Patrick Hannon is president, WorldDAB.
LONDON — The newly published ETSI [European Telecommunications Standards Institute] European standard for DAB digital radio, which sets minimum specifications for consumer DAB radios, could help boost DAB sales across Europe. That’s the view of Patrick Hannon, president of WorldDAB, the nonprofit industry association promoting the adoption of DAB digital radio worldwide.
Hannon believes the ETSI DAB standard will motivate more consumers to buy DAB receivers, because they will be able to count on “getting a consistent, high-performing product from all major manufacturers.” Under the standard, all ETSI-compliant DAB receivers sold in Europe support DAB and DAB+ digital radio reception. They will also receive FM signals, with the aim of providing radio listeners with a comfortable transition path from analog to digital.
“As digital radio becomes more and more popular, having an agreed standard is crucial in ensuring that receivers meet consumers’ expectations,” said Hannon. “Particularly in Europe, having a set minimum performance criteria is good news for manufacturers who can ship to multiple markets against the same criteria, and for consumers who know what to expect from their radio regardless of where they travel.”
Both WorldDAB and the European Broadcasting Union have announced their support for the ETSI DAB receiver standard. Also onboard with the ETSI DAB standard are influential radio manufacturers such as Kenwood, Panasonic, Philips, Pioneer, Pure, Roberts, Ruark and Sony.
“The ETSI DAB standard provides manufacturers with clear guidance on how to produce digital radio receivers, so this update to the minimum specification means that they can ensure their products are suitable for multiple markets in Europe,” Hannon told RWI. “For consumers, it means that they can expect the same experience with digital radio whether that’s from a device sold in Norway, the United Kingdom or the Netherlands.”
To further boost buyer confidence, the ETSI standard “now matches the minimum criteria set out in the Digital Radio Tick Mark — which has been adopted by several markets in Europe,” said Hannon. “The Tick Mark provides consumers with clarity and reassurance; not just that a product meets a set level of performance, but that it has been tested and approved against it. This can only be a good thing for consumers and the radio industry as digital radio is rolled out in more countries across Europe.”
Going forward, “the next step is to continue to monitor and review the ETSI standard,” Hannon concluded. “The WorldDAB Technical Committee takes an active role in this and we’d encourage any interested parties to get in touch to find out how to join.”