HD Radio challenged by European technology
Digital Radio Mondiale has submitted comments to the FCC in regards to the AM Revitalization. While the organization says that it is supportive of changes to rules for AM broadcasters, in its comments it also submits a proposal for the FCC to consider its DRM30 standard mode for replacing analog sound broadcasting in frequency bands below 30 MHz. The organization cites its recent rollout in India as an example of its benefits.
Among the benefits of the DRM 30, according to the DRM organization, is its ability to provide data services — such as emergency warnings, data carriage, and EPG — to supplement the program content or for independent purposes as required by the ITU Recommendation. DRM says that its service can provide AM audio quality close to that of FM. It also offers up to three audio channels and one data on a single frequency, as well as stable reception over long distances. The organization claims that current AM infrastructure in the U.S. (i.e. on medium waves) can be used and upgraded.
While we recognize that the United States has selected HD Radio technology for its standard, other systems are in wide use in other parts of the world, said Ruxandra Obreja, DRM Consortium chairman. We respectfully request that the FCC consider the universality which could be created by multi-standard receivers.
On the global scale over 30 broadcasters carry regular DRM transmissions, covering almost half the world’s population.
HD Radio (IBOC) is a digital standard for terrestrial radio on AM and FM established in the U.S. and Mexico. The FCC has not indicated any intent to force off analog radio broadcasts as it has with analog television broadcasts, as it would not result in the recovery of any radio spectrum rights which could be sold. Thus, there is no deadline by which consumers must buy an HD Radio receiver.