DRM German Platform meets in Cologne

The German DRM Platform proposed the organisation of a European workshop in order to exchange information on the various European digital projects. Such an event would define the aims of actions to establish DRM in the AM and VHF bands in the European markets as a complementary solution and enhancement to the established DAB platforms. A special focus will be then given to the multi-standard receivers with DRM, DAB, FM and AM support, as technically enabled following the latest developments of receiver chipset manufacturers.

The DRM Platform chairman, Joachim Lehnert, informed the group that DRM is not being considered by the DAB launch group in Germany at the moment. The German Media Authorities have published a report which stresses that DRM+ is, in fact, the best and most appropriate system to broadcast local and regional digital radio. But the report also states that DRM+ is not ready yet for the market due to the lack of multi-standard radios with DRM+ reception. Therefore, for the time being, only DAB+ will be discussed in the national committees, especially in the Digitalradio Board of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) that gives the timeline for the digital radio switch over – and all this despite the conclusion of the paper that DAB+ cannot provide the digital equivalent of the local and regional FM radio landscape. The German DRM Platform is a member of an experts working group that prepares decisions of the Digitalradio Board and therefore is able to give updates and inputs about DRM+ in Europe.

During the second day of the Platform meeting Joachim Lehnert presented a technical report on the ‘Comparison of the Transmitting Power between DRM+ and DAB/DAB+ in VHF Band III’ used to cover the same service area. One result of the study is that on average DRM+ (4-QAM) needs 12 dB less transmitting power than DAB+ to achieve the same coverage. Download here.

During the event Media Broadcast performed a DRM live transmission from the SW transmitter Nauen (near Berlin) that was received in Cologne on a professional receiverDT-700 DRM and a RF-SE2 receiver and the DRM BoardNet Server software. This was used to demonstrate the Media Broadcast project “News on the Ship” run for the German Navy in cooperation with RFmondial Hanover and Fraunhofer IIS. This shows that DRM is an appropriate system to cover ships on the seas.  This solution provides on-demand access to currently and previously received audio and Journaline text information from any mobile device on the ship with a standard web browser. Further projects with cargo vessels are in consideration also in Denmark with the seamen’s mission in Kalundborg.

Fraunhofer IIS presented the latest update regarding the DRM (and DAB) Emergency Warning Functionality (EWF), a combination of alarm announcement, audio information and visual multi-lingual Journaline text information for instant instruction look-up as well as for serving hearing impaired users. As part of the demonstration participants in the meeting could try their hand at configuring a DRM Content Server and then receive a full EWF service with live alarm triggers from ground-up.

The German DRM Platform published their updated internet site with information about the Platform and its activities in Germany. The site is based on the content management system Joomla und is optimized to view also on smartphones.

Joachim Lehnert


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