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DAB Radio ‘Go Anywhere’ Standard Set

Proponents say this initiative effectively creates a single digital radio market for Europe.

WorldDMB, the European Broadcasting Union and EICTA, the European digital technology industry association, have joined to develop a receiver standard for Eurkea-147 digital receivers.

The standard covers the minimum feature sets and functions to be included in DAB, DAB+, DMB Audio and T-DMB receivers. It means manufacturers will make interoperable digital radio sets for the European market; thus a receiver bought in Sweden will operate in the United Kingdom, France or Poland without regard to the implementation of Eureka-147 used in the different nations.

The WorldDMB Digital Radio Receiver Profiles specify a set of minimum requirements and features to be built in to different classes of digital radio receivers, ensuring the interoperability of new digital radio receivers across countries. The profiles will also apply to Eureka-147 receivers/services outside of Europe.

The manufacturing specifications cover three digital radio receiver profiles:

  1. The Standard Radio Receiver (Profile 1) expected to drive the price-sensitive mass market for radio devices;
  2. the Rich Media Radio Receiver (Profile 2) for tabletop radios with color screens able receive audio, advanced text and picture applications; and
  3. the Multimedia Receiver (Profile 3) for devices such as mobile phones, personal media players, able to receive advanced forms of multimedia including mobile video.

Features and functions appropriate to in-car systems are defined, including automatic retuning between digital and analog services and travel and traffic services for real-time satellite navigation. These profiles will enable drivers travelling across borders to receive all Eureka-147 digital radio broadcasts on their car radios.

“There was a critical need to create a unique set of specifications for digital radio receivers for Europe — for manufacturers, broadcasters, and the public,” stated EBU Technical Director Lieven Vermaele. “The European consumer will in future be able to buy receivers which will provide them with digital radio services across Europe. This is a major achievement.”

Mark MacGann, EICTA director general, stated: “The initiative effectively creates a single digital radio market for Europe. Manufacturers, broadcasters and more importantly consumers will benefit from this industry led initiative. It is a clear statement that the European Digital industry is looking to the future and encouraging the take up of digital radio across Europe.”

Quentin Howard, president of WorldDMB, stated: “This important step provides the assurance radio manufacturers have been seeking to create a single consumer market. In doing so, consumers benefit from the scale and through more competition resulting in a greater choice of innovative digital radio products. Broadcasters can plan around any of the standards with confidence, safe in the knowledge that these new digital radios will receive their services. This is a positive message to the broadcast, manufacturing and retailing industry and gives the consumer further confidence that the future of radio is digital.”