Monday, 12 February marks the start of the popular annual EBU Digital Radio Week, hosted at the EBU in Geneva. It brings together a range of events for those interested in technology and innovation within Radio, as well as a number of industry gatherings.
Digital Radio Week
At the start of the week is Radiohack, a 2-day hackathon for coders, solderers and thinkers running from Monday to Tuesday. Past years have seen a community build up around open source solutions within Radio, including the opendigitalradio.org project, the free digital radio platform currently used in a large number of DAB+ installations around Europe.
The success of the event demonstrates that broadcasters stand to gain from more open collaboration as part of their technology strategy. It is an approach that many EBU Members have begun to embrace – Swedish Radio with Project IRIS is just one example. Consequently, the number of participants has been growing each year and Radiohack 2018 is now at capacity.
The EBU also welcomes RadioDNS to Geneva each year, for their General Assembly (RadioDNS members only), as well as their public event on the morning of Tuesday 13th. Delegates will hear about the real progress that Hybrid Radio has made in 2017, as well as the plans for 2018. Hybrid Radio is now a key part of the landscape of radio, offering a means to improve the user experience. The use of fully open and globally-recognized standards, such as those developed by RadioDNS, is important for the long-term health of the medium.
These themes are continued in the afternoon with the third edition of the WorldDAB/RadioDNS Automotive User Experience Workshop. Coinciding with the first release of a document of user experience guidelines from the WorldDAB Automotive User Experience Working Group, representatives from broadcasters and manufacturers will discuss a range of prepared topics.
Digital Radio Summit
The culmination of the week's activities is the EBU Digital Radio Summit on Wednesday 14th. The theme of this year’s summit is "It’s all about the User Experience". Delegates will hear from Bauer’s Travis Baxter on Digital Radio from the perspective of Europe’s largest commercial broadcaster. Sam Metheney of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) brings his perspective of Radio from the US, where recent news has focused on broadcast reception in mobile phones and the essential role of Radio in times of emergency. Nick Piggott from RadioDNS and Patrick Hannon from WorldDAB bring news of how Digital and Hybrid Radio combine to enable a better Radio experience for listeners.
Other presentations of the day cover opportunities for radio in the changing media landscape: voice-controlled devices, the shared opportunities between TV and Radio, the need for broadcasters to embrace open standards, European device policy, and what is upcoming for Radio with developments in 5G technology – as well as much more.
We also welcome back the Proud to Present session, with a series of short demonstrations of innovation and new technology from EBU Members.
Also on the Agenda
The week is rounded off with the Radio Archives Workshop on Thursday 15th, a unique event for EBU members to discuss the challenges and opportunities of archived material – best practice for digitisation and storage, as well as ideas for exploiting and sharing content, and reaching new audiences.
The Digital Radio Week coincides with the UNESCO World Radio Day. As part of this, the EBU is making available its new tool for creating shareable online audio content, Storyboard.