The public-service Australian Broadcasting Corp. and its transmission contractor BAI Communications Transmission Network hosted a public demonstration of Digital Radio Mondiale broadcasts on June 29, 2022. ABC highlighted the use of DRM on both AM and FM in Wagaratta, Victoria.
According to the DRM Consortium, the demonstration was the culmination of almost two years of COVID-impacted work to assess the performance of DRM services in Australia’s VHF and medium-wave bands.
Previously, the Australian Amateur Radio Experimenters Group reported that AREG member Steve Adler (VK5SFA) had been monitoring “a very un-publicized Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) trial” on 747 kHz from Wangaratta in August 2021.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority provided ABC with a license variation to conduct the DRM 30 trials from September 1, 2020, to August 31, 2022.
At the public demonstration, senior representatives from the public, commercial and community radio sectors, along with regulators and other interested parties, were able to hear and see the capabilities of DRM broadcasting on AM from Dockers Plains and on FM from Mount Baranduda. They were also able to review the transmission equipment at Wagaratta.
The demonstration focused on the audio quality offered by DRM, as well as value-added services like station logos, text messages and Journaline.
In the parking lot of the Wangaratta Rovers Football Netball Club, two vehicles were set up with receivers for stationary listening and demonstrations of the DRM Emergency Warning Functionality, which can “wake up” radios in the event of an emergency alert.
The third part of the demonstration was an driving test, allowing attendees to switch between the analog and digital signals on both AM and FM to compare audio quality while on the road.
According to the DRM Consortium, feedback from the attendees was positive.