First DRM European Workshop

Many thanks to SWLing Post readers, Cap and Bill, who both shared this press release from the DRM consortium:

(Source: DRM Consortium)

drmlogoFirst DRM European Workshop “Flexible and Complete Digital Radio for Europe”
asks European Stakeholders to Support and Manufacture DRM and DAB+ Receivers

Following from a very successful General Assembly, the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Consortium, and the German DRM Platform held a most comprehensive European workshop hosted by Fraunhofer IIS in Erlangen, Germany from 6th to 7th April 2016.

This was a first such DRM event aimed at offering solutions to all broadcasters large or small. During their presentations and discussions participants stressed that DRM is the ITU endorsed and internationally adopted standard for the distribution of programmes internationally, nationally and up to local coverage level. DRM can also provide an economic and complementary solution to exactly those coverage scenarios that the established DAB/DAB+ networks in Band-III were never designed for.

Following their deliberations the participants urged all stakeholders of Digital Radio in Europe – including European organisations, regulators, broadcasters and the receiver and automotive industry – to embrace publicly the duality and complementarity of the open DRM and DAB standards as the complete Digital Radio solution for Europe (and worldwide). This means a digital future for all broadcasters, offering more programme choice to listeners, extra multimedia services with text and images, increased energy savings and spectrum efficiency. The participants ask ‘all European stakeholders to promote actively the manufacturing and distribution of multi-standard Digital Radio receivers, comprising at least the DRM and DAB standards.’

The first session, held in conjunction with the open part of the DRM General Assembly, took a brief look at the status of DRM adoption around the world, including the DRM roll-out in India, ready to become the largest digital radio market in the world with over 600 million people being reached by DRM broadcasts. Presentations given by experts from various European countries showed that the digitisation of radio progresses in Europe. At the end of the first day Fraunhofer IIS (Bernd Linz) demonstrated the latest development to provide traffic and travel services in DRM radios, soon to be installed in Asia. Afterwards Martin Speitel demonstrated the features of the Fraunhofer software package for car radios with DRM. With this solution, radio manufacturers can quickly build or enhance radio platforms on a proven modular system covering the full DRM and DAB standards including their full feature sets, thus shortening their development times and, in turn, reducing their costs.

On the 7th April benefits and opportunities of DRM were shown with practical applications. Ampegon (Matthias Stoll) showed how easy and cost-effective the transition from analogue AM to DRM can be. Marc Holthof of the German Navy gave an example of how to use DRM over shortwave for maritime broadcasting of information and entertainment to ship crews at sea. Csaba Szombathy, Technical University of Budapest, demonstrated his original monitoring programme of DRM transmissions. Then RFmondial (Jens Schroeder), demonstrated how to provide DRM services in the crowded FM band compatible with all the existing FM stations. Joachim Lehnert, German DRM Platform Chairman, showed that DRM is a suitable system for local/regional coverage in VHF Band III, fully compatible with DAB/DAB+ and DVB-T networks and in keeping with RRC-06. RFmondial (Detlef Pagel) also referred to the use of DRM in VHF Band III and stressed that DRM+ is the most suitable digital system for the local and regional single-station broadcasters, as a complement to multiplexes, while sharing all the listener related features with the DAB+ standard. Finally, Manfred Kühn, Mobile Broadcast Consult, demonstrated the flexible transmission of multiple DRM channels in a single DAB frequency block in VHF Band III.

This session was followed by a status report on the development of digital multi-standard radios, presented by Robert Bosch Car Multimedia, NXP, Fraunhofer IIS, PnP Networks and Panasonic. All the speakers finally emphasized the market and framework requirements for the production of multistandard radios for Europe.

Joachim Lehnert, Chairman of the German DRM Platform, concluded that the workshop was an important step to bringing national activities together and added; “With all the European DRM activities presented over the past two days and the encouraging messages from the receiver industry, I believe that the famous ‘chicken or egg’ problem can be solved from the receiver end by adding DRM as a complement to existing digital receivers. This will eventually help all radio broadcasters across Europe, whether national, local or community stations, and will ensure each has a digital home in the future.”

Click here to download the PDF of this press release.

The Avion AV-DR -1401 DRM receiver to ship in October

DRM-Avion

Many thanks to several SWLing Post readers who shared this RadioWorld article about the new Avion AV-DR -1401 portable DRM receiver. According to RadioWorld, the AV-1401 will be sold through Amazon India as of October 2015 for approximately $175 US.

Click here to read the full article.

Extended HE-AAC: DRM to upgrades audio codec

drmlogoMany thanks to SWLing Post reader, Mike, for sharing this news item on RadioInfo:

(Source: RadioInfo)

The latest upgrade to DRM’s audio codec was demonstrated in a presentation at this week’s Digital Broadcasting Symposium in Kuala Lumpur.  Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) is the first global broadcast standard to adopt the Extended HE-AAC (xHE-AAC), which promises improved quality for DRM broadcasts in SW, AM and FM.

