More information is starting to flow about the changes proposed to DAB Digital Radio in Germany. There is a press release from WorldDMB which corroborates the information I had earlier.
With the benefit of the full picture, it appears that the KEF has taken the not unreasonable position of expecting to see some more effective use of the money invested in DAB in Germany. They’ve broken up the funding available into smaller pots; although the word “smaller” here is relative – it’s still more than the BBC spend on creating a national DAB network of 10 stations. Access to each pot of money will require proper justification and most importantly, clear objectives for the results.
It’s quite interesting to see a funding stream specifically allocated for the development of terrestrial multimedia media services; aka, Slideshow, Broadcast Website, EPG and so on. This is, in fact, fantastic news. There’s been too long a history in all DAB countries of not developing the multimedia capabilities because it’s too hard for traditional radio people to get their heads round. By putting €32m on the table, it makes many of the incredible ideas that exist in the DAB world able to become reality for once.
So it appears that DAB in Germany is far from dead, and in fact may just be waking up. It’s interesting to speculate if the original scare story was created by someone with much to lose if DAB does take off (or perhaps much to gain if DVB-H succeeds?), but they certainly got spooked by the plans of the private and public broadcasters to co-operate and organise themselves for a rebirth of DAB in 11 months time.
I wonder now how many of the apparently reputable news sources and bloggers who fell onto the original story will have the courage to publish the truer picture now it’s been revealed? (Hello, The Register…. I shall be e-mailing you again).