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DBS 2014 – DRM a boon in emergencies

Digital Radio Mondiale could be a boon in emergencies, delegates at the ABU Digital Broadcasting Summit have been told. 

Mr Alex Zink, of the DRM Consortium, told a workshop at the conference in Kuala Lumpur that in emergency situations DRM transmitters could signal receivers to turn on automatically to deliver emergency warning messages.

A group from the DRM Consortium demonstrated the increased quality of the improved AAC codec now being used with DRM broadcasts in shortwave, AM and FM. 

Mr Matthias Stoll said: “Unlike consuming radio on a smart phone, there is no gatekeeper in-between digital free-to-air broadcasting and the consumer.” 

The consortium said DRM gave AM broadcasters the same coverage with less power usage, saving about 60% on analogue transmission costs.

Delegates heard that All India Radio was currently converting 72 transmitter sites to digital using DRM, with transmitters supplied by Nautel. “It is one of the worlds largest digital radio deployments,” explained Nautel’s John Abdnour. 

Mr Zink said DRM receivers were now on three platforms: desktop radios, mobile phone radios and car radios. Two new desktop receivers were displayed during the presentation. 

He said a DRM Introduction and Implementation Guide was available for download from the DRM website.