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Radio Data System

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The RDS logo
The RDS logo

Radio Data System (RDS) is a communications protocol standard for embedding small amounts of digital information in conventional FM radio broadcasts. RDS standardizes several types of information transmitted, including time, station identification and program information.

The standard began as a project of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), but has since become an international standard of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).

Radio Broadcast Data System (RBDS) is the official name used for the U.S. version of RDS.[1] The two standards are only slightly different.

Both carry data at 1,187.5 bits per second on a 57 kHz subcarrier, so there are exactly 48 cycles of subcarrier during every data bit. The RBDS/RDS subcarrier was set to the third harmonic of the 19 kHz FM stereo pilot tone to minimize interference and intermodulation between the data signal, the stereo pilot and the 38 kHz DSB-SC stereo difference signal. (The stereo difference signal extends up 38 kHz + 15 kHz = 53 kHz, leaving 4 kHz for the lower sideband of the RDS signal.)

The data is sent with an error correction code, but receivers may choose to use it only for error detection purposes. RDS defines many features including how private (in-house) or other undefined features can be "packaged" in unused program groups.

Development

RDS was inspired by the development of the Autofahrer-Rundfunk-Informationssystem (ARI) in Germany by the Institut für Rundfunktechnik (IRT) and the radio manufacturer Blaupunkt.[2] ARI used a 57-kHz subcarrier to indicate the presence of traffic information in an FM radio broadcast.[3]

The EBU Technical Committee launched a project at its 1974 Paris meeting to develop a technology with similar purposes to ARI, but which was more flexible and which would enable automated retuning of a receiver where a broadcast network transmitted the same radio programme on a number of different frequencies. The modulation system was based on that used in a Swedish paging system and the baseband coding was a new design, mainly developed by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the IRT. The EBU issued the first RDS specification in 1984.[2]

Enhancements to the alternative frequencies functionality were added to the standard and it was subsequently published as a European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) standard in 1990.[2]

In 1992 the U.S. National Radio Systems Committee issued the North American version of the RDS standard, called the Radio Broadcast Data System. The CENELEC standard was updated in 1992 with the addition of Traffic Message Channel and in 1998 with Open Data Applications[2] and, in 2000, RDS was published worldwide as IEC standard 62106.[4]

RDS2

The RDS-Forum (Geneva/CH) decided at its annual meeting (8-9 June 2015) in Glion/Montreux to bring the new standard RDS2 on the way. The standard will be created in close collaboration with U.S. colleagues from NRSC RBDS-Subcommittee and should offer a unified platform for FM broadcasting and data services worldwide.

Logo for RDS1 and RDS2
Logo for RDS1 and RDS2
Key features
  • Seamless support for frequencies from 64 MHz to 108 MHz (AF, EON)
  • New character coding: UTF-8 (old EBU Charset remains for compatibility mode for the old 0A/2A Groups).
  • New ODA handling, "B" groups are assigned as signalling group to the "A" groups.
  • Long PS-Name, up to 32 byte with UTF-8 character set. (Indian, Chinese, Arabic, and more)
  • RadioText (eRT) 128 byte long with UTF-8 character set.
  • Increased capacity from 11.4 up to 57 "A"-groups per second. (2,109 bit/s. net capacity with the single modulation-type multiple subcarriers (SMMS) technology)
  • Graphical RadioText – supports HTML/CSS templates (for smartphones, car radios, computers/tablets)
  • Supports return channel over gRT if the receiver has IP or SMS capability.
  • Broadcaster's graphical logo – a maximum 4 kilobyte picture (JPEG, PNG, or GIF)
  • Hybrid Radio feature (partly based on Radio France development)

Content and implementation

A Radio Data System – Traffic Message Channel (RDS-TMC) receiver (left) attached to a TomTom navigation system to integrate real-time traffic data into the navigation.[5]
A Radio Data System – Traffic Message Channel (RDS-TMC) receiver (left) attached to a TomTom navigation system to integrate real-time traffic data into the navigation.[5]

The following information fields are normally contained in the RDS data:

