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DRM+ Field Trials in Paris Successful, Says Consortium

Platform may be good for stations that can’t — or don’t want to — join multiplexes

The Digital Radio Mondiale Consortium says the DRM Plus technology was successfully demonstrated at in an FM station in Paris. While demoed on FM in Germany last year, this is the first time DRM Plus has been field tested on VHF band I, according to the consortium.

DRM began as a digital radio technology for AM, long-wave and shortwave up to up to 30 MHz. DRM Plus uses the same audio coding, data services, multiplexing and signaling schemes as the DRM standard, but operates in higher frequencies between 30 and 174 MHz, including VHF band I and band II.

In the Paris field test, the DRM+ signal was broadcast on 64.5 MHz from Tour Pleyel, north of Paris, and was received at the offices of regulator Conseil Supérieur de l’Audiovisuel (CSA), located some six miles (10 km) away from the transmitter. DRM says the signal strength was good with only 400 watts of radiating power.

This potentially positions DRM+ as a solution for stations not able to join digital radio multiplexes — for various reasons, including coverage area, cost and desire to remain in control of their broadcast operations — even in places where the FM band is full, stated David Blanc of the Syndicat National des Radios Libres (SNRL), which represents more than 300 local radio stations across France.

The test was performed by the help of University of Applied Sciences in Kaiserslautern and Fraunhofer IIS in Erlangen, Germany.