Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ed, who notes that the latest version of the DRM Handbook is available for download.
(Source: Radio World via Maichael Black)
Note that the excerpt below is only a portion of the full article. Read the full piece at Radio World.
Does Shortwave Have a Future?
by RUXANDRA OBREJA
When is the last time you heard a shortwave radio transmission? And why should you put up with possible crackly audio and some interference when we have now internet, satellites, FM and all forms of digital radio?
[…]Shortwave is just short of a miracle, actually. When it is beamed at an angle, it hits the ionosphere. A mirror around the Earth and then it falls like a ball at great distances, beyond the horizon. Thus these transmissions reach listeners over large areas, continents and beyond. Two or three high-power transmitters can potentially cover the entire world.
Shortwave is used not just by international radio stations or radio amateurs but is also essential for aviation, marine, diplomatic and emergency purposes. Shortwave signals are not restricted or controlled by the receiving countries and, as frequencies change in winter and summer, they need to be coordinated internationally.
[…]Digital Radio Mondiale was originally invented to offer medium (AM) and large coverage (HF) and the advantages of the good audio quality and extra multimedia services that can take shortwave into the 21st century. Maybe DRM was ahead of its time. The phasing in of digital broadcasts internationally was not in tandem with the production and sale of receivers, which remains a regional and national business. Since its birth DRM has proven that it is a suitable option for shortwave offering an good digital quality of audio and even short live video at great distance without fading and crackly sound.
Now, at last, there are DRM receivers capable of receiving shortwave, there are broadcasts and interested broadcasters. Quietly and surely shortwave is being re-examined and appreciated for the quality of broadcasts and its potential as a “crisis radio” too. It can become crucial in emergencies when local and regional radio stations, satellite and internet may be off the air due to damage. Broadband is getting cheaper but is limited, 5G will come but not just yet, digital shortwave is here.[…]
(Source: Radio World via Michael Bird)
The nation becomes world’s leading Digital Radio Mondiale shortwave broadcaster in just one year
BEIJING — It appears as if China has jumped into Digital Radio Mondiale shortwave broadcasting with both feet. Some DRM infrastructure has been in place for over a decade, but up until recently had only been sporadically tested.
Just over a year ago, China had no regular DRM presence. Today, it is the world’s largest DRM shortwave broadcaster. China operates the most DRM transmitters in this band and has the most extensive schedule.
The initial broadcasts started in early 2018 from Beijing. Services continued to rollout over the year via various transmitter sites, often on the country’s periphery.
A DRM shortwave transmitter in Beijing targets north China almost 24 hours a day. A second Beijing transmitter targets east China for eight hours a day.
Another transmitter in Ürümqi in the country’s west targets central and east China for 14 hours a day, while a transmitter in Qiqihar, Heilongjiang province (the Manchurian plain), is on more than 11 hours a day and reaches south and southwest China. Dongfang on Hainan Island province is on eight hours a day on two frequencies for both north and southeast China. Finally, the DRM shortwave transmitter located in Kunming in the Yunnan province is on eight hours daily for south China. There is now a DRM network providing nationwide coverage.
By comparison All India Radio has 11.5 hours a day of shortwave time coming from a single transmitter. The Indian broadcaster has as many as three more DRM-capable shortwave transmitters but they are not on air at present. India does operate 38 AM (medium wave) transmitters for its domestic network, however.[…]
(Source: Broadcast and Cable Sat)
Digital Radio Receivers – Availability At An Affordable Price
by Yogender Pal (Chairman, DRM India Chapter)
[…]Transmissions in FM band in India, by AIR as well as private broadcasters, are still in analogue mode only. Aware of the advantages of digital radio broadcasting, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, the regulator for all the broadcast services too, has recommended to allow private broadcasters to broadcast in the digital white spaces available in the FM band (VHF band II). This recommendation is under consideration of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. The Ministry held a meeting on the issue on August 30, 2018. All stakeholders (public and private) were in favor of digital broadcasting in FM band and suggested that the ministry makes public a regulatory policy as soon as possible. Cellphone manufacturers also gave their support provided no additional costs were involved.
A digital receiver is required to receive digital radio broadcasts as analogue receivers cannot decode the digital signals.
One of the welcome features of the current roll-out of DRM digital radio in India has been the early and overwhelming commitment of the car industry. Most of the leading car manufacturers in India have either already incorporated DRM receivers in their cars or are in the process of incorporating them. Hyundai has built-in DRM radios in all its models except one. Maruti Suzuki has also incorporated DRM receivers in 6 models and all their models are soon expected to have built-in DRM receivers. Mahindra has also installed DRM in its TUV model. It is encouraging that the roll-out of DRM equipped cars is growing rapidly. At present the number is understood to have surpassed the 10 lakh mark. Indian car manufacturers are not charging extra from consumers for line-fit DRM radio sets.
In parallel, efforts are being made by a large number of Indian and foreign receiver manufacturers to provide standalone DRM receivers. Communications Systems is the first Indian radio manufacturer to domestically develop and produce a DRM receiver (AV-1401). Inntot Technologies, a young start-up enterprise, has developed a software-based DRM receiver based on a generic processor. This is likely to be much cheaper. GeekSynergy, another start-up company, is also working on the development of a highly affordable DRM receiver.
Gospell Digital Technology located in China has presented a very well-reviewed DRM Receiver, GR216, which is already in production. Gospell is developing a DRM receiver dongle, GR-227 too, which can be plugged in the existing audio systems in the automobiles on USB ports or Aux input to receive DRM digital signals. Titus SDR, a Panamanian based company, has developed a multi-standard and software-based digital radio receiver. Starwaves has also developed a prototype DRM receiver.
Standalone DRM digital efforts remain relatively expensive at present. Like with any new technology higher volumes will bring down the cost of the receivers. AIR may thus offer content with additional audio services, innovative advanced features such as journaline advanced text, emergency warnings, and traffic information so that listeners see value in buying a digital receiver.
An app for DRM digital reception in mobile phones in FM band has been already developed. Demonstrations have been made on the reception of DRM digital signals in the existing mobile phones by plugging a dongle. External dongle would not be required in the new mobile phones; however, the industry wants to see the publicized policy of the government before making the necessary adjustments for working of the app.
Most of the standalone receivers can receive DRM (in addition to analogue) in AM bands; and its software can also be upgraded to receive DRM in FM band. As announced by Director General recently, AIR may start digital radio broadcasting in FM band. Government may also accept TRAI recommendations and announce a roadmap for digital radio broadcasting in FM band by private broadcasters so that the industry (cellphones, automobile, and standalone receiver manufacturers) gets confidence and starts mass production of receivers.[…]
Many thanks to Ed for the tip!
There is a new digital receiver available. It can receive DRM in all bands from low, medium, high and band 1 & 2 VHF, as well as DAB+ and analog AM and FM.
It cannot receive HD radio because Xpedia charge licensing fees on every receiver and the market is restricted to USA and Mexico.
Thank you for the tip! It appears this receiver is a product of STARWAVES GmbH, Germany/Switzerland, although I assume it’s manufactured in China based on the bulk order costs.
I’ve reached out to the manufacturer for more details as there are few specifics and no specifications on the Alibaba page.
There are also no details about this radio on the Starwaves website.
If/when we receive more information about this radio, we’ll share it here on the SWLing Post. Stay tuned!
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