|For immediate release
January 10, 2003
NPR: Jenny Lawhorn
Harris Corporation: Jackie Broo
NPR Initiates Tomorrow Radio Project
Kenwood USA and Harris Corporation
to Join the Project's First Development and Testing Team
LAS VEGAS - NPRŽ today announced the initiation of the Tomorrow Radio project, a multi-year undertaking that will test and demonstrate new digital technologies and services to operate within the FCC-endorsed HD Radio system. Kenwood USA and Harris Corporation have agreed to join the first testing team under the project. A principal goal of Tomorrow Radio is to test multi-channel or "second audio" technology that could allow public radio stations to broadcast more programming and content using their existing spectrum.
"NPR stations, now 714 strong and reaching almost 28 million listeners a week, are excited by the new options that HD Radio can deliver, but the real payoff will be the increased satisfaction and enjoyment of NPR listeners all over the U.S.," said Ken Stern, NPR's executive vice president. "Tomorrow Radio represents our commitment to making HD Radio an important new development in delivering programming and services. We're gratified by the history of innovation that Kenwood and Harris will bring to the project."
Kenwood USA will demonstrate and test new radio receiver designs with new digital services, from supplemental audio channels to customized services such as zoned traffic announcements, weather reports and market quotations. Kenwood will also test an unprecedented number of consumer-defined choices, from high quality text-to-speech annunciation to customized graphic displays. "Kenwood and NPR have been allies in the rollout of the Sirius Satellite Radio service, and we look forward to benchmarking innovative features into the Kenwood product line as a result of this initiative," said Bob Law, Kenwood USA's senior vice president.
Harris Corporation will provide HD Radio transmission equipment during the testing phase of the Tomorrow Radio project-equipment that will deliver the data that will enable a wide array of new public services. "Our relationship with NPR has been an extremely successful one that has included, among other things, facilitating the design and installation of equipment for their world-class headquarters in Washington, DC," said Dale Mowry, Harris vice president, transmission systems. "Now it continues with Tomorrow Radio, helping NPR's member stations bring HD Radio services to fans of public radio around the country."
It will take about 10 years for all public radio stations to become fully compatible with HD Radio. NPR and its stations have long been advocates of digital radio because of its greater audio fidelity and enhanced service possibilities. During the dozen years it took for HD Radio to become a reality, NPR member stations prepared for the transformation by upgrading to digital interconnection and production systems. Today, stations are near the final phase of digital conversion. WUSF in Tampa, Florida recently announced an entire digital upgrade of their transmission system provided entirely by Harris, and KKJZ in Long Beach, California has joined the Tomorrow Radio project as the first station partner.
"NPR and its stations have never thought of digital radio as just a technical, transmission or experimental activity; it is a holistic undertaking, dependent on manufacturing support from receiver and transmission partners to deliver meaningful new public services," said Mike Starling, NPR's vice president for engineering and operations. "The Tomorrow Radio project's commitments and synergies will deliver great radio in the years ahead."
NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of nearly 20 million Americans each week via 714 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, npr.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and seven years of archived audio and information. NPR's several hundred awards include a 2000 National Medal of Arts.
ABOUT KENWOOD USA
Founded in 1961, Kenwood USA Corporation is a leading developer and manufacturer of audio and video product for home, car, and personal use. Offering more than 250 products, Kenwood is one of the three largest selling brands of audio and video entertainment products in the United States and is recognized by consumers and the consumer electronics industry for providing superior quality, reliability and value. Kenwood US Corporation, based in Long Beach, California, is the largest subsidiary of Kenwood Corporation (Japan). For more information visit www.kenwoodusa.com.
ABOUT HARRIS BROADCAST
Harris Broadcast Communications is one of five divisions within Harris Corporation. The world's leading broadcast supplier, Harris offers a full range of solutions that support the digital delivery, automation and management of audio, video and data. Harris serves broadcasters in more than 125 countries. Harris Corporation, which also provides microwave, network support, tactical radio, and government communications systems and products, has sales and service facilities in more than 90 countries. For more information, visit www.harris.com.
NPR, renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information and cultural programming, serves a growing audience of nearly 20 million Americans each week via more than 680 public radio stations. NPR Online at www.npr.org brings hourly newscasts, news features, commentaries and live events to Internet users through original online reports, audio streaming and other multimedia elements. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwide, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.