Radio Pulpit, member of the Pulpit Media Group (PMG), proved to be on the cutting edge of technology during the launch of the Southern African DRM Platform on 25 June in Centurion. This Christian community station has made history by leading the SA radio broadcasting industry into the digital era with the first LIVE digital medium wave broadcast in South Africa.
The Digital Radio Mondiale™ (DRM) broadcast, transmitted from Radio Pulpit's DRM ready 25kW transmitter in Kameeldrift, Pretoria, caused great excitement for broadcasters, manufacturers, regulators and research institutes in South Africa, present at the launch. This historic event will be followed by the first DRM medium wave trial by Radio Pulpit, which officially commences tomorrow. According to Dr Roelf Petersen, Group Managing Director of PMG and Chairman of the new DRM Southern African Platform, the trial will take approximately one year to be completed, after which results will be presented to ICASA with licensing as aim.
"The medium wave characteristics of DRM provide transmissions that can reach people in remote places where no other means of radio broadcasting could do before. With DRM, people in difficult-to-reach areas will in future be able to listen to crystal clear digital radio."
The DRM Consortium Chairperson, Ruxandra Obreja, stated that "national networks and regional stations to smaller commercial and community stations all would be able to broadcast their radio programmes with enhanced content and excellent sound quality. The DRM global standard can be used in all radio frequency bands and is ideal for the large countries of Southern Africa."
Listeners can look forward to excellent audio quality (CD quality) with stereo and 5.1 surround sound. More enhanced features include:
- Wider choice for listeners;
- Up to four programs on one frequency, making multilingual programs possible;
- Simulcasting in analogue/digital;
- Good coverage area with a robust signal that is "green" and energy efficient, with up to 50% savings in energy;
- Automatic tuning by station name, no longer by frequency;
- Emergency warning and alert system, warning listeners about possible disaster;
- Multimedia applications and text messages (visible on the receiver screen);
- Electronic Program Guide (EPG) providing information about what's on - now and next.
- Listeners will be able to search for programs and schedule recording;
- An option to accompany programs with images and animation via the MOT Slideshow; and
- TPEG/TMC Traffic Information.
The DRM Consortium's Southern Africa DRM Platform will play a facilitating and an intermediary role in Southern Africa. For more information about this exciting platform, visit www.drmsa.org
|Dr Roelf Petersen (Group Managing Director of PMG and Chairperson of the DRM Southern African Platform), Dr Lawrence Mc Crystal (Chairperson of PMG) and Ms Ruxandra Obreja (Chairperson of the DRM Consortium) with bright smiles after listening to the first live DRM broadcast in Southern Africa, transmitted from Radio Pulpit's DRM ready 50kW transmitter in Kameeldrift, Pretoria|