Radio Reinvented Itself to Produce E-Radio

E-radio is the fusion of radio technology with the Internet. The powerful amalgamation of the two technologies has created a stream of infotainment for the end users.

Some things never go away, they just keep reinventing themselves and thereby amaze us. One of such things is the radio, really a time defying invention. Pundits predicted its end many a time, but it persisted and always reasserted itself in another way. It appeared to disappear but reappeared, surprising us all. Today, even in the digital era, it is alive and kicking.

The 21st century radio has donned a new look. Electric-powered radios or even the smaller, battery-powered transistors have become increasingly rare. But the concept of radio technology, i.e. the transmission of sound and music from a central station still survives. The technology is climbing up the popularity ladder with every passing day. It has joined with possibly the most powerful medium of modern times, the Internet. The fusion of the Internet and the Radio has produced the E-radio.

The term in itself would not surprise us. In this era of e-mails and e-commerce, we would find that e-radio is just an extension of the technology. We just see the Internet as a new product of the evolution in technology. We usually see it in relation to the Internet technology and not the sound transmission technique, which is the essence of radio technology. We often fail to recognize that it is an amalgamation of the Internet and radio techniques.

Online radio was first broadcasted in the early 1990s. The broadcasting websites, or the stations wore a catchy look and prepared themselves to be presented to reach their target audience. The broadcasters began with music, which got popular with the audience. Later some also started talk shows, broadcasting discussion on a subject with the experts. It was popular with the audience who wanted some serious stuff. Unlike conventional radio, online radio can be accessed anywhere in the world. This means that anyone in the world can listen to the music from any place in the world.

The Internet radio has some additional features over the traditional radio. One of these is a large database of radio stations. The user has more than 20,000 stations to choose from in more than 200 countries. The audience can choose from a variety of radio programs, both local and online, with no added commercials. Another benefit, as mentioned previously, is that it is accessible from any place in the world. For instance, a Chinese living in America, can listen to his favorite music on a local Chinese radio station. The third benefit is that you don’t have to deal with any type of bad reception as the broadcast is via the Internet. All that you need is a broadband connection to receive an uninterrupted audio stream.

Internet radio can be deployed as a powerful marketing medium. Online stations, which are dedicated to certain industries, can actually be a gold mine for marketers working in the specific niche. If you are advertising a product specific to that stream, you are hitting your target segment specifically. Instead of advertising directly, you could simply be a guest at any of the talk shows on a popular radio station, where you could indirectly promote your brand. If you wish to advertise globally for your business in the most economic way, the Internet is the best medium. When you advertise on the e-radio, you are not limited to your town or province. You are advertising on a global basis.

Internet radio is still an evolving medium. We could expect it to don new roles, enhancing our experience.

High Definition Radio

Just as it has revolutionized the television industry, high definition technology is now changing the way we listen to the radio. High definition radio (HD-radio) makes tuning into your favorite station a whole new experience. Using high definition technology, any station in the country can deliver super, CD-like sound to its audience. High definition technology also makes it possible for listeners to receive information services such as traffic and weather alerts and stock information on their radios.

Pioneered by a company called iBiquity Digital, HD-radio was created in response to satellite radio, which, in the mid-90s, posed a real threat to traditional, or analog, radio. HD-radio mixes digital signals and analog signals, a combination that has made it possible for traditional stations to embark on the inevitable conversion to digital. In 2002, iBiquity made its HD-radio technology available to networks around the nation, and many of them jumped at it.

HD-radio offers a host of enhancements to traditional stations, and iBiquity says the following improvements are possible:

-In terms of sound quality, AM radio will sound like FM radio.

– FM radio will have crystal clear, CD-like sound

– Reception will be free of static, free of white noise, and station loss will no longer be a problem.

– Special services like On-Demand radio will be possible for listeners with HD-Radio. Wireless services will deliver news and traffic updates.

