NAB Logo
April 9, 2011

NRSC Adopts Updated Radio Broadcast Data System Standard

--System widely used by FM broadcasters for transmitting program associated data--

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA -- The National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC) today adopted an updated version of its FM-subcarrier based data broadcasting system standard. The NRSC is a technical standards-setting body co-sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA).

NRSC-4-B, United States RBDS Standard - Specification of the Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS), was adopted by the Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) Subcommittee, which is chaired by Barry Thomas, vice president of engineering, Radio, Lincoln Financial Media. It was developed by the subcommittee's RDS Usage Working Group (RUWG), which is chaired by Steve Davis, Senior Vice President, Engineering and Capital Management, Clear Channel Broadcasting, Inc.

In a departure from previous versions, NRSC-4-B includes only those sections which differ from the European version of the Standard, IEC 62106, Specification of the Radio Data System (RDS) for VHF/FM sound broadcasting in the frequency range from 87.5 to 108.0 MHz. The RUWG expects this new, more concise version to simplify design and development of compatible devices by transmission equipment and receiver manufacturers. In addition, NRSC-4-B includes some new "Program Type (PTY)" codes which better reflect some of the new programming choices available to listeners.

Milford Smith, Vice President, Radio Engineering with Greater Media and NRSC Chairman, said "The proliferation in the implementation and use of RBDS since the original NRSC standard-setting effort has been nothing short of spectacular with title and artist information, music tagging, dissemination of real time traffic information and the like adding exciting new features and content as an adjunct to FM broadcasts. With this latest revision of the US standard and its much tighter integration with the European RDS standard, it is anticipated that RBDS will see even greater and more creative use as the revised standard makes the design of multinational receivers a considerably less intimidating process, encouraging consumer electronics manufacturers and software developers to explore even more imaginative uses of the service. Congratulations to the NRSC RBDS subcommittee and its chairman Barry Thomas for its excellent work in this rapidly evolving area of technology."

The updated Standard will be available free-of-charge on the NRSC's website (, following a final, procedural review which will take approximately two weeks. Additional information about the NRSC, including information on becoming a member, is also available on the website.

About CEA
About CEA The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $186 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also owns and produces the International CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA's industry services. Find CEA online at and www.Innovation-

About NAB
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at


National Association of Broadcasters
1 M Street SE
Washington, D.C. 20003
202 429 5300 |

© 2023 National Association of Broadcasters
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use

Connect With Us