AF (alternative frequencies list)
This provides the receiver with a list of frequencies that allows a receiver to re-tune to a different frequency providing the same station when the first signal becomes too weak (e.g., when moving out of range). Before performing the switch, a radio will check for a matching PI code to ensure the AF is the same station. This is often used in car stereo systems, allowing the head unit to automatically tune into the stronger signal on the move, optionally with the same regional code (so that, in the case of national broadcasting stations, the user can keep listening to the original radio program).
CT (clock time and date)
Can synchronize a clock in the receiver or the main clock in a car. Due to transmission vagaries, CT can only be accurate to within 100 ms of UTC. CT is not usually transmitted if a broadcaster has no way to regularly synchronise the clock within the RDS encoder.
EON (enhanced other networks information)
Informs the receiver about other networks or stations, linked to the one being listened to, for dynamically changing data such as the TA flag turning on for a particular station of the network in a particular moment due to a traffic programme being broadcast, and automatically and temporarily allows the radio to tune into that station.
PI (programme identification)
This is the unique 4 character hexadecimal code that identifies the station. Every station in a country should use a unique 3 character code with the correct country prefix character. In the US, PI is determined by applying a formula to the station's call sign, or randomly assigned by the NRSC to FM translators (which have a longer call sign, making them incompatible with the formula).[6] The PI code is the most important RDS parameter and the most frequently transmitted within the RDS data structure. The RDS standard for non US use defines country codes for all countries so that no where with common borders has the same code. This removes the need to coordinate codes between different countries. Any transmission that carries the same code is considered by receivers to be the same and can be switched to as an alternative frequency to improve reception (even if it is not specifically listed as an alternative frequency).
PS (programme service name)
This is simply an eight-character static display that represents the call letters or station identity name. Most RDS capable receivers display this information and, if the station is stored in the receiver's presets, will cache this information with the PI code, frequency and other details associated with that preset. In some countries, stations use the PS to dynamically send other information. This is prohibited in some countries and was not its intended use within the RDS system.
PTY (programme type)
This coding of up to 31 pre-defined programme types (e.g., in Europe: PTY1 News, PTY6 Drama, PTY11 Rock music) allows users to find similar programming by genre. PTY31 is reserved for emergency announcements in the event of natural disasters or other major calamities.
REG (regional)
This is mainly used in countries where national broadcasters run "region-specific" programming such as regional opt-outs on some of their transmitters. This functionality allows the user to "lock-down" the set to their current region or let the radio tune into other region-specific programming as they move into the other region.
An example of RT RDS on Los Angeles' KFSH-FM
An example of RT RDS on Los Angeles' KFSH-FM
RT (radio text)
This function allows a radio station to transmit a 64 (or less commonly 32) character free-form text message that can be either static (such as station slogans) or in sync with the programming (such as the title and artist of the currently playing song).
RT+ (radio text plus)
An enhancement of the original RT which allows Artist, Title and some other metadata to be sent to receivers.
TA, TP (traffic announcement, traffic programme)
The receiver can often be set to pay special attention to this flag (taking advantage of the EON linkage if it's available) and, for example, pause a CD or retune to receive a traffic bulletin. The TP flag is used to allow the user to find only those stations that regularly broadcast traffic bulletins whereas the TA flag is used to signal an actual traffic bulletin in progress, with radio units perhaps performing other actions such as pausing a CD/MP3 (so the radio can be heard) or raising the volume during the traffic bulletin.
TMC (traffic message channel)
Digitally encoded traffic information. Not all RDS equipment supports this, but it is often available for automotive navigation systems. In many countries only encrypted traffic data is broadcast, and so an appropriate decoder, possibly tied to a subscription service, is required to use the traffic data. The subscription is often paid by the vehicle manufacturer and is therefore transparent to the user.
US NRSC FM Translator Announcements
The National Radio Systems Committee has introduced a unique Radio Data System Program Identification code for US FM translators. One type of metadata transmitted by RDS subcarrier is the PI code, which is used by the receiver to uniquely identify the audio program being broadcast by the FM station. In the U.S., the PI code has historically been derived from a radio station's call sign, which can become complicated when used in conjunction with FM translators. A new algorithm just for FM translators has been created that assigns a unique PI code to each FM translator. This algorithm has been implemented using a web-based tool and a list of all known PI codes for all FM translators in the US. [1]

RDS support

As far as implementation is concerned, most car stereos will support at least AF, EON, REG, PS and TA/TP.

