One day in 2011 one of the ancient looking PC’s above, was briefly the source of a software generated DAB broadcast. Some clever technical bods from the EBU threw caution to the wind and operated a very low power DAB broadcast, which technically could be classed as a ‘pirate transmission’ at the radio festival in Salford, using off the shelf computer systems at the heart of it.

This audio clip was first published as far as I can recall on AudioBoo as part of the ‘TechCon’ conference. However I can’t find this again, so as I have a big hard drive full of every podcast I’ve ever downloaded, I’ve dug it out again.

Download MP3

Hands up to slightly misleading you as to the function of the PC pictured, that vintage Compaq PC sat in a rack at all fm, encoded the stations internet audio stream, and thus while not doing the multiplexing was the origination point of the stations brief and somewhat limited outing on a DAB broadcast. However it does highlight the ‘low-cost’ nature of the system.

Glyn Roylance and Associated Broadcast Consultants have published a useful overview of the type of kit that can be used for such low cost DAB transmissions. This is the type of kit that Ofcom are going to be using in the forthcoming trials of low-cost DAB, which promises some interesting times ahead.