NPR unveils new tech center featuring NPR Labs


NPR’s new Technology Research Center (TRC) will operate under the auspices of the Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS). The TRC combines the satellite transmission expertise of the PRSS with the technical innovation of NPR Labs and launched this week.

The TRC will provide broadcast technology research, consulting, and testing capabilities for members of the public radio community including NPR member stations, NPR, other networks, and producers of public radio content and shows. The TRC also plans to market its consulting services to commercial customers. Revenues from those efforts will be used to support distribution of content to public radio stations.

The new TRC, located at NPR’s DC HQ, will build upon the work of NPR Labs, which has been a leader in the advancement of broadcast radio technology. Since 2005, NPR Labs has identified, developed, evaluated, and advanced the application of innovative technologies to support NPR and NPR’s member stations. It has been involved in projects ranging from multicasting on new HD Radio channels to public service spectrum initiatives, as well as creating accessible public radio services for those with visual or hearing impairments.

NPR Labs will become a self-sustaining unit that will continue to provide system representation and technical expertise on regulatory and legislative issues important to the station and public radio system.  It will also focus on grant-funded work and expand its scope to include fee-based consulting services to public radio stations, industry partners, and commercial clients.

The TRC will serve clients by offering fee-based consulting services, including projects that address advanced broadcast coverage, listener assessment, and developmental broadcast technology.

Mike Starling, VP/CTO and executive director of NPR Labs, will head the new TRC. The entire NPR Labs team of engineers and technologists will join the new group.