The RDS Forum is the international platform for advances in RDS technology – The next meeting of the RDS Forum is on 20/21 May 2019

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RDS2 milestones 2014 - 2018

2014-06 At the RDS Forum meeting in Glion it was decided to have a feasibility study of xRDS, a proposal from RDS Forum member Attila Ladanyi, later known as RDS2, by a small team of RDS experts during a workshop in Budapest

The objectives for the workshop:

  1. Define the technical and upgradable architecture bases on agreed standards and regulations,
  2. Ensure complete backwards compatibility with RDS,
  3. Establish a set of high level customer requirements (PS names up to 16 characters and UTF8 coded),
  4. Identify existing unused functions within RDS,
  5. Identify the work items and expertise needed to integrate RDS2 into the RDS standard.

2014-11 At an RDS Forum workshop held at Magyar Radio in Budapest the RDS experts attending recommended to the RDS Forum 2015 to give green light to standardizing RDS2 as a new option for using RDS.

2015-06 The RDS Forum agreed to go ahead with RDS2.

2015-11 First RDS2 Info Day held in Berlin. The innovations presented there were a first RDS2 encoder prototype developed by the US company Jump2Go and a first RDS2 receiver (a USB stick with RDS/RDS2 monitor decoder with associated data analysis software) RX014 from MacBe, a Dutch company, using a modified RDS NXP chip set developed for RDS2 decoding by Hendrik van der Ploeg from the Dutch company Catena. A test transmission with RDS2 was put on air by RDS Forum member Attila Ladanyi (T & C Holding) and Joop Beunders (MacBe) together with Seth Stroh and Allen Hartle (both from Jump2Go) demonstrated for the first time the RDS2 transmission and reception of image files of station logos and music cover art using RDS2.

2016-11 Second RDS2 Info Day held at the Maison de la Radio of Radio France in Paris. A French RDS2 development team composed of RDS experts from Caméon, Magneti Marelli, Radio France and Worldcast Systems presented an RDS setup used to demonstrate on the radio programme FRANCE INTER how images transmitted with RDS2 could be used to enhance the listening experience. They used the same file transmission protocol previously demonstrated in Berlin and concluded that it will need to be enhanced by the RDS Forum to satisfy operational radio requirements. The RDS2 test receivers used were a car radio and a home receiver, jointly developed by Magneti Marelli and Caméon for Radio France.

2017-12 RDS Forum experts meet at a workshop held at the TDF head office in Paris (Montrouge) with the aim to adapt the file transfer protocol to support the operational requirements of Radio France and to adapt the UECP to support RDS2.

2018-04 Worldcast Systems announced at the NAB show at Las Vegas the world’s first commercially available RDS2 encoder and its AUDEMAT FM MC5, a multipurpose FM measurement equipment permitting to decode and analyze RDS2 and to generate an RDS2 test signal and data.

2018-05 At the RDS Forum meeting held in Glion it was decided that the file transfer protocol as worked out at the TDF workshop needed further improvement, more generic and simplified for implementation. A new working group was created to finalize the work. However mainly thanks to an intensive cooperation between David Jaillet (Caméon for Radio France) and Joop Beunders, the RDS2 File Transfer specification RFT was released in October 2018 (R18/038_1).

2018-12 Radio France and Caméon demonstrated in Nantes the implementation of the File Transfer specification RFT. They used the world’s first commercially available RDS2 encoder from Worldcast Systems and a newly developed RDS2 home receiver prototype from Caméon. They showed the transmission of music cover art and station logo using file sizes of up to 20 KB. The time needed to receive the files was about twice as long compared with DAB, but still very acceptable to achieve an enhancement of the listening experience with FM radio. The next step of this development will be to synchronize the cover art with the music items on air.