These upgrades are available to networks for about $250,000. Now, about 300 broadcasters are utilizing HD-radio. Thousands more should follow in the next few years. When they do go high def, they’ll still be able to broadcast in traditional, analog fashion. The ability to transmit digital signals is a big step for networks, but one that seems inevitable, given the improvements that result. Thanks to HD technology, some stations are now providing different kinds of programming from a single spot on the radio dial.

Fans of traditional radio should embrace HD technology because it delivers better audio quality and more options for listening. HD-radio is also free. Listeners don’t have to go through a subscription service to get it, and they won’t have to worry about receiving upgrades from their providers. However, listeners will need to purchase special components for HD-radio and find stations that are broadcasting in HD.

Added bonuses with HD broadcasting include the display of weather, news and song info on the screen of the radio. Listeners can also buy music through their HD systems, and they’ll have access to special recording options for music. High definition radios are becoming more and more common. They’re currently priced at about $150. Automobile manufacturers have started to install them in new cars. Plans are even in the works to apply high definition technology to MP3 players and cell phones.

Wi-Fi Radio – Next Big Thing

Wi-fi radio has evolved thanks to the wonderful amalgamation of broadband, wireless and radio technologies. The technology is set to progress to extraordinary proportions.

Fire up your home and backyard with Wi-fi Internet Radio which is as exciting an innovation as radio itself. The medium which provides enormous variety and niche programming, allows virtually anyone to listen to programs at any place from anywhere in the world. It even allows anyone to start up and run their own online radio station and reach across the world. Have you seen anyone so empowered with a single invention?

Wi-fi Internet Radio is another step of radio after its transformation into Internet Radio. The product has evolved, thanks to the wonderful amalgamation of broadband, wireless and radio technologies. The hand-held device can easily be taken even out of home. The key for users is the given ability to walk away from their personal computer or household and still access their favorite radio stations. The technology has arrived.

An interesting question is – whether portable Internet Radio will make satellite radio obsolete. There are enough net streams available to satisfy anyone’s taste. Enjoying this at your home is relatively cheap but once you make some of these streams available to portable devices, there will be some costs involved. Internet Radio can easily be distributed via satellite or the current wireless cell phone infrastructure. However, as satellite time can be cost prohibitive, it means only a limited amount of streams would be available. The cost would inevitably be passed along to the consumer. As for receiving the internet radio on your cell phone, cost as well as bandwidth considerations have to be considered.

Future cell phones will predictably have the ability to pick up hundreds of audio and video channels, from both satellite feeds and the Internet. The cell phone will act just like a wireless radio, making it a common source of entertainment for the masses. As we all know, the consumer today is constantly putting more and more demands on product providers. Cell phones of tomorrow are going to be as powerful as today’s portable satellite receivers when it comes to providing us with entertainment options. Internet radio has even entered the cars and trains forcing the terrestrial radio stations to reprogram themselves.

A wi-fi internet radio device is almost a mini computer in itself. It connects to your existing wireless network similar to a laptop computer. Once it has connected, you can use this regular looking radio to access the tens of thousands of stations from anywhere within range. You could take this radio anywhere you want and it would deliver. The product allows you to utilize audio delights such as podcasts and listen again services. You can listen to your favorite show at a time which suits you. You can enjoy a tremendous variety of music, news, sport news and chat shows. If you know several languages, you can get a wide range of international language radio stations like French, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese as well.

The technology is set to progress to extraordinary proportions. Advances in other areas of technology would benefit internet streaming in a huge way. As wi-fi becomes prevalent in more and more areas, internet radio streams will become easily accessible. To put it in short, only sky is the limit for the Internet technology.

Internet radio offers you a plethora of options which is just overwhelming. If puts forth for you an unlimited storehouse of entertainment.