  • More expensive car stereos will offer TMC, RT and / or PTY, perhaps with "NEWS" override.
  • Home systems, especially hi-fi receivers, will mainly support functions like PS, RT and PTY.

There are a growing number of RDS implementations in portable audio and navigation devices thanks to lower-priced, small-footprint solutions.

RDS compatibility

The RDS sub-carrier at 57 kHz occupies ±2 kHz of the composite spectrum which in theory keeps it above the upper cutoff of the stereo subcarrier at 53 kHz. However the 53 kHz cutoff is entirely dependent on the performance of the 15 kHz low pass filters used before the stereo encoder. In older equipment, these filters were only designed to protect the 19 kHz pilot and sometimes did not provide sufficient protection to the RDS subcarrier when a significant amount of stereo information was present. In this situation, stereo enhancement devices combined with aggressive audio processing could render the RDS subcarrier unreceivable.

Composite clipping systems may also degrade the RDS sub-carrier because of the harmonics created by the clipping. More modern composite clippers include filtering to protect the RDS subcarrier.

The RDS subcarrier typically uses 2–4 kHz of carrier deviation. Therefore, the deviation available for the program material is reduced by this amount, assuming the usual 75 kHz deviation limit is not exceeded.

Program types

The following table lists the RDS and RBDS (North American) program type (PTY) codes and their meanings:

Program type (PTY) code assignment[7][8]
PTY code RDS program type RBDS program type PTY code RDS program type RBDS program type
0 No programme type or undefined 16 Weather Rhythm and blues
1 News News 17 Finance Soft rhythm and blues
2 Current affairs Information 18 Children's programmes Language
3 Information Sports 19 Social affairs Religious music
4 Sport Talk 20 Religion Religious talk
5 Education Rock 21 Phone-in Personality
6 Drama Classic rock 22 Travel Public
7 Culture Adult hits 23 Leisure College
8 Science Soft rock 24 Jazz music Spanish Talk
9 Varied Top 40 25 Country music Spanish Music
10 Pop music Country 26 National music Hip hop
11 Rock music Oldies 27 Oldies music Unassigned
12 Easy listening Soft music 28 Folk music
13 Light classical Nostalgia 29 Documentary Weather
14 Serious classical Jazz 30 Alarm test Emergency test
15 Other music Classical 31 Alarm Emergency

The PTY codes have undergone several expansions. The first RDS standard only defined 0–15 and 31. The later RBDS standard implemented in the U.S. assigned the same meanings to codes 0, 1 and 31, but made no attempt to match the rest of the original RDS plan and created its own list for codes 2–22 and 30,[9] including commercially important (in the U.S.) radio formats such as top 40, religious, country, jazz and R&B which were not in the RDS list. This included mismatched codes for information. sport, and rock. Later RBDS standards added types 23 (College) and 29 (Weather), while the RDS type code list grew to its current size,[10] importing some types (e.g. jazz and country) from the RDBS list. RDBS types 24–26 were added in April 2011.[8][1]: 27  The code mismatches are mainly a problem for people taking portable radios into or out of North America.

RDS technical specification

The RDS standard as specified in EN 50067:1998[11] is separated into these sections according to the OSI model. (The network and transport layers are excluded, as this is a unidirectional broadcast standard.)

  1. Data channel (Physical layer)
  2. Baseband coding (Data-link layer)
  3. Message format (Session and presentation layer)

Data channel (Physical layer)

The physical layer in the standard describes how the bitstream is retrieved from the radio signal. The RDS hardware first demodulates the 57 kHz RDS subcarrier signal to extract a differential Manchester encoded signal which contains both the bit clock and the differentially encoded bitstream. This allows the RDS decoder to tolerate phase inversion of its input.

Baseband coding (Data-link layer)

At the data link layer, 26 consecutive bits form a "block", consisting of 16 data bits followed by 10 error correction bits. Four blocks make a 104-bit "group". The error correction bits also encode the "offset", or block number within a 4-block group.

