It is vital when undertaking the transition to a digital radio platform that the chosen standard is both robust and mature enough to enable a smooth and cost effective rollout while providing both consumers and broadcasters with incentives to switch to digital. The DAB family of standards provide just that.
In order to assist new markets, WorldDAB makes the following recommendations that capture the essential technical elements likely to lead to a successful launch (although many other marketing and editorial elements are needed to create all of the conditions necessary).
1. New markets should deliver services using DAB+
DAB+ provides the most efficient audio compression system, meaning that each radio station uses less of the multiplex, thus potentially resulting in lower transmission costs and more space for added value features. DAB+ is widely available in existing mass-market products.
2. All stations should provide Dynamic Label text
Adding descriptive text using the Dynamic Label feature differentiates digital radio from analogue, especially when it is updated to reflect and complement the changing content during a programme. Dynamic Label is a low cost feature for broadcasters to implement and it is widely available in existing mass-market products. Find technical specifications for Dynamic Label and other features here.
3. The preferred transmission band is VHF Band III
The propagation characteristics of Band III give better coverage in both urban and rural areas compared with higher frequencies. All receivers support Band III reception.
4. Station logos should be transmitted
Modern devices increasingly have colour screens, and the brand recognition achieved on these devices from providing station logos will greatly enhance the user experience. Station logo artwork is readily available and requires no on-going editorial or operational support. Broadcasters may also consider adding a further visual element, particularly if they already create similar content for their website. DAB allows the station branding to be broadcast as part of the signal with the audio permitting consistent presentation of services to listeners, and making it easy for receiver designers to create attractive User Interfaces, without gaps and blank spaces. Read the WorldDAB recommendation on station branding.