Hybrid Radio with RadioDNS

Alongside the traditional kitchen radio an increasing number of digital devices with radio reception capability are available. iPods, WLAN radios, mobile phones or combinations with digital radio – many of the devices may be able to connect to the Internet, but a link between radio and Internet content has not been possible. Until now!

This is precisely where the RadioDNS (DNS=Domain Name System) technology comes into play. It  enables the loading of ancillary information such as texts, images or download links via the Internet along with the analogue or digital radio programme. RadioDNS functions independently from the reception technology. RadioDNS uses the information existing in the receiver to derive a host name from the reception parameters. Since the receiver has an Internet connection, this host name can be resolved into an IP address via the regular DNS service. The device thus has the possibility to request the ancillary services available via the Internet channel matching the current radio programme from the station. The partial applications RadioVIS, RadioEPG and RadioTAG represent various applications that will make radio more intelligent in the future.

The IRT is a member of the international RadioDNS organization and develops hybrid applications and concepts for digital radio.


Hybrid Radio DABerry

The development goal for the prototypical hybrid radio DABerry was to show what innovative radio services can look like and how the needs of today’s consumers can be combined with the possibilities of radio. The focus was on separating the operation from the actual device, which means that users can use the diversified services that hybrid radio offers comfortably on an HTML5.0-compatible tablet or smart phone.

The core of DABerry is the inexpensive single-board computer “Raspberry Pi” and the USB-DAB stick of the IRT.

Technical components

The system-on-a-chip platform Raspberry Pi is equipped with a Broadcom 700-MHz ARMv11 processor and 512 MB memory. It has all the necessary interfaces such as Ethernet, HDMI and USB ready for immediate operation. The “Raspbian” Linux system based on Debian Wheezy is used as an operating system. A regular SD card serves as a data carrier. This ensures very robust operation that completely dispenses with mechanical components. Due to the previous developments of the DABScout2 software, the key components for demodulation and demultiplexing of the DAB data stream received via the DABScourt 2 USB DAB stick could be ported to the Raspberry Pi platform. A small touchscreen is used as a local control element, enabling basic operations including station selection and loudness adjustment. It also displays currently received EPG data, DAB slide shows and dynamic label texts.