Revo’s David Baxter talks with Radiopassioni
David Baxter – a sinistra nella foto insieme all’altro responsabile di Revo, Colin Urie, ha cortesemente risposto ad alcune domande che gli avevo spedito questa mattina via e-mail. Revo, una startup scozzese, ha appena annunciato Blik RadioStation, un ricevitore ibrido “tabletop” compatibile con DAB/DAB+/FM-RDS/Internet e ha già messo in atto una aggressiva strategia di distribuzione sul mercato europeo, dove il DAB+ potrebbe esplodere nel 2008. David conferma l’interesse nei confronti del futuro mercato DAB+ in Italia, dove verrà presto annunciato un accordo di distribuzione e sottolinea che Revo ha tutte le intenzioni di seguire l’eventuale di domanda di tecnologia DMB. Anche sul versante della radio digitale Ibiquity sono in arrivo importanti novità, con due modelli per il mercato americano. Mr. Baxter si dice però scettico sulle possibilità di penetrazione di HD Radio qui in Europa.
I wish to thank Revo’s director, Mr. David Baxter, for his prompt and informative answers to a short e-mail interview I had sent only a few hours ago concerning his company’s introduction of the first hybrid DAB/DAB+/FM-RDS/Iternet device, Blik RadioStation. Thanks, David and please don’t forget to follow up with any further news concerning Revo’s distribution plans in Italy. I’d be happy to field test a RadioStation sample, when available, if you think it can be done with no much fuss.
From your international distributors list names of Italian firms are missing for the moment. Do you plan to announce any agreements for Revo’s commercial activities in Italy?
We have been in discussions for a number of weeks and expect to make an announcement shortly.
I understand RadioStation is based on Frontier Silicon’s multistandard technology. But what about mixed DAB/DMB areas such as France or even Italy (RaiWay has a T-DMB test running on its existing DAB infrastructure)? Are you also planning some T-DMB, or even better, for DMB/DAB/DAB+ versions?
We have a very flexible approach to what formats we will support. Ultimately, if demand is there…. we’re happy to support that demand. For example, we have produced a DAB+ compatible radio (Blik RadioStation) to support the new DAB markets in Australia, Italy, Malta, Switzerland etc. We are also supporting the HD radio format in the USA. I can definitely see us developing DMB, DRM and T-DMB radios in the near future.
Will the e-shop section on your Web site accept international (Italian) orders?
Our e-shop ships internationally and does accept orders from Italy.
What is your general opinion on digital radio penetration in Europe? Outside the UK and partly in Germany and Denmark reactions have been at best lukewarm with respect to Eureka 147. As of recently, regulators and public/commercial broadcaster have definitely shown to be much more keenly oriented in planning a digital evolution path for their radio networks or stations. Still, the industry has not been able to supply many receivers and the audience remains largely unaware of what’s going on and what “digital radio” does really mean. Will you be able to change this picture in the short term?
In my opinion, DAB radio succeeded in the UK because all parties got behind the platform – commercial radio, the national broadcaster (the BBC) and hardware manufacturers. Additionally, a non-profit organisation was formed to promote the format to the general public. In other countries, this has not happened. There have been too many people and organisations with different agendas, pulling in different directions. Obviously it would have been helpful if all the countries in Europe had chosen Eureka 147, but this has not happened, and the format wars that we are experiencing now, is not helping the uptake of digital radio. Ultimately, consumers don’t care about what flavour of digital radio they are offered, they just want digital radio that offers greater content choice, in an affordable, robust package. As for educating the public… I think this job is too big for manufacturers to tackle. Education needs to be generated by partnerships between government, national and commercial broadcasters and all interested parties.
What about the potential international impact of the US originated HD Radio system? Does Revo plan any Ibiquity licensed device?
My own feeling is that HD radio will be a success stateside, but won’t become a major format in Europe. As far as our own plans for HD radio, we already have two HD versions of existing Revo products under development, both due for release in the USA during Q1 2008.