Two Way Radios in Primary and Acute Healthcare

Communication plays a crucial role in healthcare. Timely dissemination and sharing of information is critical for acute healthcare providers. Similarly, primary healthcare can be easily administered by using practical and handy communication channels. However, there are several factors that need to be taken into account before deciding upon an effective mode of communication in both primary and acute healthcare institutions. Reliability, coverage and confidentiality of transmitted information along with the institution’s capacity in handling the equipment, play an important role. Healthcare institutions can largely benefit from a mobile clinical staff and two way radios can provide prolific results if used effectively for sharing information.

Functionality and Build of Two Way Radios

Two way radios allow only one function at a time – either receiving or sending the signal. This helps the users efficiently communicate without interrupting the interlocutor. These devices are helpful in exchange of crisp information, rather than constant communication. Two way radios are also known as transceivers or walkie talkies.

Two way radios are simple devices made of primarily six components: power source, receiver, transmitter, microphone, speaker and the crystal. This implies that running and maintenance costs for these devices are not too high. Two or more communicating devices operate on the same radio frequency and a push-to-talk button switches the device between receiving and transmitting modes.

Primary Healthcare and its Challenges

There is a growing emphasis to offer primary healthcare to one and all. This requires creating an environment where equal emphasis is laid on healthcare for all individuals. However, shortage of trained medical practitioners poses a serious threat to achieving this objective. Medical planners have to focus on the use of technology to make the maximum use of the available resources.

Isolation of patients is a big problem that surfaces in primary healthcare. Patients who need medical attention are usually dispersed, especially in rural areas and may not have access to medical facilities. The supply of drugs and medical tests are difficult to conduct and this defeats the very objective of primary healthcare. Lack of communication is another major problem in administering primary healthcare.

A quick exchange of information offers a suitable solution to meet all these challenges. Two way radios enable exchanging of crucial medical information and gradation of current medical practices. The absence of advanced technologies in many locations also increases the importance of two way radio communication devices.

Using Two Way Radios in Primary Healthcare Settings

The most important use of two way radio in delivering primary healthcare is in connecting local medical practitioners with hospitals in cities and more advanced areas. This is critical to diagnosing a patient as well as for prescriptive purposes. A timely decision whether the patient must be referred to a hospital with advanced facilities can be crucial in saving lives. The hospital can also monitor the condition of a patient at another location through two way radios.

How well two way radio technology is implemented for primary healthcare will be dependent on medical and health protocols. Doctors in some countries contact health aides and monitor the situation of the patient by use of two way radios. The medical structure of a community and the country determines how effectively the two way radio can be used for primary healthcare.

Emergency situations can also be addressed by using two way radio. Lack of good transportation and communication facilities can jeopardize a community in case of a medical emergency. Two way radios can be used to send news of such medical exigencies to hospitals or district headquarters and help save many lives.

In some countries, two way radios are used to connect fieldworkers with doctors who are constantly on the move. Use of airplanes helps attend to critical patients in a very short time as soon as the news is delivered by way of two way radios.

Two way radios can also help in training field workers who play an important role in primary healthcare. It depends on the level of existing competence of the medical workers and the desired levels of training. Moreover, field workers can listen in to the conversation of co-workers with physicians and learn by observing the standard medical practices adopted in different cases.

Using Two Way Radios in Acute Healthcare Settings

Clinical information in a hospital can be shared with the help of two way radios. A mobile unit of clinical staff will be more efficient in dealing with day-to-day problems faced by patients and in specific cases where a patient requires immediate attention. A patient who undergoes a complicated heart surgery may require constant monitoring for a few hours after the operation. However, it may not be possible for the doctor who operated on the patient to stay by his side all the time. Two way radios can prove to be a handy solution for helping healthcare institutions, solve such critical operational issues. A nurse attending on the operated patient can inform the doctor about the patient’s progress or whether the patient needs immediate attention, using two way radios. This will not just update the doctor on the patient’s condition but also help him take immediate decisions based on the available inputs. The healthcare industry has successfully tested and used two way radios for acute healthcare. Hospitals make wide use of two way radios for exchange of information among healthcare workers.

