Friday 30 March 2018

HD Radio Demos All-Digital FM in Las Vegas

A total of 12 HD Radio channels from a single transmitter
The upcoming NAB convention in Las Vegas next month is planning a live demo of all-digital FM HD Radio featuring a total of 12 HD Radio channels from a single transmitter during the show. The Broadcast Engineering and Information Technology conference will detail extensive high-power field testing of all-digital FM conducted earlier this year in Las Vegas using radio station KKLZ in Beasley.  The demo might indicate a breakthrough for terrestrial digital radio in North America.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Podcasting Now a Major BBC Listening Platform

First Podcast Commissioner Appointed 
Last year there were around 240 million downloads of BBC podcasts, an increase of 12% in a year. There are nearly 2 million podcast listeners in the UK who don’t consume any BBC Radio. Now the BBC has appointed its first Commissioning Editor for Podcast Jason Phipps, Head of Audio at The Guardian. From May he will lead on the BBC’s podcast strategy, overseeing the portfolio of podcasts across the organisation. This includes building upon the BBC’s established podcasts as well as leading on new and innovative series which are made purely to be podcasts and aren’t broadcast on BBC radio stations. 

Chipless FM Radio on Mobile Devices

Terrestrial radio reception without smartphone FM chip.
It has been a long, slow process to get FM chips installed and activated in mobile devices. And there are still holdouts as the iPhone. NextRadio has been a advocate of FM chip activation, noting that FM radio may be the only source of emergency information in times of crisis. Now a new product to debut at the upcoming NAB Show next month may end the chip/no chip debate. Blackloud says that its AF1 and CF1 earphones will provide anyone access to FM radio using their existing smartphones or tablets without needing major phone vendors to unlock the FM chip within those devices.

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Local Radio in Norway Fined for FM Broadcasting

Angry listeners are fundraising to pay the fine
Commercial radio stations Radio Metro and Radio Rox, has been issued a fine of almost 7.000 euros by The Media Authority. The reason is exceptional by European standard, the two local radio stations wanted to stay on FM, but was not permitted. The reason is not technical rather a controversial political decision to protect the listenership of the national commercial channels which now are on DAB only. The move has angered many listeners who have started a fundraising to pay for the fine.
Read the full story in

Monday 19 March 2018

BBC: No Switch-Off Plans for FM Radio

Photo: BBC
FM, DAB and internet will form a 'hybrid' future
The BBC has cancelled plans to switch off FM radio broadcasts and force millions of listeners to tune into digital transmissions. FM will remain as part of a 'hybrid' future that will operate alongside DAB and the internet. Bob Shennan, the director of BBC Radio and Music, confirmed the scrapping today at the Radiodays Europe conference in Vienna. Shannon urged broadcasters to work together to ensure the survival of radio, saying Government plants to switch of analogue broadcast could restrict listeners' choice.

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Why DAB Radio in Norway, But Not in Sweden?

An effective lobby in Norway made politicians to disregard public interest
As the only country in the world so far, Norway has taken the step of closing the FM
Photo: Odd Richard Valmot
network for national terrestrial radio and switching to digital DAB +. Given the massive development of radio online and the fact that FM is an established world standard in all 220 countries, this dramatic step has surprised the outside world. How could two neighboring countries - Norway and Sweden - make such diametrically different decisions? In Norway, the conversion has not been popular and the listening to NRK and the TV commercial networks have also decreased in favor of local radio on FM. DAB is already forgotten. But what and who was behind the controversial Norwegian decision?
(Image: Minister of Culture Anniken Huitfeldt (Ap) and Culture Ministry official Øyvind Christensen, at publication of the 2011 Storting DAB Proposal)

Monday 5 March 2018

The Impossible Mission: A Global Future for DAB Radio

Will radio listeners rather keep their six billion FM receivers? 
Terrestrial digital radio is still the wet dream for some broadcasters especially in the European public service sector.  There are several different such systems but DAB is the system which has been initiated by some European public service broadcasters. But since the system was introduced and taken into operation by BBC 1995 the progress is quite limited in spite of DAB being aggressively promoted by the EBU and WorldDAB organisations.

Here you will find some major observations and read an analysis indicating that DAB will not survive another decade. Not even in Norway.

Sunday 4 March 2018

Hände weg von UKW! Hands off FM!

FM switch-off in Norway not a good example for German commercial radio
In an interview, Klaus Schunck chairman of the German commercial radio organization VPRT warns against the Norwegian example of falling listening figures when closing FM broadcasting. He believes that commercial radio can accept a transition to DAB only when FM listening is below 10%.

The interview was made in the light of the failure to push through a transition agreement in the German government coalition setup.