Digital Radio Mondiale Consortium held its second virtual General Assembly on April 15, with 70 members and guests participating. Attendees haled from Indonesia, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, South Africa, Hungary, Australia, India, Canada, Brazil, China and the United States.
The first session, open to members and invited guests, reviewed the progress made in the past year in countries such as India, South Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Russia and Hungary. Participants learned about full projects rolling out in Indonesia and Pakistan, as well as the DRM (FM) trial in Russia and DRM (SW) DRM trial in Brazil.
A segment on receivers discussed new prototypes, updates and developments by receivers and chipset manufacturers. Gospell, RF2Digital, Inntot, Cambridge Consultants, NXP, Fraunhofer IIS and Starwaves participated in the session. The manufacturers said that their new receivers and receiver solutions support all the DRM bands, analog and the SDR solutions as well as other standards.
German-Swiss Starwaves introduced its Android dongle for mobiles. Fraunhofer IIS spoke about their project to test the DRM framework within the ATSC 3.0 TV platform, which will give access to multi-featured DRM content on radio, TV, mobiles and cars.
A presentation on progress in India focused on the almost 3 million DRM receivers in the country’s cars. The recent DRM for FM trial in India also featured head unit radios with DRM AM and DRM FM integrated in some car models. The upgrade of existing digital AM units to FM was made without a change of hardware.
The consortium emphasized that most of the receivers, no matter which platform (car, mobile, stand-alone) support the full DRM standard (AM and FM) and all the DRM features giving extra benefits like Emergency Warning Functionality, distance learning and extra content in various languages.
The recent DRM for FM trial in India had its own session and drew a lot of interest. The group is planning a full “DRM for India Trial – Innovation and Success” webinar on May 6 to give extra attention to the subject.
Representatives from Encompass Media Services, BBC, Fraunhofer IIS, RFmondial, Nautel, NXP, Ampegon, Dolby, Silabs, Radio Pulpit, Gospell and Kintronic Labs gathered to update and debate the issues that the consortium will incorporate into its future strategy. They considered aspects of the current radio market, the energy savings delivered by DRM, the education project, the link with other international organizations and the improved communications.
“The DRM General Assembly was a great occasion to celebrate the great successes of the last year, achieved in conditions of world crisis,” said DRM Chairman Ruxandra Obreja. “The great receiver developments and DRM demos and roll out plans all over the world have set the agenda for the coming year. The commitment, energy and support of the DRM members is our greatest asset and guarantee that DRM will be making it possible for everyone, no matter where they are and, whether they are connected to modern technology or not, to stay safe, informed and educated.”