The RDS Forum is the international platform for advances in RDS technology – The next meeting of the RDS Forum is on 8/9 June 2015

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The RDS Forum held its annual meeting in Glion/Montreux, Switzerland from 30 to 31 May 2011.

Workshop on the Radios digital future in Europe: This workshop was part of the 2011 annual meeting.

It was observed that

It was agreed to draft an Input statement by the end of June for the EC’s RSPG on the Radio’s Digital Future, outlining the views of all participants in our workshop. The paper is available on this web site (see the Publications section) for downloading.

A first meeting of RDS/DAB experts from the RDS Forum was held at OFCOM in London on 22/23 November 2010 to discuss problems regarding the transition to Digital Radio in greater detail and come up with an RDS Forum Position Paper on this issue. The RDS Guidelines were also adapted, but the work has not been completed yet, given the complexity involved. The RDS Forum aims at mobile receivers that work smoothly with DAB and FM/RDS and that do not need much user intervention nor any technical knowledge of the listener. Such receivers are very much needed, specifically in the car, as the transition to Digital Radio in Europe still will take another 15 years at least.

RDS-TMC: TISA is in charge of maintaining the ISO standards for TMC. The RDS Forum closely collaborates with TISA on this matter. The standards are being upgraded and the TISA proposals to achieve this update will also be reviewed then by the RDS Forum experts.

ITU: Through the EBU, the RDS Forum collaborated with ITU-R Study Group 6 and updated ITU-R Recommendation BS.643-3 (2011) dealing with RDS.

IEC: The RDS measurements standard IEC 62634 was adopted as proposed by the RDS Forum and published in June 2011.

RBDS: The Forum collaborated with the NAB during the past year on the updating of the US standard for RBDS. This activity was now been successfully completed just before this meeting the newly updated RBDS was distributed. The innovative approach taken is that now the RBDS standard shows only the differences with respect to the RDS standard IEC 62106, making it simpler for the industry to supply receivers that will work for both.

RT+: The progress made in the implementation of RadioText Plus remains a topic to be promoted by the RDS Forum on its web site. Any news reported to the RDS Forum on the progress made in the RT+ implementation will be included in a presentation to encourage broadcasters to implement it more widely.

eRT: enhanced RadioText is a feature to provide RadioText with non-Latin alphabet character sets, all EU languages being covered. There is increasing interest to implement this new feature in car radios, designed for markets in Central and Eastern Europe. However, the RDS Forum still seeks more feedback from interested broadcasters, confirming that they really want to use this new feature. Also, the Forum likes to be informed of any implementation so that some car radio receiving field tests could then be carried out by the developers.

Extending the RDS data transmission capacity: From the xRDS project it was reported that more development was done during the past year in cooperation with Hungary, and in particular with Magyar Radio, the Budapest University and the Hungarian regulator, who will, at a later stage, also bring the results into ITU Study Group 6. In summer 2011 the Hungarian magazine “Radiotechnika” published an article about the development work. This mentioned that up to now the additional interference that the additional carriers were creating would be absolutely negligible, provided that the audio injection level would be a little bit reduced, which would be unnoticeable for the listener. The continuation of this development work was encouraged by the RDS Forum. A detailed presentation about this project was placed on a special web site to raise more awareness about this important development. For more details refer to

http://extended-rds.org

PS: The dynamic PS tests in France still continue, however now with the constraint that only programme relative information shall be given that also needs to be distributed using the RT feature. All this is in spite of the fact that the French car radio industry has indicated that scrolling PS will serve no useful purpose and on the contrary only create confusion to the radio listeners. The car radio manufacturers in the RDS Forum 2010 had confirmed that most car radios will have the RT feature implemented and broadcasters are asked to use this instead, and not PS, which shall remain static and give only the 8-character programme service name identification.

Proposal to improve PTY signalling for NEWS and WEATHER: The proposal from the RDS Forum 2010 will now be submitted to the IEC to be used as an Addendum to the RDS standard.

Proposal to improve cross-referencing to Digital Radio DRM and DAB/DAB+: The RDS Forum 2011 was of the view no enhancement was needed for RDS as DAB was transmitting all cross-reference information needed by the car radio.

RDS web site: It was re-designed in Autumn 2010 and a new look and a simplified structure have been created. The much increased usage of the web site is now analysed and documented at weekly intervals. The web site can also be used to advertise RDS relevant products. For the conditions contact the RDS Forum Office in Geneva.

RDS Forum Management Team: The present team consists of the Chairman Johnny Beerling, the CEO Dietmar Kopitz (RDS Forum Office), the Forum’s Treasurer Frits de Jong (TomTom) and Jonathan Pearce, a marketing expert from Silicon Labs UK.

Annual member fee: The member fee agreed for 2012 was agreed to remain unchanged and to be EUR 2000.-. The member fee for the Swiss members also remains unchanged at CHF 2700.-. Reductions for broadcasters, tentatively introduced for 2011, were dropped as this did not attract more broadcasters to the RDS Forum.

Next RDS Forum annual meeting: 11 & 12 June 2012 at Hotel Victoria, Glion / Montreux, Switzerland.