Tuesday, May 23, 2017

AIR likely to launch new Dzongkha service for Bhutan

New Delhi, May 23 (PTI) National broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) is likely to launch a new language service -- Dzongkha -- for Bhutan, a move seen to strengthen ties with the neighbouring country.

Dzongkha will take the total foreign language offering of AIR's External Services Division (ESD) to 16 which includes French, Russian, Chinese, Indonesian, Thai, English, Pashto, Nepali, Tibetan, Urdu and Baluchi.

A one hour daily Dzongkha language service is proposed between 6.00 am and 7.00 am IST.

Either a transmitter in Kurseong, a hill station some 32 kms from Darjeeling in West Bengal, or in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim, will be used to broadcast the new service.

Source/Full story at :

TDF DRM Tests

TdF is to run DRM tests under the so-called SmartCast programme on 6175 kHz from 0900 to 1100 UTC between 29 May and 30 July.

It is unclear yet whether they will be daily or just on weekdays.

( Henri Cravanche  via Continental DX)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Digital Radio Mondiale General Assembly Concluded Successfully in Switzerland

The DRM General Assembly ended by announcing that All India Radio, the Indian public broadcaster, has now joined the Consortium and its leading bodies. 

This year's General Assembly reviewed the many and successful developments of the past year and set the directions for 2017-2018 with emphasis on receivers and key markets in Asia and Africa. Under the banner "Digital Radio Mondiale Delivers", the 2017 General Assembly of the DRM Consortium took place on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th of May in Baden, near Zurich, Switzerland, being hosted by the industrial company and key Consortium member Ampegon. 

The exclusive General Assembly meeting for members only on Wednesday, May 10th in the morning reviewed the major developments in DRM, updates on technical developments, receivers, cooperation with international organisations and specific developments as reported by some of the key members like Fraunhofer IIS, NXP, Radio France International, BBC, Nautel, Ampegon, RFmondial etc.

The open DRM sessions had special addresses from the representatives of Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI) and BBC. The open session had two major headings: key DRM countries. This was illustrated with reports from local representatives in India, Pakistan, Germany, Southern Africa and Brazil. The other major topic was the development of several types of DRM receivers. The news on several car models launched this year in India and carrying standard DRM receivers was greeted with interest. 

Equally impressive was the presentation of the software defined multi-standard receiver, Titus II, and the latest developments of receivers like Avion and Gospell, as well as the plans of companies in South Korea and the UK. The available receivers were put to good use on both days when Babcock facilitated a live BBC transmission from the UK. On Thursday participants were linked to the Babcock engineers at the Woofferton transmission site in south-west England while the signals were on air. For the coming year, the DRM Consortium will consolidate its work in markets like India, Indonesia, other Asian countries and Southern Africa. In parallel it will vigorously pursue receiver developments, preferably as multi-standard offers, and will pay particular attention to the automobile segment. 

For Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Chairman, the General Assembly was more than a moment to take stock. "It was a celebration of success in countries like India. It was also a moment to review the excellent DRM progress in other key countries like Pakistan, Indonesia, South Africa, and acknowledge the interest shown for DRM in some African countries, Russia and other Asian countries. The fact that there are already ingenious standalone and car receivers featuring DRM gives confidence in DRM and the ultimate success of digital radio all over the world." After the General Assembly, some of the DRM members and experts made their way to Indonesia where together with RRI they will carry out a DRM for local coverage demo and will present an update on the full benefits of DRM for both wide and local coverage. 

(DRM Consortium Press Release)

Friday, May 12, 2017

Digital Radio Mondiale Consortium and the Public Indonesian Broadcaster, RRI, to showcase DRM for local coverage

On the first day of the DRM Consortium's annual General Assembly held in Switzerland and hosted by Ampegon, it was announced that the Digital Radio Mondiale Consortium will join the Indonesian public broadcaster RRI in the upcoming demonstration of DRM for local coverage in Batam, Indonesia, May 16th-18th. One of the existing local FM frequencies and transmitters will be upgraded to DRM mode to present some of the clear benefits of digital radio for local coverage: excellent audio, multimedia features including Journaline advanced text and images, good coverage and efficient energy use. In addition to international digital radio experts, participants include RRI experts, broadcast authorities, the industry and commercial broadcasters. They will be able to learn about the effectiveness and many features of DRM for local coverage in the environment of Batam island, situated in the west of Indonesia not far from Singapore.

