<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Junking the recommendations of an IIT-Bombay report which had given a thumbs down to digital radio mondiale (DRM) — an expensive digital radio technology pegged as a replacement for Soviet-era worn-out short and medium wave transmitters —the government seems to be promoting the technology for the country’s public and private radio broadcasters.The technical audit of All India Radio’s short and medium wave services was commissioned to IIT-Bombay by AIR’s parent body Prasar Bharati.On Tuesday, at the Digital Radio for All Round Table Conference organised by DRM along with Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited (BECIL), Information and Broadcasting minister Venkaiah Naidu urged public as well as private FM broadcasters to go digital in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a Digital India.He also said that AIR has reinvented itself through its digital transmitters based on the DRM and said AIR has already completed the technical installation and upgradation of 37 powerful transmitters in the first phase of digitisation of radio broadcast. He added that it was an opportune moment for automotive manufacturers and retailers to incorporate digital radio systems in vehicles.However, the IIT-B report has stated DRM receivers are too expensive and had suggested installing a larger number of FM transmitters to cover the entire country, given that FM is a cheaper option and easily accessed by the masses on their mobile phones.On the other hand, to access radio through DRM, a listener will have to buy a receiver set, which can cost up to Rs15,000.Even private radio operators, off record, confessed that they are not keen on going for DRM, since it is more expensive than FM and few people in the country are aware of the technology.Prasar Bharati officials informed that while the government is equating digital radio with the DRM technology in a bid to promote it, digital radio also includes other inexpensive digital radio technologies like DAB (digital audio broadcast) and digital technologies for short and medium wave transmitters, which are popular in China.An official statement from the government stated that digital transmission would provide Crystal clear and better-than- FM sound quality, enhanced program choice, free access to textual news, sports, travel and weather information, among others.”The DRM broadcasting system is specifically designed to allow the new digital transmission to co-exist with the current analogue broadcasts,” the statement read.

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Government promotes expensive digital radio for public, private broadcasters