Tag Archives: Digital Radio Mondiale

DRM: a solution to the “medium-wave problem”–?

(Source: Radio World)

Is medium wave in decline? Some people think so.

In the 1950s radio was declared mortally wounded by TV. But then FM with its new music rescued it, becoming one of the most successful technologies and platforms ever. Radio survived and thrived but AM should have died at the hands of the nimbler, younger and more attractive FM.

Only it did not and the medium reinvented itself by using presenter-led programming, commercial music and sport. In the United States it took until the end of 1990s for the FM and AM audiences to be equal and to this day the big AM stations are going strong, bringing in the ad dollars.

REASONS

Still, it’s undeniable that the whiff of decline has enveloped AM in the past two decades. The reasons are well-known: Analog medium wave doesn’t always deliver the best sound, it can suffer from interference, it can behave annoyingly different by day and night and even by season. Medium wave mainly appeals to a maturing population (a global phenomenon, considered shameful by some!) using aging receivers (this is bad!).

[…]

THE SOLUTION

Recently cricket fans were able to enjoy an open-air demonstration of three different DRM programs on one frequency ahead of an important match in Bangalore. The fans also received data (stock exchange values) available on radio screens. This demonstrated that digital DRM is a game changer for medium wave.

In DRM the crackling audio disappears as sound is as good of that on FM. The electricity consumption and costs decrease, the spectrum is trebled and reception, even in cars (as available in over 1.5 million cars in India currently) is excellent, too.

If it is so good then why isn’t DRM medium wave conquering the world faster? Maybe it’s about confidence in a new platform. Broadcasters and governments need to market DRM digital radio once signals are on air in their countries.

As for receiver availability and their costs, let us remember how many receivers were on sale in the 1970s when FM was taking over the world. Nowadays, many listeners consume radio in their cars rather than sit in front of a retro looking wooden box. Digital receivers (DRM alone or DRM/DAB+) are a reality and a bigger push for digital would help with volumes sold thus bringing down the prices.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Radio World.

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Gospell product lineup for IBC 2019 includes the GR-22 portable DRM radio

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who writes:

SWLing Post readers might be interested in learning about Gospell’s newly-announced DRM receivers and active antenna products. The GR-22 “pocket-sized” “full-wave” receiver that’s supposed to be available for purchase by June 2020 seems especially interesting.

(Source: Gospell Press Release)

Gospell to announce the DRM monitoring system and imminent release of portable DRM receiver, and more

Chengdu, China – Gospell, a leading supplier of pay TV system and equipment, satellite TV receiving products and microwave products, announces its product lineup for IBC 2019. The company will debut several new products featuring DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) for both consumer and industry market, including:

    • GR-22 – Portable DRM/AM/FM Receiver
    • GR-227 – DRM Car Adapter
    • GR-301 – DRM/AM/FM Monitoring Receiver
    • GR-310 – Audio Broadcast Monitoring Platform
    • GR-AT3 – High Performance Active HF Antenna

GR-22 is a sleek and classy portable radio from Gospell, the contemporary stylistics of exterior design fits in your personal style, crystal clear DRM digital radio and AM/FM brings practicality and comfort to your daily enjoyment. Despite its pocket-size, it’s a nifty full wave band receiver packed up in a tiny body that enables you to explore a wide variety of radio stations. It is also future-proofed for the next generation DRM-E technology. You have access to all the presets, station names, program details and even Journaline news on the easy to ready large LCD in a simple and intuitive way. Sleep timer set your radio to automatically switch off or wake up at your convenience. Listen to your favorite radio programs anywhere you like with 4 x AA batteries or connect it to mains. GR-22 is a multi-functional radio that is flexible to your listen habits. GR-22 will be available for purchase on Q2 2020.

