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Tagged with " mux"

Q2 2013 Report

Jul 1, 2013   //   by dusty   //   DB Blog  //  17 Comments

At the end of each quarter you can get an update with the latest developments and achievements of the dB Digital Broadcasting DAB trial. To automatically receive updates by email or RSS feed see our Join In page.

Q2 has been exceptionally busy for our DAB trial.

The pace has really picked up with the trial now carrying twice the services we had at launch. In addition to All 80s, Pure Classic, Raidio Ri-Ra, Sunshine Radio and UCB we have just been joined by UK based Amazing Radio. This is a mile-stone for Irish radio as Amazing is the first UK licenced station to broadcast terrestrially in the Republic of Ireland. Our feeling is they won’t be the last.

One thing we learned while adding new services is that new mux configurations, once again, show up deficiencies with many receivers. Some receivers update and add new services automatically as one would imagine. However not all do. Some require a listener to re-scan their radio. Two receivers in particular needed a full factory re-set. While we work with receiver and chip manufacturers to fix issues such as this it is good to know these limitations. We shall use this knowledge with particular attention to how we reconfigure the mux in addition to adding a “re-scan” message on DLS to alert listeners of changes.

Also during Q2 we carried out extensive audio tests. We operated two DAB+ channels carrying the same audio but with different settings. Listeners were asked to respond on our website with their observations. What surprised us was the amount of listeners who rated both channels as being equal in quality despite a difference of up to 32k. This strengthens observations, made elsewhere in Europe, that once the audio is acceptable quality the majority of listeners are happy.

On conclusion of our audio tests, our feeling is that DAB+ offers excellent quality at half the bit-rate of traditional DAB. This bodes well for the future as it further reduces costs for broadcasters and increases the choice of stations available to listeners.

Finally, we are pleased to say, our trial licence has been renewed by ComReg and firm orders have been placed for transmission and antenna equipment needed for our expansion to Cork. It’s going to be a busy summer!

As always your feedback is greatly appreciated in the comments section below. Remember to keep up-to-date automatically by email, RSS or our Twitter feed.

Q3 2012 Report

Oct 3, 2012   //   by dusty   //   DB Blog  //  7 Comments

At the end of each quarter you can get an update with the latest developments and achievements of the dB Digital Broadcasting DAB trial. To automatically receive updates by email or RSS feed see our Join In page.

Our first three months on-air have shown some very interesting insights into digital broadcasting.

The most interesting results are to do with receivers where we’ve found high error correction and bit rates are not handled as smoothly as one would hope. On the other hand, low bitrate DAB+ broadcasts have performed exceptionally well. MOT capable receivers have also shown outstanding performance with Slideshow on colour screens making a big impression on test groups.

Also on receivers, it is evident we have a lot of work to do in establishing the WorldDAB/EBU Profile 1 standard here in Ireland. This was introduced in 2009 to establish a Europe-wide market for manufacturers, broadcasters and consumers. Under the standard all digital radios should receive both DAB and DAB+ broadcasts. With the virtual certainty Ireland will move to DAB+ only this will be a key area of consideration.

On the transmission side of the trial, after testing a number of transmitters we have settled on regular use of a Harris DAB TX for the Dublin area.  The transmitter is configured differently from the RTÉ mux to allow direct A/B comparisons of both services. As expected there are differences in distance and building penetration on both. Though the higher power transmissions do increase the service area it is not as great as we had expected. This will help in the planning of our forthcoming SFN, Single Frequency Network, part of the trial.

Public reaction to new trial services has been very positive. We are constantly surprised by the amount of people who find our trial “by accident” when playing with a new radio and wondering what the DAB button does!

Some disappointment has been expressed by members of the public that more commercial services are not available. Interestingly they view us, the mux provider, as being responsible for what stations are broadcast. The reality is our trial is open to all but it is up to stations/content providers to acquire the appropriate licence from the BAI to enable broadcasting on DAB.

As we continue to work on aspects of content licence issues that have arisen in the past months we are delighted to announce today that two definite new services will broadcast on the trial before the end of November. Join our Twitter feed for updates.

Internationally, DAB is making advances with Denmark joining Norway and the UK as the third country to switch to DAB as its primary radio platform within the next seven years. Germany has celebrated a very successful first year on-air and in France the long promised licencing process for new DAB+ stations is in full swing.

Back in Ireland, our goals between here and Christmas are to increase power on our Dublin service and lay the foundations for an expansion of the trial to Cork & Limerick next year.

As always your feedback is greatly appreciated in the comments section below.  Remember to keep up-to-date automatically by email, RSS or our Twitter feed.