ABU Digital Radio Forum
An Update on the Latest Digital Radio Development Worldwide
for April 2010
Reported on 4 March 2010: A working prototype of an integrated FM and digital station guide
which will enable listeners to tune seamlessly between FM and digital frequencies and select stations
by name regardless of whether they are on FM or digital has been successfully developed just five
weeks after the radio industry announced its commitment to work with receiver manufacturers to
explore the technology.
The integrated station guide automatically scans for both DAB and FM stations and then displays
them in one alphabetical list to the user. The working prototype was developed by Frontier Silicon,
and demonstrated on a Roberts „ecologic 1‟ radio at the Digital Radio Group Meeting held by
Intellect, the trade association of the UK technology industry, in mid of Feb 2010, and attended by
As the radio industry moves towards a digital future, the development of an integrated station guide is
a significant initiative in ensuring that local commercial and community stations which stay on FM,
along with new services launching on newly vacated analogue spectrum, remain as accessible to
listeners as those stations that have migrated to digital only.
Reported on 5 March 2010: AudioNET has contracted radio software specialist All In Media (AIM)
to build the first software tools to deliver commercials for Australia‟s digital radio stations. AIM
provides software for digital radio in Europe, Canada and Asia as well as Australia.
Reported on 22 March 2010: The first official data relating to digital radio broadcasts in Australia
was released by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) on 22 March 2010, showing six months after the
consumer launch of digital radio in the five state metropolitan capitals of Sydney, Melbourne,
Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, there are 449,000 people listening to digital radio in an average week,
around 104,000 digital radios in the market and 80 percent of people who own a digital radio would
recommend it to a friend.
The Digital Radio Industry Report released by CRA includes data from the official radio industry
audience measurement survey company, the Nielsen Company, consumer electronics market research
company, GfK, and market researcher, the Hoop Group.
The market information in the Digital Radio Industry Report has exceeded the industry‟s initial
expectations. Initial predictions were up to 50,000 receivers sold in the first 12 months.
The main findings from recent consumer research commissioned by CRA show:
• 63% of Australians are aware that DAB+ digital radio has launched in Australia
• 38% of people in metropolitan areas are likely to purchase a digital radio in the next 12 months.
• 80% of people who own a digital radio would recommend it to a friend
• 69% of people who own a digital radio believe it has delivered on expectations
• 74% of people are willing to spend between $50-$200 for a digital radio device
• 71% of digital radio owners purchased for the digital quality sound
The report also shows that radio broadcasters have launched up to 16 new DAB+ only services in
each market. Of all the people listening on the DAB+ platform, 20% were listening to the new DAB+
only stations launched by broadcasters.
Reported on 24 March 2010: Entries are open for this year‟s Australian Commercial Radio Awards
(ACRAs), which will be held at Crown, Melbourne on 16 October.
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The 22nd annual event has become a highlight of the radio industry‟s yearly calendar with last year‟s
Awards recording the highest number of entries and also attracting the most attendees with many
personalities, stars and industry people from around Australia attending the evening.
This year there will be a new category, Best New Digital Radio Format, which recognized the growth
and development of digital radio in Australia. The Best New Digital Radio Format category is for any
new formats on DAB+ stations which show excellent use of the new features, like scrolling text and
Reported on 30 March 2010: Bayerischer Rundfunk (Munich, Germany), Bavaria‟s Public
Broadcaster, is deploying a new DAB Head-end from VDL (Lyon, France) and its partner AVT
At the end of March 2010, BR would launch its own DAB transmitter network (Ch 11D), enabling
BR to broadcast its ten radio programs via the digital terrestrial system. The first two transmitters will
serve the Munich and Nuremberg regions. The new network will gradually be expanded across the
whole of Bavaria. Currently, six of BR‟s radio stations are being broadcast via the Ch 12D transmitter
network. In the long-term, BR is planning to migrate all of its programs to the new Ch 11D network
and the DAB+ format.
The new DAB ensemble comprises 6 audio services using the DAB format, plus two test services
using the DAB+ format. In addition to audio, the new Bayerischer Rundfunk DAB ensemble carries a
number of data services, including dynamic label and dynamic label plus text, traffic information,
EPG and slideshow.
Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)
Reported on 22 March 2010: The DRM Consortium's Technical Committee has completed the
technical requirements for receivers designed for the DRM system below 30 MHz. This Minimum
Receiver Requirement (MRR) document describes the minimum performance required for the
technical parameters that provide a fully functioning DRM receiver. A second phase of work will
extend the document to detail the figures for DRM+ receivers too.
The DRM Technical Committee has also completed work revising the Multiplex Distribution
Interface (MDI) and Receiver Status and Control Interface (RSCI) standards to include DRM+. The
MDI and RSCI specifications have been approved for release from DRM to ETSI for consideration
The finalized MRR document will be presented to the DRM General Assembly and then published on
the DRM website for easy access. The Annual General Assembly of the DRM Consortium was held at
the headquarters of Radio Netherlands Worldwide (RNW) from 24 to 25 March in Hilversum,
HD Radio (IBOC)
Reported on 5 Mar 10: iBiquity Digital Corporation held its fourth annual HD Radio Forum Europe
on 24 February 2010 in Sindelfingen (Stuttgart), Germany. The annual European event provides a
platform for the Company‟s partners to share the latest developments, trends and successes with HD
Radio Technology in the automotive industry, as OEMs continue to adopt the digital technology at a
Reported on 23 March 2010: iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of digital HD Radio
technology for AM and FM audio and data broadcasting, unveiled the results of a recent comScore,
Inc. study that validates consumer demand and willingness to pay a premium for HD Radio as a
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68 percent of consumers surveyed are “interested” or “extremely interested” in mobile phones that
include HD Radio.
75 percent of those who own a mobile phone would listen to HD Radio broadcasts via their mobile
phone. comScore, the technology research leader, validates the mobile market potential for HD Radio,
which entered the arena in November 2009 with an iPhone accessory and application from
RadioShack‟s Gigaware brand.
Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting (ISDB)
Reported on 15 March 2010: Renesas Technology has announced the industry‟s first application
processor for mobile phones that supports Full-Seg (13-segment) ISDB-T HDTV recording and
The SH-Mobile MT1 device will begin sampling in April 2010.
Reported on 25 Mar 10: CONATEL(National Council of Telecommunication in Ecuador) announced
ISDB-T as the standard of the terrestrial digital TV in Ecuador on 25 Mar 10. The decision is based
on the report by the Superintendence of Telecommunications, the technical body in charge of the
studies, to define the standard. The report includes the brief history of television, international
standards for digital TV and its implementation plans, along with technical testing, usability analysis
and economic impact.
The memorandum of cooperation between Ecuador, Japan and Brazil was signed on 26 March 2010.
Ecuador is the sixth Latin American country to adopt the ISDB-T terrestrial digital TV standard.
Digital Satellite Radio
Reported on 22 March 2010: Each and every 2010 Formula 1 race will be broadcast live to both
Sirius and XM listeners nationwide, and Sirius XM radio is the only US broadcaster to do so. Sirius
XM will carry the race live in its entirety on Sirius channel 127 and XM channel 242.
In addition to live coverage of each race, Sirius XM will offer multiple replays, giving listeners
several opportunities to hear every event.
Sirius XM's coverage will also feature the BBC 5 Live F1 preview show, which will lead in to every
Grand Prix race, offering listeners the latest team news and information, a recap of qualifying results,
driver interviews and an in-depth look at that weekend's circuit.
The FIA Formula One World Championship 2010 season runs from March to November and consists
of 19 Grand Prix races run on road course tracks, as well as some closed city streets circuits.
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