GR-227 is a car digital radio adapter that utilizes most advanced interference and noise cancellation technology to receive digital radio in car while achieving the best audio quality and serve it to the car audio system over aux cable or by transmitting over an unused FM frequency. The receiver is fully compatible with DRM standard that is being deployed over the world, with its latest audio codec xHE-AAC. Based on software defined radio technology, GR-227 is ready for the emerging DRM-E standard that extends the DRM broadcast to FM band.

GR-301 is a high performance monitoring receiver that supports DRM, AM and FM. GR-301 supports the collection of key parameters of audio broadcasting, including SNR, MER, CRC, PSD, RF level, audio availability and service information. The collection and uploading of parameters meets DRM RSCI standards. The GR-301 can work independently or be deployed with other receivers to become a node in the service evaluation network. The GR-301 supports the xHE-AAC audio codec and is capable of handling the latest DRM-E standard through software upgrades.

GR-310 is a management platform designed for audio broadcast monitoring and receiver control purposes, it manages the geographically distributed GR-301 receivers. The platform can formulate receiving schedules, configure the receivers to perform receiving tasks, perform real-time browsing of the reception status, store historical data, and visualize the statistic data in a intuitive way. In addition to monitoring and analyzing data, the GR-310 platform also supports real-time audio monitoring and configuration of alarm conditions, alarms will be triggered when rules are met.

GR-AT3 is a high-performance active monopole antenna with reception frequency ranges from 0.3 to 50MHz. It is designed to work in harsh environments with respect to strong man-made noise and stern natural conditions. It is compact and easy to install, supplied accessories enable rapid installation. The antenna is comprised of a wide band amplifier in an IP67 waterproof aluminum body together with an active element made of a stainless-steel. The solid construction ensures durability and maintenance-free operation.

“We’re constantly working to ensure we’re bring the latest technology in our product”, says Haochun Liu, assistant to general manager, “These products underscore the Gospell’s commitment to providing easy access to high quality information at affordable prices. Both consumer and industry can benefit from it.”

Gospell will be exhibiting at IBC 2019 in the Amsterdam International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) Hall 3 C67, September 13-17. To schedule a meeting at IBC 2019 or access a sample of the featured IBC showcase, email haojq@gospell.com

About Gospell

Established in 2001, Gospell Digital Technology Co Ltd (GOSPELL). is a hi-tech enterprise with R&D, manufacturing, business consultancy and planning, trade, delivery, project implementation and after sales service, acting as a complete DTV and triple-play solution provider for Digital TV/OTT related projects. Headquartered in GOSPELL INDUSTRIAL PARK at Chenzhou, Hunan Province for CPE related production manufacturing, GOSPELL also has its office in Shenzhen for business/marketing management and administration, in Chengdu for R&D and headend/transmitter system production/debugging and Customer Service Center, and in 12 cities in China as well as international offices in India, Africa and Mexico.

Thank you for sharing this, Ed. Looking through the press release, I don’t see any DRM radios where they note shortwave reception, however, the GR-22 is being called a “full wave band receiver.” Perhaps “full wave” is their way of indicating shortwave reception?

It looks like the GR-22, and all of the products listed above, are squarely targeting the new DRM market in India.

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Starwaves seeks path to “affordable, distributable” DRM receivers

Starwaves Decoder (Source: DRM Newsletter)

(Source: Radio World via Marty)

[…]For years, NASB members have wanted to replace (or at least augment) the poor audio quality of analog SW with the crystal-clear sound of digital SW radio, specifically the Digital Radio Mondiale standard developed in Europe that is now being used in China and India.

[…]There are some DRM radios in use now, which is why some NASB members are offering limited DRM broadcasts alongside their regular analog SW transmissions.

“But the current generation of DRM SW receivers cost about $100 each, whereas you can buy a cheap analog SW radio for as little as $10,” said Dr. Jerry Plummer, a professor at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., and frequency coordinator for U.S. SW station WWCR. “Given that the audiences being targeted by NASB members are largely in the third world, the lack of inexpensive DRM receivers keeps them listening tDRMo analog shortwave.”

