Research & Development


The Plymouth ('Mayflower') trial was a trial of Digital Radio Mondiale (Drm) that ran from 1st April 2007 for a period of one year. The trial took the existing analogue AM service of BBC Radio Devon on medium-wave (MW) and converted it to Drm operation. Primarily audience-research led, around 100 volunteers were given a consumer Drm radio and asked to give regular feedback on their listening expereince.

To support this process, BBC Research put in place a network of monitoring receivers to make objective measurements of the quality of reception at various locations both inside and outside the predicted service area.

The data collected from the monitoring receivers shows that the performance of Drm broadly matched the initial coverage predictions. There was a significant benefit seen from switching from 64-QAM during hours of darkness which helped to make the daytime and night-time coverage areas more similar in size.

The addition of a second transmitter to form a single frequency network showed that additional coverage can be gained without adversely affecting existing reception in the mush zone.