Transforming Australian Radio Distribution

August 18, 2020

2 min read

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The Australian Radio Industry is constantly looking for more streamlined ways to distribute their content. Radio in fact is still the most effective way to get content and messaging out to the greater listening audiences. Market uptake of digital radio in Australia is enjoying a steady growth with new figures revealing usage has reached a new high.

According to the latest Digital Audio Broadcasting + (DAB+) update released by industry body Commercial Radio Australia, The Australia DAB+ figures reveals that more than 4.21 million people, or 30% of the population aged 10 and over, listened to DAB+ digital radio each week in the five metro capital cities in 2018 – up from 3.62 million the previous year and continues to grow.

Radio is a resilient communications platform which continuously survives evolving standards and compliances. Throughout Australia, radio distribution is managed differently. Whether a national or regional broadcaster, the signals from studio to transmitter can be distributed in various ways, utilising various vendors. Although a steady market, there’s a drive for digital content and station formats such as dance, kids, sport and smooth to become standard channels.

Today, DAB transmission is preferred over analogue, AM/FM, because it uses less bandwidth, has a higher frequency, and allows media data for on-screen information.

So what does the + in DAB+ mean?

DAB+ is an upgrade of the current DAB system, the main advantage being that it is three times as efficient meaning that it can carry far more stations and at a far higher audio quality than on DAB. Other benefits include transmission costs being far lower; less spectrum being required; reception quality is far more robust; and DAB+ is a much greener technology because the overall transmission power required is far lower. DAB+ is also the current standard across much of Europe so if you are to travel, the radio travels with you.

Telstra Broadcast Services has designed a fully managed end to end DAB+ solution simplifying the contribution and distribution networks required along with encoding and multiplexing services for the radio broadcasters.

Radio services contributed from studios are sent via the Digital Video Network (DVN) utilising the Media Data connectivity to ensure an IP data QOS. The DVN Media data network has an A and B path redundancy design into the Telstra Broadcast Operations Centre and Oxford Falls Teleport, where it’s encoded and multiplexed, then distributed to transmitters throughout Australia.

Whether you’re cruising around the city, exploring regional Australia or setting-up camp near the beach, DAB+ will be right there with you.