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DRM in the Czech Republic


On-Air Now

Digital Radio on Medium Wave

DRM is now on air in the Czech Republic, on a Medium Wave channel that used to carry a powerhouse AM signal. It is broadcast from the České Budějovice transmitter site, located in the South Bohemian region probably using the old AM antenna.

Reports also indicate that ELSYSOM connected a DRM modulator to an existing transmitter. The site used to broadcast on 954kHz using a 30kW AM transmitter.

The DRM label is ELSYSCOM, the transmitter supplier that has acquired many familiar names in HF radio broadcasting that resulted from previous mergers. They now supply the TRAM range of DRM transmitters that were previously made by TRANSRADIO, as well as AMPEGON antenna systems.

I can hear the DRM transmission on 954kHz (power reported as 3kW) using a KiwiSDR receiver in the country. The broadcast uses AAC+ encoding and you can use DReaM, Sodira or the DRM extension on the KiwiSDR control panel to decode and listen to the audio.

There used to be three KiwiSDR receivers available but for the last week or so there has just been one. I’ve tried other SDRs in neighbouring countries during the day but there is no trace of the signal.

This is a trial of DRM within the Czech Republic and will likely come to an end later this year. From my listening on the remote receivers, it seems to me that a few low-powered AM transmitters could cover the whole country.

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The DRM broadcast currently relays Radiožurnál or CRo1, the first programme of Czech Radio. The station identifies itself on the hour and the half-hour.

Radiožurnál is a news and journalism station that broadcasts 24 hours a day covering events at home and abroad. The station also carries music in between the news segments.

(Source, and with thanks to Kevin Ryan, RadioUser Digital Radio columnist)