headphones-iconDAB, or digital audio broadcasting, brought to the radio industry what the digital technology of cellular phones brought to the telecommunications industry–an alternative to analog technology. Using the Eureka 147 format, broadcast companies in Europe and the UK made the shift form analog broadcasting to DAB digital radio broadcasting; the Eureka format became globally standardized everywhere except in the United States.

The United States chose instead to have its DAB digital radio broadcasting formatted in hybrid-digital radio, which make it the only country to have done so, and more or less stopped the adoption of DAB digital radio technology altogether. In the United States, satellite radio has received all the broadcasters and broadcasting equipment manufacturers attention. Why?

Because satellite radio requires listeners to purchase expensive receivers, and in addition, to shell out the cost of subscribing each month. Radio listeners in other countries must simply raise their eyebrows at the prospect; they receive Eureka 147 and digital radio at no cost.

headphones-iconDigital radio is one of the biggest improvements in broadcasting since the introduction of FM. Digital radio signal can be broadcasted for more than 35,000 kilometers (22,000 miles) with complete clarity and high quality sound. You will never get static interferences while listening to over 100 radio channels. The idea behind digital radio has appeared in 1992, when the United States Federal Communications Commission granted a spectrum of the S band (the 2.3 GHz frequency) for Digital Audio Radio Service. The license to broadcast in that band was allocated to Sirius digital Radio and XM digital Radio in 1997. Now there are three companies that provide digital radio in the world: Sirius and XM in Northern America and WorldSpace in Asia, Europe and Africa.

 

Each of these companies offer different broadcasting systems, since the radio signal of each is proprietary. This means that you will have to buy different hardware depending on your subscription to one of these companies. However, there are three components common to all digital radio services: the digitals, the ground repeaters and the radio receivers.

headphones-iconThe introduction of digital radio has been one of the biggest innovations in recent FM broadcasting history. This radio signal can be heard at a distances of thirty five thousand kilometers and beyond.

That is more that twenty two miles with a clear reception, no static and more than one hundred stations to listen to. The inception of this concept was 1992 when the Federal Communications Commissions gave up the S band on the  radio wave spectrum (2.3 GHz) to Digital Audio Radio Service. The companies that were initially given a license to broadcast on this spectrum were XM digital Radio and Sirius digital Radio. Currently, there are three digital radio services broadcasting around the world: XM and Sirius in North America and WorldSpace in Europe, Asia and Africa.

headphones-iconAny song you hear on satellite radio stars as a recording in a specific format on different recording mediums. IN most cases, the recording quality has to be maintained fairly high, usually around 384kb/s, while also being reasonably small enough to be transported on CDs and DVDs. The music tracks used in satellite radio are cataloged using a similar system to the MP3 cataloging criteria, the ID3 tags. The choice for the music tracks that will be played is made by each channel individually. The DJ selecting the tracks usually chooses about 20-30 minutes worth of music. The DJ has to listen to the tracks to make sure they are in proper condition and then simply lets the computer decode the original file. The same thing is repeated once the initial 20-30 minutes are exhausted and the music playing cycle repeats itself.

 

Sound encoding in satellite radio

Encoding is one of the key elements of digital radio. Each channel is handled by a different encoder. The encoder basically takes the analog file and turns it into a digital one. The digitalization process is made in real time and the music files are transformed into 1′s and 0′s.

headphones-iconOne of the great ausweb hosting of digital radio is the fact that the programs are not interrupted by commercials. This is because the providers website builder comes from listeners and not from advertisers. Digital radio services offer around 70 programs of commercial fee music channels each and you have a great variety of choices, from mainstream rock, hip-hop and dance music to folk music, opera, blues and many more. Another great thing about digital radio is the absence of static. You can be driving from the West Coast to the East Coast in the United States of America and you will not get any static at all on the way. The radio signal is digital, which means that you will get crystal-clear sound wherever you go.

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