Alex Zink, the Senior Business Development Manager for Digital Radio at Fraunhofer, outlined the benefits of DRM in emergency situations, particularly the ability of DRM transmissions to signal receivers to turn on automatically and deliver emergency warning messages in a crisis.

“Unlike consuming radio on a smart phone, there is no gatekeeper in between digital free to air broadcasting and the consumer,” said Matthias Stoll in his presentation during the afternoon workshop.[…]

Read more at: http://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/new-audio-codec-drm-digital-symposium-2014 © Radioinfo.com.au

All India Radio publishes a tender for 800 DRM receivers

drmlogoThe DRM Consortium has posted an All India Radio (AIR) tender for 800 DRM AM/FM/Shortwave receivers.

AIR is seeking a DRM receiver with a feature set that would include:

  • DRM decoding on both shortwave and medium wave (AM broadcast) bands
  • 1 kHz tuning increments on DRM bands (with DRM auto lock)
  • Stereo speakers and headphone jack
  • Four line mono/color digital display
  • Built-in stereo recording of DRM broadcasts–including a scheduling feature
  • Upgradable firmware
  • Built-in rechargeable battery pack with 6 hour playback time

There are more specs/features, of course–click here or here to download a scanned copy of the actual AIR tender.

DRM Consortium publishes the DRM Introduction & Implementation Guide

The DRM Consortium has made their DRM Introduction & Implementation Guide available for download on their site. The  guide is intended for management of broadcasting organizations, “in areas of policy making as well as in program making and technical planning.” I imagine a few SWLing Post readers will enjoy it too.

Thanks to DRMNA.info for the tip!

Download the DRM Introduction & Implementation Guide via the DRM Consortium (PDF).

DRM: First Transmission for Southern Africa

(Source: DRM Consortium Press Release)

The DRM Consortium will make its first ever DRM transmissions for Southern Africa in French and English on October 11th on the occasion of the Digital Radio Conference organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels.

The two day conference will include two live studio discussions on the possibilities and future of digital radio from the multimedia radio studio of the European Parliament. The programmes aim to showcase multiplatform and distribution techniques in front of a studio audience of Digital Radio Conference delegates.

The live show in French from 1200-1300 GMT will be followed two hours later (1400-1500 GMT) by a Digital Radio Show in English with international participation including the chairpersons of the DRM and WorldDMB Consortia.

Both the French and English programmes will be carried live on DRM SW 21800 from Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean and should be heard in countries like South Africa, Angola, Zambia, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Mozambique. The English programme will also be carried at 1800 GMT into Southern Asia on DRM SW 12085, at the end of the daily regular BBC/DW transmission.

Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Chairperson, says: “This is an exciting and imaginative undertaking that will demonstrate practically, even if for a short while, to European MPs and radio enthusiasts at thousands of kilometres apart the capacity of DRM to cover huge areas with excellent audio quality programmes. We are grateful to the EBU for the opportunity to showcase, alongside other platforms, that part of DRM, the only standard for all bands below and above 30 MHz, that could offer so much to the radio lovers in Africa.”

Resources:

 

New DRM Receiver – Di-Wave 100 / UniWave Di-Wave

Note: Updated 13 December 2009

Uniwave SA, CEO, Patrick Leclerc, with the receiver holding the Di-Wave 100. Photo courtesy of DRM consortium.

Uniwave SA, CEO, Patrick Leclerc, with the receiver holding the Di-Wave 100. Photo courtesy of DRM consortium.

The Di-Wave 100, a new DRM digital radio receiver was unveiled at the annual general assembly of the DRM Consortium in Erlangen, Germany. This is big news indeed for DRM enthusiasts as there are so few versatile stand-alone DRM receivers in production.

This announcement also coincides with other exciting news in the DRM world, namely that India and Russia are backing the digital mode for future broadcasts.  See press release here.

The Di-Wave 100 has a USB/SD card  reader and mp3/mp4 play-back. It sports a 3.5 inch TFT color display that reveals station identification, program information, Journaline, MOT Slideshow and listening time shift in several languages. The Di-Wave 100 can receive DRM broadcasts in SW, MW and LW as well as analogue FM and can store 768 stations in its memory.

Click here to view in Universal Radio catalog.

It should be noted that the Di-Wave 100 will be the first consumer DRM receiver authorized by the FCC for sale in the United States. When FCC approval is granted, the Di-Wave 100 (a.k.a. UniWave Di-Wave) can be purchased from Universal Radio.

UPDATE: Universal Radio is now selling the Di-Wave in North America for $299.95 US. The Di-Wave is also available for sale in Thiecom’s online catalog in Germany (249€) and in AV-COMM’s online catalog in Australia ($499AU). Two other distributors in Germany are Charly Hardt and Alan Electronics.

More info on the Di-Wave 100: