Historic moment for digital radio in the Czech Republic – CRo DAB+ multiplex launched
After turning on all four transmitters planned, the signal will cover 40% of population. Czech Radio will use the full capacity of the multiplex, because it has no support in law to offer the space to private radios.
Digital radio broadcasting is approaching a historical moment. Two years after the launch of the Czech Radio DAB+ multiplex experimental broadcasting from the Žižkov Tower, the network is being launched on 1 June. The multiplex will deliver a total of fourteen radio stations in the DAB+ standard with the most advanced coding. This will allow Czech Radio to broadcast with lower data streams, but maintain high sound quality at the same time.
The programme selection will also be changed on 1 June. The digital network will carry new regional circuits of Czech Radio. CRo Regina DAB Prague will be followed by CRo Region, CRo Brno, CRo Ostrava and CRo Plzeň. These are the locations in which the digital broadcasting may be expected in the following months, by November at the latest. Expanding DAB+ to other locations in the upcoming years will depend on the interest in digital radio in the areas that will have already been broadcasting it. Individual license for the transmitter is granted by the CTO regulator until the end of 2021.
Anticipated coverage map of the CRo DAB+ multiplex signal in a telescopic antenna. (Source: Czech Radio)
Thanks to the fact that the head-end, the heart of the Czech Radio DAB + multiplex broadcast chain, is directly managed and controlled by the public media, it is possible to ensure the highest possible sound quality and signal distribution directly from the studios, and then distribute it along the optical path directly to the transmitter. For our tech-savvy readers, the Protection Level will be set to 2. Other additional services will naturally be available as well, including the slideshow (pictures for colour screens), playlists and others. After all four DAB+ transmitters are launched, the signal distribution will cost CZK 12.9 million annually.
From 1 June
Prague – Žižkov – channel 12C/20 kW/vertical polarisation
Plzeň – Radeč – channel 12C/10 kW/vertical polarisation
Brno – Hády – channel 12D/5 kW/vertical polarisation
Ostrava – Hošťálkovice – channel 12D/10 kW/vertical polarisation
National: ČRo Radiožurnál, ČRo Dvojka, ČRo Vltava, ČRo Plus
Regional: Regina DAB Praha, ČRo Region, ČRo Brno, ČRo Ostrava a ČRo Plzeň
Digital: Radio Wave, Rádio Junior, D-dur, ČRo Jazz, Rádio Retro