The Netherlands is on course to meet the government's target for full national digital radio coverage by 2017, with the completion of a countrywide commercial DAB+ transmission network. The infrastructure was designed and built in three months by Broadcast Partners and involves over 30 Harris Broadcast Maxiva VAX transmitters.
The majority of national commercial radio stations are now broadcasting over DAB+. Broadcasters selected Broadcast Partners to design, build and operate a national network on their behalf, giving the company a tight three-month timescale for completion. Broadcast Partners decided to implement what is claimed to be the first nationwide radio distribution system based completely on IP transmitter links.
The Harris Broadcast Maxiva VAX transmitters have been equipped with web-hosted control and monitoring carried over IP for the head-end to transmission chain. "The timescale on this project was enormously challenging and Harris Broadcast quickly rose to the occasion to ensure that the transition was a success," says Robert-jan van der Hoeven of Broadcast Partners. "The complete network is now fully on air and is the first nationwide radio service relying entirely on IP connectivity for the transmission feeds."
Integral IP/EDI input cards have been installed in the Maxiva VAXs to enable the high-speed carriage of audio over internet connections rather than more conventional cable circuits.
Public broadcaster NPO has been working with KPN Broadcast Services to extend its DAB+ capabilities. It introduced new digital services in Randstad, Brabant and Gelderland on 14 October and expects to have nationwide coverage by the middle of January next year.