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BBC Launching 18-Month ‘Connected Radio’ Trial With DTS

Test combines over-the-air content with IP-delivered program data

LONDON — The BBC is joining with Xperi’s DTS subsidiary to test the DTS Connected Radio platform over the next 18 months. 

Also known as “hybrid radio,” DTS Connected Radio combines program information transmitted by local radio broadcasters with data pulled from the internet. 

The result, according to the company, is a much richer and immediate listening/reading/interactive experience for the car’s occupants, compared to the limited metadata that can be transmitted over radio alone.

“The trial will provide a full hybrid radio experience testing across a number of receiver types, test platforms, prototype receivers and in-vehicle radios,” said Joe D’Angelo, Xperi’s SVP Broadcast. 

“In particular, the trial will test the seamless listening experience between broadcast (FM, DAB, DAB+) and BBC metadata on the move. The trial will include all BBC radio services.”

The BBC/DTS in-car trial will be conducted using Xperi’s Connected Radio Evaluation Unit (CREU), which is a full hardware and software reference receiver installed in the test vehicle. 

“This radio platform enables testing and validation of both over-the-air analog and DAB+ services alongside the IP content and services provided by DTS Connected Radio,” said D’Angelo.

Using CREU, the full DTS Connect Radio suite of services can be implemented in a customized user interface designed and/or modified by the BBC or any other testing partner(s). “This enables broadcasters to evaluate the delivery and presentation of their connected radio content and dynamically modify both the content production and end user experience,” he said.

[Read: Xperi Partners With Commercial Radio Australia]

The goal of the BBC/DTS trial is to ensure that hybrid radio provides a good listening/interaction experience for in-car users. “The results will help inform the BBC’s digital radio strategy in the car,” said D’Angelo. 

“The BBC wants to learn how hybrid radio will be delivered and understand the end user experience. We are also working together on future features, including making podcasts available.”