r a d i o a c t i v i t y

reviving the radio revolution !



                                                                                                      By : Alokesh Gupta



The BES Expo 2007 – 13th  International Conference & Exhibition on Terrestrial & Satellite Broadcasting was held here in New Delhi from 1st to 3rd Feb 2007 at halls 7D,8,9 & 10, Pragati Maidan,New Delhi.


Broadcast Engineering Society (India), the society of broadcast professionals organises this International Conference and Exhibition on Terrestrial & Satellite broadcasting every year. All the previous expo’s had a large participation of major broadcast equipment manufacturers and service providers.The participation has grown manifold and instead of the earlier venue of Hotel Taj Palace,as in 2006, this year the exhibition shifted to a much larger arena,the Pragati Maidan, having total exhibit area of about 4000 sq.mtrs. Over 350 highly reputed organizations, service providers and major broadcast equipment manufacturers from all over the world displayed their latest state-of-art technologies and services. The event is supported by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting,Government of India, and endorsed by International Association of Broadcasting Manufacturers and also by Prasar Bharati, Asian Broadcasting Union, UNESCO, IGNOU and Department of Information Technology, Government of India.


                        Venue of the BES 2007 conference & exhibition – Pragati Maidan, New Delhi


International players showcased their products, facilities and services. On display were whole range of products like Amplifiers,Antenna systems, Attenuators, Inductors, Antenna testers, Audio measuring & test equipments, Audio mixers, Audio processors, Automation systems & softwares, Broadband access products, Cables & accessories, Channel automation systems, Compact & digital disc production systems, DTH Systems, DAB Systems, Digital Audio & Video recording systems, Digital storage,archival & retrieval systems, Earth stations/systems, Fibre optic solutions/services, Filters & splitters, Frequency monitoring systems, Mixers, Network management systems, Radio data systems, Satellite receivers, Switchers, Transmitters (AM,FM,TV), VSAT systems, Wireless systems.




The BES EXPO 2007 broadly focussed on the following :

·         DTH

·         DTT

·         DRM

·         DVM

·         FM

·         Cable

·         Video

·         Audio

·         Multimedia

·         Broadband

·         Networking

·         News Automation/Newsroom integration

·         Video Streaming

·         Satellite & Microwave

·         Graphics & Animation

·         Production/ Post Production equipments

·         Test & measuring equipments

·         MPEG2/MPEG4 Encoders

·         Portable recorders

·         Low cost radio broadcasting solutions

·         Radio studio design

·         Archiving and much more


The event was inaugrated by Mr.Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi, Hon’ble Minister of Information & Broadcasting & Parliamentary Affairs,Govt of India on 1st Feb’07 and presided over by Mr.M.H.Ambareesh,Hon’ble minister of state, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting,Govt of India. Guest of honours were Mr.S.K.Arora,Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting,

Mr.B.S.Lalli,CEO,Prasar Bharati, Mr.David Astley,Secretary General,ABU,Malaysia.The key note address was delivered by Mr. Roger Crumpton, CEO,International Association of Broadcasting Manufacturers,UK.


Prasar Bharati

Prasar Bharati ( Broadcasting Corp. of
India ) put up a huge stall in which latest technical innovations from All India radio & Doordarshan were exhibited.
Among the systems displayed at the AIR stall were :
a) Radio newsroom automation system.
b) Remote programme switching of VLPTS.
c) FM DARC system for billboard application

d) High power FM antenna.

e) Interactive radio service

f ) Telemetry for VLPT’s

g) Demo of DRM transmission


All India Radio DRM Demo



Engineers from All India Radio,Research Department demonstrated the experimental transmission in DRM mode and also responded to visitors queries. DRM aims to provide affordable digital quality sound & data services to the radio listeners. All India Radio has adopted DRM standard for digital radio broadcasting in MW & SW bands. A 250 kW short wave transmitter at Khampur,Delhi has been modified for DRM experimental transmission on 6100 kHz. DRM transmissions are immune to noise & fading and provides FM like audio quality on MW & SW bands. Features of DRM transmissions :

·         Compatibility with the existing spectrum usage plan.

·         Provision of datacasting.

·         Existing transmission infrastructure with some modifications can be used.

·         Simulcast & multicast transmissions.

·         Non propriety standard.

·         Easy receiver tuning, by frequency,station name or program.


Future DRM plans include :

·         22 Regional shortwave transmitters to be replaced by 50 kW shortwave DRM transmitters.

·         10 New regional DRM shortwave transmitters expected to be installed.

·         154 DRM + FM transmitters to be installed.


Among some of the prominent exhibitors were ABU (Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union), BECIL

(Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd.), Broadcast & Cablesat, Broadcast Tecnologies,Digital Broadcast India Pvt Ltd., Falcon Tech, Harris Broadcast Comm., HCL, Indiatelevision.com, National Association of Broadcasters USA, Nautel (Canada), Nokia Asia Pacific, Qualcomm India Pvt. Ltd., Radio Frequency System, Radio Systems Inc., Samsung, Sony, Rohde & Schwarz India Pvt. Ltd.,Telerad, Tektronix,Teracom & UNESCO.









