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SwissMediaCast Launches Two Digital Networks

VDL supplies DAB+ head-end equipment for the new Swiss regional digital networks

SwissMediaCast AG introduced two new regional digital radio networks on Jan. 1, 2014. The networks cover the Berne/Freiburg region and eastern Switzerland.

The Swiss broadcaster tapped Lyon, France-based VDL and Swiss company Sumatronic AG to supply, install and support the necessary encoding and multiplexing head-end systems to service the new DAB+ networks.

The VDL DAB+ multiplexers were installed in the SwissMediaCast playout center in Zurich, the same location as the multiplexers for the first network, said the company. The audio encoders are installed at the individual radio stations and connected to the multiplexers via IP.

The addition of these transmission networks represent the second phase of DAB+ rollout in Switzerland; two more are scheduled to go on the air in the upcoming years. The first network, which covers Zurich, Aargau and Schaffhausen, launched in December 2012.

“By 2016, five regional DAB+ networks in the entire German-speaking area of Switzerland will be on-air,” said SwissMediaCast Chief Technology Officer Hans Strassmann.

Currently, more than 1.2 million DAB+ radio receivers have been sold in Switzerland and approximately a third of Swiss households can receive the programming.