German and Swiss Broadcasters, Automobile Manufacturers Agree on Future of Digital Radio

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Zurich - May 14, 2014 — The German/Swiss automotive workshop sponsored by Digital Radio Germany Initiative, the ARD Project Office for Digital Radio, and Swiss marketing company MCDT was held in Zurich yesterday with attendees from the Broadcast, Automotive, and Appliance industries. One of the many purposes of the workshop was the desire to establish common strategies to develop and promote DAB+ in the car.

According to the Association of Automotive Industries (VDA) there has been a continual increase in customer demand for in-car digital radio. About 10 percent of new cars are coming equipped with DAB+ radios; but, Dr Kay Lindemann, Managing Director of the VDA says that the 10 percent rate is "only the beginning ... it starts at the upper middle class, and at the luxury cars, and travels then into the volume segment."

Peter Blum, head of Infotainment for Audi AG stated: "For us, the modern automobile has the latest technology. Analog radio no longer meets the criteria for a modern medium. IP-based services, and DAB+ go together," he said. "We need a paradigm shift, because we are past the point of introduction of these services -- we're in the rollout."

Two and a half years after the launch of DAB+ in Germany, 92 percent of the population has access to a DAB+ receiver; and, about 74 percent of the highways are covered by DAB+ multiplex transmissions. Dr Willi Steul, the Director of Germany Radio, said "Digital radio is more than just noise and interference-free reception; the signals are reliable. Digital radio will always allow safety and emergency messages to be received by drivers."

More information about the meeting is available here.

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