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Home page > I. Public > 2. Chez Euterpe > 2b. Radio > Digital radio in France (updated)

Digital radio in France (updated)

(A British point of view)

8 September 2008, by CeD

“France has adopted the DMB system for digital radio, which has got to be one of the most ridiculous decisions imaginable considering that DAB+ has just been designed.” (Digitalradiotech, 5th December 2007)

See online : France adopts DMB for digital radio

P.S.

As a re­sult, the French dig­i­tal ra­dio might de­vel­op very slow­ly, as broad­cast­ing and re­cep­tion equip­ment will be much more ex­pen­sive and less ef­fi­cient than ex­pect­ed. France is ac­tu­al­ly in­volved in a strat­e­gy where ra­dio and TV will be more or less merged in­to one mul­ti­me­dia sys­tem with strong dig­i­tal rights con­trol, not re­al­ly ad­e­quate for high qual­i­ty, ro­bust, con­ve­nient and cheap au­dio. The ex­pla­na­tion of this ’’strate­gic’’ de­ci­sion is prob­a­bly main­ly ide­o­log­i­cal, not tech­ni­cal.

In the mean time, most other European coun­tries al­ready have a dig­i­tal ra­dio cov­er­age far above 50% with a com­mon stan­dard (DAB/DAB+), com­pared to a near-to-ze­ro cov­er­age in France. The fu­ture of the French sys­tem may look like the SECAM sto­ry.

That is prob­a­bly the rea­son why many pri­vate French broad­cast­ers are still fight­ing for the DAB/DAB+ sys­tem, again­st the of­fi­cial pol­i­cy.

See al­so ar­ti­cle 105 (in French) and ar­ti­cle 119 (French and English)

2 Forum messages

  • Digital radio in France: an other SECAM?

    9 September 2008 10:03, by Claude-Eric Desguin

    Now France is com­plain­ing, just like a kid who did the thing he was warned about, and ’dis­cov­ers’ its con­se­quences:

    Deploring the lack of com­pat­i­ble re­ceivers on the mar­ket, Senator Pierre Hérisson draft­ed an amend­ment to the ’Law of Modernization of the Economy’ in order to com­pel man­u­fac­tur­ers to de­vel­op ra­dio re­ceivers that will be com­pat­i­ble with the French ’’stan­dard’’ (read and lis­ten here).

    Difficult to imag­ine how and why Philips, Sony, Grundig and other ma­jor ap­pli­ance man­u­fac­tur­ers would com­ply with a French law stip­u­lat­ing they should make ra­dios for the French mar­ket on­ly… Their strat­e­gy, although con­demned by Mr. Hérisson, is clear: de­vel­op, pro­duce and sell ra­dios for the largest pos­si­ble num­ber of buy­ers, al­low­ing them to lis­ten to the most wide­ly broad­cast pro­grammes. Widely, ex­cept in France, as the French ra­dio will be… er, hexag­o­nal.

    See online : French Senator condemning radio manufacturers’ strategy

  • Awakening?

    18 September 2008 09:38, by Claude-Eric Desguin

    I am glad to no­tice this re­cent stand from the “Association pour la Radio Numérique ’DR’”:

    « The Association has alert­ed again the su­per­vis­ing au­thor­i­ty (DDM), the Ministries in charge of dig­i­tal broad­cast and politi­cians in order to al­low DAB+ along with T-DMB, which is an ex­pen­sive stan­dard in terms of equip­ment and band­width. This would al­low to in­crease the num­ber of avail­able pro­grammes and would pre­vent from iso­lat­ing France as it was when SECAM (analog TV sys­tem) was launched. »

    (Excerpt from a press re­lease, September 16th 2008)

    It seems that France is be­gin­ning to un­der­stand that the ’Albanel de­cree’ (2007) was a big mis­take. There is some hope.

    See online : DR France - Association pour la radio numérique


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