NPR Labs, Nautel Join Forces to Help FM Stations to Bolster HD Radio Broadcasts

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NPR Labs IBOC Calculator Now Available on Nautel Web Site

April 15, 2012 – Washington, D.C. – NPR Labs, the research and development arm of the NPR Distribution Division, and broadcast-equipment manufacturer Nautel have teamed up to help radio stations looking to increase the coverage and quality of their HD Radio™ broadcasts. NPR Labs’ Web-based IBOC calculator, which allows FM stations to determine whether they are eligible to increase their HD Radio power levels above the blanket -14 dBc limit, is now available free for use at Nautel’s website.

The IBOC calculator is designed to predict the effect of increasing IBOC power levels at a variety of settings. The tool documents the maximum permissible power level for any station under the FCC rules. The IBOC calculator also shows whether a station can make use of asymmetrical sidebands to improve its broadcasts and the level of power that could potentially be employed on each sideband.

“The public radio community has consistently been at the forefront of pioneering HD Radio capabilities and demonstrating how this technology can breathe new life and energy into the broadcast industry,” said NPR Distribution Division Vice President Pete Loewenstein. “I am very pleased to see Nautel harnessing NPR Labs’ expertise in helping broadcasters, both public and commercial, continue to serve their listeners wherever they are and across a variety of platforms.”

“We’re very pleased to be able to offer FM broadcasters yet another useful tool as stations contemplate HD Radio rollouts or power increases,” said Nautel’s digital liasion Hal Kneller. “This is a perfect complement to Nautel’s asymmetrical power operation offered by our HD PowerBoost™technology.”

NPR Labs will maintain the calculator’s database and regularly update it with the latest data from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). NPR Labs is available to consult to stations considering a filing for a digital power increase with the FCC.

“Nautel is one of the biggest names in the broadcast transmitter industry, and as such, a great partner for us in our mission to spread the HD Radio gospel and help stations to leverage this still-developing technology,” said Mike Starling, Executive Director of NPR Labs. “My hope is that we can continue working together to provide the most useful HD Radio tools for the industry’s benefit.”

NPR Labs Technologist John Kean, one of the designers of the IBOC calculator, will deliver a presentation on the tool to the Nautel User Group on Sunday, April 15 at 9:30 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom of the  Riviera Hotel, in Las Vegas. The calculator will be launched on the Nautel web site that morning and will be available at

For more information please contact:

John Groundwater
Deputy Director, Marketing Communication
NPR Distribution Division

John Whyte
Marketing Manager
902-802-0813 (mobile)

HD Radio is a registered trademark of iBiquity Digital Corp.
HD PowerBoost is a trademark of Nautel Limited and Nautel Inc.

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About NPR Labs
NPR Labs’ mission is to identify, evaluate, and advance the application of innovative technologies in support of the public service mission of NPR and our member stations. Located in Washington, DC, at NPR headquarters, the Lab works daily on technical research projects supporting the interests of public radio stations across the country.

About NPR
NPR is an award-winning, multimedia news organization and an influential force in American life. In collaboration with more than 880 independent public radio stations nationwide, NPR strives to create a more informed public – one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures.

About Nautel
Nautel has emerged as one of the world’s largest manufacturers of AM and FM radio broadcast transmitters. With more than 11,000 transmitters deployed in over 177 countries since 1970, Nautel continues to lead the way in providing valuable new solutions for digital radio broadcasting and other applications


Posted April 15, 2012