Two Way Radios: Advantages

Two way radios provide for a cost effective medium of instant communication. Healthcare industry requires rapid and extensive sharing of information in the most cost effective and efficient manner. A large healthcare institution can be brought under the ambit of wireless radio communication without running up high costs. Moreover, radio signals are quite reliable as compared to mobile networks, where one must depend on the network strength and connectivity. Also, issues of interference do not surface often. Maintenance costs for these devices are also considerably low.

Two Way Radios: Standard Practices for Operation

Some of the standard practices followed for using two way radios in healthcare institutions are:

The devices are used in “receive only” mode in patient areas.
Medical staff is advised to leave the patient area if the device has to be used for outgoing communication.
Two way radios must be kept at a distance from highly energized medical devices.
Lowest possible setting must be used to avoid any interference if the device so permits.
In case of malfunctioning of any medical equipment, the use of radio devices must be stopped immediately.
Unnecessary use of two way radios may distract a medical practitioner during surgery. Therefore, such devices must be used only when required to avoid any delay in patient care.
Using Two Way Radio Systems: Interference and Other Issues
Two way radios do not generally interfere with other medical equipment. Research studies have proved that hospitals can safely use two way radios for communication purposes. These devices can be safely used at a distance of 0.5 meters from most medical equipment. The reason is that these devices operate at high frequencies and do not cause any interference. However, the use of two way radios is discouraged in highly sensitive medical environments like the ICU.

Some of the other issues with two way radio systems include problems, like poor maintenance, lack of power, non-availability of spare parts and poor training of the medical staff regarding the usage of these devices. Any compromise with the quality of the device can prove disastrous and defeat the entire purpose of setting up two way communication radios.

Conclusion

Two way communication systems have been in use for more than seventy years in the field of healthcare. Even today, with the advancements in technology, radio systems play a vital role in setting up communication in healthcare institutions. This is because no other technology can adequately address all the needs of healthcare communication – little interference with medical equipment and immediate and hassle free communication. This establishes the fact that two way radios will continue to play a major role for communication in primary and acute healthcare as well as improve the provision of healthcare services.

In-Vehicle Radio Performance

Drivers have had a long love affair with their car audio systems. A smooth ride and even smoother tunes are an impeccable combination. Gone are the days of static and fade-out car audio systems. Today’s vehicles are being designed by tech-savvy automotive engineers for HD and satellite capabilities. Advanced reception systems reduce interference and provide best-quality signals. Indeed, technology is helping improve radio performance inside new-model vehicles.

HD Radio Broadcasting
One of the most significant advancements in radio broadcasting since the introduction of FM stereo is HD radio technology, which provides dramatically higher-quality digital audio than its analog predecessor. Many radio stations are upgrading their broadcast technology, with some offering HD2 multicast channels. According to iBiquity Digital Corporation, a developer of this technology, the HD radio receiver makes AM sound like FM and FM sound like CDs.

The wireless data feature enables drivers to receive information, such as titles, artists, weather and traffic alerts, by broadcasting directly to the receiver’s display screen. In addition, FM HD radio stations are beginning to multicast with streaming audio and on-screen data simultaneously. For instance, a station can run a channel of music and one of news or run three completely different music formats in three different languages.

HD radio technology features include:
o FM multicasting – ability to broadcast multiple program streams over a single FM frequency
o Static-free, crystal-clear reception
o Variety of data services, including text-based information, scrolled across the receiver display
o Ability to sort through reflected signals, reducing static, hisses, pops and fades
o Digital broadcasts in the same frequencies as analog broadcasts
o Reception is free with no subscription costs

XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio
Whether it’s a drive to work and back – or across the country and back – satellite radio provides a seamless audio experience. XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio both launched their services at the beginning of the 21st century. Also called digital radio, satellite radio features uninterrupted, near CD-quality music beamed to a vehicle’s radio from space. As a result, users don’t drive out of a channel’s range.

