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ATSC 3.0 to Incorporate DRM support

Fraunhofer and Sinclair will work together to integrate Digital Radio Mondiale into the ATSC 3.0 digital TV platform.


Their agreement will help advance Sinclair’s goal of incorporating audio services into ATSC 3.0 and its MarkONE mobile phone. The organizations said their ultimate aim is “the adoption of both standards worldwide for the benefit of broadcasters and listeners alike.”

Fraunhofer IIS is familiar in radio circles as developer of audio codecs including xHE-AAC. Sinclair Broadcast Group is a media company and major proponent of ATSC 3.0. The organizations said they are “joining forces to bring the best possible digital radio experience based on DRM to users of the ATSC 3.0 digital TV platform.”

Using digital TV to disseminate radio in new ways is an idea that Sinclair is already exploring in Seattle, promoting it as a new way to combine internet and over-the-air audio.

This week’s announcement was made by Alexander Zink, senior business development manager for broadcast applications at Fraunhofer IIS, and Mark Aitken, SVP of Sinclair Broadcast Group and the president of ONE Media 3.0.

Zink pointed to the rollout of ATSC 3.0 in South Korea and the United States as evidence of its success, and said DRM “is adopted in a steadily growing number of countries all over the world.” DRM is used for medium-wave digital broadcasting in India and is competing to provide FM services there.

Sinclair and Fraunhofer IIS plan a demonstration of transmission of DRM-based services over ATSC 3.0. “This joint project is expected to open the door to close collaboration between the respective standard bodies, the ultimate goal being the adoption of both standards worldwide for the benefit of broadcasters and listeners alike.”

Digital Radio Mondiale is a digital radio platform that uses the xHE-AAC codec and Journaline on-demand information service.

The collaboration of Sinclair and Fraunhofer IIS aims at establishing the seamless transport of DRM-based services with all their advanced digital radio features on the ATSC 3.0 TV platform,” Fraunhofer and Sinclair said in a press release.

“This allows established DRM broadcasters to create the DRM content once and then distribute it simultaneously via dedicated digital AM/FM transmissions and on the digital TV platform.” It said listeners get a “seamless and full-featured digital radio experience across all broadcast platforms” using any reception device such as radio and TV sets, mobile phones and car receivers.

Sinclair also has begun broadcasting ATSC 3.0 from its headquarters in Maryland. It said one of the primary goals of its operation, under special temporary authority from the FCC, will focus on the use of these DRM services and other broadcast app features on small receivers. Radio World

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