Frontier simplifies consumer radio by combining FM and DAB+ modes with

13 May, 2021

Frontier Smart Technologies has today launched the world’s first implementation of a combined station list for consumer domestic digital radios. Frontier’s patent pending BestTuneTM feature improves the end user experience by presenting users with a single list of stations without the user having to choose FM or DAB+ mode, removing duplicate stations.

As radios have evolved, the legacy concept of modes has remained, leading to users having to switch between analogue (FM) and digital (DAB/DAB+) to search for their favourite stations. Furthermore, the digital station lists often have duplicate entries for the same radio stations available from different DAB transmitters, creating user confusion and dissatisfaction.  Frontier BestTuneTM combines FM and DAB/DAB+ modes and presents one station list to the listener. Once the user has selected a station, BestTuneTM intelligently decides whether to play the DAB/DAB+ or FM station based on selecting the source which offers the best quality station.

Frontier BestTuneTM solves the problem of multiple entries of the same digital radio station being presented to the user. This is a common problem as users are often located between different DAB transmitters that broadcast the same radio station. Sometimes radio stations may contain the same content but play local announcements and advertisements. BestTuneTM will combine multiple stations and present as a single station to the user, automatically using the station with the strongest signal as the default, which will be the local station.

Along with BestTuneTM, Frontier has also updated the user interface to focus on the station being listened to, clearly displaying the station name, slideshow logo, station description (DLS) and dynamic information (DL+). This creates a cleaner and tidier interface to the end user and allows more space to display information relating to what station they are listening to, improving their user experience and satisfaction with their radio.

Old now listening screen illustration

New now listening screen illustration

Frontier believes that combined station list will become the default method that users will use to listen to radio in the future. Prem Rajalingham, Managing Director of Frontier said, ‘by focusing on the user, Frontier has designed and built a revolutionary feature that will change the way radio stations are selected. We look forward to working with the industry and getting the feature into consumers’ hands.’

The radio industry is supportive of the initiate as it will make radio easier to use and provide more choice of radio stations to the users.

Moriz Kirscht at German broadcaster NDR said, ‘NDR are looking forward to digital radio receivers launching with BestTuneTM in Germany. Combining both DAB+ and FM and automatically selecting the best source is a win for the consumers and something we support.’

Ford Ennals, CEO of Digital Radio UK said ‘While the majority of radio listening is now digital there is still a significant amount of listening to local FM stations. So we welcome the introduction of Frontier BestTuneTM, an innovative Combined Station List solution for digital radios which will show local FM stations alongside the major national DAB/DAB+ stations and where stations on both platforms will defer to the strongest signal. This makes the digital radio easier to use and provides a better experience for listeners, which is something that all the major UK broadcasters support.‘

Frontier BestTuneTM has been very well received by leading audio and radio brands, who are integrating the technology into their new products, to be available in the retail market during the second half of 2021. BestTuneTM will initially be available on Kino4-Pro and Siena-Pro chips and modules. 

To learn more about BestTuneTM and how to get this onto your product, please view the BestTuneTM web page here.



About Frontier Smart Technologies

Frontier Smart Technologies is a pioneer in technologies for digital audio and the market leader in DAB/DAB+ radios and SmartRadio solutions. Powering over 50 million devices worldwide, Frontier provides a range of radio chips and modules – from turnkey entry-level solutions to sophisticated, highly configurable options – to leading consumer electronics brands. With its R&D centre in Cambridge (UK) and manufacturing and sales offices in Shenzhen (China) and Hong Kong, Frontier supports clients and consumers across Europe and Asia. Frontier is a Science Group (AIM:SAG) company.

About Science Group plc

Science Group plc (AIM:SAG) is a science-led advisory and product development organisation. The Group has three divisions:

• R&D Consultancy: providing advisory, applied science and product development services cross-sector helping clients derive maximum return on their R&D investments.

• Regulatory & Compliance: helping clients in highly regulated markets to launch, market and defend products internationally, navigating the frequently complex and fragmented regulatory ecosystems.

• Frontier Smart Technologies: designing and manufacturing chips and modules for the DAB/DAB+ radio markets with 80% market share (excluding the automotive market).

With more than 400 employees worldwide, primarily scientists and engineers, and speaking more than 30 languages collectively, the Group has R&D centres in Cambridge and Epsom with more than ten additional offices in Europe, Asia and North America.

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