At the IBC, a team of EBU radio engineers integrated a full radio chain, from studio to consumer receivers, to demonstrate analogue and digital radio broadcasts with multimedia enhancements. What was the background of this demonstration?
Open software defined radio transmission platform
"First of all we wanted to show how technology is evolving and that it is now possible to create radio broadcasts for virtually any platform (DAB, DAB+, DRM, FM and streaming) with a common, cost-efficient software defined radio platform. That is exactly what we did: we broadcast on all of these platforms at the IBC, using 1 rack of almost of-the-shelf components, all this for less than €5,000. DAB/DAB+ encoding/multiplexing/modulation was performed using MMBTools from CRC. DRM transmission used Spark software while FM was implemented using gnuradio. The RF transmission was then produced by USRP Universal Software Radio Platform. "We hope to trigger radio people that they can try out new things without having to set up an expensive infrastructure", explains Mathias Coinchon (EBU).
Software radio broadcasting is a reality
Multimedia enhancements of hybrid radio
But the demo was not about the platform only, it also emphasised the developments happening 'around' the radio with the hybrid broadcast/Internet approach, such as RadioDNS and RadioVIS. Specifications which allow radios to seamlessly find additional internet-based content to, for example, show an album picture, do an audience poll or provide extensive EPG information. At the IBC, EBU in partnership with CRC and Global labs showed the RadioDNS system work on various different devices and plaftorms using DAB/DAB+ or FM.