RRI is following its successful demonstrations of DRM in the AM bands (medium wave) for large-area coverage in Bogor (2015) and in Bali (2016) with this new showcase and evaluation of DRM for local coverage. After a full-day update explaining the technology background and applications, the participants will have the opportunity to see and hear for themselves how DRM performs by boarding a specially equipped vehicle for an excursion around Batam. After that the participants will analyse the results and draw the conclusions for the next steps towards the roll-out of digital radio DRM in Indonesia.

RRI President, Mr M. Rohanudin, says that: "By looking closely at the performance of DRM for local coverage, we will have tested and learnt about DRM both in the AM and VHF frequencies; we will have thoroughly understood the standard which will be useful for the future digitisation of Indonesia."

DRM Chairman Ruxandra Obreja welcomes the great support offered by and thorough effort made by RRI with all its recent DRM trials. "DRM in the VHF bands including the FM band is the newest and most flexible solution for local radio coverage. We are happy to see how it delivers during this short Indonesian demonstration. Having been ITU endorsed not long ago, DRM for local coverage is already being heard in Pakistan and is being demonstrated in South Africa."

RRI specialists will work together with other colleagues from the DRM Consortium representing Fraunhofer IIS, GatesAir and RFmondial. 

To attend the workshop, contact projectoffice@drm.org.

About DRM

Digital Radio Mondiale™ (DRM) is the universal, ITU endorsed and openly published digital broadcasting standard for all broadcasting frequencies, able to cover fully any country whatever its size at much reduced energy costs.

The DRM standard comprises optimized configurations both for large-area and international broadcasts in the AM bands on short, medium and long wave up to 30 MHz, and for the VHF bands including the FM band, tailored for local and regional coverage with broadcaster-controlled individual transmissions.

All DRM configurations share the same listener benefits including audio coding, data and multimedia services, service linking, multiplexing and signalling schemes. DRM provides high quality sound combined with a wealth of enhanced features: Surround Sound, Journaline text information, Slideshow, EPG, traffic information and data services.

The DRM Consortium was recognised by ITU and awarded for its outstanding contribution to the Telecommunications over the past years and has signed the EBU Smart Radio Memorandum that promotes access to free to air radio on all devices.

DRM can help deliver the mandate of any government: To reach all its citizens with information, education, entertainment and emergency warnings.

For more information and regular DRM updates please visit www.drm.org or subscribe to DRM news by writing to pressoffice@drm.org. Click here for the Newsletter with all the latest DRM news from around the world.
--
DRM Consortium
Site for DRM: www.drm.org

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

AIR Demonstrates Full Capabilities of Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM)

New Delhi, India April 25, 2017

As part of Phase II of the DRM introduction in the country, AIR is demonstrating the full complement of services which are part of the DRM standard. Recently AIR was congratulated by Hon'ble Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shri Venkaiah Naidu for having successfully completed phase-I of the national DRM digital radio roll-out – the installation of 37 DRM transmitters, now operational, throughout the country.

AIR is in the process of launching phase-II of the DRM project by offering full features/services from these DRM transmitters and further improving service quality. With the finalization of phase-II, the full featured DRM services will finally be available to the audience and a public information campaign will be initiated to inform the Indian citizens of the completely new and future oriented DRM radio platform and its many benefits.

The first steps of phase-II of the digital radio roll-out project are already visible and audible to the audience in Delhi. The DRM transmissions from Delhi/Nangli now provide excellent audio quality based on DRM's xHE-AAC audio codec. It also includes DRM text messages and Journaline. The advanced text service Journaline provides detailed news of various topics to listeners – accessible on their radio set screen – free of charge, without requiring Internet access. All this is available in the simulcast configuration and with the most robust DRM transmission configuration, enabling increased in-door coverage.

21 DRM transmitters are now operating in pure DRM for one hour everyday, in addition to simulcast operation. Excellent feedback is being received by AIR about of the reception quality of DRM signals. AIR is planning to enhance the DRM service from Chennai, Pune and Bangalore very shortly.

