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Broadcasters & manufacturers rally around new minimum DAB standard

The new ETSI standard has been agreed as a minimum specification for DAB digital radio receivers across Europe.

It is supported by WorldDAB and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), as well as broadcasters and manufacturers in Germany, the UK, Norway, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy. This support means that broadcasters and broadcast groups will be recommending to manufacturers and retailers that their products meet the ETSI standard.

The European DAB standard benefits consumers as it makes it a requirement for manufacturers to support both DAB+ and DAB, as well as FM. There is also a new minimum requirement covering receiver sensitivity, to ensure that receivers can pick up all available broadcast DAB radio stations.

Many leading European radio manufacturers including Sony, Philips, Panasonic, Pure, Roberts, Ruark, Pioneer and Kenwood will be making radios to the new Euro Standard and further manufacturers in key European markets are planning to adopt the standard. Currently, radio manufacturers are gathering at the IFA trade fair in Berlin to show off some of the new radio sets that will support the new standard.

Manufacturers with DAB products that meet the standard can opt to use the Digital Radio Tick Mark on their products,packaging and promotions. This is a certification mark giving consumers reassurance that the product meets a minimum level of performance and that it has been tested and approved. There are now over 20 manufacturers using the Digital Radio Tick Mark and the logo appears on product and packaging for DAB radios distributed across European markets. 

Markets supporting the Tick Mark include the UK, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.

Patrick Hannon, President, WorldDAB, said: 
“The adoption of a European Standard for DAB receivers and the growing international support for the Tick Mark, are important steps forward for DAB radio in Europe. These developments are clear evidence of the growing maturity of the sector.”

Graham Dixon, Head of Radio, European Broadcasting Union, said: 
“The establishment of an ETSI standard for the testing and approval of digital radio receivers is an important milestone in the adoption of DAB technology across Europe, providing clarity and consistency for manufacturers, broadcasters and consumers alike.”

Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK, said: 
“This is a big day for radio and for DAB right across Europe. Broader support for the common Euro standard for DAB and the Tick Mark will help regional manufacturers develop new innovative DAB products and accelerate the European take up of DAB.”

  • The ETSI TS 103 461 standard is already published and is a ratification of the European Specification that was already supporting the Digital Radio Tick Mark. The ETSI standard includes a link to the ETI files needed to test receiver products. The ETI files required to test the core technology will be made available by Digital Radio UK in 2018.