The error correction is done using a 10-bit cyclic redundancy check, with polynomial x10+x8+x7+x5+x4+x3+1.[11]: 13  (Neither a preset nor post-invert is used, as they are not necessary with a fixed-size data field.) The CRC is also summed with one of five "offset" words which identify the block: A, B, C, C′, or D. Four consecutive blocks (ABCD or ABC′D) make up a "group" of 104 bits (64 data bits + 40 check bits). There are slightly over 11.4 groups transmitted per second.

There is no gap between blocks. The receiver synchronizes to groups and blocks by checking CRCs on each 26 bits until synchronization is achieved. Once synchronized (the offset word is predictable), the code is capable of correcting up to 5-bit burst errors.[11]: 60 

This basic modulation and block structure was originally developed for the MBS (radio paging) [fr] "mobile search" protocol, with the difference that MBS (or the North American equivalent MMBS "modified MBS") does not use an offset word. To allow the two systems to interoperate (and to allow FM radio stations to transmit RBDS data while maintaining their pager contracts), the RBDS standard defines a sixth all-zero offset word E. Groups of four E blocks may be mixed with RBDS groups, and ignored by RBDS receivers. (Likewise, the RBS offset words are chosen to appear as uncorrectable errors to MBS receivers.)

Data within each block (and group) is transmitted most significant bit first, and thus are numbered from bit 15 (transmitted first) to bit 0 (transmitted last).

The most frequently information transmitted is a 16-bit "program identification" code, identifying the transmitting radio station. Blocks A and C′ always include the PI code; offset C is used when the third block contains something else.

Shared structure

Block 1 always contains the 16-bit program identifier. The first 11 bits (bits 15–5) of block 2 are also the same in all groups.

The first 4 bits (bits 15–11) of block 2 are the "group type code", which describe the interpretation of the remaining data. Each group type comes "A" and "B" variants, distinguished by the fifth "B" bit (bit 10): If B=0, then the group is 0A through 15A, and contains 5+16+16 = 37 bits of data. If B=1, block 2 contains a PI code (and is encoded with offset word C′), the group is one of 0B through 15B, and contains 21 bits of data.

Within Block 1 and Block 2 are structures that will always be present in both group versions, for fast and responsive identifications. The first block of every group, will always be the program identification code. The second block dedicates the first 4 bits for Application/Group Type.

Block 1 Block 2
Block Meaning Program Identification Code GTYPE B0 TP PTY varies
bit notation per block b15 — b0 b15–b12 b11 b10 b9–b5 b4–b0
Fixed Meaning Per Group? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Meaning of Block 2 Bits

  • GTYPE: Group Type
  • B0: If B0=0 then Message Group Type A else Type B
  • TP: Traffic Program. Indicates this channel includes periodic traffic reports.
  • PTY: Program Type (See § Program types.)
  • ????: Rest of the bits are group type dependent
Message version A
Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Block Meaning Program Identification Code Group Type B0 TP PTY APP Group Specific Payload Group Specific Payload
Block Payload Bit Value XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX 0 X XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX
Offset Value (Sync) Offset A Offset B Offset C Offset D
Message version B

Block 3 is used for repeating program identification code.

Block 1 Block 2 Block 3 Block 4
Block Meaning Program Identification Code Group Type B0 TP PTY APP Program Identification Code Group Specific Payload
Payload Bit Value XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX 1 X XXXXX XXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX XXXX
Offset Value (Sync) Offset A Offset B Offset C' Offset D

Program identification code (PI code)

This allows for quick identification of radio program type, based on country, coverage area, and program reference number. While the country code is specified by the standard, bit 11 to bit 0 is specified by each country local authorities.

PI Code Nibble 0 Nibble 1 Nibble 2 Nibble 3
Meaning Country Code Program Area Coverage Program Reference Number
Bit Position b15 b12 b11 b8 b7 b4 b3 b0

Country codes are re-used, but only in geographically distant regions beyond FM broadcast range from each other. For example, country code F is assigned to France, Norway, Belarus and Egypt.[11]: 71 

Group type

This is a short list of the full group type. Each group type may have a secondary version available

Group Type Bit Value Message Version A Message Version B
0 0000 Basic Tuning and Switching Information Only
1 0001 Program Item Number and Slow Labeling Code Program Item Number
2 0010 Radio Text
3 0011 Application Identification for Open Data Applications Open Data Applications
4 0100 Clock Time and Date Open Data Applications
etc... etc...

