Tag Archives: All India Radio DRM

AIR launching Phase II of DRM conversion

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

(Source: Radio Mag via Dennis Dura)

AIR Launching DRM Conversion, Phase II

NEW DELHI — All India Radio was recently congratulated by India’s Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Venkaiah Naidu for having completed phase I of the national DRM digital radio roll-out in India. Thirty-seven DRM transmitters have been installed by AIR throughout the country, and all are now operational, according to DRM news.

Of the 37 new transmitters, 35 are medium wave and 2 are shortwave transmitters. Both SW transmitters are for international service and are broadcasting in pure DRM. […]

AIR is now in the process of launching phase-II of the DRM project by offering full features and services from these DRM transmitters and further improving service quality. When Phase-II is complete, the full-featured DRM services will be available to the audience and a public information campaign will be initiated to inform the Indian citizens of the completely new and future- oriented DRM radio platform and its many benefits. […]

Phase-III, as presented by AIR, will eventually culminate in the complete transition of radio services to the digital DRM platform, further improving the number and quality of radio services and extra features for the listeners, while also saving tremendous amounts of transmission power every year, according to the same article.

Click here to read the full article via Radio Mag Online.

While it sounds like the broadcasting side of DRM is progressing with AIR domestically, I haven’t read anything recently about affordable DRM receivers being developed for the market in India (other than possibly the Titus II and Gospell GR-216 which, I suppose, could be imported).

Based on messages I’ve received from readers/listeners in India, any new DRM receiver must be very affordable ($40 US or so) if wide adoption is to be expected.

I believe this is an opportunity for a manufacturer like Tecsun to step in and make an affordable DRM portable for the market in India–something with a simple display and controls. Otherwise, this might be another “cart before the horse” situation for DRM.  That would be sad.

Titus II at NAB

The least expensive portable DRM receiver on the horizon could be the PantonX Titus II (not yet in production).  PantronX has claimed the Titus II will cost “less than $100.”

And speaking of the Titus II, SWLing Post reader, Ed, notes:

pantronX is reportedly going to announce its Titus II Android SDR boombox at NAB April 22-27, which is another indication this radio is for real.

http://www.thebdr.net/hotlinks/mfgr.html

We’ll post updates about the Titus II as they become available. Follow the tag: PantronX Titus II

All India Radio investing heavily in DRM tranmitters

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Pradip, who shares the following story from Radio and Music Biz online:

AIR has acquired 37 DRM transmitters, in talks to get cheaper radio sets

NEW DELHI: All India Radio (AIR) has introduced digital radio technology in the AIR Network by installing new state of the art Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Technology transmitters by replacing old outlived 37 Medium Wave/ Short Wave transmitters.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore told Parliament however that the provisions contained in Policy Guidelines on expansion of FM Radio broadcasting services through private agencies (Phase-III) do not provide for private FM broadcasters to adopt digital radio technology.

He said Digital Radio allows significant improvements in service reliability, audio quality, more radio services and higher efficiency.

The new AIR transmitters include 35 new state of art technology Medium Wave (MW)/ DRM transmitters as a replacement of old technology valve based MW transmitters. Additionally, two new state of the art technology Short Wave (SW) DRM transmitters have been approved for installation as a replacement of old SW transmitters.[…]

Continue reading at RadioAndMusic.com.

All India Radio DRM: Dan notes two simultaneous feeds

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

All India Radio (AIR) Headquarters in Dehli, India. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Dan Srebnick, who writes:

While DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) has long been pronounced DOA (dead on arrival), All India Radio seems to be taking it pretty seriously. Here’s a screenshot of not one, but two simultaneous feeds going out over the same 10 kHz wide 40 meter frequency (7,550 kHz) at 2027 UTC today. The signal on my Perseus was just a tad under S9+5db using my ham band Alpha Delta DX-CC antenna.

image001So what’s the twist, aside from the 2 feeds on 1 frequency? Even at +5 over S9, the feed was only strong enough to occasionally flutter in with some decoded audio. Mostly, it was silence.

[I had] about a 98% successful decode by 2051 UTC when the signal rose to S9+10 db. I could switch between streams by clicking channel button within Dream!

Dan wrote the message above yesterday, I asked him if he could record AIR  today and he kindly sent the following:

AIR DRM recorded today with announcements @ 1930 UTC. Some dropouts as a
great example of the dropout/echo effect heard on DRM when signals are quite
strong enough. This decode was done at S9 signal strength.

Dan actually calls the DRM dropouts, the Max Headroom Effect.”  That is the best description I’ve ever heard, Dan.  Thanks for sharing your notes and recording!

BBC World Service features DRM

In this BBC World Service report, Mark Whittaker explores Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) and, especially, its potential in India. Use the embedded player or link below to listen:

(Source: Audioboo via Tarmo Tanilsoo on Facebook)

drmlogoYou’ll note the BBC World Service fails to mention that DRM has been in use now for over a decade.

The report ends by suggesting that portable DRM receivers will be on the market in a few months. Even if DRM radios start appearing, whether or not they’ll be effective and inexpensive remains to be seen. So far, portable DRM radios have been mediocre performers (at best) and relatively expensive.

Don’t get me wrong: I would love to see DRM take hold, I just have my doubts. DRM might stand a chance if a manufacturer like Tecsun were to build an inexpensive portable radio, with a form factor much like that of their other portables. If they made a DRM version of the PL-380, for example, it could be a winner for both the company and the medium/mode.

By the way, if you’ve never heard what DRM sounds like over the shortwaves, I just posted a fifty eight minute recording of All India Radio on the Shortwave Radio Audio Archive. Contributor, Mark Fahey, recorded the broadcast from his home in Australia.

I’ve embedded a link to the audio below, but you can listen to the broadcast and read Mark’s notes on the shortwave archive (click here).