Developed for vehicles compatible with both XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio, a total satellite radio systems format features a receiver, a user interface and an antenna. Receivers can be integrated into the radio or remotely located and allow channel name, artist and song title to be displayed so listeners know what is playing. A wide variety of listening options include commercial-free or limited-commercial Rock, Jazz, Classical, News, Sports and Talk stations.

Reception Systems
Delivering multifaceted reception capabilities in a small space, today’s reception systems are nothing like the antenna one remembers on their grandparent’s vehicle. Offering better performance than a single antenna, diversity reception systems deliver uninterrupted audio by selecting the best-quality FM signal from available antennas or combining multiple signals. With reduced multi-path interference and improved fringe area reception, drivers experience superior audio and visuals.

Small and self-contained, multiple antenna reception systems are designed to be integrated into the vehicle’s roof module. Systems combine AM/FM, cell phone, GPS and satellite reception functionality in a diminutive package. Vehicle manufacturers have the ability to choose various levels of product content, and the systems are adaptable to US, European and Asian frequency requirements. With a simplified vehicle assembly process and improved serviceability, hidden antenna systems may be an attractive choice for manufacturers and service providers. These hidden antenna systems eliminate wind noise, vibration and lost or stolen masts.

Delivering high-performance television reception in vehicles, the Fuba(TM) Mobile TV World Tuner uses patented ScanDiv(TM) scanning diversity technology to select the best audio and video signals from the system’s antennas to provide passengers with high-quality audio and in-home TV quality. Designed for global markets, the multi-standard receiver is compatible with NTSC, PAL and SECAM signals as well as DVB-T and ISDB-T digital reception. Adaptable to local markets, the system is also compatible with many rear-seat entertainment systems.

Delphi Corp. is poised to apply its expertise and know-how to provide vehicle manufacturers and consumers with in-vehicle connectivity. To learn more about Delphi Corp., please visit delphi.com/4innovation or delphi.com/4connected.

In-Vehicle Radio Performance

Drivers have had a long love affair with their car audio systems. A smooth ride and even smoother tunes are an impeccable combination. Gone are the days of static and fade-out car audio systems. Today’s vehicles are being designed by tech-savvy automotive engineers for HD and satellite capabilities. Advanced reception systems reduce interference and provide best-quality signals. Indeed, technology is helping improve radio performance inside new-model vehicles.

HD Radio Broadcasting
One of the most significant advancements in radio broadcasting since the introduction of FM stereo is HD radio technology, which provides dramatically higher-quality digital audio than its analog predecessor. Many radio stations are upgrading their broadcast technology, with some offering HD2 multicast channels. According to iBiquity Digital Corporation, a developer of this technology, the HD radio receiver makes AM sound like FM and FM sound like CDs.

The wireless data feature enables drivers to receive information, such as titles, artists, weather and traffic alerts, by broadcasting directly to the receiver’s display screen. In addition, FM HD radio stations are beginning to multicast with streaming audio and on-screen data simultaneously. For instance, a station can run a channel of music and one of news or run three completely different music formats in three different languages.

HD radio technology features include:
o FM multicasting – ability to broadcast multiple program streams over a single FM frequency
o Static-free, crystal-clear reception
o Variety of data services, including text-based information, scrolled across the receiver display
o Ability to sort through reflected signals, reducing static, hisses, pops and fades
o Digital broadcasts in the same frequencies as analog broadcasts
o Reception is free with no subscription costs

XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio
Whether it’s a drive to work and back – or across the country and back – satellite radio provides a seamless audio experience. XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio both launched their services at the beginning of the 21st century. Also called digital radio, satellite radio features uninterrupted, near CD-quality music beamed to a vehicle’s radio from space. As a result, users don’t drive out of a channel’s range.

Developed for vehicles compatible with both XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio, a total satellite radio systems format features a receiver, a user interface and an antenna. Receivers can be integrated into the radio or remotely located and allow channel name, artist and song title to be displayed so listeners know what is playing. A wide variety of listening options include commercial-free or limited-commercial Rock, Jazz, Classical, News, Sports and Talk stations.

