UK digital radio manufacturer Pure has announced the Elan E3, a mid-price table-top DAB+ receiver which contains a 2.8-inch, full-color TFT display capable of displaying the DAB SlideShow service, often dubbed SLS. The radio is priced at £49.99 (US $66). This is the first time that a SlideShow-capable digital radio receiver has been available for under £50 and may stimulate UK broadcasters' interest in SlideShow functionality.
Chris Walker, marketing manager at Pure: The Elan E3 is the perfect introduction into digital radio for users that haven’t yet experienced the diverse range of great content in highly-detailed, digital-quality sound. With an increasing number of digital radio stations broadcasting information and graphics, it’s not only great sound you get, but more information at your fingertip, and in full colour.
The Elan E3 is not internet-connected. Instead, images for SlideShow are broadcast within the PAD of an existing audio broadcast, or as a signaled secondary service component. SlideShow allows JPG and PNG images to be broadcast, either as a simple instant slideshow or a timed, cached service. These images are broadcast in 320x240 pixels in landscape format.
This might be an interesting product for some limited markets for DAB as Norway and the U.K. However, new stand-alone radio receivers are not forecast not have a bright future being overrun by the new global radio receiver; the smartphone.
The development of DAB products are not a success story. We remember the promises that soon there will be moving pictures in a radio receiver thanks to DMB (that is... television). And do not forget the inspiring BBC vision of 1994 that there will be even telefax communication in cars thanks to DAB. And of course Eureka 147 DAB promises electronic road maps to follow and newspapers to read in your car.
Watch this 1994 DAB promotion video: