Step into the Consumer Electronics Show and you step into the future of
consumer electronics. Last week, in Las Vegas, CES 2002 featured dozens
of variations on home entertainment systems and cell phone accessories,
and even an impressive water ballet. What's interesting about how some
companies see the future of consumer electronics is the degree to which
they expect to shed the present of consumer electronics. At CES you
don't see many items directed at one of the most affordable, common,
and extraordinary technologies still in use today you guessed it,
In the coming years, it looks like televisions will become increasingly
flatter, plasma and high definition. VCRs will evolve into recordable
DVD players, and cassette recorders might morph into smaller and smaller
MP3 players. But the AM Radio? Well, thats the amazing thing, it can't
really be replaced. Sure a new radio market could evolve in the subscription
satellite radio services of XM Radio and Sirius, but the affordability
and democratic power of AM radio should keep it around as a necessary
technology for your talk radio fan.
As many of you know, AM and FM radio might eventually be transformed into
something known as the IBOC system. IBOC stands for In-Band/On-Channel,
and it's the technology supported by the National
Radio Systems Committee (NRSC).
The NRSC is a joint committee made up of the National
Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Consumer
Electronics Association (CEA). As you can see from the members
of this committee, the NRSC has a lot of say in terms of the future
According to the NAB Web site,
the goal of the IBOC system is threefold:
- A digital signal with significantly greater quality and durability
than available from the AM and FM analog systems that presently exist
in the United States;
- A digital service area that is at least equivalent to the host station's
analog service area while simultaneously providing suitable protection
in co-channel and adjacent channel situations;
- A smooth transition from analog to digital services.
According to Ibiquity, the company behind the IBOC technology to be used in digital
AM/FM radios, the first digital radios might start to roll out as early
as next year. That doesnt mean the radio you have now will become
expendable, however. In an on-line press release, Ibiquity identifies
a particular market for the first run of digital radio broadcasts that
is limited to Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco
and Seattle. These areas will be the testing ground for free digital
radio in the US. As for the everyday radio listener, there's no need
to worry about your radio suddenly becoming obsolete.
IBOC relies on a technology that essentially uses the current analog band
of a radio station as a carrier for the digital signal. That means,
even if we went digital tomorrow, youd still be able to hear your
AM or FM radio station without any trouble, and on the same band of
your radio dial.
C. Crane is following the changes in radio technology carefully, and we'll
be sure that when Digital Radio comes to you, or when you come to digital
radio, that your needs as a talk radio listener are met. The radio
and radio products developed by C. Crane, in collaboration with Sangean,
have also set C. Crane apart as a company that makes radios with a
purpose. We know that a useful radio doesn't just have a receiver,
a speaker and an antenna it meets a need for you, the radio listener.
That's why C. Crane created the original CCRadio and the new
CCRadio plus. It's also why C. Crane develops and offers such advanced
technology as the FM
Transmitter and the Twin
Coil Ferrite AM Antenna. We're in touch with the needs of our customer family, we respect
those needs, and do our best to meet them. When the next generation of radio arrives, we'll be
there for you, ensuring that you, the radio listener, get everything you
need out of radio just as we're doing with the next generation of
flashlights in our line of White LEDs.
To view our past articles, please visit our What's
in the News Archives.
As always, please contact us with any comments or
article suggestions you might have.
If you are interested in using C. Crane's articles on your own Web site,
please let me know. I'd be happy to take a look at your Web site and
see what we can do. Good-bye for now, Carlos. About