View Full Version : DRM Plus could offer Dolby Surround 5.1

06-09-2005, 20:22
Digital audio looks to conquer AM airwaves

Christoph Hammerschmidt
EETimes Germany
(09/06/2005 9:49 AM EDT)

BERLIN — As digital audio broadcasts advance in parallel with digital TV, providers must still figure out how to transmit data over electric power lines.
At the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) trade show here, new digital AM receivers were exhibited that comply with the DRM Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) standard. U.K. providers are leading the DRM market. Among those unveiling designs at the IFA are Morphy Richards and Roberts Radio. Dutch manufacturer Sangean also demonstrated a receiver for digital short wave radio.

The devices have one thing in common: a Radioscape receiver module based on a DRM chip from Texas Instruments. Separately, Philips has published a paper that describes a DRM car radio with a proprietary chip.

None of the devices presented here have hit the market. According to Peter Senger, chairman of the DRM consortium and Deutsche Welle COO, the receivers should arrive by Christmas.

Among the biggest DRM supporters are the BBC and the RTL Group of Luxembourg. Since DRM provides additional options for public broadcasters and — thanks to its lower transmission power — it may also provide considerable power savings for broadcasters.

Senger said Deutsche Welle will distribute receivers. He also outlined an aggressive schedule for phasing out AM broadcasts. When a critical mass of listeners has been reached, analog short wave will "be shut down very quickly,” Senger said.

Meanwhile, others are already working on advanced development of DRM standards, called DRM Plus. The enhancement to the current standard will provide some features that the older DAB standard did not: conquering very high frequency (VHF) issues and establishing itself as an alternative to FM broadcasting services. That means DRM will compete with the digital audio broadcasting (DAB) standard. "DAB has permanently adopted other frequency domains,” Senger said. For example, DRM Plus could bring high quality stereo broadcasts or even Dolby Surround 5.1.

One major issue could still turn down the volume on digital broadcasts: emerging powerline transmissions with extremely high interference levels for radio broadcast frequencies. "Powerline communications means the death of digital and also analog shortwave and medium-wave broadcasting,” warned Senger.

He urged the industry to develop devices that eliminate interference issues. Along with car electronics and home appliances, these devices are clogging the airwaves. Senger criticized the European Union as being "not very cooperative" on the interference issue.

06-09-2005, 21:08
Originally posted by DRM-Fan
Dutch manufacturer Sangean ...

:o :o :o

Very bad investigation on the part of the journalist who wrote the article.