Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Northern Ireland Hosts Major DAB Conferences

Belfast in Northern Ireland will host three major events on the international future of digital radio this October.

The WorldDMB General Assembly on October 27 at the Europa Hotel in Belfast brings together WorldDMB members from Europe and around the world. On the agenda is the development of the DAB family of standards, including DAB, DAB+ and DMB, and the future of digital radio broadcasting on an international scale.

The same week sees the EBU Digital Radio Conference, also held at the Europa Hotel. On October 28/29, European Broadcasting Union delegates will meet to discuss how best to chart a digital future for radio on multi-platforms. The conference will consider a practical assessment of the conditions for the successful and profitable future of radio in all its digital formats.

To accompany the EBU Digital Radio Conference, BBC Northern Ireland and RTE will present 'Making Connections – a Festival of Radio'. The large-scale public event will celebrate radio and its connection with people and cultures at a local, national and international level. The free event will showcase new technologies and exhibits from the BBC's local and network radio services. Visitors can also watch live radio programmes and get involved with interactive experiences. The Festival of Radio takes place in BBC Blackstaff House in Belfast between 28 and 30 October.

Digital radio in Northern Ireland is quite widespread with much of the Province within range of a regional multiplex and the BBC's national mux. In the ROI, RTE broadcasts to 36% of the population, rising to 52% by the end of 2010. The "noise" created by these three almost simultaneous events in Belfast will raise the public profile and awareness of digital radio broadcasting across Ireland.

Letty Zambrano, WorldDMB Project Director says: "Each event's agenda is complementary to the other two, and many of the same people will no doubt attend both the WorldDMB and EBU conferences. The BBC/RTE event is more consumer focused and will balance the two conferences by talking directly to listeners through free public events, demonstrations of how digital radio works etc."


For more information contact Rosemary Smith, WorldDMB on +44 20 3206 7847 or email

Notes to Editors: The DAB family is the most successful set of digital radio standards in the world today. Created from the outset for mobile and portable reception of audio services, the standard has been developed to offer multimedia and video with DAB+ and DMB digital radio and DMB mobile TV. Collectively these are often referred to as the Eureka 147 Family of Standards, having originated as an EU funded Eureka project. The system is on-air in nearly 40 countries across Europe, Australia and the Far East. More than 500 million people are within range of DAB, DAB+ or DMB services, with over 1,000 services on-air. In Europe, digital radio is available in the UK, Denmark, Malta, Norway, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and Spain with digital radio launches planned for France, Ireland, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Czech Republic. The world's first DMB mobile TV services launched in South Korea in 2005 and is now one of the most successful markets in the world. DAB is also on-air in China as the only industrial standard for digital radio with DMB successfully used for mobile TV during the 2008 Olympics. Other DMB mobile TV services and trials are planned for Norway, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia. In 2008 the industry body responsible for the Eureka 147 family of standards, the WorldDMB Forum, created the 'Digital Radio Receiver Profiles' which specify a set of minimum requirements and features for different types of consumer digital radio receivers. The
Receiver Profiles ensure interoperability of new receivers and services between countries whose broadcasters may be using different combinations of DAB, DAB+ or DMB and creates a harmonised digital radio and multimedia market across the world.

About WorldDMB
WorldDMB is an international, non-governmental organisation with a mandate to promote the awareness, adoption and implementation of Eureka 147 based technologies worldwide. The organisation's name refers to 'digital multimedia broadcasting' including radio, mobile TV and broadcast new media services. Its members include public and commercial broadcasters, receiver manufacturers and other companies and bodies committed to the promotion of services and equipment based on the Eureka 147 family of standards.

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