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Swiss SRG Abandons Astra Digital Radio System

By | May 22, 2002

      Swiss public broadcaster SRG SSR idée suisse has decided to cease its usage of the Astra Digital Radio (ADR) system in favour of the MPEG-2/DVB standard. The ADR transmissions “will not be developed further,” SRG announced in a recent statement. After a transition period in which both ADR and MPEG-2/DVB will be used, “we will terminate the ADR service.”

      SRG expects the migration period to take three to five years. Currently, SRG transmits a dozen of its radio channels to DTH homes, cable networks and terrestrial transmitters in the ADR format on Astra (19.2 degrees East). To receive the ADR transmissions, listeners have to buy a special ADR set-top-box at a cost of at least 200 euros ($185). Although ADR is a digital system, it is not compatible with the MPEG-2/DVB standard.

      From the beginning of June, SRG will transmit its whole range of 18 radio stations within its digital package on Hot Bird 3 (13 degrees East), transponder 85 (12.399 GHz H, SR 27.500, FEC 3/4). The radio bouquet will consist of DRS1, DRS2, DRS3, Virus, Musigwalle 531, Radio Rumantsch, La Premiere, Espace 2, Couleur 3, Option Musique, Rete Uno, Rete Due, Rete Tre, Swiss Classic, Swiss Pop, Swiss Jazz, SRI International and SRI English. All channels will be transmitted free-to-air and in stereo.

      –Jorn Krieger

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