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Q2 2012 Report

Jul 2, 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.

Q2 has been a very intense period of activity as we geared up to putting our trial on-air.

On the technical front we took delivery of all the required transmission equipment and the installation was carried out during June. Our inventory now includes transmitters from Rhode & Swartz and Harris. These are two of the leading manufacturers of DAB transmission equipment and we shall be testing the various transmitters as part of our trial.

We have a special thanks to say to our engineering team who took every problem in their stride, delivered a solution and had on us on-air on-schedule for July 1st.

This has also been a very active quarter working with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland on licencing new services for DAB. The first two of these are All 80s and Raidió Rí-Rá. The latter has been an internet only service up to now and their participation will provide some interesting insight regarding online v’s DAB radio. In the meantime we continue to work with the BAI on three further DAB exclusive services which we hope will be licenced by Q4.

The first three services launched on July 1st were;

Each service broadcasts on traditional DAB and the new world standard DAB+.

Each stations DAB+ service includes Slideshow displaying images as well as the station audio. In particular All 80s are working with All-In-Media’s Rapid software. This delivers rich dynamically updated information from now playing to weather/traffic info plus listener requests all displayed on-screen.

Now the trial is on-air our first task is to slowly bring up the transmitter power and directly compare it with the local RTÉ service. Other tests include variations on actual transmitter, error correction, encoding rates and others.

Each month we intend to post a list of the specific items we are working on and your feedback would be greatly appreciated in the comments section below. Keep up-to-date automatically with these updates by email or RSS feed on our Join In page.

 

Q1 2012 Report

May 1, 2012   //   by dusty   //   DB Blog  //  No 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.

January 2012 started with confirmation from ComReg of our trial licence for DAB transmissions. The licence covers transmitters located at Irelands four main cities; Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway. The three key areas on which we shall be reporting back to Comreg and the BAI are; transmission, data and content. Find more details about our trial goals here.

With the licence confirmed we officially invited approximately forty broadcasters to provide radio stations to the trial. Despite the recession we had a higher than expected response, and surprisingly, some responses from outside of Ireland also.

For Irish broadcasters we have avoided general simulcasting of FM services. We believe that DAB needs to offer listeners something new or different. To make this a reality a number of new stations are going though a content licencing process with the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland which should be complete by June.

Running in conjunction with this was sourcing suppliers for the actual multiplex and transmission equipment.

For the mux we sought a supplier who was equally keen to expand the data functionality of DAB and use our trial to experiment with brand new world leading features. Our supplier of choice is the Swedish based Factum Electronics. Their mux is capable of encoding sixteen different stations in DAB or DAB+ as well as supplying DLS, DL+, EPG, Slideshow, TPEG and more right out of the box. We are excited to be working with Factum and others over the coming months on other data features yet to be announced.

On the transmission side we have engaged German company Plish, who also supply RTÉ, for our transmitters. The supplier chain is rounded off with Delta Mechanics cavity filters and Aldena for custom antenna manufacture.

Now the base elements are decided we are working through Q2 on putting everything in place.

We shall be rolling out the trial in three phases;

  • Phase 1 Dublin July 1st 2012
  • Phase 2 Cork & Limerick Q1 2013 (Subj to site upgrade works)
  • Phase 3 Galway TBC

Q1 has been a very successful and exciting three months for the project. The momentum is increasing as we proceed through Q2. Keep up-to-date automatically with updates by email or RSS feed on our Join In page.