Robert Freeman's whole Media, Business and Technology thing. Sorted.

Digital switchover. Different countries, same problems.

with 2 comments

I’m currently in Barcelona attending MAC 07, the AV trade event for Catalunya, as a guest of the Observatori de la Ràdio a Catalunya.

What strikes me is the similarity of everyone’s problems.

Analogue is easy and well understood. Digital is complicated and expensive because it needs more people to understand it and takes longer and by the time you think you’ve got somewhere, something new gets invented and you’re back to square one.

The industry can’t plan for the future because investors and government agencies are cautious about commit funds for a project that may not fly, because technology moves so fast, it might be out of date before it comes to fruition.

It’s a chicken and egg problem. And the result is stagnation.

The stagnation in Spain appears to be over digital radio. DAB here doesn’t appear to be popular hasn’t worked, so other vendors are circling. DMB, D Radio Mondiale, DVB-H, and even Ibiquity from across the Atlantic are all being discussed.

No one can decide what they want, so nothing happens.

And in the meantime, the people who have lost patience with the process have all decided the same thing. The future for digital radio in Spain is the internet, as it’s the commonly accessible method there is right now.


Written by Robert

26 April, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Posted in Business, Media

2 Responses

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  1. Is the process of digitising radio in Spain stagnating because of technology, or because radio operators don’t recognise/value the need to go digital? Where digital radio has succeeded it’s because of the enthusiasm of operators to embrace it. In the US, it’s been Satellite Delivered digital radio (and belatedly HD Radio), in the UK/Denmark it’s been DAB Digital Radio. But if a radio industry has no strategic view of digital, it doesn’t really matter what technology solutions they are offered.

    Nick Piggott

    27 April, 2007 at 9:39 am

  2. Thanks Nick – I’d guess this is a combination of factors, none of which I can point to directly, annoyingly because the sources are all in Spanish, which I don’t speak.

    I think one of the most important is the possible lack of a guiding hand of a tough regulator who can effectively explain to the operators why they might want to switchover.


    30 April, 2007 at 10:30 pm

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