Plans have been announced for an electronic programme guide for national commercial radio. The service, known as an EPG, is expected to launch this summer.
EPGs have become popular with digital television viewers. They provide programme information and listings and give viewers an easy-to-use way to navigate in a multi channel world.
Quentin Howard, CEO of Digital One which broadcasts the national commercial stations on DAB digital radio said: “This new service will make it easier for listeners to explore the range of new channels and established stations. It also makes it possible for manufacturers to develop the radio equivalents of TiVo and Sky Plus – easy-to-use devices that allow you to pick programmes to record from an on screen menu of titles”.
The technology behind EPGs for DAB digital radio has been developed by the WorldDAB Forum, with input from Digital One and other UK broadcasters.
The EPG will be broadcast as a data service on the national commercial digital radio multiplex. To access it, consumers will need a radio running special EPG software.
Colin Crawford Director of Product Marketing at digital radio firm PURE Digital commented: “We are delighted that BT Livetime and national commercial radio have committed to an EPG. From a manufacturer’s point of view it’s very exciting. Customer feedback on our EPG pre-release has been very positive. And because The Bug can be easily upgraded via the PURE website all existing Bug owners can get all the benefits of an EPG”.