Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Exclusive interview with Indian DRM manufacturer Ankit Agrawal

Ankit, How long has Avion been working on DRM receivers? What other products do you manufacture?

It's been more than 16 months that we have been  working on this DRM radio and very soon you will see it in the market as well. We are doing Analog radios (3 band) for the past 20 years for the African market under the "Makula" name. We have about 8 models for this particular segment.

We also manufacture Color TVs of 14" & 21". Still the market in India is big for this product. With CTV we are also doing LED TVs of various sizes such as 16", 20", 24",29",32", all made in the factory under Communication Systems Inc.

Do you have any development partners?

Only for the digital radio, we have our own development partners but
for the rest of the items, we have our own R&D in the factory looking after all
the products.

What makes the Avion DRM receiver unique?

Avion AV-DR-1401 DRM receiver
There are lots of things I can say about it!
1. This radio (
AV-DR-1401) can be used as a radio and Boombox both (i.e. the customer can enjoy
image slideshows & music via an SD card as well).
2. Very beautiful remote control for the customer's convenience .
3. The signal reception is at its best.
4. Most importantly is the battery backup of 10 hrs for which the radio can play the whole day without the customer getting worried about power.
5. It has AFS (
Alternative Frequency Signalling)
EWF (Emergency Warning Functionality) features for which we can help the society before the happening of a natural calamity, especially in
countries like India and other developing countries as well as in under-developed ones.
6. The sound quality is very smooth for the smooth music listeners and rugged for such kinds of listeners, as no 

other radio is near ours in terms of sound quality.
7. Very mobile/portable

What is the most challenging aspect of DRM receiver development?

Well there are quite a few factors :
1. Proper resources are not available.
2. The graphics engine is very, very expensive.
3. The Unicode software where the customer can use the radio in any
country, in his own language is very, very expensive and not easily
4. RF testing is the most critical and complicated.

Is India the main market for the receiver? Do you have plans to make it
available in the USA/North America?

Yeah, India is still a good market for the receivers (especially from the
point of view of the government) for emergency situations, for the people and of course
the radio being digital would become viral amongst the youth. So I
think India actually is a big market. Even the boats in the coastal regions,
they are in big demand of it!

We would surely provide to USA/North America after seeing how HD Radio is
not successful.

Do you have any projected time-frame for new model/models? How about
projected retail cost?

New models would surely be coming with the upfront features in coming years.

I think there will be many models from small to big, even for cars as well. For 
the cost, you need to wait until it goes retail.

Could you please give us some background about yourself and Avion?

Well our company Communication Systems Inc. is 30 years old,
based in New Delhi, India. We started our company to work as
manufacturers of FBT /EST, Yoke, Degaussing coil for the Black & White
TVs where my father Mr. O.P. Agrawal (Managing Director/Partner) who himself
is a B. tech (Electronics) made the first products by hand. Slowly
over time we came into PCB Assembly for the TVs and manufacturing
of Black & white TVs. After that, into Color TVs and today we are
delivering LED TVs as well. So now we are well known for OEM manufacturing 

for LED TVs and Color TVs in India and doing export for Nepal, Bangladesh 
and East Africa.

Avion is our brand name and we want to highlight our company's strength
into its products by brand marketing under one name. AVION that means "Audio
Video Vision". I am a B. Tech (Electronics) and have worked with many other
companies as R&D engineer and FAE and have gained experience in product 

manufacturing and development under many circumstances.

Thanks Ankit for this insight into your company. DRM fans are excited to see these developments and can't wait to get their hands on new DRM receivers! See photos from the Avion receiver launch event.