SPI - Service and Programme Information

Service Programme Information (SPI) is an application formerly known as electronic programme guide (EPG), but goes beyond a mere programme guide. Services provide daily broadcast schedules with detailed information about every programme event, start and end times, event names, genre and descriptions.

Service information provides service names, identification, frequencies and multimedia (station logo). On-air SPI services can be complemented by online resources using hybrid (RadioDNS) functionality. 

An SPI service is carried in the DAB multiplex using the Multimedia Object Transfer (MOT) protocol. Typically a single SPI service provides for all or several services within the ensemble. It consists of SPI objects for schedule, programme and service information. Most common is schedule information, which provides the programme (event) listing for one day (24hrs, up to 7 days in advance) and service information, which gives details for every service and references station logo images included within the SPI data carousel.

The typical subchannel bitrate of a SPI service addressing the entire ensemble ranges between 8 to 32 kbps. SPI services are carried as data services using a packet mode transport, typcially within a dedicated sub-channel. While SPI schedule information provides start and end times of events, these times are only indicative of actual start and end times; for reference ensembles provide date and time information.

Support for SPI is optional in a receiver and considered an advanced function. With growing popularity of color display devices, the demand for station logos is growing, in particular within the car industry. Services are recommended to provide schedule information for the current day and a set of station logos in various standard sizes within an ensemble SPI service.

SPI is defined as a digital radio application in ETSI TS 102 371 for binary transport over DAB and DRM.