Organizations interested in Digital Radio Mondiale technology for shortwave as well as AM transmissions have more first-hand experience with it after an event in the United States.
Digital shortwave broadcasts from four international locations were part of a conference in May of the National Association of Shortwave Broadcasters. It was hosted by the HCJB Global Technology Center in Elkhart, Ind.
Organizers called it the best turnout for an NASB annual meeting, with 58 attendees coming from as far away as Singapore and Russia.
“We were able to receive all four signals, including the HCJB signal [from Ecuador] at only four kilowatts. It was good audio quality,” stated Brent Weeks, a design engineer with station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador, according to an event summary by organizers obtained by Radio World.
NASB said attendees heard test broadcasts from Radio France International/TDF in French Guiana, Vatican Radio in Italy and Canadian Broadcasting Corp., all of which are part of the Digital Radio Mondiale consortium.
“We were getting a good reception of our digital shortwave where normally, with an analog broadcast, it would be marginal at best,” Weeks said in the summary. “It shows the potential of the digital shortwave medium for long distances and low-power broadcasts. You can go farther with a clearer signal.”
The event summary noted: “Most agree that the success of DRM technology depends on the availability of low-cost receivers. In April, Fraunhofer, a Germany-based company, announced it will begin working with STMicroelectronics to develop a low-cost, low-power receiver chipset, which is critical in manufacturing inexpensive receivers for widespread distribution.” Fraunhofer, it noted, has been a principal developer of DRM technology.
The DRM USA Group met concurrently; it historically has convened in Washington.
See related story by Kim Andrew Elliott in the May 23 issue of RW.