(All India Radio Press Release)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Russian Buzzer disappears

The IARU-R1 Monitoring System newsletter reports the Russian buzzer on 6998.0 kHz has disappeared. For a long time the system has interfered with the lower edge of the amateur radio 7 MHz band

The Russian F1B transmission on 7193 kHz believed to be from Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg) has ended its transmissions.

The IARUMS thanks the German BNetzA Konstanz for submitting the complaints and also thanks the Russian Military.




Digital Radio Mondiale to hold this year’s General Assembly in Switzerland

Under the banner "Digital Radio Mondiale Delivers", the 2017 General Assembly of the DRM Consortium is scheduled to take place on Wednesday 10th and Thursday 11th of May in Baden near Zurich, Switzerland being hosted by Ampegon.

The two-day event will start with the exclusive General Assembly meeting for members only on Wednesday, May 10th in the morning. At lunchtime the Consortium will open its doors widely to all those interested in DRM and digital radio. The Open DRM event will include updates from all the key DRM countries and will run through until lunchtime on Thursday 11th. Special VIP guests have been invited to attend the Open sessions of the GA where they will have an opportunity to review and receive updates from country representatives and specialists on an outstanding year of progress for DRM.

"As a founding member of DRM, Ampegon is delighted to once again host this event. We support and enhance the DRM standard which is fully integrated in our broadcast transmitters.", says CEO Josef Troxler.

For Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Chairman, this is a moment to take stock "and review the excellent progress made by DRM in India and other key countries like Pakistan, South Africa, Indonesia and many more, as well as the interest shown in some African countries, Brazil, Russia and other countries in Asia-Pacific. The fact that there are already ingenious standalone and car receivers featuring DRM gives confidence in DRM and the ultimate success of digital radio all over the world."

(Press Release)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Radio DARC to Cover IARU Region 1 General Conference on Shortwave this Fall

Radio DARC — the shortwave broadcast program of the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club in Germany (DARC) — has announced plans to broadcast six programs during the 24th International Amateur Radio Union Region 1 (IARU-R1) Conference, September 16-22 in Landshut, Germany. IARU Region 1 includes Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Northern Asia. Rainer Englert, DF2NU, of Radio DARC said the broadcasts from the conference, in English, will keep the IARU Region 1 ham radio audience up to date with news and background reports.

"Although targeted to IARU Region 1, the transmissions are likely to be heard in North America, too, as 2,000 kW EIRP from a log periodic antenna will be used for the Western European beam in the 31-meter broadcast band," Englert said.

Radio DARC is the weekly magazine of the German Amateur Radio Club for radio amateurs and shortwave listeners, with three broadcasts on 6,070 kHz for Europe. Typical programs contain DX news, technical features, and reports from the DARC, as well as commentary, propagation forecasts and music from the 1970s and 1980s. After the discontinuation of Deutsche Welle and other shortwave broadcasters, the weekly DARC program is one of the few remaining from Germany.

"Several transmitters of up to 300 kW and three shortwave bands will be used to allow reception in different target regions of the world," Englert said.

In 2015, a group of radio amateurs in Germany obtained a license to broadcast on the 49-meter band after German national broadcaster Deutsche Welle closed down a 500 kW shortwave broadcast transmitter near Munich. Using parts scavenged from the Deutsche Welle site, the ham group built up its own 10 kW transmitter and launched Channel 292. The Austrian Broadcasting Transmitters Corporation (ORS) near Vienna is a broadcast partner for the IARU R1 General Conference, and broadcasts covering that event will air via ORS and Channel 292 transmitters.

Preliminary Schedule: Sunday, September 17 through Friday, September 22, 2017

1730-1800 UTC: 13,775 kHz @ 300 kW for Africa
1730-1800 UTC: 9,790 kHz @ 100 kW for eastern Europe/Russia/ Middle East
1800-1830 UTC: 6,070 kHz @ 100 kW for central, northern, and southern Europe
1800-1830 UTC: 9,540 kHz @ 100 kW for western Europe

The venue for the 2017 IARU Region 1 General Conference is the Sparkassenakademie Bayern in Landshut. On the last day of the event, delegates will visit BMW Welt and Museum and then attend Oktoberfest.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Special AIR programmes on 70th Indo-Russia ties anniversary


New Delhi, Apr 12 (PTI) The All India Radio (AIR) will broadcast special programmes on its domestic and external network to mark the 70th anniversary of Indo-Russia diplomatic relationship.

