Technology shifts have a way of moving consumer behaviour. For most millenials, time spent watching TV has been replaced through on line streaming platforms together with Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hotstar, and YouTube. In the identical manner online tune streaming services like Gaana, Spotify and Jio-Saavn are taking the highlight away from conventional analogue AM and FM radio stations. However radio is now set for a disruption as improvements in digital radio promise a completely new revel in for radio listeners.
In layman terms, we recognise of analog radio as Amplitude Modulation (AM) because the first approach used for the audio radio transmission (for example, All India Radio listened for news and bulletins) and Frequency Modulation (FM) (for instance, Radio Mirchi, Fever 104, and so on). Being capable of imparting better sound nice, FM is primarily used for track streaming offerings and is extra famous than AM but it has an get admission to range of most effective 60 Kms which creates dropouts on highways, underground systems and remote regions. Also, FM has boundaries in content material broadcasting (can not broadcast news) and the variety of channels (322 as of September 2017) additionally need to be improved, considering radio’s average reach to 99% of the Indian populace.
The radio enterprise has been constantly below transformation, driven by a shift in generation to virtual and with the aid of modifications within the manner listeners are consuming music and other content material. After AM and FM, Digital radio is now subsequent in line.
Former Wipro employees, Prasanth Thankappan and Rajith Nair looked to make a mark right here. With an purpose to revolutionise the manner radio content material is fed on in India, the duo laid the foundation of Inntot Technologies in 2014. Since then the startup has bagged several enterprise accolades, and additionally obtained backing from Unicorn Ventures.
“The digital tv revolution, with its apparent and a ways-achieving benefits, started out inside the past due 90s and spanned into 2000s, marking the sundown of analog television. Similarly, it is the time for virtual radio to acquire the same feat of virtual television across the world,” wrote Nair in a LinkedIn article dated July 9, 2018.
Analog Vs Digital Radio
In comparison to analog transmission, digital radio offers many blessings. For example, in contrast to analog, in case of digital, it is feasible to have three-four channels on a single frequency provider. For example, today 91.Three MHz frequency is dedicated to at least one radio channel (Radio City). But with digital radio, three to four such channels can be transmitted at one frequency depending if its FM or AM broadcast respectively.
This will further help broadcasters inside the transmission of various kinds of facts collectively together with song, information and traffic updates, and pictures-based advertisements. “Future digital radio is prepared to have a display panel and portraits-wealthy advertisements can be anticipated. This will no longer handiest help broadcasters to growth their sales however at the same time regulatory our bodies can fetch sales inside the form of broadcast license prices,” brought Nair.
Digital radio also can act as an emergency warning device which ensures that an emergency caution alert on the way to stop all the playing channel in a switched-on radio as well as in a standby kingdom of the radio and will constantly trouble warnings to listeners within more than a few 300 kms in the occasion of natural failures.
How Inntot Is Making A Difference Here
Inntot Technologies provides software-enabled IP answers for Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM for AM and FM band, a fixed of digital audio broadcasting tips) enabled receivers, DAB/DAB+ (virtual audio broadcasting) enabled receivers and ISDB-T (A technical trendy for digital TV broadcast) Digital Television paving way to virtual radio transmission.
Though the transmission facet in India is sort of geared up, subsequent-era virtual radio receivers are high-priced (can cross upto INR 14K), that is posing as a hurdle in the not unusual guy from cashing in on the features presented by way of digital radio.
“The USP of our answer is that it runs on established hardware, for this reason making it an low-priced solution (notably low) for authentic system producers (OEMs) and bringing it inside the attain of an average client,” provides Nair.
Traditional DRM Receivers Vs Inntot’s Solution
The infographic underneath depicts virtual radio modulation, transmission via broadcaster and reception and demodulation on the receiver aspect.
Instead, Inntot Technologies is facilitating software program-described radio (SDR) based DRM+ Receiver answer, wherein the software program can be embedded without delay to the constant receivers, automobile/in-vehicle radios, smartphones, in addition to USB dongles. Here’s an infographic showcasing how the Inntot solution isn't the same as using a separate hardware demodulator which adds to the general cost of the digital radio receiver.
