Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Digital Radio Australia Trials DAB+ For First Time

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News Asia (DBVNA) was informed today that following other Australian digital radio systems trials, terrestrial broadcasters started the technical trials using DAB+ technology in Sydney, NSW. The test is using upgraded multiplexers from digital broadcast vendors: Factum and Radioscape (the "MAP250" and "fusion, version 6" respectively). Testing is to focus on the critical bit rates as applied to speech programming and jazz and pop music. Of the move, Joan Warner, CEO of industry trade body, Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) said that this is the first fully compliant high power broadcast of digital radio using DAB+ technology anywhere in the world. Ms Warner added that the test will send a very strong signal to the major radio receiver manufacturers that Australia is committed to launching digital radio using DAB+ and we will need a broad range of DAB+ digital radios in the market in time for our launch.” A number of radio vendors have indicated they will have DAB+ receiver products ready for overseas retail sale before Christmas 2007 according to CRA. In Australia, digital radio services will officially launch in January 2009 in the six capital cities Adelaide, Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, and expect consumers will want to access the digital broadcast services with not only digital receivers, but by mobile handphones and mp3 devices also. The DAB+ test is being coordinated by Commercial Radio Australia on behalf of commercial radio stations and public broadcasters, the ABC and SBS. DBVNA understands that Australia heads up a new DAB+ task force set up by the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union - the ABU. Other task force members include Brunei, New Zealand and Singapore digital broadcasters. Ms Warner, representing Australia, heads the DAB+ task force, which is to encourage the take up of DAB+ within the region and the development of a wide range of low cost DAB+ receivers in diverse broadcast environments such as in China, India, Kuwait and Russia.

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