Last week WorldDAB President Patrick Hannon joined representatives from across Europe for an event in Krakow, Poland, to discuss DAB+, hybrid radio and European digitalisation strategies.
Highlights from the day along with interviews and features can be viewed here.
The event offered an in-depth reflection on the challenges and benefits associated with DAB digital radio. Dr. Barbara Stanisławczyk-Żyła, President of the Board and Editor-in-Chief of Polskie Radio, opened proceedings by outlining the key challenges for Poland – specifically, a lack of national strategy, lack of an EU strategy, the potential cost of simulcast and opposition from private broadcasters. Speakers from the Czech and Hungarian public broadcasters offered similar perspectives.
In response, speakers from Germany, Switzerland, the UK, EBU and WorldDAB offered positive yet realistic stories about their experiences, joined from the automotive sector by Skoda who spoke positively about its experience with DAB+ in other markets.
A clear theme was that with the right political vision and industry collaboration, it’s possible to deliver a successful transition to digital radio. We should also be looking to secure greater involvement from the European Institutions if we are to avoid a two-speed Europe, where some countries embrace the benefits of DAB whilst others remain on an analogue island. It’s worth listening to the interviews with speakers from the day to appreciate the full range of topics covered.
The overall feeling from the event was nicely summarised by Graham Ellis from the BBC who referred to ‘Barbara’s dilemma’. The dilemma being that, for all the positive talk around digital radio in Poland, there remain significant barriers to further deployment.
These will not be easily overcome but the discussions last week should act as a good starting point for further progress and WorldDAB continues to work closely with those in Poland to help promote DAB and share best practise.