Monday, March 16, 2009

India and Russia decide to adopt DRM

The Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) Consortium has learned that Russia’s General Radio Frequency Centre has decided to introduce DRM in Russia in the medium and shortwave bands. The Russian General Radio Frequency Centre, the organisation that coordinates national spectrum management issues, took the decision on 20 January 2009 following a series of tests on the future use of transmission networks with digital technology.
The Russian text of the decision is available on the website of the Ministry of Communications and Information of the Russian Federation.

After extensive trials in 2007, All India Radio (AIR) has also decided that DRM is the best technology for converting its vast public service broadcasting network to digital. After conducting trials over a one and a half year period, AIR has started regular DRM transmissions from a 250 kW shortwave transmitter installed near the capital city New Delhi in January this year.
AIR is also in the process of converting 4 shortwave transmitters (250 kW) to DRM mode by March 2009. There are plans to introduce DRM transmissions in 42 new mediumwave, 36 existing mediumwave and 5 new shortwave transmitters. However, the cost and availability of good receivers remains the main issue in their implementation strategy for the next five years.
(Source: DRM Consortium)
Andy Sennitt comments: These two countries, with a combined population of more than 1.5 billion people, must surely provide a sufficiently large market for manufacturers to finally commit to large-scale production of DRM receivers. If this doesn’t happen, then we must conclude that DRM will never take off as a mainstream technology. It seems to me that the clock is already ticking. RNW has, for the moment, abandoned DRM transmissions as from the start of the A09 schedule on 29 March. It’s interesting that the DRM Consortium website describes the news from Russia only as “encouraging” rather than “exciting” or “significant”.
(R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)