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DRM Launches India Receiver

Meets specifications set for DRM receivers by All India Radio, says manufacturer

AMSTERDAM — At IBC2014 the Digital Radio Mondiale Consortium unveiled the first DRM AM receiver designed to comply with the relevant Indian specifications and to be fit for global use.

The Avion AV-DR-1401 from Communications Systems Inc. allows DRM reception in the shortwave and medium-wave bands, as well as analog AM and FM reception.

“Interest in India toward DRM keeps growing. Even though we have some issues, such as a few industry stakeholders still trying to turn the attention to FM networks instead of concentrating on DRM, our government’s commitment is strong and clear,” said Ankit Agrawal, director of Communications Systems Inc.

According to public service broadcaster All India Radio’s website, they are targeting 2017 as thecomplete switchover to digital mode date.

“About one year ago AIR issued a tender for the supply of DRM receivers,” explained Agrawal. “They definitely raised the bar as to technical specifications by grouping together the most appealing features from the various receivers available on the market at that time. I took those specifications and considered them a challenge and I asked my engineers to design a receiver capable of meeting or possibly exceeding AIR’s requirements.”

Ruxandra Obreja presents Ankit Agrawal
the DRM Gold Certificate during IBC2014.

AIR’s specifications include a four-line text display, ER-AAC+, CELP and HVXC codecs, stereo speakers, a minimum of 40 programmable station presets, USB or SD slot with read/write capability, instant recording and playback capability from external storage, upgradable firmware and at least six hours of battery life.

Agrawal showcased the official prototype of the new receiver at the IBC Show and attendees were able to hear its audio quality during a live transmission from an Ampegon transmitter. “We are ready to launch a first production batch of about 1,000 receivers,” he said. “They should be delivered within the end of this year. Then we will be ready to launch a second batch, definitely much larger.”

The Avion AV-DR-1401 will be positioned as an high-end product; it features multimedia applications and local interactive text and media (Journaline) as well as automatic tuning by station (not frequency). Agrawal expects a battery life of about 10 hours, pointing out that since the receiver is also capable of delivering emergency warning messages, a long-lasting battery is necessary.

Ruxandra Obreja, Chairman of the DRM consortium, presented Ankit Agrawal the DRM Gold Certificate in recognition of designing and launching the first India DRM Receiver.

(L to R) Matthias Stoll of Ampegon, Ruxandra Obreja of the
DRM Consortium, Ankit Agrawal of Communication Systems Inc.,
and Peter Obreja of the DRM Consortium.
“We are very pleased with the exciting announcement on this new Indian receiver. With sufficient orders and support it could do very well and start the receiver ball rolling demonstrating that global, green and extremely cost-effective DRM is not just the future of digital radio but a reality for listeners now.”

—Davide Moro