Digital radio initiative will boost take-up

European manufacturers and broadcasters have welcomed new specifications for 'go-anywhere' digital radios that will work in countries using different broadcast standards.

In a joint announcement, the WorldDMB Forum and the European Broadcasting Union said that publication of the set of minimum features and functions for digital radio receivers represents a major step towards creating a single digital radio market for Europe.

The WorldDMB Digital Radio Receiver Profiles will ensure that new digital radios will be interoperable across European and other countries whose broadcasters are using either DAB, DAB+ or DMB, which are collectively known as the Eureka 147 family of standards.

Paul Smith, general manager of DAB radio manufacturer PURE Digital, said: “Manufacturers and broadcasters will benefit from this important step towards Europe-wide digital radio. But most significantly consumers will in future be able to listen to their digital radios in any country in Europe. Today’s announcement will encourage and broaden the take-up of digital radio both in the consumer and automotive markets. We therefore whole-heartedly endorse this initiative.”

The manufacturing specifications comprise three complementary profiles: the Standard Radio Receiver for price-sensitive mass-market products; the Rich Media Radio Receiver for table-top radios that have colour screens and can receive audio, advanced text and picture applications; and the Multimedia Receiver for devices such as mobile phones and personal media players, which will be able to receive advanced forms of multimedia including mobile video.

The profiles also cover features and functions appropriate to in-car systems, including automatic retuning between digital and analogue services, and advanced travel and traffic services for real time satellite navigation. Drivers travelling across borders will be able to receive all Eureka 147 digital radio broadcasts on their car radios.

WorldDMB president Quentin Howard said: “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."

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