Posts Categorised: DRM

Inntot Technologies, GeekSynergy, Gospell Digital Technology and Communications Systems are all working on products

Avion DRM receiver

NEW DELHI — You will recall that All India Radio, the public service broadcaster in India, adopted the Digital Radio Mondiale standard for the digital terrestrial radio transmissions in the MW and SW bands. 35 MW transmitters of AIR, ranging in power from 20 kW to 1000 kW, continue to operate in using DRM in various fashions. Two more transmitters, 100 kW each, are under trial in Delhi and these are expected to be operational in a couple of months, according to DRM news .

DRM news has compiled a list of manufacturers of stand-alone DRM receivers from various manufacturers, that is of interest.

DRM in the dashboard

Inntot Technologies, a start-up enterprise in India, has developed a software-based DRM receiver, which is based on a generic processor, and meets all the specifications for the Minimum Receiver Requirements, supporting all DRM core functionality such as Journaline advanced text and Emergency Warning Functionality. The design has been field tested in number of cities in India. It is expected to be very cost effective.

GeekSynergy, another start-up, is working on the development of a “highly affordable yet full-featured” DRM receiver, which is likely to be showcased by summer 2018. The company is also working on incorporating DRM into smartphones using one of the most well-known chips installed in all the branded mobile phones.

Gospell receiver and dongle

The Chinese company Gospell Digital Technology has presented a very well-reviewed DRM Receiver, the GR 216, which is already in production. These units can receive DRM signals in the AM as well as the VHF bands for large-area and local services, respectively. Core DRM features such as Journaline advanced text and EWF — with automatic device-wake-up from deep-standby are supported. Gospell is developing a DRM receiver dongle, GR-227, which can be plugged in the existing audio systems in the automobiles on USB ports or Aux input to receive DRM signals. The receiver model will allow legacy cars already on the road and with analog AM and FM reception to be upgraded to DRM digital reception through this simple add-on device. The unit is likely to go into production shortly.

Communications Systems is the first radio manufacturer in India to domestically develop and produce a DRM receiver (AV-1401), an “ambitious full-featured” digital radio. It supports all the DRM-specific features including Journaline advanced text and Emergency Warning Functionality. As part of the company’s continued commitment to DRM in India, the model was recently updated and easily meets DRM’s minimum receiver requirements as recommended by the DRM Consortium. 

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The Creta is the seventh Hyundai model to be equipped with digital radio

NEW DELHI — DRM news is reporting that Hyundai has added another digital radio to its line of cars. The Hyundai Creta, “one of the most popular and best-selling SUVs in India” now comes with a DRM receiver as standard equipment. The Creta represents the seventh Hyundai model with DRM receivers available.

“More than 100,000 cars are on the road in India today and are equipped with DRM receivers (Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki, Mahinda) — Hyundai for instance has six models with DRM receivers on the Indian roads with new models to come, according to . The first after-market car radio and add-on dongle with DRM support was publicly presented at IBC 2017 in Amsterdam both for the AM bands and ready for the FM/VHF bands. 

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Organization says there will soon be 1 million cars equipped standard

The number of cars with DRM-enabled radio sets installed as standard equipment on  Indian roads is nearing 1 million, according to Digital Radio Mondiale.

All India Radio, the public broadcaster, has engaged in the past few years in what it calls the largest radio digitization rollout in the world; with 39 high-power DRM transmitters operational, AIR is covering a large part of the subcontinent and an estimated 600 million people, DRM says.

It argues that, like elsewhere in the world, digital radio in India is driven by listening in cars and is important for the success of India’s digital rollout program. DRM says the receiver industry has invested millions of dollars in development of DRM-capable receivers and that the rollout of DRM-equipped cars is “growing quickly by the month”

DRM also noted that Communications Systems Inc. of India, manufacturer of the Avion DRM digital receiver AV-1401 , has started its second production run after undertaking enhancements to the device.

The AV-DR-1401 has been upgraded with a new PCB design for enhanced sensitivity and an improved FM signal, it said. The manufacturer also upgraded the software for the Emergency Warning Functionality, so that it can be used when the receiver is in standby as well; and, the receiver is now able to pick up weaker signals and deliver those in better digital audio quality. Improvements have been done also on the antenna by providing a complete new design, also according to DRM news .

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Working plan for the next year will be developed at the event in Mallorca

MALLORCA, Spain — The 2018 General Assembly of the DRM Consortium is scheduled to take place on April 17 –18, under the banner “Digital Radio Mondiale Drives Forward” at the Palma Bellver Bay Meliá Hotel on Mallorca, hosted by Bosch and RFmondial.

At the General Assembly, strategy and a working plan for the next year will be developed. The assembly will also serve as an election year for the Chair and all leading bodies of the Consortium.

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Members and guests can also use this assembly as an opportunity to review all the activities of the past year and to receive updates from country representatives and specialists from all the corners of the globe. In addition, a special receiver session has been also scheduled as part of the event.

“This is a moment to take stock and review the excellent progress made by DRM in India and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as South Africa, other countries in Africa, Middle East and Europe,” said Ruxandra Obreja, the current DRM Chairman. “DRM Drives forward with big successes in the automotive industry. Continuous work goes on to provide ingenious standalone and car receivers. DRM as a provider of more than audio and especially emergency warning functionality puts it in a unique position giving users a powerful, all-band solution they can use for their specific needs and coverage at local, regional, national and international level.”