[…]Given the NASB’s interest in low-cost DRM receivers, it was no coincidence that Johannes Von Weyssenhoff was invited to speak at the annual meeting. Von Weyssenhoff said his StarWaves manufacturing firm (www.starwaves.de) has the technology, capability and existing prototypes to build DRM radios for $29 each, but only if the sale order is large enough to deliver economies of scale. (He also estimated $18 DRM modules could be built for installation in other radio models.)

“Twenty-nine dollars is doable at volumes staring at 30,000 receivers,” Von Weyssenhoff told Radio World. “Even smaller quantities would be possible at this price for very simple radios — for example, without graphics displays — but these would be special projects that had to be discussed individually. But even more advanced radios with Bluetooth or premium designs will be possible to offer at a reasonable price,” he said — as long as the sales orders was in the tens of thousands or more.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Radio World.

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New Silicon Labs automotive radio tuners support DRM and built on “SDR-friendly technology”

Many thanks to a number of SWLing Post readers who shared this latest press release from Silicon Labs. This is certainly a major upgrade to the Silicon Labs line of tuners/DSP chips. Native Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) support will, no doubt, meet the needs of car manufactures in countries (like India) that have adopted DRM rather than HD radio and DAB/DAB+.  Of course, perhaps this might lead to an affordable DRM portable in the future:

Silicon Labs enhances Si479xx automotive tuner family with software-defined radio (SDR) technology.

(Source: Silicon Labs)

AUSTIN, Texas, July 29, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB), a leading provider of automotive radio solutions, has introduced new hybrid software-defined radio (SDR) tuners, expanding its portfolio to meet the growing need of automotive radio manufacturers to support all global digital radio standards with a common platform. The new Si479x7 devices are Silicon Labs’ first automotive radio tuners supporting the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) standard. The Si479x7 tuners are an extension of Silicon Labs’ popular family of Global Eagle and Dual Eagle AM/FM receivers and digital radio tuners, providing the same outstanding field performance, pin and package compatibility between single and dual tuners, and bill of materials (BOM) cost advantages.

In addition to introducing new DRM-capable tuners, Silicon Labs is enhancing its Si4790x/1x/2x/5x/6x automotive tuners with unique “SDR-friendly” technology, effectively transforming these devices into hybrid SDR tuners. Silicon Labs’ hybrid SDR technology includes advanced DSP-based automotive features such as Maximal Ratio Combining (MRC), Digital Automatic Gain Control (AGC), Digital Radio Fast Detect and Dynamic Zero-IF (ZIF) I/Q. These features enable automotive radio manufacturers to support global digital radio standards with a common radio hardware and software design. This added flexibility helps OEM and Tier 1 customers reduce design, qualification, sourcing and inventory costs while avoiding the complexity and inefficiency of supporting multiple automotive radio platforms.

“Silicon Labs’ automotive tuners with hybrid SDR capabilities deliver the highest integration and reception performance and the lowest BOM cost of any automotive SDR tuners in mass production today,” said Juan Revilla, General Manager of Broadcast Products at Silicon Labs. “Our tuners with advanced digital radio features enable radio manufacturers to develop a single platform to demodulate and decode worldwide digital radio standards, greatly simplifying car radio designs and reducing system cost. A single digital radio platform can be achieved either with an SDR-based design approach or by using a tuner-plus-coprocessor design.”

Silicon Labs’ automotive tuner portfolio includes highly integrated single and dual device options with best-in-class AM/FM receiver performance. The portfolio supports all broadcast radio bands including AM, FM, Long Wave, Short Wave, Weather Band, HD Radio, DAB (Band III) and DRM. The tuners are built on Silicon Labs’ industry-leading RF CMOS technology, delivering outstanding automotive receiver performance. The tuners’ proven mixed-signal, low-IF RF CMOS design provides excellent sensitivity in weak signal environments and superb selectivity and intermodulation immunity in strong signal environments.

