There's suddenly more to digital radio in the UK than just DAB, as Edinburgh, Scotland, has become the latest venue for a DRM+ system trial sponsored by the DRM Consortium.
According to a DRM Consortium press release, the current tests aim to characterize a variety of real-world performance parameters such as coverage in various transmission modes, antenna performance, and side-by-side compatibility with analog FM in a mixed urban and rural environment. Mobile test beds operated by DRM will collect data, and no public participation is expected.
One of the more intriguing aspects of the Edinburgh test venue has the digital transmitter operating into a vacant port on an existing three-station analog FM combiner feeding a single FM antenna. This configuration will provide critical data for those who interested its potential for use as complementary alternative to Eureka 147 digital multiplexes. While DAB/DAB+ technology require new spectrum and shared transmission networks, proponents claim DRM+ can be plugged into existing analog FM band spectrum as a single-point, single-user solution.
Although full operational details have yet to be released by the consortium, reports in a local radio online forum indicate that a digital signal has already been monitored on 107MHz in the Edinburgh area. This would confirm speculation by members of the Southgate radio club that the DRM+ signal will operate on a channel formerly occupied by a now defunct Edinburgh analog FM talk station.
DRM's Edinburgh trial is expected to continue throughout the spring.