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Sponsored session on “What’s New, What’s Next” at ABU Symposium

KUALA LUMPUR — We recently reported about DAB at the just-completed Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Digital Broadcasting Symposium. Also there was Digital Radio Mondiale, which sponsored Session two on “New Technologies & Standards — What’s New, What’s Next” and a DRM workshop.

A presentation was given on “DRM in Asia-Pacific” by the DRM Consortium Chair, Ruxandra Obreja, on March 5 ​followed another on the India Roll-Out, by Alexander Zink (of Fraunhofer IIs) on March 7. Zink was immediately followed by the DRM Implementation workshop, the participants of which included Radu Obreja (DRM Marketing Director); Lindsay Cornell (BBC, Chair DRM Technical Committee); Chuck Kelly (Nautel); Tom King (Kintronics) and Ruxandra Obreja.

The participants attending the workshop were “very interested in digital radio and represented countries with genuine interest in DRM” (Vietnam, Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, etc.), according to DRM news .

During the recent BES conference , DRM had several presentations. During the morning Session on day two, Bernd Linz (of Fraunhofer IIS) gave a presentation on xHE-AAc for DRM and web streaming; in the afternoon, Nigel Fry (Head of Distribution, BBC World Service Group) addressed the subject of “Revitalization of AM Bands.” The point of his presentation was that, while AM bands have seen a decline in use due to the limited audio quality they could provide, the unique benefits and advantages of the AM bands for radio broadcasting and short-wave transmissions in particular are being rediscovered due to their unique coverage opportunities to reach listeners around the world. 

“Upgrading the AM transmissions to the DRM digital radio technology not only brings the audio quality to the level of local FM transmissions, it also adds advanced features such as free-to-air Journaline text articles and takes away the hassle of memorizing frequencies — all while retaining the unique advantages of most efficient large-area coverage,” also according to DRM news .

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This new project will be added to a series of vital projects that aim to keep pace with the rapid technical progress around the globe

KUWAIT CITY — The Kuwait Minister of Information Mohammad Al-Jabri on March 8 launched a project to update shortwave transmitters at Kabd station from analog to digital, with plans in place to use the open standard Digital Radio Mondiale, according to .

Kabd station, with the new DRM system, will allow “Kuwait’s voice” to reach the entire Middle East region, Europe and Asia, the minister noted.

[Related: “New Digital Radio Transmissions Start in Kuwait and Algeria “]

This new project for the ministry will be added to a series of vital projects that aim to keep pace with the rapid technical progress around the globe, Al-Jabri told KUNA and the Kuwait TV. 

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Commercial Radio Australia CEO Joan Warner spoke about the uniqueness of radio as compared to online competitors

KUALA LUMPUR — The Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union held its Digital Broadcasting Symposium in Kuala Lumpur. Let’s take a look at some of the more germane news, as reported by .

Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia and well-known radio advocate, spoke to the delegates about the uniqueness of our medium when stacked up against new competitors online, including social media. “In radio’s case, and it has happened in some countries, is they’ve forgotten what people value about radio is it’s live and local – you can talk to people, you can talk to your Prime Minister live on air if you want to, you can tweet, you can engage via social media.

“Traditional broadcasters have to remember what the key strengths are (of radio) and don’t be frightened by the future. But also don’t feel so threatened, as some people in traditional media seem to feel, because the billions of people listening to radio around the world are not going away any time soon.”

Why do we never hear Warner speaking in the US? It’d be great to have her address the NAB Show.

Alexander Zink, senior business development Manager at Fraunhofer IIS, was asked about the potential impact of India’s DRM rollout on the rest of the world. “Whatever’s going on in India and the big members of ABU like Indonesia…definitely has an impact on the rest of the world.”

“Digitizing the FM band (in India) in particular will give the opportunity for smartphone manufacturers to support digital radio there under the FM band natively with a simple firmware upgrade on the devices without requiring any additional chips,” he said, quoted in the same article.

Zink talked about private broadcasters in India already getting excited about the possibilities of digital radio, and there will be “great reverberations from the whole Asia-Pacific region, where the big smartphone manufacturers are, and yes there is lots of impact on the whole region.” 

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CBU to Host DRM Webinar

A new webinar series focuses on digital radio

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — The Caribbean Broadcasting Union has announced its inaugural Digital Radio webinar series with the topic of Digital Radio Mondiale.

While the emphasis has been placed so far on the transition from analog to digital television, digital audio broadcasting is now coming into focus with broadcasters and manufacturers offering solutions for digital radio. Two standards for digital radio are Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) and Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB/DAB+). Both the DRM Consortium and WorldDAB have partnered with the Union at its Annual Assemblies in Havana in 2016 and in Nassau in 2017 to share with CBU radio members the options and benefits of digital radio and the best ways to transition to the digital age in radio.

CBU members can learn more about the two standards during a series of webinars that will get underway in March 2018 with the DRM webinar. During the DRM webinar scheduled for 11 a.m. (Eastern Caribbean time) on March 22, CBU members will hear from experts: DRM Chair Ruxandra Obreja, Alexander Zink of Fraunhofer IIS in Germany and Matthias Stoll from Ampegon, Switzerland. This event will focus on just why digital radio can be a better option than analog for listeners and for the industry. Business models for digital radio operations in small markets and opportunities for training of staff will also be touched upon. 

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