The British Broadcasting Corp has signed up to a world wide consortium dedicated to forming a single world standard for digital broadcasting in the AM radio bands below 30MHz. The BBC hopes that by joining the Digital Radio Mondiale, it will be able to broadcast its BBC World Service in China when new technology is deployed in around five years time. Members of Mondiale include broadcasters, network operators, standards and regulatory bodies and manufacturers. Digital radio broadcast via the Am bandwidth is expected to provide higher reliability, improved area coverage, better quality and immunity from channel interference. Digital broadcasting in AM radio bands is expected to start within the next three to five years, following the testing of receivers and prototypes. The new sets required to pick up the digital broadcasts will cost on average $30 more than a conventional short-wave receiver and are likely to have long wave capacity as well. The BBC says conventional short wave sets will still be able to receive broadcasts as they can today, but the new sets will provide a superior quality.
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