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PBC Tests DRM for FM on a Consumer Receiver

The Pakistani public broadcaster began trials last week in Islamabad

On Oct. 17 Pakistan Broadcasting Corp. began DRM for FM test transmissions on a consumer receiver.

According to the DRM consortium, the public broadcaster is sending the DRM signal from its headquarters in Islamabad using a low power of 75 W. The signal reportedly reaches an area of between 5–10 kilometers around the city.

Pictured from left to right are Ghulam Mujaddid (PBC), Roman Afroz (HEDRA), Peter Timmons (GatesAir), Kamran Saeed and Nauman Jarral (PBC).

Broadcasting on 101.6 MHz and pushing from a single FM transmitter, the receiver auto tunes into three services — FM101 (entertainment), Dhanak (music) and Saut-ul-quran (religious). Additional text information including Journaline is also available.

For the trial, the PBC is using a GatesAir 1 kW Flexiva transmitter and Exgine card; an RF Mondial DRM Content Server and DRM+ professional receiver; a Label Italy Bay antenna system; and a Gospell consumer DRM receiver.

“The Gospell receiver, which originally worked on AM is now working on FM too,” noted DRM Chair Ruxandra Obreja. “This is a great step forward as it shows there can also be a commercial solution for DRM in FM. A similar test, which started this summer and continues in St. Petersburg, Russia, is also using a Gospell receiver.”

[Read: Solving the Medium-Wave Problem]

Hedra Technology, Fraunhofer IIS and the DRM international Consortium are collaborating on the project, which is managed by PBC specialists Kamran Saeed, director engineering; Ali Zia Abbasi, controller engineering and chairman DRM steering committee; Ghulam Mujaddid, engineering manager and DRM steering committee member; and Yasir Mustafa, engineering manager and DRM steering committee member.

DRM adds that in addition to Russia, Pakistan joins Indonesia and South Africa. Both of these countries have recently demonstrated DRM in the FM band as well.