The DRM Consortium reported the conclusion of its demonstration and trial of the DRM digital radio standard for proposed use on India’s FM band.
“It was highly successful and generated a lot of interest,” the consortium said in an announcement.
Trials in New Delhi and Jaipur were done for Prasar Bharati (All India Radio). Digital radio advocacy organizations are competing to be chosen for the digitization of the FM band in India; DRM argues that it is the best common solution for all radio bands there, in part because DRM is already used in India on the AM band.
“In Delhi, the [FM] trial demonstrated excellent results when transmitting a single DRM signal, multiple pure digital DRM signals side-by-side from the same transmitter (‘Multi-DRM’ configuration), and also using DRM’s simulcast option by putting on air both an analog FM and a digital DRM signal from a single transmitter,” the organization said.
“The Multi-DRM option proves DRM’s highly economic potential when it comes to frequency and equipment upgrades: A single FM-band transmitter with a bandwidth of 600 kHz can transmit six independent DRM signals (blocks) carrying up to 24 DRM services, e.g. 18 audio and six multimedia services. These can represent up to six independent broadcasters who remain in full control over their individual content and signal configuration.”
In Jaipur, the consortium sought to demonstrate that multi-DRM configurations with four or five DRM blocks, each capable of carrying three audio services plus a multimedia service like Journaline, can use white spaces between two existing analog FM services, while not affecting their reception.
It said the demonstration showed that the DRM standard, used in the FM band, is backward compatible and that the receiver ecosystem for both AM and FM band services is ready for India’s mass market, “based on in-country know-how buildup and chipset design and production over the past years, which in turn is enabled by DRM being an open standard with all specifications published. Even DRM receiver models made in China today are based on Indian technology and DRM chipsets.”
It also sought to show DRM’s capability of being received on off-the-shelf Android phones using the Fraunhofer DRM MultimediaPlayer Radio App.
The organization has posted a summary of the project and comments on its outcome.