Inntot’s software solution also can assist OEMs, radio receiver producers, and semiconductor chip manufacturers in:
Doing away with the recurring fee of the demodulator chip, which, in turn, will lessen the bills of material (BoM) value — perfect for a excessive-volume marketplace like India
Easy portability on platforms like Android
Reusable, completely preferred, and specifications-compliant whole stack and no external dependency on any dealer
System integration and discipline trying out
DRM, DAB+, ISDB-T And More: An Overview
Digital radio receivers are guided through globally proper digital radio standards.
Within this frequency variety, presently, there are five virtual radio standards common international — HD Radio, China Digital, Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), ISDB-TSB and Digital audio broadcasting (DAB+).
Here is a short evaluation of these with the prevailing analog FM and AM:
India has followed the DRM own family of standards due to its attain and compatibility with the existing analog mode of transmission. Typically, the DRM widespread identifies two working modes: DRM for AM band” and “DRM for FM band”. DRM30 modes use the AM bands below 30 MHz and DRM+ modes use the 30-300 MHz spectrum focused upon the prevailing FM band.
On August 20, 2018, director popular of All India Radio (AIR) also introduced that DRM because the virtual radio wellknown with a view to be utilized in VHF-II band (88-108 Mhz) in India eventually changing FM. For the uninitiated, Very high frequency (VHF) is the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) designation for the range of radio frequency electromagnetic waves (radio waves) from 30 to 300 megahertz (MHz).
Interestingly, Norway is the primary usa which has completed the digital switchover and has shut down the analog FM in December 2017. Other nations like Germany, UK, Switzerland, Italy, are also predicted to switchover to virtual radio with the aid of 2020.
Not The Only Player In This Frequency
Inntot isn't the best business enterprise seeking to offer cost-effective DRM receivers. Launched in 1993, the New Delhi-primarily based OEM producer Communications System Inc., has additionally positioned up its virtual radio on the market on on-line websites like Amazon, and IndiaMart.
As of May 2018, the organisation has placed up a notice for being in production for the second one batch of virtual radio receivers. However, in spite of monitoring for weeks, its repute remains ‘presently unavailable’ on Amazon, even as we were not able to vicinity an order from Indiamart.
But Communications System Inc does no longer have DRM in FM band reception. They have DRM only in AM band. Inntot has both DRM in AM and FM band reception.
Inntot also competes with principal semiconductor groups who've chip-based demodulator solutions. These agencies should depend upon external carriers for software additives like middleware. Also, they require assist in utility improvement, area trying out, and so on, while being software-based totally, the Inntot solution is complete, whole, end-to-give up, and integrated.
A Choppy Ride And An Eye On The Future
Like all startups, Inntot has also had its percentage of challenges which it has managed to triumph over. From figuring out the proper net protocol (IP) for improvement to zeroing in on a digital radio receiver IP; from placing collectively the proper crew to finding its first alpha (high-profile) customer, the Inntot founders have seen all of it. They had a tough time in arranging the initial budget. However, Kerala State Entrepreneur Development Mission helped them at ease the initial funds
“Our collaboration with Telechips Inc became virtually a turning point for us… We travelled to Seoul, South Korea, and verified our prototype to the CEO of Telechips Inc. He changed into impressed and asked us to port our IP way to one of the diagnosed hardware systems of Telechips,” says Nair.
Most recently, at the DRM Round Table Conference held in New Delhi on October 10, 2018, the startup demonstrated its very own tech in Digital Radio Reception (DRM in FM band) on a smartphone. DRM in FM band was demonstrated in other form elements as properly, specifically laptop and automobile infotainment modules.
At present, Inntot is targeted on India as its key marketplace, thinking about the growing cellphone and vehicle users in the united states of america. It is also focused on chip-makers (SoC Makers), ODMs, and OEMs from South Korea, Japan, the US, Europe and many others. “Russia and South Africa could be capability markets for us as these nations have also mandated analog sundown and transition to digital radio broadcasting,” says Nair.
The Indian government are making development as well. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a suo-motu session paper on ‘Issues associated with Digital Radio Broadcasting in India’ on February 1, 2018, to are trying to find stakeholders’ comments on numerous problems regarding digital broadcasting.
As the next important step, the regulator is predicted to announce a Digital Radio Policy, which may result in the auction of white areas in VHF-II (FM) band. This, in flip, will assist pass on the benefits of DRM in FM band to all stakeholders inclusive of non-public FM broadcasters, listeners, manufacturers/OEMs.