HCJB World Radio is now developing on the recently introduced technology called Digital Radio Mondial, referred to also as DRM, is has now been developed to be the future of shortwave and ACM radio. Analog broadcasting in AM and shortwave bands often contain fading, static, and interference when aired, while DRM has the same listening range as AM and analog shortwave, but improves by far for the listeners compared to its predecessors and provides enhanced program options such as data services.
Recent developments in DRM that HCJB World Radio has researched on are technology for its own broadcast transmitters and also transmitters that are manufactured by other broadcasting companies. Engineers at the HCJB World Radio Engineering Center in Elkhart, Ind., and in Quito, Ecuador, have been breaking new ground in the development of the digital transmission technology by designing and building the computers and transmitter equipment necessary for broadcasting digital signals.
HCJB World Radio, together with the DRM consortium, an organization of broadcasters, network operators, equipment manufacturers and regulatory bodies, successfully conducted transmission tests from Pifo in 2000. During this summer, missionary engineers in Pifo began installing the equipment anticipating for the initiation of DRM broadcasting. HCJB World Radio is waiting for a frequency assignment from CONARTEL (the Ecuadorian agency that governs radio) to begin DRM broadcasting in the tropical shortwave band from Pifo.
Now more than 60 radio stations worldwide are broadcasting with DRM, and HCJB World Radio wish to start the new digital broadcasting from its Pifo transmitter site soon and will also add full digital broadcasting from its Australia’s shortwave facility in Kununurra afterwards.
The ministry doesn't expect many digital shortwave listeners initially because of the high cost of the special DRM-capable receivers. But as the technology becomes more common, prices are expected to drop. By helping to push technology forward, HCJB World Radio is demonstrating its commitment to making sure that all the people of the world can hear the gospel in a language they can understand through radio -- whether via local FM, AM or shortwave.