Traffic Program

This can be considered an additional program type bit, and indicates that the station broadcasts periodic traffic reports. By including it in every group, a receiver can quickly search for a station which includes traffic reports.

Another bit, traffic announcement (TA), is sent in block types 0A, 0B and 15B to indicate that such a report is in progress. It is common for otherwise-simulcast transmitters to have periodic local traffic reports which are customized to the individual transmitter. The traffic announcement bit tells a receiver that a transmitter-specific broadcast is in progress, and it should avoid switching frequencies while they are in progress.

(There is a different form of traffic announcement bit in block type 14B, which indicates the presence of a traffic announcement on a different frequency, so that radio receivers can automatically switch.)

RDS message examples

These are non-comprehensive examples that cover just the simple messages likes station name, radio text, and date/time.

Group type 0 - Version B - Station name

Version Block 1 : 26bits Block 2 : 26bits Block 3 : 26bits Block 4 : 26bits
Block Internal PI Code Check + Offset A GTYPE B0 TP PTY TA M/S DI C1 C0 Check + Offset B PI Code Check + Offset C' Character A Character B Check + Offset D
Bit Value 16 bits 0000 1 X XXXXX X X X X X 16 bits 8 bits char 8 bits char

As we have already described previous fields above, these dot points below show just the application specific fields.

  • TA : Traffic Announcement
  • M/S : Music/Speech

The station name and decoder identification code is sent progressively over 4 groups, where the offset is defined by bit C1 and C0.

Character Segment Station Name : Decoder Identification Code : 4 bit
C1 C0 Offset 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 3 2 1 0
0 0 0 A B DI
0 1 1 A B DI
1 0 2 A B DI
1 1 3 A B DI

Group type 2 - Radio text

RadioText Version A Block 1 : 26bits Block 2 : 26bits Block 3 : 26bits Block 4 : 26bits
Block Internal PI Code Check + Offset A GTYPE B0 TP PTY A/B C3 C2 C1 C0 Check + Offset B Character A Character B Check + Offset C Character C Character D Check + Offset D
Bit Value 16 bits 0010 0 X XXXXX X X X X X 8 bits char 8 bits char 8 bits char 8 bits char
RadioText Version B Block 1 : 26bits Block 2 : 26bits Block 3 : 26bits Block 4 : 26bits
Block Internal PI Code Check + Offset A GTYPE B0 TP PTY A/B C3 C2 C1 C0 Check + Offset B PI Code Check + Offset C' Character C Character D Check + Offset D
Bit Value 16 bits 0010 1 X XXXXX X X X X X 16 bits 8 bits char 8 bits char

As we have already described previous fields above, these dot points below show just the application specific fields.

  • A/B : Text A/B flag is used to detect if a screen clear is requested.
  • C3 to C0 : Is the text segment offset value

The station name and decoder identification code is sent progressively over 4 groups, where the offset is defined by bit C1 and C0.

Text Segment Version A Version B
C3 C2 C1 C0 Offset Char A Char B Char C Char D Char A Char B Char C Char D
0 0 0 0 0 1 2 3 4 Version B Specifies

That This Field Is For

Program Identification

Code

1 2
0 0 0 1 1 5 6 7 8 3 4
0 0 1 0 2 9 10 11 12 5 6
... ... ... ... etc... ... ... ... ... ... ...
1 1 1 1 15 61 62 63 64 31 32

Group type 4 – Version A – Clock time and data

Version Block 1: 26 bits Block 2: 26 bits Block 3: 26 bits Block 4: 26 bits
Block Internal PI Code Check + Offset A GTYPE B0 TP PTY R R R Time/Date Data Check + Offset B Time/Date Data Check + Offset C' Time/Date Data Check + Offset D
Bit Value 16 bits 0100 0 X XXXXX 2 bits 16 bits 16 bits

When group type 4A is used, it shall be transmitted every minute according to EN 50067.

