NAB to fund lab

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After much discussion, the National Association of Broadcasters' Joint Board
is expected to approve funding for a broadcast laboratory -- $2 million per year for
three years.

The NAB backing goes a long way toward getting the lab off the ground, but
proponents, led by the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV), must
still come up with a matching $2 million per year from consumer-electronics and
broadcast-equipment manufacturers/vendors. Indeed, the NAB funding depends on

In addition, the NAB money is contingent on lab proponents and the NAB
agreeing on the projects the lab is to tackle. Likely topping the list: improved
reception of the 8-VSB (vestigital sideband) digital-TV signal.

To win approval of radio board members, lab proponents also had to include
radio in their research-and-development efforts -- the lab could help to implement new in-band,
on-channel digital-radio service, which major broadcasters are planning to roll
out later this year.

The proposal for the lab was presented Sunday by MSTV president David
Donovan and was approved by the radio and TV boards Monday and Tuesday.