Czech Radio and Digital Broadcasting

Digital Radio Receiver - Foto: Khalil Baalbaki

Digital Radio ReceiverFoto: Khalil Baalbaki

Czech Radio is frequently in the process of testing and implementing of new technologies. It not only participates in digital television broadcasting, but also experimental broadcasting in the DAB and DAB+ standards.

Regular digital radio broadcasting in DAB and DAB+ has started on April 1st, 2011. The current coverage can be found here

On August 6th 2015 Czech Radio has made another significant step on the road towards digital broadcasting. It showcased its commitment to going digital by launching an experimental digital radio service for Prague and reaching almost one fifth of the Czech population (17% per cent). Digital broadcasting will open up new possibilities for improving the public service offered to our listeners – by extending our range of programmes, enhancing transmission quality and introducing new multimedia services. You can read more about this historical event in the press release here

Brief History of DAB in Czech Republic 

Experimenting with digital radio broadcasting in the Czech Republic began in 1999. By March of that year, Ceske Radiokomunikace had tested the T-DAB system in Prague. Another test followed in May 2000 from two transmitters, disseminating the programme of four Czech radio stations. This broadcasting experiment ran until December 2000. In recent years Czech Radio has been collaborating with Teleko, RTI and Ceske Radiokomunikace, experimenting in digital broadcasting using DAB and DAB+ systems. 

Czech Radio and DVB-T 

Czech Radio has joined a terrestrial digital television network (DVB-T) in October 2005. It broadcasts in public service multiplex, which is operated by the Czech Television, adding seven stations to their four TV channels. The signal covers almost entire population. Czech Radio has been involved in the digital TV network since the beginning of its experimental operation in Prague on the 12th of May, 2000. The network was publicly launched on the 21st of October, 2005; it has been settled at the permanent frequency three years later at the end of October 2008.  

Digital stations of the Czech Radio 

In addition to the traditional nationwide stations (Radiozurnal, Dvojka, and Vltava), Czech Radio's digital portfolio includes channels that were established in recent years. 

On the 1st of May, 2005, new stations Radio Česko and D-dur went on air and the popular-science station Leonardo launched on the 30th of May, 2005. As a result of the subsequent cancellation of the Radio Česko, Czech Radio 6 and Leonardo stations parts of their programme were taken up by the newly launched spoken-word station, Czech Radio Plus that started broadcasting on the 1st of March 2013. Practically the whole production of CR Plus falls within the category of current affairs coverage. 

D-dur is a classical music station featuring the very best recordings from Czech Radio´s vast archives, playing a range of music from the renaissance period to the 21st century. The station presents a continuous 24/7 stream of classical music consisting of complete classical compositions accompanied by expert commentary. This accompanying commentary sets the D-dur station apart from other self-playing online streams. 

Radio Wave has been launched on the 13th of January, 2006. This station is aimed at young people, with playlists primarily comprising of Indie, Post Rock, Nu-Folk, Electro, quality Pop, and alternative Hip-Hop. Apart from music, Radio Wave broadcasts features on extreme sports, theatre, lifestyle, film, and travel. It lends its' name to Radio Wave Live Sessions - regular concerts featuring leading alternative Czech bands. 

Radio Junior is the domain of children´s broadcasting, and it formed a part of CR Dvojka´s programming until the end of September 2013. Since October 1, it has become an independent service. Both its broadcasts and website regularly feature invitations to cultural events and projects, and guests from the world of art and culture are invited to the studio for radio sessions. The main emphasis of Radio Junior is placed on original Czech music production. The broadcasting features more music content than spoken-word and the night service is composed exclusively of music. 

Czech Radio Jazz offers another entirely unique project. The station is the result of the transformation of the original Euro Jazz online stream. From the 1st of March, 2013 it played 16 hours per day on digital networks (DVB-T channel shared with CR Plus) and provided 24-hour broadcasting on a separate channel from March 6, 2013. The change in the form of dissemination also resulted in an adjustment to the programming. Following a switchover to DVB-T, the dramaturgy was tailored to a wider range of listeners (experimental music blocs were shifted to late afternoon or night) and more space has been dedicated to spoken-word content. 

Other digital broadcasting systems 

In addition to terrestrial digital broadcasting (DVB-T), Czech Radio disseminates its' programmes via satellite (DVB-S), cable TV networks, and by IPTV (TV over fixed phone lines). All Czech Radio's stations are broadcast live on the internet

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