The clock time group is inserted so that the minute edge will occur within ±0.1 seconds of the end of the clock time group.

Time and date are packed as these:

Time/Date Data Half Block 2 Payload Block 3 Payload Block 4 Payload
Payload Bit Pos 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Field Bit Pos etc... Reserved 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 4 3 2 1 0 5 4 3 2 1 0 ± 4 3 2 1 0
Description Reserved Modified Julian Day Number UTC Hours (0–23) UTC Minutes (0–59) Local Time Offset

Note: The local time offset is expressed in multiples of half hours within the range −15.5h to +15.5h. It is expressed in signed magnitude form, with the most significant bit being the "Local Offset Sign" bit (LOS), 0 = + (east of Greenwich), 1 = −.

Example RDS usage

The following three images illustrate how RDS can be used on an FM radio station; the latter two were taken when the radio was tuned to Nottingham radio station Trent FM. All the images are of the display on the Sony XDR-S1 DAB/FM/MW/LW portable radio.

Typical radio display when no RDS data is available
Typical radio display when no RDS data is available
Typical radio display showing the PS name (programme service) field.
Typical radio display showing the PS name (programme service) field.
Sample Radio Text usage, in this case showing the name and artist of the song being broadcast - Duran Duran's Save a Prayer - the bottom line scrolls to reveal the rest of the text.
Sample Radio Text usage, in this case showing the name and artist of the song being broadcast - Duran Duran's Save a Prayer - the bottom line scrolls to reveal the rest of the text.
PI A206
PI A206
Service menu of a car radio
Service menu of a car radio

RDS decoder chipsets

RDS Demodulator Sanyo LC72723
RDS Demodulator Sanyo LC72723

Companies such as ST Microelectronics, Silicon Labs in Austin, Texas and NXP Semiconductors (formerly Philips) offer single-chip solutions that are found in these devices.

See also

Typical spectrum of composite baseband signal
Typical spectrum of composite baseband signal
High-level RDS APIs
Related technologies
Related topics

Notes

  1. ^ a b "NRSC-4-B United States RBDS Standard" (PDF). National Radio Systems Committee. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-10-20. Retrieved 2011-12-31.
  2. ^ a b c d "March 2009: RDS is now 25 – the complete history" (PDF). Geneva, Switzerland: The RDS Forum. 2009-03-27. p. 1. Retrieved 2011-06-15.
  3. ^ EP 1432157 
  4. ^ "IEC Webstore Publication detail: IEC 62106 Ed. 1.0 English". Geneva, Switzerland: International Electrotechnical Commission. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  5. ^ "Traffic Receiver". TomTom. Retrieved 15 June 2014.
  6. ^ "NRSC Activates PI Codes for FM Translators Web Resource". PILOT. Retrieved 2020-09-17.
  7. ^ "RDS PTY codes & types". Electronics Notes. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Jurison, Alan (December 9, 2014). "New Program Codes for RBDS, HD". Radio World Magazine. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  9. ^ T. Beale; D. Kopitz (Spring 1993). "RDS in Europe, RBDS in the USA – What are the differences and how can receivers cope with both systems?" (PDF). EBU Technical Review. pp. 5–11. Retrieved 2021-08-30.
  10. ^ Wright, Scott (January 1998). RBDS versus RDS – What are the differences and how can receivers cope with both systems? (PDF) (Technical report). National Radio Systems Committee. Retrieved 2021-08-30.
  11. ^ a b c d CENELEC (April 1998). "European Standard EN 50067:1998: Specification of the radio data system (RDS) for VHF/FM sound broadcasting in the frequency range from 87,5 to 108,0 MHz" (PDF). Retrieved 2021-08-30.
  12. ^ European Brodcasting Union; RDS Forum (1997-08-22). "SPB 490 Universal Encoder Communication Protocol (UECP) specification". version 5.1. Archived from the original on 2000-03-01. Retrieved 2016-02-08.

References

External links

This page was last edited on 5 September 2021, at 22:32
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