100 days of DAB+ in Germany

A clear commitment from the automotive industry to digital radio

100 days of DAB+ in Germany
The automotive industry has shown a clear commitment to digital radio. Since the introduction of DAB+ 100 days ago digital radio has not only met but exceeded expectation. On the 8 November at the Bayerische Rundfunk (BR) in Munich the ''Press Forum Digital Radio: 100 days of DAB+. More for the car' was held with a panel of experts in attendance who represented the automotive industry and broadcasters. Dr. Bertram Hock, Head of Broadcast Receiver Development, BMWsaid: "With the development that is currently being seen, I am sure that digital radio will be standard in-cars in Germany soon". Dr. Hock then went on to say that he cannot announce when DAB+ will be standard in cars at this time. However, all the major automotive manufacturers based in Germany already offer DAB+ in most of its vehicles as an option. Dr. Hock continued by saying that " You can see how much fun it has been for public and private broadcasters to organise digital radio and the first 100 days of digital radio on air demonstrates a good taste of what's to come in Germany."

Dr. Ralf Hinz, Team Manager of Advanced Radio & TV for Daimler showed the automotive industry's support for digital radio by stating that it is "the driver, the actual customer for radio in car, who is unable to fully access the internet, DAB+ however enables access anywhere. Therefore most models of Mercedes-Benz cars will now offer digital radio as an option. In the newer models there has been a transition to an advanced dual tuner and also additional services such as Dynamic Label, Dynamic Label Plus, Electronic Programme Guide and will support service following and switching to FM."

Dr.-Ing. Peter Jocher, Head of Development Radio, TV, Media, RSE at AUDI "Digital radio is the future of radio. Audi has offered for years - under the slogan 'Vorsprung durch Technik' – receivers for digital radio. This option is available in many of our infotainment systems and will be offered in all future models. Finally, the car is at the center of digital life. The customer wants to communicate and be entertained".

The ADAC, the largest automotive club in Europe, supports the introduction of digital radio for stakeholders and drivers, Peter Mikolaschek, Head of the Traffic Information, emphasised that. "Many of the ADAC mobility information and traffic information features that have not previously been available on TMC can now be transported by TPEG. Digital radio with new TPEG service, visual presentation digital travel and traffic information in connection with navigation systems, represents a good opportunity to disseminate travel information."

Likewise, Herbert Tillmann, Director of Production and Technology of the Bavarian Rundfunk (BR) sees radio and mobility as complimentary to each other. "Terrestrial digital broadcasting is the only system to provide mass market radio content, new digital services, additional coverage at a high quality. The Bayerischer Rundfunk since October has therefore broadcast, as part of a pilot project, the data traffic information service TPEG over its DAB / DAB+ networks."

Siegfried Schneider, President of the Bavarian Regulatory Authority for Media (BLM) was "convinced that we face challenges in the mobile society that we live in and that these challenges can only be overcome if we develop attractive, intelligent traffic management systems and TPEG via DAB+ is the way. BLM and Bayerischer Rundfunk are therefore undertaking a major effort to bring the car and radio together."

BR, the Bavarian public broadcaster, has played a central role in the introduction of digital radio. The adoption of digital radio by Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) is already extensive Dr. Johannes Grotzky, director of radio programme of BR said". In particular we are offering our five analogue stations plus five additional programmes via digital radio, so each BR digital station has an analogue "mother ship" to enable cross-promotion."

According to Dr. Chris Weck from Deutschlandradio "digital radio has the technical requirements to meet the requirement for a nationwide broadcast of their programmes, additional digital services are not only offered on the internet, but also via this new digital distribution channel. Digital radio has arrived, thanks to the excellent programs available on the nationwide and national multiplex. "

Helmut G. Bauer, a member of the Steering Group for Digital Radio, Inc. Managing Director DRD "After one hundred days, we can say that the train has started rolling and cannot be stopped, " he continued by saying that "Despite all opposition on 1 August 2011 new digital radio started successfully. Primarily through collaboration between public and private broadcasters digital radio was a success. The operators on the national multiplex are constantly expanding its digital content and offer, next year they will also expand the network further."

Willi Schreiner, Managing Director of Absolut Radio said "as in the TV sector, there should be a legal requirement that all radios in the future must be equipped with a digital receiver. This will ensure that all new and "old" programs can also be heard in the car. We are no longer driven bye technology but driven by programme and content".

At the end of the event Olaf Korte, Broadcast Group Leader Applications, Fraunhofer IIS, highlighted that a "significant proportion" of its research facility was on successful launch of DAB+ in Germany to send and receive side. For the first time there are many new possibilities for digital radio using the data services digital radio offers for example the radio station 90elf is using "Journaline" to provide information on league games. Digital radio can also provide information "by broadcasting TPEG, which is particularly effective via mobile and is of importance to the automotive sector."

The press forum was initiated by the Bayern Digital Radio GmbH and the Digital Radio Project Office.