Posted by: calloftheandes | August 28, 2009

Broadcasters Cooperate on Digital Shortwave Tests

Sources: HCJB Global, IBB Fact Sheet

HCJB Global and the International Broadcasting Bureau* (IBB) are cooperating on a series of digital broadcast test transmissions on shortwave that began on Aug. 17.

The test broadcasts from IBB’s facilities in South Carolina utilize Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) equipment that was developed in part at the Indiana-based HCJB Global Technology Center. DRM is a universal, openly standardized digital radio system boasting near-FM sound quality plus the ease of use that comes from digital transmissions.

The improvement of analog shortwave listening compared to AM is immediately noticeable. Countries such as India and Russia have chosen DRM for their future radio systems, while Brazil is considering it.

The test broadcasts will be aimed at Europe in the afternoon and to North America in the evening. Although DRM-capable radios are not yet readily available to the average listener, many radio enthusiasts use their radios and computers to listen. The broadcasts are expected to continue until the end of this month.

“These transmissions are a great opportunity to test out our equipment, learn more about what the technology can do for us and increase awareness of the technology, especially here in the U.S.,” said project director Charles Jacobson at the HCJB Technology Center.

* IBB is the U.S. government entity that supports the day-to-day operations of Voice of America and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting. The IBB is also is a founding and active member in DRM, an international consortium to establish a single, worldwide standard for future digital shortwave broadcasting.

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