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DRM+ and DAB+ side by side at German Symposium

DRM+ and DAB+ side by side at German Symposium

The State Media Authority of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, (LMK), the Technical University (TU) of Kaiserslautern, and the University of Applied Science (FH) of Kaiserslautern hosted the symposium – “The Way to Digital Broadcast by DAB and DRM+ for Local Radio and Community Media” – Milestones in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany and Europe – on Thursday, 3rd July 2014 at the Conference Centre of Fritz-Walter-Stadium in Kaiserslautern (Germany).

At the symposium the project partners LMK, TU Kaiserslautern and FH Kaiserslautern presented the implementation of a portable digital radio transmitter for DRM+ and DAB in VHF band III including a multiplex exciter and a VHF transmitting unit that is based on commercially available, low-price components and open-source software. The VHF transmitting unit includes a USRP from ETTUS Research as modulator and a linear amplifier of 100 W transmission power. This unit and the exciter are both housed in two roller flight cases. The idea of using this open-source solution for the project, originated in Switzerland.

The symposium was well-attended by 100 experts from Germany and neighboring countries representing public and private broadcaster, community radio stations, media authorities, network agencies universities and representatives from the  receiver industry.

In the afternoon the digital radio transmitter was operated with 1 DRM+ program and 10 Watt on Channel 11D and 3 DAB programs and 100 Watt power on DAB channel 12A. This gave very good local coverage for DRM+ and demonstrated that DRM+ with its much lower power is especially suitable for local radio coverage.

Although suitable and affordable transmitter infrastructures are already available, there is still another milestone on the road to receiving DRM+: the implementation of DRM (DRM30 and DRM+) in digital radio receiver chips and the activation of this functionality in commercial radio sets.

This is being addressed by emerging markets including those of India and South Africa where DRM transmissions are on-air. . In Kaiserslautern chipset manufacturers presented some of their initiatives for supporting DRM+.

In order to have the technical functionality of modern receiver chips enabled for consumer devices sold in Germany, the industry needs to receive a clear signal that DRM (DRM30 and DRM+) will play a role as a complementary transmission technology alongside DAB+. Whilst communication to the consumer world is currently focusing on DAB+ and its successful roll-out, the message for support for DRM also needs to be given to the receiver industry in order to ensure a sufficient availability of multi-standard digital radio receivers, as encouraged on a global scale by the Smart Radio initiative backed by WBU (World Broadcasting Union).

Please find more information on www.drm-radio-kl.eu  and directly on the English symposium site http://drm-radio-kl.eu/symposium2014/symposium2014en.htm

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