The English Service can now be heard every Tuesday on short wave in the new DRM mode
Mark Caldwell presenting the very first edition of "Deutsche Welle Digital" from DW's studios in Bonn. Photo: Irene Quaile-Kersken
Deutsche Welle radio's Mark Caldwell became the first English Service presenter to go live with a digital short wave broadcast on Tuesday, 6th July 2004. At precisely 6 pm local time the English Service's first DRM broadcast went on air with a bulletin of world news. Over the next three hours Mark presented the top news stories of the day as well as background reports from the worlds of business, culture, science and the arts, embedded in a mixture of popular music from Deutsche Welle Radio's music channel.
Peter Senger heads the DRM Consortium
In contrast to analogue technology, digital short wave broadcasts can be heard in excellent quality, which, according to the experts, comes close to that of FM transmissions. The crackle, interference and atmospheric hiss of short wave will soon be a thing of the past as digital technology spreads.
Peter Senger, DW's Director of Marketing and Engineering and chairman of the DRM Consortium
Deutsche Welle's Director of Marketing and Engineering, Peter Senger (right) heads the 25-nation consortium that has been developing the DRM standard for digital radio. He has thus spearheaded the introduction of the new technology. It was therefore appropriate that he should be the first guest on "Deutsche Welle Digital", where he answered Mark's questions about DRM.
Peter Senger predicted that the first DRM radio sets would be on the market in Europe by Christmas 2005 and would cost between 100 and 200 euros. He pointed out that listener response to test transmissions had been fantastic. People were, he said, converting their radios to receive DRM transmissions and installing the necessary software on their computers. The software was available on the internet.
Top audio quality and data channels
Peter Senger outlined the advantages of digital technology and stressed that it meant that a DRM signal could not only carry different programmes but also data channels. These contained additional information such as the latest news headlines, which could be viewed as they pass over the display on the radio.
He also pointed out that RTL, a major European broadcaster, was planning to broadcast in digital in five different languages. Digital short wave was a revolution comparable with the introduction of VHF FM in the 1950s.
The search for a European identity
Uta Thofern, Editor-in-Chief for the German and English Services as well as for European Programming and Projects, says that Deutsche Welle sees a huge potential in digital short wave broadcasts: "We believe that an enlarged and united Europe needs common media to develop a common identity. Our trial broadcasts using digital technology signify the beginning of the first and only pan-European radio programme in the European Union. With music as the international language Deutsche Welle Digital Radio is building a bridge in the media between young Europeans across the continent in the two most important European languages, German and English."
Deutsche Welle listeners can hear the digital programme produced by the English Service every Tuesday while listeners can hear the German Service every Monday and Wednesday. The European Service is responsible for the show on Thursdays (German) and Fridays (English). All of the programmes run from 18.00 till 21.00 local time ( 16.00-19.00 UTC) and can be heard on the following frequencies:
6140 KHz and 7125 KHz.
Listen to the interviews below for more information about DRM