughout the nation, but the automation system that’s running the national format isn’t necessarily in the market. So how do we get emergency alerts on it?”

The committee worked with hardware manufacturers and Xperi on an approach. The first device resulting from that work is the HDR-CC standalone embedded HD Radio capture client from manufacturer 2wcom.