13 Feb EBU Digital Radio Summit during Radio Week 2014
The event was attended on behalf of the DRM Consortium by Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Consortium Chair and Matthias Stoll, Ampegon and Steering Board member of the Consortium.
In the DRM Consortium update Ruxandra gave participants some information on the major technical. Geographical and receiver updates. They included information on the updated xHE-AAC codec, the work in India and Brazil, the developments in chipset and receiver solutions and the major upcoming events like the Confederation of Indian Industry event in India, the DBS Workshop in Kuala Lumpur, and the DRM General Assembly to be held at the BBC in London.
According to Ruxandra Obreja during the exciting and full day of presentations and discussions several themes seemed to emerge:
• Terrestrial broadcasting is superior to internet radio or radio via mobile, and was underlined in several presentations, from national feedbacks and wider comparisons and evaluations.
• Broadband or mobiles are necessary in the new audio digital landscape but still too fragile, expensive and fragmentary to be a robust alternative to terrestrial broadcasting
• Cars are the key to digital radio success but introducing digital radio and other digital facilities in cars is still a big challenge (antenna being one of them)
• Key to success of digital radio in Europe remains Germany where progress is being registered, though the road ahead is still long
• Switch off dates of analogue radio are necessary but not very clear cut anywhere in Europe, apart from Norway and maybe Switzerland, with lots of caveats though
• Success of digital channels has come unexpectedly sometimes from putting some much loved, “oldies” channels on digital (see Switzerland). So old, valued and trusted content an important factor in making digital a success. A wide number of channels is also recommended to improve the interest in the new media.
• Digital radio can succeed when there is collaboration between public, commercial, government and the industry
• Cooperation, whether at national, European or international level is key
PDF versions of the presentations are available on (http://tech.ebu.ch/events/drs2014).