DAB, Digital Audio Broadcasting, in comparison to the currently used analogue radiocommunication proves large array of advantages, including higher voice quality, better quality of signal receiving when in motion, possibility of transmitting additional data together with radio programs as text or pictures. DAB system becomes more popular in the world, including the UK, Germany, Sweden, France and Canada.
Majority of broadcasting stations have already started launching their programs in digital technology, and the only remaining analogue link on the way from program producer to the audience is a radio transmitter and receiver. There are no more technical problems with ceasing these last analogue items. The remaining problem is lack of spare frequency spectrum which could be used for digital broadcasting. As a result of the international agreement, European countries decided to dedicate so called third TV spectrum (in Poland the channels from 6 to 12) to digital broadcasting. This frequency spectrum enables relatively easy DAB allocation, and simultaneously provides compatibility with existing television stations.
Poland is currently preparing for next international conferences aiming at elaboration of the final plan of the terrestrial digital network, in order to ensure relevant position in the negotiations. Thus a need for launch of tests rises followed by a pilotage emission.
Polish Radio is planning to start a pilotage broadcast of public radio programs run 24 hours per day in the digital system T-DAB Eureka 147, on 1 September 2003. This action is entirely approved by the state administrative body responsible for frequency spectrum management, namely the President of the Office of Telecommunications and Post Regulation.
Broadcasting station located in the Palace of Culture and Science will become the first link of the network using single frequency spectrum, which is under construction in Warsaw and the central part of Poland. Continuous broadcast will be preceded by the test broadcast in a limited time, starting from 2 hours per day for 3 days a week excluding Saturdays and Sundays.
Test broadcast aims at measurement of technical parameters of the station as well as examination of the influence which a digital radio station has on other users of the frequency spectrum and cable networks. Tenth TV channel (so called block 10B) will be used for the broadcast described above which corresponds to the international agreements regarding frequency management.
Emission of the digital radio signal in this spectrum shall not cause interference in direct receiving with an individual external antenna as tenth channel is not used for terrestrial TV broadcasting. However interferences may incur in cable television signal in old parts of the network or directly in old types of TV sets especially in the neighborhood of a broadcasting station.
During the test and pilotage emission, optimal conditions for continuous broadcasting implementation will be found. Moreover, interferences and other negative phenomena shall be eliminated during this test period. In addition the transition allows digital sets providers prepare to enter Polish market.