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UK Digital Radio Receiver Means More Visualization Opportunities

This is the first time that a SlideShow-capable digital radio receiver has been available for under £50

LONDON� UK digital radio manufacturer Pure has announced the Elan E3, a mid-price table-top DAB+ receiver which is the first at this price to include a color screen.

The radio, which carries the Digital Radio tickmark, contains a 2.8-inch, full-color TFT display capable of displaying the DAB SlideShow service, often dubbed SLS. The radio comes in a variety of colors and is priced at �49.99 (US $66) at Argos, a British high-street retailer.

This is the first time that a SlideShow-capable digital radio receiver has been available for under �50 and may stimulate UK broadcasters’ interest in SlideShow functionality.

In a press release, Chris Walker, marketing manager at Pure, said: �The Elan E3 is the perfect introduction into digital radio for users that haven�t yet experienced the diverse range of great content in highly-detailed, digital-quality sound. With an increasing number of digital radio stations broadcasting information and graphics, it�s not only great sound you get, but more information at your fingertip, and in full colour.�

The Elan E3 isn’t internet-connected. Instead, images for SlideShow are broadcast within the PAD of an existing audio broadcast, or as a signaled secondary service component. SlideShow allows JPG and PNG images to be broadcast, either as a simple instant slideshow or a timed, cached service. These images are broadcast in 320×240 pixels in landscape format.

Radio stations broadcasting SlideShow in Pure’s home country of the UK are, however, relatively few: Only two stations in London carry SlideShow broadcasts due to capacity issues. However, a�trial multiplex in Portsmouth is producing SlideShow for some of its services.

The UK is mostly using the older MP2 audio encoding format for its DAB transmission, though additional DAB+ services, which use aacPlus, are beginning to be launched.

SlideShow is more commonly used in DAB+ countries in Europe and Australia, where many services are carrying some form of images, including news, station logos, weather forecasts and limited advertising.

SlideShow support is unusual for lower-priced receivers. It was available on the Revo PiXiS, a similarly-sized receiver released in 2012, which cost over twice the price of the Elan E3. It’s also available on the LG Stylus 2, a DAB+ enabled mobile phone which launched earlier this year for �219 (US $290) off-contract.

Approximately 42% of UK adults listen to DAB digital radio every week, according to research, accounting for over 30% of all time spent listening in the country (RAJAR: Q1/2016).