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Topic Title: Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)
Topic Summary: BBC's diminishing role in Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)
Created On: 24 June 2014 12:15 PM
Status: Post and Reply
Related E&T article: R&D at the BBC: can the Beeb sustain its tech reputation?
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 24 June 2014 12:15 PM
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rjselby

Posts: 5
Joined: 25 July 2008

It is a shame that no mention is made in this article of DRM, which the BBC helped to develop. It is a technology providing long distance "near FM quality" radio over HF ("short waves"). The technology, now approved by CEPT and the ITU also includes MF and LF frequency bands as well as FM.

Recent cuts in BBC funding have meant that their participation in this pioneering service, which could easily breathe new life into short-wave listening have been reduced.

The BBC currently transmits an hour daily (5 hours daily a year ago) from the UK towards continental Europe from Wooferton in the UK, and another 5 hours daily to southeast Asia, from transmitters in Thailand.

During the winter months, reception in Europe is generally excellent, and Babcock, the BBC's transmitting contractors, also relay programmes of NHK (Japan) and KBS World (Korea) from Wooferton into continental Europe in English and Russian.

The BBC is dwarfed in terms of broadcast hours by the "Voice of Russia" (with 7 hours daily to Europe in English, and 20 more hours in other languages - French, German and Russian), "All India Radio" (with 4 hours/day in English to Europe and about another 10 hours in other languages), and even the "Voice of Nigeria" manages 90 minutes/day.

Anyone wishing to discover more about DRM could start at the DRM consortium at http://www.drm.org
 24 June 2014 01:15 PM
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DavidParr

Posts: 242
Joined: 19 April 2002

The problem is lack of receivers. I bought a Morphy Richards one some years ago, and heard, amongst other things, broadcasts from RTE on 252 long wave.
Sadly, so much money has gone ito that awful DAB system instead.

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David Parr BSc.CEng MIET
PRA
 24 June 2014 02:52 PM
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rjselby

Posts: 5
Joined: 25 July 2008

Thanks David,

I think RTE has given up on DRM - not listed on the schedules anyway.

My DRM receiver is a Chinese "Newstar DR111" receiver, costing a bit less than 200 Euros when delivered. You can read their blurb here: http://www.cdnse.com/products/dr111. They have several distributors in Europe - I can give you the details if you are interested.

Advantages of DRM include that it is an international standard, and that it includes a system for delivering early warning of disasters (eg Tsunami warnings).

The Indians and those around the Pacific Rim are really keen on it

Richard Selby PhD MIET (in Prague)
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 30 June 2014 06:56 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

It would probably need around £5 million to develop and manufacture new cheap energy efficient DRM/DRM+ receivers for the Indian and South American markets. Since in terms of the software defined radio design DRM+ and DAB+ are very similar, you could add in DAB+ with minimal extra cost even if those markets didn't need it. Why this doesn't happen the other way around I have no idea? The DRM+[FM Band] standard is more like DAB+ than DAB is. The fact that the BBC having given its full support to an increasingly defunct standard, legacy DAB, shouldn't effect decisions made about which products to design, promote and sell in larger and developing markets.

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James Arathoon
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