DRM at Broadcast Engineering Society (India)

DRM at Broadcast Engineering Society (India)

At the 19th Broadcast Engineering Society (BES) Expo, the DRM Consortium representatives (9 companies at least) had a full schedule that included:

– A meeting with a full presentation and discussions to ICA (Indian Cellular Association). The 30 or so participants seemed most interested and the presentation itself was in big demand the next day.

– A DRM dinner attended by top officials in the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Never has the DRM Consortium met so many key people in the Indian digitisation process. Secretary Mr Uday Varma of the I& B Ministry gave at this event and subsequently at the BES a realistic assessment of and timeline for the DRM full implementation. The discussions that followed his clear statement were welcome by DRM senior representatives and the top officials from Prasar Bharati, AIR, manufacturers etc.  The tone and frank urge for wide communication on DRM and receiver manufacturing for the vast Indian market influenced the tone of the DRM presentations and discussions in the following three days at the BES.

– The BES exhibition at Pragati Maidan was the best ever and our little DRM booth proved an attraction point for officials, media, over 12 receiver manufacturers and distributors, a lot of interested parties from India but also other countries (S. Africa). The booth was about DRM as a robust way of turning medium wave into FM quality broadcasting. The benefits were made clear to all visitors which stimulated them to ask the big question: Where are the receivers and how much does the one you are showing cost or will cost in India?

-We have made invaluable contacts at the booth and met a lot of real experts and some enthusiasts. The government sent a direct signal about the need for receivers and our support was unequivocal though the realisation is coming that the Consortium itself cannot be the supplier of those receivers…

-The DRM session at BES was very well received and Mr Subbu (Analog Devices), Alexander Zink (Fraunhofer IIS) and Hermann Zensen (Digidia) did us proud. Moritz Steinmann (Ampegon) also presented DRM and some of its new developments and deployments during the digital radio session. To us one of the most interesting presentations was the updated one from Mr Sharma on the current AIR DRM roll out plans.

– On the last day of BES one of our members NXP managed to demonstrate how a live AIR feed could be received live in a car parked outside the exhibition hall.

The booths of our members: Ampegon, BE, Digidia, Nautel, (Sony, Dolby, Harris) at the BES exhibition were well attended and there was definitely a buzz around the conference and exhibition about digital radio.

-This was a successful DRM event, much helped by the participating companies and by the main organiser Mr Yogendra Pal. Going forward the agenda seems to be clear and very challenging:

– getting affordable receivers to the market and trying to match good DRM transmissions with affordable receivers in some “test” area

– communication and marketing of DRM potential and benefits for listeners. The clock to the launch date has started to tick.

In case you have not seen these links and the press coverage we got in New Delhi here they are again:

1. DRM showcases the ‘future of global radio

2. I&B Secretary questions the credibility of Peoplesmeter for TRP measurement

3. DRM to demonstrate digital radio benefits at India’s BES Expo 2013

4. DRM Highlights Technology at BES

5. Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) óôçí BES Expo 2013

6. Digital Radio Broadcasting has been the buzz of BES Expo 2013 with all the stakeholders calling on the Indian government to announce the launch date of digital radio at the earliest

7. Self Regulation is oxymoron : I&B Minister

8. Broadcast Electronics Joins DRM Consortium and Demonstrates DRM+ Capabilities at BES Expo 2013, India

9. Photos available on flickr

Reporting from the conference, online media company Media Mughals interviewed DRM Chairman, Ruxandra Obreja. In the Interview she spoke about the potential of India to become the largest digital radio market. Read more

Media Mughals also reported that all the stakeholders were calling on the Indian government to announce the launch date of digital radio at the earliest. Read more