Many countries in the Asia Pacific region are making decisions about their digital radio future. In October Commercial Radio Australia is hosting a group of public and commercial broadcasters from Indonesia on a digital radio study tour.
CRA has hosted a number of study tours over the last two years to provide broadcasters from other countries with the opportunity to see DAB+ digital radio successfully functioning and meet with those people directly involved in the industry.
Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer, Joan Warner said: “DAB+ digital radio technology is expanding its reach as an international standard and Australian commercial and public broadcasters have the knowledge and experience to share with our Asia Pacific colleagues.
International fellowship exchange
In another initiative within the region, CRA has announced a two week international fellowship between CRA and Singapore’s premier radio network, MediaCorp. The winner of this year’s Brian White Award at the annual Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) will receive flights, accommodation and a two week fellowship placement at Singapore’s premier broadcasting organisation MediaCorp.
MediaCorp is the leading radio broadcaster in Singapore operating 13 FM stations, which broadcast in four different languages offering news, sports, information, music and entertainment for a variety of cultural backgrounds.
The CRA and MediaCorp arrangement also allows for a MediaCorp nominated candidate from Singapore to spend two weeks at an Australian Commercial Radio station. MediaCorp and Commercial Radio Australia will determine the type of station and area of work depending on the candidate.
Push Radio is a groundbreaking application that will allow podcasts to be sent via the DAB+ broadcast band directly to a listener’s radio without the need to connect to the internet, providing another way for broadcasters to reach their audience.
The technology, developed by Jolon Digital Media Broadcasting Co. Ltd will send an audio file via DAB+ broadcast directly to a DAB+ digital radio receiver instead of requiring the listener to connect their iPod or MP3 player to the internet to receive programming. CRA and Jolon continue the development of Push Radio. Beijing Jolon are upgrading their latest generation receivers to support DAB+. A trial of Push Radio is being planned for Brisbane in August/September 2011.
Broadcasting of 18 channels in DAB+ will begin in Hong Kong in November 2011. Frontier Silicon announced the addition of a Chinese user interface option to its range of digital radio platforms.
Public broadcaster, Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) along with three new licensees; Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited, Phoenix U Radio Limited and Digital Broadcasting corporation Hong Kong Limited, will invest nearly HK$1 billion for the first six years and will provide 24 hour DAB+ services in Hong Kong.
The announcement by Frontier Silicon means users will be able to navigate through station names, radio menus and view text in the Chinese language.
RTM have started a trial of DAB+ digital radio and the Commercial Radio Malaysia group of private broadcasters are in discussions with the regulator about policy framework for the adoption of this digital radio platform and the start of a trial.
Singapore has had DAB digital radio on air for many years and the leading broadcaster MediaCorp and Redifussion continue to support the standard and are investigating an upgrade path to DAB+ which will retain their access to VHF Band III spectrum.
Following ETRI’s investigation of various digital radio platforms, a major decision is expected regarding the adoption of a digital radio technology for South Korean broadcasters. Given the potential to software upgrade the extensive investment in existing DAB/TDMB handsets to DAB+/TDMB to allow more capacity on the multiplex for additional radio or video services adoption of DAB+ would be a low cost upgrade path. This would prevent audiences needing to use two separate devices, one for mobile digital TV and another for an HD radio, DRM+ or ISDB-T platform. These services would potentially share with analogue radio in a hybrid mode or switching off the analogue before the digital services could be fully deployed.
WorldDMB Project Office