By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Australia will play host to the technical committee of the WorldDMB Forum for the first time on November 30 in Sydney, as representatives from 12 countries meet to discuss technical and future proofing issues.

WorldDMB is a global trade body that coordinates the introduction of digital radio worldwide. Representatives from Commercial Radio Australia, the ABC and SBS sit on the committee, which brings together broadcasters, network and multiplex providers and receiver manufacturers to ensure international cooperation.

While digital radio in its current form (DAB or Eureka 147) is already available in many European countries, the technology is about to be superseded by DAB+, which allows more content options and higher quality audio. Australia is looking to adopt the DAB+ standard in 2009.

The technical committee will study future-proofing the technology by extending into value-added data services, multimedia and interactive radio.

Lindsay Cornell, chair of the WorldDMB Technical Committee, said there was a great deal of international interest in Australia’s plans to introduce digital radio in 2009.

“Our goal is to encourage international cooperation on the successful introduction of digital radio worldwide and we are very interested in the work being done in Australia.

“DAB+ allows more content options, both high quality audio and new multimedia services, which offer significant enhancements for consumers in the digital age.“

The WorldDMB Forum is a non-governmental organization based in London that aims to coordinate the implementation of digital radio based on the Eureka 147 DAB system.  It represents public and private broadcasters, network and transmission providers and radio manufacturers from 40 countries. 

Commercial Radio Australia will also hold a digital radio seminar for the radio broadcasting industry in Sydney the day before on November 29. The invitation only seminar will provide an opportunity for digital radio equipment suppliers, broadcast infrastructure suppliers and receiver manufacturers from Australia and overseas to present to the industry.