The Mexican Institute of Radio (IMER), on the Vanguard of Technology, will be Totally Digitized by the End of 2012
Friday, August 31st, 2012
Digital radio technology is superior to analog because of its excellent sound quality, because it allows for the transmission of multiple programs, is capable of the simultaneous transmission of data, and it allows a certain degree of interaction with listeners.
The Mexican Institute of Radio, by initiating the transmission of multiple channels, or multicasting, is the first radio broadcasting entity to fully employ digital technology (HD Radio), placing it in the vanguard of technology on a national level.
Digital radio is foreseen as beginning to replace analog in the world within the next few years. For this reason, thanks to the digital convergence begun by the Federal Government in 2008 and finalized by a presidential decree in 2001 authorizing terrestrial digital radio with a policy of voluntary transition, by December IMER will have 24 stations on 23 AM and FM frequencies, one virtual station and 18 digital channels on the air.
For Ana Cecilia Terrazas, the Director General of the Mexican Institute of Radio, this means “an effort that demonstrates the clear interest of the Federal Government in the public communications media, which is the best measurement of the quality of a country’s democracy.
“IMER, having found itself using outdated technology with tube transmitters that were not able to make the leap to digital broadcating, invested approximately 86 million pesos over a period of six years, achieving an exemplary technological convergence that positions it as one of the most advanced broadcasting organizations”, added Terrazas.
According to Miguel Fernández, IMER’s Director of Engineering, who designed and planned this transition over more than a decade, the coming digitalization of the Institute represents “the technological reference for radio in general, offering greater quality options for radio listeners by means of the optimization of the radio electrical spectrum”.
Alejandro Joseph Esteinou, Director of Research, said that the modernization of IMER “constitutes an historic opportunity to offer more and better public service alternatives for the benefit of the audience, and creates a radio programming and production creativity challenge that will demonstrate the enormous value of the Institute.”
The IMER stations in the Federal District that will broadcast in digital on HD1 are: Opus 94.5 FM, Reactor 105.7 FM and Horizonte 107.9 FM.
The broadcasts on the digital HD2 channels of 94.5, 105.7 and 107.9 FM, respectively, will feature XEB, “La B Grande de México”, one of the country’s first radio stations; the programs of Radio Mexico Internacional, the virtual station dedicated to positioning the image of Mexico; and Radio Ciudadana, the first station in the country to open itself up to the production, programming and transmission of projects totally emanating from the country’s citizens.
The HD3 signals of Opus, Reactor and Horizonte, will be dedicated to radio courses, audio books, informational capsules and a variety spoken programming of an educative nature; minute-to-minute information with the exact time and emergency or service phone numbers; as well as the transmission of for-credit courses, as mentioned previously.
Additionally, by the end of December, the nine IMER stations in the interior of the republic will also be able to replicate their signals in digital format, even though they still won’t have multicasting capacity: Tijuana, Baja California; Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua; Ciudad Acuña, Coahuila; Cananea, Sonora; Salina Cruz, Oaxaca; Lázaro Cárdenas, Michoacán and Chiapa de Corzo, Comitán and Cacahoatán in Chiapas. (Only the Yucatán station will not be included, as its technological renovation is planned for 2013, in cooperation with the local government).
In the Federal District, IMER’s 4 AM frequencies will be enhanced with multicasting transmission in the capital, as already described, and the best programming of Tropicalísima 1350 and 710 AM will additionally be broadcast on Radio Ciudadana. Further, the virtual station, Radio Mexico International (previously heard on shortwave) will now be heard on the air for the first time on the HD2 channel of Reactor 105.7 FM.