>From the BBC website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3652202.stm
Fears for New Digital Radio System
By Chris McWhinnie
BBC Monitoring in Amsterdam
Plans to offer the internet using mains electricity cables could cause so
much interference that new digital radio stations could be obliterated, a
broadcasting conference has been told.
The warning came from Peter Senger, the chair of the Digital Radio
Mondiale (DRM) at the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam.
DRM is a standard agreed by world broadcasters for a completely new short
wave radio system
The new internet power line distribution system has been evaluated by
engineers, including the BBC, and has been found to affect short wave in
Short wave is mainly used to broadcast internationally and the AM bands
have been used since radio first started in the 1920s.
The DRM system uses existing AM broadcast frequencies to deliver near-FM
quality digital sound.
It uses compression to squeeze clear digital sound into the narrow radio
channels that currently carry crackly analogue signals.
The DRM technology has the potential to make digital radio available in
places that Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) radio or even FM will
probably never reach.
As for the hardware required to hear these stations, there will be a new
consumer DRM radio in the shops by Christmas 2005 and a tiny PC-only DRM
set is already on sale.
DRM is not being used by many radio stations yet. However a number of
radio stations have seen the potential for new cross-border radio stations.
A Germany-based music station is believed to be in the planning stages.
BBC World Service and its counterparts abroad already have some regular
DRM programmes and are backing the system.
DRM is being seriously considered in many countries where the FM radio
band is full. China sees DRM as the answer to pushing digital radio
across its vast territory.
The UK is not planning to use DRM for domestic radio. The UK has pinned
its digital hopes instead on DAB, which offers stations like BBC 1Xtra, 6
Music, Oneword and Core. More digital radios have been sold in the UK
than any other country.
Switching-off analogue FM and AM may take years and making millions of
much-loved analogue radio sets useless will no doubt be controversial.
If power line internet transmission is introduced, then international
broadcasting on shortwave may also be consigned to history due to the
interference from data travelling over mains electricity cables.
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2004/09/13 13:06:07 GMT
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