lunes, 1 de agosto de 2016

Paralizada la introduccion de DRM en Brasil

The deployment of Digital radio, announced in 2006 as the “salvation of the Brazilian radio” has been paralyzed for such a long time because of the Government’s indecision that risks not making a move in time to save the dying radio market. The debates on digital radio implementation in Brazil started more than 10 years ago. During this period the technological progress has changed significantly the landscape of broadcasting and the media in general.
The history of digital radio in Brazil dates back to the early 2000s, when tests were carried out both by the Academy and by broadcasters in order to define the best standard for the country. In 2010 the Ordinance 290 of the Ministry of Communications (MC) defined the guidelines of the Brazilian System of Digital Radio but unlike what happened with Digital TV, it did not establish a time limit for the definition of the standard. In August 2012 the Ministry of Communication created the Advisory Board of Digital Radio (CCRD – Conselho Consultivo do Rádio Digital), to analyze and recommend the best standard for the country by the end of that year. After intense activity at the beginning, the absence of clear objectives, lack of significant decisions and no end forecast, end of the Board, with no decisions taken. The only technical definition was from Anatel (Brazilian Telecommunications Regulator Agency), in 2013, with a report determining that: to operate in simulcast *, the digital system adopted can only operate in one of the side bands of the analogue signal. Only the DRM standard meets this premise, therefore, the Brazilian system was set at that time. However, the Ministry decided to continue the debates, and the CCRD languished.
There are no excuses for short waves and tropical waves
Ddigital radio grows exponentially in many countries on AM, below 30 MHz – “DRM30″. The ability to deliver good sound quality and multimedia content for long distances has shown itself useful in several countries with large territorial coverage and international broadcasts, very important in a globalized world. DRM is the only standard recognized by ITU for SW/TW and its adoption is worldwide. Today, digital SW and MW (DRM) come from, Italy (Vatican Radio), United Kingdom (BBC), India (AIR), New Zealand (RNZI), Japan (NHK), Indonesia (RRI), France (RFI), among many others. Several digital tests were conducted in Brazil, showing excellent SW audio reception from transmitter sites in the French Guyana and Ascension Island (United Kingdom). The DRM daily transmission schedule is available on the official DRM site ( India stands out in deploying DRM30 digital radio, eventually being able to cover almost the whole area of the country. Conflicts in Africa have caused plans on investments in digital broadcasts on shortwave from European public broadcasters facing that continent, where community organizations may plan on the distribution of digital DRM receivers for refugees. It is the implementation of the essence of this new media: a large coverage area, a lot of content, with quality and robustness.
The deployment delay of digital radio in Brazil is justified by the Government by claiming that it is not able to decide which standard should be adopted here. However, since DRM is the only available standard that covers shortwave and tropical wave (TW) broadcasts, there is no reason for the Ministry of Communications not to approve immediately this system in our country, in these frequency bands. This decision would trigger an immediate modernisation for the broadcasters in this sector, opening up the possibility of a revival of long-range radio and allowing the creation of quality content in the country. It is important to keep in mind that the deployment of digital radio in short wave is the introduction of a “free for all” platform using an existing broadcast system. It is not the revitalization of the short waves, it is the birth of a new form of transmission of sound and multimedia data, something new would be thus born.
While the non-deployment of digital radio in Brazil appears to be a safe and low-cost strategy, we’ve got at a point where the industry is already losing money. There is no progress without risk; we’re talking about stagnation versus evolution. We are “stuck” in a country that demonstrates a huge appetite for digital content (images, texts, videos) and digital radio can offer that democratically to our population.
EBC is ready to invest in digital shortwave
On May 4th, EBC – Empresa Brasil de Comunicação, the public governmental communication company, filed an official document to the Ministry of Communications in which it advocates the immediate decision in favour of the digital radio standard for shortwave frequencies. EBC is responsible for the National Radio of Amazonia, which operates in 25m and 49m shortwave. The broadcaster which will be 39 in September still operates with the same transmitters used on its inauguration day. In these four decades, radio has become a vehicle of vital importance to many populations of the Amazon region, because shortwave reaches places where no other media can get. The necessary revitalization of the transmission site there – still one of the largest sites of Latin America- depends on the future of the frequency.
Because of the growing difficulty to getting a good quality signal in short wave, listeners are abandoning their receivers or not buying new ones. For a public company such as EBC, this stops its ability to continue investing in the Amazon National. “EBC has an investment plan ready to revitalize the shortwave broadcasts of Rodeador, in Brazlândia, city here of Districto Federal. There is already a Brazilian industry with technology able to deliver new SW transmitters. They have sent us the budget for the production of two new solid state transmitters, capable of transmitting in both analogue and digital. But without a Governmental decision on shortwave digitisation it becomes very difficult to justify the investment. “, explains Peter Varoni, CEO of EBC. For Peter, the decision in favour of the digital standard will leverage the receivers sales. Listeners will be again interested in short wave, since the audio quality will be equal to that of FM, while the same current coverage area is maintained and multimedia data can also be sent..
Digital radio, as well as Digital TV, allows an evolutionary leap, enabling a dramatic improvement of sound quality, offering extra features, multimedia content and interactivity. We can only hope to see the end of Governmental sluggishness, with its successive postponements and delayed decisions about Digital radio. Once again, the losers are all the Brazilians

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