Reception Systems
Delivering multifaceted reception capabilities in a small space, today’s reception systems are nothing like the antenna one remembers on their grandparent’s vehicle. Offering better performance than a single antenna, diversity reception systems deliver uninterrupted audio by selecting the best-quality FM signal from available antennas or combining multiple signals. With reduced multi-path interference and improved fringe area reception, drivers experience superior audio and visuals.

Small and self-contained, multiple antenna reception systems are designed to be integrated into the vehicle’s roof module. Systems combine AM/FM, cell phone, GPS and satellite reception functionality in a diminutive package. Vehicle manufacturers have the ability to choose various levels of product content, and the systems are adaptable to US, European and Asian frequency requirements. With a simplified vehicle assembly process and improved serviceability, hidden antenna systems may be an attractive choice for manufacturers and service providers. These hidden antenna systems eliminate wind noise, vibration and lost or stolen masts.

Delivering high-performance television reception in vehicles, the Fuba(TM) Mobile TV World Tuner uses patented ScanDiv(TM) scanning diversity technology to select the best audio and video signals from the system’s antennas to provide passengers with high-quality audio and in-home TV quality. Designed for global markets, the multi-standard receiver is compatible with NTSC, PAL and SECAM signals as well as DVB-T and ISDB-T digital reception. Adaptable to local markets, the system is also compatible with many rear-seat entertainment systems.

Delphi Corp. is poised to apply its expertise and know-how to provide vehicle manufacturers and consumers with in-vehicle connectivity. To learn more about Delphi Corp., please visit delphi.com/4innovation or delphi.com/4connected.

Internet Radio Networks – The Gold Pass To Better Entertainment!

Some things in life never really go out of style. Well, they change forms and take on new looks, but they remain. One of such time defying inventions is the radio. No matter what skeptics would have you believe, the radio is very much alive and kicking even in this era of digital entertainment. Of course, the persistent existence of the radio has subjected it to some changes. Bulky radios or even the smaller, battery-powered transistors are becoming increasingly rare with every passing day. But the core essence of radio technology, that of sound and music being transmitted from a central station, still survives and is gaining in strength and popularity with passing time. Let’s investigate this amazing phenomenon.

The radio in the 21st century has taken on a new avatar. It has merged with possibly the most powerful medium of modern times, the Internet. The result? E-radio, (what else?) In this era of e-mails, e-shopping and e-commerce, e-radios, or Internet radios as they are often called as, are a natural occurrence. We are not surprised, and nor should be you! If you’ve been reading the writing on the wall, you already knew that it had to come someday. So, the good news is, it’s here! And how! Let’s take a closer look.

Internet radio networks are on the rise and the reason is not hard to understand. Much of their popularity can be attributed to the huge proliferation of Internet technologies. It is, however, interesting to note that Internet radio, however, is not a very novel innovation. In other words, Internet radio networks have been around for quite a while now. It is only recently, with the proliferation of Internet technology and faster connectivity, that the phenomenon called Internet radio has truly come of age. Today, the listener is pampered with a bevy of channels (or stations), catering to specific areas of interest. This is becoming a standard feature of Internet radio networks that serve music online. The listener can tune into any of dozens of stations covering such genres as Classic Rock, Alternative Rock, Indie Rock, Jazz, 80s music, 70s music, Oldies, New Age, Reggae, Country, Latin, Euro, Ambient, Lounge, Progressive, Techno and what not. Hours and hours of uninterrupted music at no cost – that’s the magnitude of the entertainment provided by Internet radio networks.

Among the most popular Internet radio networks are the ones that feature Internet Talk Radio. Streaming talk shows and discussions on a wide range of subjects have made them popular among serious listeners or those who carve for something more than just music from their e-radios. Internet talk radio programs host various talk shows with specialists on different subject matters who anchor the show. While traditional radio broadcasters have often used the Internet to advertise or promote their shows, Internet radio technology has actually revolutionized the concept and simple programming requirements have taken it to the extent where individuals, organizations or anyone for that matter, can easily host their own Internet talk radio station from the comfort of their home.

