Ceske Radiokomunikace and Czech Radio are launching an experimental DAB+ service for Prague and its surrounding areas
Transmitter "Praha město"Foto: Jolana Nováková
Radio has made another significant step on the road towards digital broadcasting. The commissioning of the experimental DAB Praha broadcasting multiplex from Žižkov Tower, which is operated by Ceske Radiokomunikace, has now begun. This is the first DAB test of this top-quality service. It uses a high-capacity transmitter, covering Prague as well as part of Central Bohemia and reaching almost one fifth of the Czech population (17%). 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.
Czech Radio’s Director General, Peter Duhan, explains: “Czech Radio’s experimental, but fully parametrised broadcasting service for Prague and its surrounding areas will achieve another of the station’s strategic goals, taking another giant step towards radio broadcasting digitisation. The DAB Praha multiplex will comprise all of Czech Radio’s special digital stations and nationwide stations – Plus, Radiožurnál, Dvojka and Vltava. Listeners will be offered a technically enhanced service as well as additional services in the form of new multimedia content.”
This experiment will help Ceske Radiokomunikace (ČRa) reinforce its position as a technological innovator, this time also in the sphere of radio broadcasting. The very first test of the previous version of digital radio was carried out as early as in 1999. This first digital radio trial broadcast with fully parametrised output has been given permission by the Czech Telecommunication Office (CTO) to run until 31st May, 2016 – facilitating another step in the digitisation process of the last analogue medium.
Martin Gebauer, CEO at Ceske Radiokomunikace, adds: “Today we have achieved yet another significant milestone in the digitisation process of our radio service. Due to low output and unsuitable frequencies, previous attempts in the area of digital audio broadcasting did not allow listeners to learn and to take advantage of all the benefits the digital service has to offer. And that is why I am happy that we were able to team up with Czech Radio in offering our technological background and years of experience to launch digital radio broadcasting in such a form that can be of practical use and offer a high quality listening experience.”
Digital broadcasting will provide listeners with a broader range of programmes, a higher quality broadcast audio signal and brand new services allowing the transmission of graphic and text information on receiver displays. It is a significant advantage that it is also a service that is free to listeners. DAB is also not dependent on the availability and reliable functioning of the internet, which can, in critical situations, be limited or interrupted. In this way it meets the requirements of a widely available and highly reliable information platform – instead of simply serving as a safeguard for moments of crisis or natural disaster.
The aim of the current experiment is to verify real digital audio broadcasting parameters for the purposes of planning final nationwide DAB+ networks. Broadcasting is transmitted on band III – an optimal frequency for digital radio transmission which is also used in other European countries. Digital broadcasting may be received using radio devices which support standard DAB+. These devices are available in leading electronic stores.
Technical parameters – experimental broadcasting:
Coding type: DAB+
Channel: 12C (227.36 MHz)
ERP output: 20 kW
Transmitter: Praha město (Mahlerovy sady)
Tel.: +420 725 793 397
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