UNESCO showcased unique low cost technology innovations for setting up a community radio station.These included the tried and true 30w solar powered transmitters that UNESCO helped to develop in the 1980s as well as the more recent UNESCO/ABU Radio in a Box.  Other displays include the Suitcase Radio,the e-tuk tuk,wind-up radio sets (which need no battery or electricity to run), the Radio Lamp, low-priced disc-less recorders and a host of reasonably priced, creatively designed, hardy radio equipment compatible with Indian conditions.

The UNESCO stall featured live interactive broadcasting “Hamari Awaaz Fm” on 89.9 MHz demonstrating services of a community multimedia centre, including radio and other new technologies like internet and content storage and networking software.



In collaboration with PLAN International, CARE India and One World South Asia , UNESCO  organized a forum on ‘Community radio: Innovation, low cost solutions and access’, within the framework of the Broadcasting Engineering Society of India International Technological event – BES EXPO 2007, on 2 February 2007. The forum was attended by broadcast professionals, bilateral agencies, umbrella NGOs, grassroots community workers as well as both mainstream and community radio enthusiasts. It provided the platform for community radio experts and technicians from India and South Asia to present their views and technological solutions (ICTs) for the development of communities.Experts from Sri Lanka, Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Unit and India presented and discussed the challenges of setting up and sustaining community radio stations successfully.


ABU Radio-in-a-Box

On display was Radio in a box, costing USD 6000 (Rs 3 lakhs) developed by UNESCO and the Studio Technology and Training Team of the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU). This is a complete studio and transmission centre rolled into one. A reliable, sturdy and low cost integrated mobile broadcasting system based on digital technologies was a long felt requirement of broadcasters working in disaster and emergency response community broadcasting.



The “box” measuring around 55 x 50 cm contains a laptop, mixer, CD/Cassette player and a 30W FM transmitter. The “box” can be used to produce radio programmes using a portable digital audio recorder, microphone inputs or other pre-recorded material; schedule play lists for playback automatically and broadcast via the built-in FM transmitter.
UNESCO commissioned the ABU to design and build the box which should cost within US$ 5000. The equipment was sourced from various parts of the world and met the cost requirement. The laptop is the heart of the system, being used for editing with freeware software and for the play out of scheduled programmes also using freeware. Using the portable digital audio recorder interviews and other events taking place in remote areas can be recorded. This material is then downloaded via the USB port to the laptop, where it can be edited and prepared for broadcast.


Radio-in-a-box features :

·         Transportable in a secure roadcase.

·         Patch panel to feed external audio material.

·         Audio mixing facilities.

·         Playback of CD or audio cassette into mixer/digital audio workstation or FM transmitter.

·         Audio editing facilities using a digital audio workstation.

·         Playout of palylists automatically or manually.

·         Download recorded audio files from a portable digital audio recorder.

·         Monitor programmes being produced.

·         30W/100W FM transmitter with adjustable transmission frequency.

·         Powered either by 230V mains or 12V DC battery via an invertor.

·         Frequency range : 87 – 108 MHz with 10 KHz step.

·         Operating temperature range : 0-35 deg C recommended, -10 to 45 deg C max.

·         Radio-in-a-box comes in two versions : a) 30W FM transmitter version, b) 100W FM transmitter version. Included in the price are an Acer notebook,dipole antenna & 25m coaxial cable.


      Rukmin Wijemanne of ABU demonstrating “Radio in a box”


The 30W transmitter can be tuned to any frequency within the FM band by a very simple setting process. The transmitter which is only 13 cm in height is heavily screened to be able to be used close to audio sources without interference.

According Rukmin Wijemanne, the Head of Studio Technology and Training at ABU the radio-in-a-box lends an ideal way to provide broadcast communications to remote communities as it can be transported to such areas easily and a broadcasting station set up in very short time. It is also ideal to serve disaster hit areas where broadcasting infrastructure may have been destroyed.


A conference was also held for which theme was "Multifaceted Broadcasting – Present & Future” at Hall No.9,Pragati Maidan,New Delhi. Some of the prominent speakers were – Mr.Roger Crumpton, CEO, International Association of Broadcasting Manufacturers(IABM),UK, Mr.Herman Gielen, Rhode & Schwarz, Singaore, Mr.Pawan Gandhi, NOKIA,Singapore, Mr.Yogendra Pal,Director (Engg.) All India Radio, Mr.Peter Senger,Director DW,DRM,Germany, Dr.Yasubiro Ito,Sr.Assiciate Director, NHK,Japan, Mr.David Astley, Secretary General, ABU, Malaysia, Mr.Rahul Kumar, VP, Worldspace, Ms.J.Josiah,Advisor,C&I for Asia, UNESCO, Mr.Hung Tung Lau, VP(Tech Services) Mediacorp,Singapore etc........

Alokesh Gupta, New Delhi, India.                       

Contact : alokesh@radiointel.com
(This story should not be further reproduced or quoted without the specific consent of the author)