Internet radio networks like Voice America make it easier to host your own Internet talk radio show. Such Internet radio networks not only provide you with the technology to host your Internet radio show but also give you a complete package of Internet streaming media broadcasting, proven support services in web, marketing, and interactive solutions that help you to make your mark and your presence known to the ever increasing Internet audience. If you are planning to host your own Internet talk radio, it’s worth contacting Internet radio networks like Voice America.

Satellite Radio VS Conventional Radio

Now that SIRIUS has combined with its major competitor XM, it makes united satellite radio a far more serious threat to conventional radio. Conventional radio you have probably heard; it is also be called analog radio or free radio. Indeed, conventional radio’s biggest advantage is that it is broadcast for free, whereas SIRIUS is a subscription based service. You could compare the technology to cable or satellite TV, offering far more options than regular network television ever would. What are some of the major advantages and disadvantages of both radio technologies?

Obviously conventional radio doesn’t offer much in the way of choice. Content is dominated by sponsors and a general consensus of listeners. The biggest advantage of satellite radio is in freedom-the freedom to hear practically any content available and hear it according to your time schedule. With satellite radio you are not limited by a radio station. You can hear all your favorite singers, old time songs, comedians and shock jocks all day long. Another major advantage of SIRIUS is that you can hear your favorite channels all across the country, as the system is not based on analog radio transmission, but on space satellite technology. Therefore, you don’t have to look for local radio stations every time you travel.

While it is true that analog radio’s audience is much larger than the SIRIUS and XM audience, times are quickly changing and everyone is going the “digital route.” Even network television will start broadcasting their lineup in digital format starting in 2009. For a time, it seemed as if free radio has its ace-in-the-hole-a local radio could be taken anywhere, whereas satellite radio seemed restricted to cars and homes. However, the new age of SIRIUS and XM products, such as the SIRIUS Stiletto 2, has brought portability to satellite radio’s technology. The fact that many satellite radio receivers now include an MP3 playing device only sweetens the deal. This not only allows listeners to listen to their favorite MP3 files along with their SIRIUS radio; it also lets them digitally record their favorite radio songs for instant playback. Industry experts speculate that SIRIUS and XM’s fan base is only growing to grow as their products become more travel friendly, while analog radio’s fans will continue to dwindle.

Many fans enjoy SIRIUS [http://www.tabs-lyrics.com/sirius.jsp] and XM radio because of the exclusive content. Music channels are highly varied and can include everything from the major hits of the day to obscure genres or even channels devoted exclusively to legendary singers. Satellite radio music stations tend to have no long-winded commercials or mindless chatter interrupting your favorite song. The format also allows its content to be edgier and more original than programming on traditional radio is allowed be. It’s little wonder than popular deejays such as Howard Stern and Bubba the Love Sponge have migrated towards SIRIUS-an uncensored forum where creative minds are free to purge their deepest and darkest thoughts.

The advantages of satellite radio outweigh analog radio by a long shot. As the new decade wears on, the advent of digital, customizable content will undoubtedly overtake conventional programming as America’s listeners realize that they run the show. What used to be walk-man radios in the late 80s are quickly being replaced by portable satellite radios that have both radio and MP3 functionality. It seems that conventional radio is in for some long due competition.

Terrestrial Radio is Here to Stay

With advances in technology there is much talk that terrestrial AM and FM radio could be in trouble. As ipods, satellite, and internet radio grow in popularity there is a belief by many that terrestrial radio will be no longer. Although these new technologies certainly have an impact, AM and FM radio are here to stay and they will continue to have a huge impact on society.

Terrestrial radio stations across the country are adapting to the latest technologies. This is being shown with the advent of HD Radio and internet streaming.

