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RDS2 Info Day Highlights Advances

Provided information to broadcasters, regulators and RDS equipment manufacturers on standard’s progress

The second edition of RDS2 Info Day, which took place on Nov. 8 at the Maison de la Radio in Paris, attracted some 40 participants.

Organized by the RDS Forum, the annual event provided information to broadcasters, regulators and RDS equipment manufacturers on the forum’s progress as regards RDS2 development. The organization explains that RDS2 is backward-compatible and uses three additional subcarriers that are modulated like the basic RDS subcarrier on 57 kHz.

Opening the meeting, Jean-Michel Kandin, Radio France’s director for technical innovation, stressed the importance of radio innovation for the broadcaster. Frits de Jong, RDS Forum chairman, went on to detail the potential of RDS2 and explain how the new technology can improve RDS reception in automobiles.

Dietmar Kopitz, RDS Forum CEO, described growth made in the development of the new standard, which he says is almost ready for submission to the IEC. He explained that RDS2 is being developed in cooperation with the U.S. standard RBDS, with the goal of integrating RBDS into the new IEC standard version.

In addition, Hendrik van der Ploeg from the Netherland’s Catena Radio Design, showed the capabilities of RDS2 reception with a modified tuner platform. This modified chip set was introduced at last year’s RDS2 Info Day in Berlin where MacBe presented it with the first RDS2 USB receiver stick, RX014. This year, van der Ploeg explained how the platform is being used for measurements to optimally configure the RDS/RDS2 signal with minimal deviation through the use of accurate phase shifting.

Addressing questions from participants as to the availability of RDS2 encoders, Kopitz pointed out that 2wcom, Axel Technology, WorldCast and Jump2Go have already developed such equipment and that they should be readily available on the market in 2017. WorldCast’s Olivier Soulié also presented its RDS2 encoder prototype.

Finally, Radio France and WorldCast teamed up to demonstrate RDS2 embedded in France Inter’s entire broadcast chain during a live program. Associated RDS2 data for the station logo, a presenter image and an EPG were all acquired from the Radio France broadcast data server. Using the WorldCast RDS2 encoder, an Ecreso FM 100 W transmitter and Audemat FM MC5 test platform, the MPX signals were broadcast to two receiver prototypes, a portable Caméon and a Magneti Marelli car radio. Both used the MacBe USB RDS2 stick to receive the RDS2 signal.