Brazil to Retest HD Radio, DRM in 2013

Brazil will conduct more tests of the HD Radio and Digital Radio Mondiale systems in 2013.

That’s according to members of the Digital Radio Advisory Board, which met at the Ministry of Communications recently in Brasília, Brazil.

Representatives of both Digital Radio Mondiale and HD Radio attended the meeting.

Because the tests done in July 2012 did not meet all of the coverage requirements, Ministry of Communications Director of Monitoring and Evaluation of Grants Octavio Pieranti said on the Ministry of Communications website that the government wants to conduct a new round of tests in 2013. “Our main concern is with the shadow areas and the coverage, so we are thinking of having new tests. Our guiding principle is that the digital radio cannot exclude, it has to include,” explained Pieranti.

Pieranti stated the board has proposed to include items such as multicasting and interactivity in the new trials. “So far, according to the results of the tests carried out, the digital systems do not produce a quality far superior to that of the analog systems,” stated the general director of the Brazilian Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters, Luis Roberto Antonik. “Both DRM and HD Radio have the same coverage area of approximately 70% of the analog signal.”

According to the Secretary of the Electronic Communications Services of the Ministry of Communications, Genildo Lins, the tests with both systems yielded poor results, in particularly the test with high-power FM. “The future of radio is digital but the future has yet to come. We can’t possibly make a decision based on these results,” he stated.

An iBiquity spokesman expressed surprise at the “poor results” comment, stating the test reports don’t bear that out.

Apparently part of the problem was Brazil did not set equal parameters to test both systems; the new tests will. “There was power variation, and the reception was not the same. The comparison of both systems is complex,” according to Lins.

The power levels for FM HD Radio were tested at -20 dBc. DRM+ was tested at a variety of power levels.

The complete test reports (in Portuguese) for the HD Radio and DRM tests are posted on the Ministry of Communications website.


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Comment List:

How the hell can they complain about "70%" of analog coverage, when the digital signal is not 100% of analog? HELLO! At -20db you will NEVER get 100% coverage!
By Luis Arroyo on 1/19/2013
I'm surprised there was no mention about AM test, the way this article is written leads to FM parameters. Digital AM has resulted in brazil in a great improvement in Audio quality, but there were many problems of reception, specially in dense urban areas, where the digital sound was often switcehd back to analog receiving. There were problems of interference on neighbouring channels.
By rolf sandmeier on 1/5/2013
"An iBiquity spokesman expressed surprise at the poor results comment." Yea, I'm sure since the system has never worked properly in the US and was rejected by Canada after testing, too. Nothing but excuses and an epic fail.
By Greg Smith on 1/4/2013
It would be fair to say that the digital coverage compared to the analog is somewhat subjective. 1) What is the analog contour being tested to and compared with the digital? 2) What is the power ratio of the digital to the analog? Certainly the digital can well EXCEED the analog on both systems as shown in prior studies elsewhere. Also, is the antenna for the digital as good as the analog?
By Hal Kneller on 1/4/2013

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