Hong Kong has moved a step closer to the launch of digital audio broadcasting (DAB) with the determination of channel group numbers for operators.
The HK Government plans to install a rebroadcasting system in government road tunnels for transmitting DAB channels. A thematic website and a Government produced radio public interest announcement were also rolled out today to further enhance public awareness of DAB.
Hong Kong radio stations will be distinguished by different channel group numbers which form the prefix of channels so listeners can choose specific channels.
The three licensees and RTHK will provide round-the-clock DAB services on a total of 18 channels (three each for Metro and Phoenix U, seven for DBC and five for RTHK), offering a wide variety of program choices.
Witnessed by the Acting Deputy Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development (Communications and Technology), Aaron Liu, representatives of the four DAB operators drew channel group numbers by ballot according to mutually agreed procedures.
The results are as follows:
Digital Broadcasting Corporation Hong Kong Limited (DBC) 0
Metro Broadcast Corporation Limited (Metro) 1
Phoenix U Radio Limited?(Phoenix U) 2
Radio Television Hong Kong(RTHK) 3
Formal service will be launched by the end of this year.
Preparation for the DAB service has also made progress in other aspects. The Government proposes to install a specific rebroadcasting system at 11 government road tunnels including tunnels with the highest traffic volume such as Aberdeen Tunnel, Cross Harbour Tunnel, Lion Rock Tunnel and Tseung Kwan O Tunnel.
Apart from transmitting DAB channels to users travelling in the tunnels, the system will also ensure DAB listeners in the tunnels receive emergency broadcast messages with better sound and reception quality.
The Government has also launched a dedicated website (www.digitalradio.gov.hk) providing a wide range of information on DAB services, including its benefits, its development in Hong Kong and ways to receive DAB. It contains a list of frequently asked questions for public reference and a section on technical specifications to assist the industry in launching DAB-related products.
The radio public service announcement promotes the benefits of DAB, signing off with the slogan “Quality sound, quality visuals, and quality choices” to highlight the brand-new audio-visual experience brought about by DAB.
With suitable DAB receivers, listeners will be able to view screen information such as news, weather and traffic information, photos of singers and information of songs, as well as hearing the audio.