Initiative enables Web access via digital radio

Initiative enables Web access via digital radio
Melanie Reynolds The BBC is working with UK start-up RadioScape to enable Web access through digital radio transmissions. The initiative will mean that Web sites containing headline news and share prices can be transmitted to a PC without connection to the Internet. The information will then be continually updated using digital radio, or digital audio broadcasting (DAB) as it is called. “This is where DAB is going to become compelling,” said Peter Florence, managing director of London-based digital radio specialist RadioScape. “This is the year it is really happening.” RadioScape is working on the infrastructure of the system and is receiving funding from the Department of Trade and Industry. The results of its work will be made available to those involved in the digital radio community. “We’ll be defining and developing software and then making it available to help people build up data services and broadcast data services in DAB,” said Florence. Work on the project has already begun and is anticipated to take six months. Broadcasts could start by the year end. To receive the radio transmissions, software and a DAB PC card will need to be installed in the PC. The system will also allow the normal data associated with DAB transmissions to be read by the PC. This includes data appended to radio programmes offering such information as the title of the current music and the band playing it. Florence stresses the value of DAB’s ability to add data available from digital radio, especially when it could attract “some people who don’t want to get into the whole Internet thing”.


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