Updates to our Standards

Nick Piggott,

Part of our role in the hybrid radio ecosystem is to identify where common standards would accelerate and/or lower the costs of implementation.

Our technology standards exist to harmonise the way data is distributed, and we update them to include new functionality requested by our members, through our Technology Groups and our Steering Board.

Alongside the technical standards, we’re also producing a standardised set of terms to harmonise how data should be used.

Changes to Technical Standards

We’ve recently published updates to two of our most used standards. It’s important you work with the latest version of the standards.

Here’s what’s changed in each standard.

Service and Programme Information (TS 102 818 v3.2.1)

We’ve heard from broadcasters (“Content Providers”) that they have some data they only want to share with trusted partners, which requires authentication and secure transfer. To enable that, we’ve added new functionality to the SPI standard:

  • Client ID – the Content Provider can issue unique Client IDs to trusted partners, in order for the partner to authenticate themselves to the Content Provider when requesting data.
  • Authentication negotiation – HTTP response 401 (“Unauthorized”) is added to the client/server conversation, to indicate that a Client ID can be presented.
  • HTTPS – a new SRV record of _radiospi._tcp is added to the standard, which indicates the connection should be made using HTTPS. Client ID and Authentication negotiation is only supported over HTTPS connections.

Content Providers should offer the following:

  • Public data anonymously over HTTP (SRV record of _radioepg._tcp)
  • Public data to any client that does not present a Client ID
  • Private data (which may be tailored to the client) to a client that presents a valid Client ID
  • Either public data OR an error to a client that presents an invalid Client ID

We haven’t specified how Client IDs are allocated – we’re leaving that up to individual Content Providers to agree directly with their partners.

There’s also an addition to make referencing of HD Radio multicast stations (e.g. HD-2, HD-3) correct, and some minor editorial errors corrected.

Download the latest version TS 102 818 v3.2.1.

Hybrid Radio Lookup (TS 103 270 v1.3.1)

The Hybrid Radio Lookup has been updated to specify lookups for HD Radio multicast stations more accurately, and some minor editorial errors corrected.

Download the latest version of TS 103 270 v1.3.1.

Update on Standard Terms of Use for Broadcaster Metadata and Content

The consultation on our new Standard Terms of Use closed in April, and we’ve been reviewing the responses we received. We’re expecting to publish the first version in a few months, and we’ll be encouraging broadcasters and manufacturers to use it.

The Standard Terms Of Use are optional for Content Providers to use, but we hope that if Content Providers want to create their own terms, which add additional requirements for manufacturers, they’ll keep compatible with the Standard Terms.

For Manufacturers, if a Content Provider stipulates that their metadata/content is licensed, you must follow the licence terms. As our Standard Terms will be on a fixed URL, you’ll be able to automatically check if you comply with the terms of use, or if you’ll need to do a manual check.

The SPI Specification (TS 102 818) already has a an attribute called “terms”, which is where the Content Provider will stipulate which licence they’re using. Manufacturers should start checking for that attribute.

Our Members

Our members are able to contribute to and shape the development of our standards and policies. Find out more about membership of RadioDNS.