Is DRM the future of shortwave (updated)?

Posted: 02 Oct 2006   Print   Send a link
Assessing Digital Radio Mondiale, the new digital mode for shortwave, medium wave, and longwave. "DRM boosters express confidence that when consumers hear it, they’ll like it. They say that even though DRM’s sound quality will not be like hearing true hi-fi, listeners will appreciate having shortwave and AM stations coming in at near-FM quality. Even more important, perhaps, listeners will be able to get many more stations than before." IEEE Spectrum, Octoberc 2006. Actually, listeners will be able to get fewer stations than before (albeit with better audio quality), because DRM is more adversely affected by low signal levels and interference than is analogue. "There is an ever-growing body of transmission/reception data collected by DRM monitoring networks that show, when properly managed by selecting DRM coding options, etc., that the same 'FM-like' quality and robustness as DRM provides for local broadcasting can be attained for the wide-area, long-distance coverage of millions of square kilometers that skywave propagation can provide." H. Donald Messer, Radio World, 27 September 2006. See also the Sangean DRM-40 receiver. Update: Australian Communications and Media Authority places embargo on new shortwave frequency assignments "to avoid the premature introduction of unplanned services that may compromise the benefits to the public that would otherwise result from the delivery of comprehensively planned Digital Radio Mondiale bands." ACMA media release, 28 September 2006.