Voice of Vietnam (VoV) President Nguyen Xuan Huy opened the seminar at the state broadcaster’s headquarters in the old centre of Hanoi. Top representatives of the technical and content departments of VoV, the Broadcasting Engineering Centre, the Ministry of Information and Communications (Authority of Radio Frequency Management) and VoV staff demonstrated their vast operation and their ambition to digitise not only TV but also radio by 2020. The Vietnamese media environment is physically demanding – the country is long and thin in shape, and thousands of kilometers long, and although it has a long coast, mountains cover about two thirds of the country. Added to this, the population of 90 million speaks the national language Vietnamese and at least a dozen dialects.  All these factors make radio coverage, whether analogue or digital, a real challenge. The DRM specialists tried to address some of these needs by presenting the benefits, cost effectiveness and general opportunities offered by DRM. But nothing works like a live demo on real receivers, and the live SW DRM broadcast supported by Babcock and the BBC was a real highlight. Crystal clear sound, accompanied by screen information and Vietnamese news updates on the radio (RSS feeds supplied by the BBC), made the possibilities of DRM clear and visible. The demonstrations and presentations elicited lots of interesting questions and have helped inform the difficult decision in the making on the digital future of radio in Vietnam.


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