Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Radio Still Heard — and Seen — at IBC

Medium finds its place in a converging media world

AMSTERDAM — Tuesday, Sept. 16 marked the end of the IBC2014 conference in Amsterdam. There was much focus on everything from electronic media and entertainment technology to content.

While almost all the conferences and workshops emphasized (as in the past) subjects irrelevant to radio broadcasters, radio certainly was not forgotten; it was just a little harder to discover, though for many, well worth the extra effort. There were ample interesting activities on the exhibition floor to keep radio enthusiasts from deciding to change careers.

The technical exhibition, which kicked off on Friday Sept. 12, hosted a number of manufacturers showing innovative products for radio. In additional to the all-necessary traditional “big box” manufacturers and studio gear, there were a few companies showing innovative ways to put a slightly different spin on radio. One relatively new theme apparent was that of the visualization of radio. Companies such as Broadcast Bionics, MultiCam, VidiGo and Broadcast Pix demonstrated versions of their automated camera systems, which are particularly suitable for radio studios and allow the stations to interact at a closer level with their audiences.

Radio manufacturers and organizations also took advantage of the gathering to organize their own “events”in an effort to update visitors on what’s going on in their world. Among these, Digital Radio Mondiale hosted three “pit-stops” to give attendees insight on recent DRM developments.

The DRM Consortium met at the Ampegon booth for the launch of the first DRM AM model receiver, which they emphasize “is produced in India for India and for global use.”

Ankit Agrawal of Communication Systems Inc. introducing the
DRM AV-DR-1401 receiver at the Nautel “DRM-Building to a
Billion and Beyond” event during IBC2014.

Expected to be available in the next few months, the AV-DR-1401 receiver is designed and produced by Communications Systems Inc. under the brand name Avion Electronics of India. It is a digital DRM shortwave, medium-wave and analog AM and FM receiver, which DRM says features MPEG audio, multimedia applications and local interactive text and media (Journaline), automatic tuning by station, not frequency, as well as emergency alert capability.

The second DRM pit stop continued on Saturday, Sept. 13 with a visit to the Thomson Broadcast Booth, followed by a reception at the Nautel stand for the “DRM-Building to a Billion and Beyond” event. (Nautel recently completed shipment of all 27 medium-wave AM transmitters to India’s Prasar Bharati/All India Radio.) Nautel representatives and other international Consortium companies gave an update on the digital project in India. Participants were also able to sample the sound quality of the new DRM receiver model.

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital
Radio UK speaking during

the WorldDMB session
“A secure future for

in-car digital broadcast radio —
How to keep your content
prominent and relevant in
the digital dashboard.”

Another not-to-miss IBC2014 meeting for those in radio was the WorldDMB “Industry Insight Session” titled “A secure future for in-car digital broadcast radio — How to keep your content prominent and relevant in the digital dashboard.” Patrick Hannon, vice president of corporate development of Frontier Silicon and president of WorldDMB, chaired the session. He welcomed Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK; Thomas Kusche, TISA president; Michael Hill, founder and MD of UK RadioPlayer; and Arjen Bongard, editor in chief of Automotive IT Group; and Jacqueline Bierhorst as speakers.

The discussion revolved around how to ensure the future of broadcast radio in car and what broadcasters can do to ensure that radio maintains its pole position as regards in-car entertainment.

With the onset of the digital dashboard and media fragmentation coming into the connected car, and to avoid seeing a loss of radio listening in the car due to complicated receivers, Ennals said broadcasters must get involved. He encouraged them to engage as a group with the automotive manufacturers, to set common standards on a European level and to try to improve the way radio is delivered in cars.

“It’s too complicated, too messy,” he said, referring to the actual interface of the receiver. He also suggested that broadcasters need to harness not just broadcast radio but also IP radio. “Policy, relationship and communication” said Ennals, are necessary in order to ensure a secure future for in-car digital broadcast future.

IBC2014 also played host to the first NewBay Media “Best of Show” Awards. Products receiving this year’s award from Radio World were the APT SureStreamer; BW Broadcast Encore FM transmitter; BW Broadcast Vertus translator; DB Elettronica Mozart 3000 FM transmitter; DEVA Broadcast Radio Explorer II mobile FM radio analyzer; DEVA Broadcast DB6000 FM and digital radio audio processor; and the Tieline Merlin Plus codec. Products were chosen from among nominations by manufacturers, who paid a fee to enter.

IBC2014 featured some 1,500 exhibitors and attracted approximately 55,092 attendees from 170 countries. IBC2013’s total attendance was 52,000.

The 2015 edition is slated for Sept. 10–15 in Amsterdam.