Last week Pure held an event to celebrate 10 years of making beautiful functional DAB radios. Matt, Greg and I attended and enjoyed seeing the display of Pure Evokes from across the last decade, from the first blue nylon-fronted limited run to the smart 2012 union flag issue. We were pleased to celebrate the distance covered with the team from Pure and toast their successes.
It was appropriate timing for us, looking back and forward – not least because earlier the same day I’d had our kick off meeting with our transmission subcontractor, lining things up for the launch of Muxco WCL later this year.
At GCAP (as was) between 2001 and 2007 Greg Matt and I operated over 20 DAB multiplexes and oversaw the launches for a large amount of those.
I became pretty used to launches and multiplexes but that was then. All sorts of things have changed, not always the obvious stuff. Here’s an example.
The more multiplexes you launch the more transmitters there are to inexplicably go on the blink at odd times, like, say 3am.
Back then in 2002 or 2003, as now, I’d always have the phone to hand, and after waking with a jolt to hear what had gone wrong, I would notify station engineers instantly, them similarly half asleep. I think it is fair to say they didn’t always give a flying toss that a DAB transmitter that covered 6 sheep in a field had gone down 3db for four minutes. The sheep could still tune in on FM if they so chose and that was the engineers priority. And could I please get off the phone because did I know it was 3am? Consequently we got better at managing that information in a way that suited the radio stations who are our clients, and the ones who pay the bills.
However in this new landscape here in 2012 a station engineer might actually care very much that his DAB feed is affected, even a small amount. DAB is of greater importance than ever and so I can’t approach things the same way as we used to. We will be using new telemetry, which will be customised to our new requirements – so what requirements would we like?
The radio stations, our clients will be the ones at the centre of this process. Whilst our transmission team crack on with the big pointy mast side of the build, I’ll be getting in touch with the radio station’s tech teams over the coming weeks to work through some practical stuff, and to get a feel for what they need from us.