HD Radio is a monumental advancement in radio broadcasting. HD Radio technology enables AM and FM radio stations to broadcast their programs digitally and provides listeners with an entirely new set of channels providing listeners with more selection than ever before all at no charge. All that is needed is the purchase of an HD Radio receiver for your home or car. Prices are becoming very reasonable as more and more people are discovering what HD radio is all about.

An additional focus for terrestrial radio stations is streaming. By logging onto a radio stations web site, users are able to listen live to their radio station’s broadcasts through the speakers of their computer. Streaming is growing in record numbers as listeners are continually being reminded on-air by radio stations to visit their website to listen live. Web sites such as snapfm.com and web-radio.com help to drive listeners to FM and AM radio station streams.

With the recent merge of XM and Sirius, it seems as though satellite radio may be in trouble not terrestrial radio. With heritage call letters and local content that can’t be found anywhere else, AM and FM radio are here to stay, and in a big way.

Adam Savage is a Terrestrial Radio Expert with over 10 years in the New York City Metro Radio Market working for some major industry companies. He is one of the pioneers of internet radio and currently owns and operates [http://www.snapfm.com] – The First Free Simple Internet Radio.

Survey of Police Radio

A survey was done of 152 small and rural police and sheriff agencies in all 50 states. The survey asked the organizations what technology they had and what they didn’t have.

Respondents were asked to indicate the extent to which different types of voice communications technology are available to their agencies. Responses were as follows:

All Some Personnel

Mobile radios 6.5% 3.5%

Mobile phones 54.1% 38.8%

WiFi 7.5% 11.3%

Satellite phones —- 9.6%

Voice over IP 2.4% 6.1%

Where I come from, in a large police agency, every officer has a mobile radio (walkie-talkie). But looking at these numbers for small county agencies shows that many DO NOT have mobile radios. It is an interesting case for more services over commercial mobile phones, where a convergence of technology is ready. Convergence of web services, trunked radio, and other rich media services can be delivered over existing commercial cellular phones. Modern cellular phones can provide map services, web services, connections to other voice systems, and any other internal network system.

Mobile phone to LMR (land mobile radio)

The numbers show that most field personal have a mobile phone, but DO NOT have a mobile radio. What problems does this present? What options are available to improve functionality? There are telephone to LMR gateways available. These allow a cell phone user or regular phone to call into a dial in system, type a code representing what talk group, and be able to listen in to the radio conversation. Some gateways also allow the phone user to talk and listen to the radio system. This doesn’t work as well as you would think, as phone service is a full duplex device, and radio systems are usually half duplex and you have to “key up” to transmit. It is the nature of the beast with trunked radio.

Some agencies only allow telephones to interact with the LMR by way of an operator. Meaning the person has to call dispatch, request a line, and the operator at dispatch will allow them to listen in or talk on the radio system. Some other agencies will just do the work for them, and basically pass the message to the radio, which could be a simple call to a unit to call the Captain on his cell phone.

Cellphones with data capabilities.

A common device that provides data and voice is the Blackberry handheld. Blackberry phones are an interesting example of convergence. With a blackberry enabled phone, all data and web communications start INSIDE the corporate network. That means internal resources and websites are AUTOMATICALLY available to blackberry web users, via the intranet blackberry server. The blackberry server relays all data from the provider radio network into the internal network. A very valuable asset!

At the city I work at, blackberry’s are used to browse the inside phone web directory page, ping devices inside the network, and many other unique functions. At this shop they also use a computer aided dispatch program called Versaterm. Computer aided dispatch is usually called “CAD”, and the vendor is now gearing up to have a small version of the program that will work as a Java applet on Blackberrys! Having some CAD functionality on a blackberry device is very handy for the officer on the street who walks or bicycles.

The take away lesson from this:

Information is being delivered into many new devices and that give the public safety person more options for mobility. When deciding the purchase of pagers, cell phone technology or other devices, keep in mind what future functionality people will be requesting.

Land mobile radio technology is changing to allow more VOIP and telephone interaction with the radio network. Such gateways between radio and telephone systems are usually affordable and worth their price in improved communications.