ABU GA and Technical Committee Meeting, China

The 2017 ABU General Assembly and Technical Committee meetings took place from October 30 to November 4 in Chengdu, China, hosted in cooperation with Sichuan Radio and Television. The event was headlined “Media in the Times of Uncertainty”, and provided plenty of food for thought to the several hundred delegates attending from all over Asia-Pacific, including several key members of the DRM Consortium.

During the ABU Technical Committee session, Lindsay Cornell, chairman of the DRM technical committee, presented to delegates the work on and updates of the technical specifications that had taken place over the past year. Most notably this includes the public release of the DRM Minimum Receiver Requirements specification that now covers all modes of the DRM standard.

During the same session, Alexander Zink of Fraunhofer IIS informed the TC about recent upgrades of Via Licensing’s program for users of the MPEG xHE-AAC technology, which applies to all DRM receiver manufactures: The advanced MPEG xHE-AAC audio codec is now available as part of the established AAC program at no additional cost to the receiver, mobile phone and automotive industry that have produced roughly 10 billion AAC-enabled consumer devices to date. In addition, significant royalty discounts are now available for emerging markets including most of the Asia-Pacific region. In summary this highly welcome news from Via Licensing is expected to give a further boost to the DRM receiver and mobile streaming industry in the Asia-Pacific region.

During the final session of the TC with reports from associated organizations, Alexander Zink as DRM Vice Chairman briefly listed the many DRM activities in the Asia-Pacific region over the past year. This includes RRI’s very successful trial of DRM transmissions in the FM band, PBC’s first DRM broadcasts in the FM band, and last but not least AIR’s successful finalisation of phase-I of the national DRM roll-out project in the AM bands with the establishment of the transmitter infrastructure, followed the current phase-II of the launch process working towards finalizing the content offerings with DRM’s advanced services and quality optimizations. ABU delegates also learned about the early and very significant support of the Indian automotive industry with several domestic and international car models available in the market today that provide radio sets line-fit with DRM functionality at no additional cost to the consumer.


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