DRM Digital Radio – Comprehensive, attractive and successful presence at the BES Event in India
The Digital Radio Mondiale™ (DRM) Consortium and a significant number of its members took part with better exhibits, and presentations than ever before – in the International show of the Broadcast Engineering Society (BES – Exhibition and Conference on ‘Broadcast & Media Technology’ held in New Delhi, India on 16-18 February 2023.
The DRM Consortium (www.drm.org) used this opportunity to highlight recent achievements and bring new development under the overarching theme “DRM Saves Lives and Keeps Radio in Business”.
Some of the key DRM Consortium members and partners, including Indian companies like Inntot Technologies, Mobis-Hyundai and OptM, and international ones like Ampegon, CML Microcircuits/Cambridge Consultants, Fraunhofer IIS, Gospell Digital Technologies, NXP, RFmondial and Starwaves, welcomed visitors at their two booths and in the conference hall.
The DRM Consortium proved the great audio and data transmission qualities of the DRM standard in both AM and FM bands by running a low-power transmitter on site. The enhanced service of using one shared transmitter and one antenna to deliver up to 18 audio programmes plus up to 6 dedicated Journaline text services on DRM in FM band was shown with the support of RFmondial and Fraunhofer IIS on mobile devices, standalone and car receivers on show there. This exceptional service for broadcasters wishing to opt for it can ensure additional energy and spectrum savings, while still remaining in full control of their own transmissions and programmes. All during the exhibition the visitors experienced on screen the multi-channel capability of DRM in FM band and some of its key benefit, such as the emergency warnings (DRM EWF – Emergency Warning Functionality). This is an integral part of the DRM standard and could be experienced as audio and Journaline text on the many receivers at the booth and on the colourful DRM Public Signage display thus available to the visually or hearing impaired. DRM can be used also for delivering distance education and schooling without any Internet connection.
For the first time at BES, in the presence of high officials, the DRM representatives supported by NXP demonstrated the AFS (Alternative Frequency Switching) feature of the DRM standard on one of the receivers on display. This was the easy switch between a transmission of a programme from the DRM mode to analogue and then back to DRM by using the mini transmission set up at the booth.
DRM receivers were prominently displayed at BES 2023. Of particular interest was the new CML Microcircuits energy-efficient and very affordable DRM receiver module, a breakthrough solution aimed to give a new impetus to the digital DRM receiver industry in India and elsewhere. Visitors also showed particular interest in the after-market Gospell car receiver and the pocket-size standalone radio, as well as in the Mobis-Hyundai car receiver solution. These are products used already or in demand, as the thriving Indian industry has delivered over 5 million cars with line-fit receivers on the Indian roads until now.
During BES there was a lot of interest in the many and varied Starwaves receivers (including its new desktop receiver W2401). Starwaves is ready to launch its brand-new digital tuner module Warp-3 which can be supplied with or without Wifi/Bluetooth chipset and can make the received DRM content available through its built-in Wifi hotspot.
Inntot Technologies, an award-winning Indian receiver manufacturer, showed at their own booth its high performing and less CPU consuming standalone DRM receiver solution in FM band, as well as its DRM in FM band solution in mobile phones. Inntot’s DRM receiver solution in AM band, already deployed in India, is easily upgradable for DRM reception in the FM band.
The mobile solutions using the DRM standard were much appreciated at the exhibition.
And so were the presentations made at the conference made by Matthew Philipps (CML Microcircuits), Alexander Zink (Fraunhofer IIS) and Dr Thamminana Krushna Rao, honoured with a diploma of excellence by the DRM Consortium for his sustained grassroots work in publicising DRM within the automotive industry.
For the DRM Consortium Chairman, Ruxandra Obreja, BES was the first opportunity to return, after three years, to India “with both excellent DRM transmission updates showcasing the audio and data benefits of the DRM standard and with new solutions for standalone, car and mobile receivers. As expressed throughout the conference and to Indian officials and experts the mass take-up and use of the many DRM features, like emergency warning, distance learning etc. also depends on the decision, still pending, to roll out DRM to the FM band in India. The interest of public and commercial radio decision-makers and the general public in the DRM demonstrations and ground-breaking announcements underlined the great progress made by the DRM Consortium in the last three years. They are all invited to join the effort to help create a digital India for all.” BCS Bureau