"Anniversary" £99 Digital Radio from the DRDB

VideoLogic Systems – a division of Imagination Technologies – is pleased to report that to celebrate the 100th anniversary, on December 12th 2001, of Marconi's first successful wireless transmission across the Atlantic, the digital radio industry is making a limited edition £99 digital radio available for the first time.

The DRDB, representing both commercial digital radio and the BBC, has agreed with manufacturer VideoLogic to put a limited number of specially designed digital radios into eight selected shops around the country. The PURE branded digital radios will go on sale Wednesday, December 12 in Glasgow, Newcastle, Coventry, Manchester, Bristol, St Albans and in two shops in the London area at the "magic" £99 price point.

The promotion will continue until stocks run out and are restricted to one digital radio per customer. It is backed by a two-week airtime campaign starting today (December 3) on Classic FM, talkSPORT and Virgin Radio, and on 25 ILR stations in the relevant areas. Also supporting the promotion is a print campaign in local daily and weekly newspapers, along with competitions both on-air and in the press.

In addition, a limited number of £99 digital radios will be for sale via a specially created website, www.grab1quick.com for those who can't make it to one of the eight selected shops.

The promotion is designed to gauge public reaction to the £99 price point, long regarded as critical by the industry. Recently, mass-market manufacturer Goodmans announced its entry into the digital radio marketplace with product expected to range between £99 and £200 in the second half of 2002.

Says Kevin Dale, President, VideoLogic: "Our DRX family of digital radio hi-fi tuners has received many accolades during the last year and has stimulated interest amongst a rapidly growing audience. We are pleased to have been involved in this project to supply the first ever £99 DAB digital radio to consumers."

Says DRDB Chief Executive, Terry Scicluna: "I am delighted to see a limited edition digital radio at £99. The radio industry has been saying for several months that the £99 price is critical for turning digital radio into a mass-market product. We can now demonstrate that by introducing this digital radio. Following the excellent news from Goodmans about a new range of products from £99, it won't be long before we will be seeing mass take up for digital radio."

Editor's Notes

There are currently more than 200 radio stations broadcasting digitally in the UK with more to come. Commercial radio's transmitter network reaches 80 per cent of the population and the BBC is committed to increasing its own digital transmission network. By the end of next year (2002) the average listener will be able to choose from around 28 radio stations, including 10 national commercial, 10 national BBC and a selection of local and regional stations. All digital radio is free with no subscription charges or paid-for programming.

Marconi's great experiment cost his company more than £50,000, that's over £1 million in today's money. Identical power stations at Poldhu, Cornwall and Cape Cod in Massachusetts, were both wrecked by storms just three months before the experiment was due to begin.

But on December 9, 1901, Marconi's team in Cornwall began sending the letter S in Morse code, transmitting continuously for four hours a day. On the third day, Marconi heard the distinctive three dots through the static and history was made. Marconi's one letter signal had traveled 2,400 miles, demolishing the previous transmission record of 80 miles.

PURE is VideoLogic's recently announced brand for premium consumer and home entertainment products.