Digital radio makes waves with IPTV boost


Digital radio is starting to get greater traction with sales in digital radio devices outperforming expectations, according to the latest statistics from Commercial Radio Australia (CRA).

In the five years since the launch of DAB+ digital radio in metropolitan Australia, around 1.7 million digital radio devices have been sold and PwC have forecast digital radio household penetration to reach 23.3%.

Currently 2.8 million people or 21.4% are listening to DAB+ digital radio each week in the five state capital cities. Significantly nearly 1.2 million more people listen to DAB+ digital radio than radio on the Internet.

The benefits of digital radio include high quality sound and new digital-only stations such as NovaNation, Koffee, Stardust Radio, Buddha, Classic Hits Plus, Mix 80’s, The Edge, Gorilla Dance Hits, Loveland, The Buckle, Hot Country, Zoo Music Variety, Mix ‘80s, Mix ‘90s, MyMP, SkySports Radio and others. There are also so-called pop-up stations, which are created for an event or a featured artist.

Until now, these benefits were not available on many residential, corporate and hospitality TV distribution systems, which usually include radio stations as a part of their channel line-up. Omniscreen, an Australian product development team and a member of CombiTel Group has developed a solution to this problem.

Omniscreen Radio is a fully configurable IP streaming appliance designed for use in IPTV head-ends, radio broadcast monitoring and auditing. Included in Omniscreen is a user-friendly web-based GUI with optional graphics add-ons for streaming radio station as a TV channel.

Omniscreen radio is supplied as a 1RU server appliance. It is designed for Pay-TV companies, corporate and university campuses, hospitality, healthcare and aged care facilities and also in-store music systems.

CombiTel Group Managing Director Eugene Razbash said that the new product line was timely with international market demand coming from the enterprise and education sectors. “Our new product supports not only European DAB+ standard, but also North American HD Radio and legacy AM/FM station streaming.”

Omniscreen was established in 2011 as a spin-off from the software development team at CombiTel, Australia's leading IPTV systems integrator and equipment supplier. Meaning “all screens”, Omniscreen was founded to address the market demand for next generation enterprise applications, which enable rich media delivery across converged networks including TV, radio and digital signage.

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