NPO, Hybrid Radio and RadioDNS

Caroline Brindle,

We’re always really pleased to hear how our members and supporters are utilising RadioDNS technology and services. The Netherlands Public Broadcaster, NPO, joined as a member in January 2013 and we’re delighted to have them on board.

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Walter Huijten, Service Manager for Radio at NPO has written us a thoughtful and interesting blog below on how RadioDNS fits in to NPO’s services and strategy for radio.

NPO Netherlands Public Broadcasting, have taken the step to formally join the RadioDNS community and activities. It automatically became a supporter by adopting the standards last year, but felt it needed to further start supporting this valuable initiative as a Public Service Broadcaster.

A little background. Whilst in the Netherlands DAB has had a lingering existence since 2004, NPO, together with private and commercial broadcasters have decided to step up the initiative and fully deploy DAB+ over the coming 5 years.

In the meanwhile Internet radio listening has developed strongly in the Netherlands with a 5-10% share. NPO has always been very active in this field and streams all its main channels and 15+ genre channels in resolutions from 32kb/s for mobile devices up to 192kb for fixed internet.

NPO have embraced the idea that radio is and will increasingly be hybrid. Therefore standards like those fostered by IMDA and RadioDNS have become extremely important. NPO particularly see the RadioDNS standard as the glue that binds all those distribution methods together and offer an integrated user experience. The listener should really only be interested in getting his preferred content in the easiest way, through whatever route it may reach him. In a world where Radio competes with all kinds of media offerings, it needs to be as easy, rich and intuitive as possible.

At last September’s IBC in Amsterdam, NPO announced its adoption of the RadioDNS standards and featured a basic RadioVIS set-up. This was based on the “Visual Radio” content that is being offered by  Radio 1, 2, 6 and 3FM for about 3 years now: http://www.3fm.nl/live  However simply forwarding screenshots from a Visual Radio stream as a slide show to RadioVIS is probably not the most exiting use of that standard: it’s a beginning.

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We are now working on ways to have our integrated radio content management system publish interesting and rich information through RadioVIS and DAB slideshow.

RadioTAG is the other sub-standard we’re very interested in, as it offers a means of interaction. For that reason we have asked a company that does a lot of our development in this field, PluxBox, to participate in the upcoming “Radio Hack” at EBU’s Digital Radio Summit in Geneva. we’re hoping they will come up with interesting and practical ideas for employing RadioTAG.

NPO is looking forward to working with all of you to advance the RadioDNS standards to something that really makes Hybrid Radio something “tangible” for our listeners.’

 

Walter Huijten – NPO Radio