HD Radio Station IDs

Aaron Read friedbagels@gmail.com
Sat Jun 7 17:08:14 EDT 2008

In March 2007 the FCC adopted the Second R&O that codified many things 
about HD Radio, including the rules regarding legal ID's.  At the same 
time, the rules adopted were actually quite vague in some ways.


I've quoted the relevant text from 73.1201(b)(1) at the bottom.  Note 
the first and, especially, the third paragraph.  All stations running HD 
Radio in hybrid mode (which is everyone...nobody's authorized to run 
all-digital yet) must make an identification so that the listener knows 
they're listening to a digital broadcast.

Now, bear in mind that...for the moment...there's no such thing as an HD 
Radio-capable tuner that does not have a visible display.  So to comply 
with 73.1201 a station does not need to *speak* "WXYZ-HD" as part of 
their legal ID.  They need only have the call letters with "HD" 
displayed as part of the PAD/PSD on the HD broadcast (and that is 
something that *all* HD tuners will do by default) because analog radio 
listeners are not hearing a digital broadcast; only the HD listeners are.

This is also true for HD multicast channels; they need only include it 
in the PAD/PSD, which makes it a lot easier to carry certain programming 
since you don't need to worry about legal ID insertion to the audio stream.

Aaron Read	       |  General Manager, WEOS 89.7FM
friedbagels@gmail.com  |  Fried Bagels Broadcast Consulting
Rochester, NY 14618    |  (315) 521-0569 cell

Official station identification shall consist of the station's call 
letters immediately followed by the community or communities specified 
in its license as the station's location; Provided, That the name of the 
licensee, the station's frequency, the station's channel number, as 
stated on the station's license, and/or the station's network 
affiliation may be inserted between the call letters and station location.

DTV stations, or DAB Stations, choosing to include the station's channel 
number in the  station identification must use the station's major 
channel number and may distinguish multicast program streams. For 
example, a DTV station with major channel number 26 may use 26.1 to 
identify an HDTV program service and 26.2 to identify an SDTV program 

A radio station operating in DAB hybrid mode or extended hybrid mode 
shall identify its digital signal, including any free multicast audio 
programming streams, in a manner that appropriately alerts its audience 
to the fact that it is listening to a digital audio broadcast. No other 
insertion between the station's call letters and the community or 
communities specified in its license is permissible.

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