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Russia to test DRM over FM

(Source: Radio World via Michael Bird)

Russia will begin testing the Digital Radio Mondiale digital radio standard in the FM Band in July in St. Petersburg.

Russian firms Digiton and Triada TV are working with Fraunhofer IIS, RFmondial, chipmaker NXP and others to carry out the pilot.

The organizers will install a DRM-capable transmitter mid-July and begin regular simulcast broadcasts (DRM for FM) immediately after site acceptance checks are complete. The transmitter will reportedly be on air for six months and have an analog transmitting power of 5 kW and a digital output power of 800 W.[…]

Click here to read the full article at Radio World.

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Starwaves chip could make DRM radios cheaper and easier to manufacture

 

Starwaves Decoder (Source: DRM Newsletter)

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who writes:

Hi Thomas,

This month’s DRM Newsletter from the Digital Radio Mondiale Consortium has announced that a chip has been developed and introduced to make DRM receiver manufacturing easier and cheaper. It’s to be made available soon in a module with a header connector for developers, radio manufacturers and radio experimenters. This might be the tipping point for the development of high-quality, low-cost multiband DRM-capable receivers!

(Source: DRM newsletter)

At the MBT conference, the Consortium representatives had a chance to update participants with the latest DRM developments across the world showing DRM in action and new receiver solutions.

On May 23, at the meeting, a new DRM module (W102) with integrated hard coded baseband decoder was launched by Starwaves. The module will be suitable for applications such as consumer radios or aftermarket automotive solutions. The module contains a high-quality tuner frontend and audio DAC as well as a digital input for external audio sources e.g. from an external MCU to provide Bluetooth or USB audio. It measures only 40x40mm and covers all bands from LW, MW, SW to the FM Band (64-108 MHz) in DRM and analogue radio. All data services such as Journaline or MOT Slide Shows can be extracted from the data stream for further processing in the target device. The module will be available for order in the 3rd quarter of 2019.

DRM Participates IN MBT Hungary Conference and New DRM Module Unveiled

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Inntot Technologies focuses on SDR based DRM+ Receivers

(Image Source: @YogendraPal9)

(Source: Inc42)

[…]Inntot Technologies provides software-enabled IP solutions for Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM for AM and FM band, a set of digital audio broadcasting guidelines) enabled receivers, DAB/DAB+ (digital audio broadcasting) enabled receivers and ISDB-T (A technical standard for digital TV broadcast) Digital Television paving way to digital radio transmission.

Though the transmission side in India is almost ready, next-generation digital radio receivers are expensive (can go upto INR 14K), which is posing as a hurdle in the common man from benefiting from the features offered by digital radio.

[…]Inntot Technologies is facilitating software-defined radio (SDR) based DRM+ Receiver solution, wherein the software can be embedded directly to the fixed receivers, automotive/in-car radios, smartphones, as well as USB dongles.

[…]Inntot solution is different from using a separate hardware demodulator which adds to the overall cost of the digital radio receiver.

Inntot’s software solution can also help OEMs, radio receiver manufacturers, and semiconductor chip manufacturers in:

  • Doing away with the recurring cost of the demodulator chip, which, in turn, will reduce the bills of material (BoM) cost — ideal for a high-volume market like India
  • Easy portability on platforms like Android
  • Reusable, fully standard, and specifications-compliant complete stack and no external dependency on any vendor
  • System integration and field testing

[…]Inntot is not the only company looking to offer cost-effective DRM receivers. Launched in 1993, the New Delhi-based OEM manufacturer Communications System Inc., has also put up its digital radio for sale on online websites like Amazon, and IndiaMart.

As of May 2018, the company has put up a notice for being in production for the second batch of digital radio receivers. However, despite tracking for weeks, its status remains ‘currently unavailable’ on Amazon, while we were not able to place an order from Indiamart.[…]

Read this full article at Inc42.

 

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