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Digital Radio Mondiale

This is a technique for broadcasting digital radio programmes over short-, medium-, and long-wave transmitters worldwide, to replace the AM format used since the dawn of broadcasting. It’s claimed to provide listeners with near-FM quality and — more importantly — a signal free from interference and fading.

The term goes back to 1996 and became formal in 1998, when a consortium of manufacturers and broadcasters was formed to work out a common standard. It was realised by everyone involved that broadcasting in the lower bands was doomed due to reception problems unless a fundamental change was made.

It is being predicted, in fact, that DRM will eventually supersede AM in all these bands, if the many millions of listeners throughout the world can be persuaded to replace their existing receivers.

Though it has had a lot of attention in the specialist press, it was only in 2003 that the first broadcasts were made and even now the number of channels is extremely limited, receivers even more so. Because the standard is non-proprietary, it has also been taken up by amateurs.

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.

Page created 03 Sep 2005