Details at :
http://www.india.com/news/agencies/special-air-programmes-on-70th-indo-russia-ties-anniversary-2022689/


Friday, April 07, 2017

OE17M - International Marconi Day Special Event Station


The Amateur Radio Section of ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation) and the Documentary Archive Radio Communications/QSL Collection will operate for 72 hours only, a special event station with the callsign OE17M on Friday, April 21st­Sunday, April 23rd (00:00-24:00 UTC).

OE17M is an official "International Marconi Day" station.

Contacts made on Saturday, April 22nd, are valid for the IMD Award.

QSL info available at: http://www.qrz.com/db/oe17m


Mighty KBC frequency change

With effect from 7th May, 2017 Mighty KBC will change its frequency from 6145 kHz to 9925 kHz at 0000-0200 UTC, Sunday 9925 kHz.


Thursday, April 06, 2017

Government announces discontinuation of digital audio broadcasting services in Hong Kong

The Chief Executive in Council, after considering the report of the Review of the Development of Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) in Hong Kong (the Review), decided on March 28, 2017 that DAB services should be discontinued in Hong Kong, and DAB services provided by Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) be terminated within six months, or as soon as practicable thereafter.

A spokesman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said, "In accordance with the market-led approach, DAB services were introduced in Hong Kong in 2010 to address the then local market interest in the development of the services and to cope with the trend of broadcasting technology development in the world.

"We have all along been maintaining this approach. The same approach is used in reaching the decision for discontinuance of the DAB services in Hong Kong."

The spokesman said that in response to local market interest and taking into account the development of DAB services overseas at the time, the Government granted licences in 2011 to three commercial operators. However, the retreat of the three commercial DAB operators in a short period of time due to difficulties in their operation and the lack of a critical mass of audience demonstrated the exhaustion of interest in the services. Currently, RTHK is the only operator providing DAB services as the public service broadcaster in Hong Kong, running a total of five DAB channels.

On the future of the DAB services provided by RTHK, the Review pointed out that in the absence of participation of commercial operators, it would not be realistic from a policy perspective to rely solely on RTHK to operate alone on the DAB platform, or to task RTHK to develop a critical mass of audience on its own.

The Review also mentioned that the fast development of the Internet and mobile applications have replaced traditional sound broadcasting services to a certain extent. The wider environment is not conducive to a revival of the DAB market. In fact, since the 1990s, there have been mixed results in the development of DAB services overseas. There has been stable development in some overseas countries, but there are also examples of termination of DAB services after launch.
     
The spokesman noted that upon the decision of the termination of DAB services provided by RTHK, the Director of Broadcasting will consult the relevant stakeholders to formulate detailed plans for programming changes so as to accommodate programmes currently broadcast on RTHK's DAB channels on its AM/FM analogue platform, and to ensure that RTHK continues to adhere to the programming objectives as stipulated in the Charter of RTHK, and that RTHK's public purposes and mission as a public service broadcaster are properly fulfilled.

The spokesman said it is estimated that RTHK will be able to complete its programming change and terminate its DAB services in about six months' time.

(Press Release)

International Marconi Day event set for April 22

Dozens of official 'award stations' have registered to take part in the 2017 International Marconi Day (IMD) event, this year being held on April 22, 0000-2359 UTC (starting on April 21 in US time zones).

Full story at :


Unexplained radio signals are coming from space, not Earth, scientists confirm

Scientists have confirmed that the most mysterious signal in the universe is coming from space. Fast Radio Bursts - the strange signals that are occasionally sent down to Earth - have been pinned down to everything from aliens to a measuring mistake. But researchers have now ruled out the most down-to-Earth explanation, that the signals aren't actually coming from space but from interference on Earth.

Read the TOI story at :