Search This Blog

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Filecasting: Waves of the Future

On December 24th, 1906, the first known wireless radio broadcast in the world’s history was made by Reginald Aubrey Fessenden and was heard by the crew members of several ships out in the Atlantic Ocean. Accustomed to hearing only the dots and dashes of Morse code, radio operators on these ships were astonished to hear a human voice speaking to them through their headsets that Christmas Eve. This was the broadcast schedule of that evening in Fessenden’s own words: "The program on Christmas Eve was as follows: first a short speech by me saying what we were going to do, then some phonograph music.--The music on the phonograph being Handel's 'Largo'. Then came a violin solo by me, being a composition of Gounod called 'O, Holy Night', and ending up with the words 'Adore and be still' of which I sang one verse, in addition to playing on the violin, though the singing of course was not very good. Then came the Bible text, 'Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will', and finally we wound up by wishing them a Merry Christmas and then saying that we proposed to broadcast again New Year's Eve."

FCBH representatives coordinating with their
colleagues in Chang Mai over the phone
On June 8th, 2016, nearly 110 years to date after this first wireless audio broadcast, the gospel was once again used to make history in the world of radio. Through a partnership with Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH), we had the enormous privilege here at KTWR on Guam to take part in this historic moment when representatives from FCBH used one of TWR’s antennas to send a digital data file 3,000 miles to their colleagues in Thailand. This type of transmission is known as filecasting, and by God’s grace and through the genius of several men and women, this technology will be used to reach many with the gospel.

Filecasting is possible because of DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) technology.  In 2010, the delivery of the two Thomson transmitters to our site on Guam was so exciting because these transmitters possess DRM capabilities. This technology allows us to broadcast material through shortwave frequencies but with digital sound quality. To hear the difference between the sound quality of analogue versus digital broadcasts, visit the official DRM webpage. Additionally, DRM transmissions are cost-effective because they require the use of less power. And now the fact that we have DRM transmitters is even more exciting because it allows us to partner with FCBH to get digital copies of Scripture into the hands of people who would not have had access to it otherwise.

A DRM radio picking up the app
filecasting signal
During the filecasting tests that were conducted on Guam the week of June 8th this year, one of TWR’s antennas was basically turned into a giant Wi-Fi router. The antenna was then used to send a data file through the atmosphere, without the use of wires or satellites, to Chang Mai, Thailand. This type of transmission will make it possible in the near future for those who do not have access to the Internet to receive and download to their devices the FCBH app, which contains the dramatized audio Bible, the JESUS film and more. The app is part of their Global Bible Network initiative. Watch the FCBH video describing this initiative here. Please pray with us that God would bless this initiative and would use this technology to reach many for His kingdom and glory.

TWR staff members, Mike and George, monitoring the transmitter
performance during the filecasting tests
TWR's antennas from a distance, one of which was essentially turned
into a giant Wi-Fi router for the filecasting tests

To read TWR’s announcement regarding the success of these tests, click here.

To read more about the details of these tests and the hope for the use of this technology, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment