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Digital radio switchover

johpal
Grafter
Posts: 550
Registered: 20-04-2008

Digital radio switchover

I read this article in "The Times" today:
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/media/article4200426.ece
I try to do my bit for the environment. I commute daily 10 miles or so, by bus, through several valleys in the South Yorkshire Pennines. To entertain myself (and also isolate myself from some of my fellow passengers), I listen to the radio through earphones. I have both digital and analogue personal radios at my disposal. The digital signal cuts out completely when the bus gets to the bottom of the valleys. However, it does not require retuning during the journey. The analogue signal reaches areas the digital signal doesn't, but because of the terrain, I have to retune at least twice to relay transmitters. All very fiddly on a crowded bus. Looks like I may have to switch to an MP3 player. Goodbye Radio 4?  Shocked
21 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,251
Thanks: 937
Fixes: 56
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Digital radio switchover

They are just trying to get people to buy digital radios.
I have two problems -
If I want to listed to classical music the sound quality is far better on analogue due to the rubbish bit rates they use on digital.
What about all the car radios which can't be replaced
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Digital radio switchover

I thought digital radio was dying because of the poor coverage that it has compared to analogue transmissions.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Digital radio switchover

I'm with Oldjim on this one - I listen to Radio 3 a lot, and they are of the few stations to broadcast in proper hi-fi quality. Classic FM doesn't - it is noticeably compressed and sounds awful in comparison. Digital radio with its current standards is a backward step in sound quality.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Digital radio switchover

Well let's face it, Classic FM spend more time playing adverts than music anyway...
N/A

Re: Digital radio switchover

I thought that DAB was being quietly ditched anyway...
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Digital radio switchover

Well it is getting quieter, less stations are being broadcast Crazy
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Digital radio switchover

Quote from: James_H
I thought that DAB was being quietly ditched anyway...

Ok so does that mean I will be able to buy a decent portable am/fm radio now.
All I have seen recently is the dab radios. Does anyone know who decided the look of these should be retro style.?
So not only do they sound crap they also look crap
geewizz
Grafter
Posts: 1,125
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Digital radio switchover

I was so disappointed when I first heard about the proposed bit-rate for DAB. It seemed quite obvious that this was going to provide a poor ceiling of quality for any audio reproduction equipment. This was confirmed when the first DAB recievers were marketed and the focus was not on amplification or speakers but on the aesthetic properties of the radios. ("Never mind the quality, feel the width.") Models were sold on the strength of the gimmicky scrolling LCD displays.
I would love to have a word with whoever it was who made the decision to cap the bitrate at these levels but I imagine they are deaf.
buzzz
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 29-02-2008

Re: Digital radio switchover

Or Stupid!
Moderators note by James_H : Removed full quote of previous post. It is not needed and is against the link:rules
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,099
Thanks: 434
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Digital radio switchover

Someone at Ofcom or its predecessor wasn't it Huh I stand to be corrected.
And no one's mention the fact that a number of music stations are in MONO as well Cry
If less stations are being broadcast perhaps they should up the bit rate and go stereo.
But although DAB is going to die I thought it was to be replaced by DAB2 or whatever its proper name is. I'm glad I never bought a DAB radio.
Radio on Freeview seems good quality though I haven't checked the tech spec.
I'll go and read that Times article now.
Edit: Add this.
The main item doesn't mention the poor quality (surprise surprise) although a lot of the comments do. Interesting idea about car radios being replaced by 4G devices in the comments (don't know what that can offer!).
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,571
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: Digital radio switchover

I suspect the radio is like freeview tv until they go fully digital they are transmitting at a very low power so they dont interfere with the present tv. Once we go fully digital then the power for tv goes up 80%.
I assume radio is very much the same and as it all goes digital the power will go up and old stations will go or will they?
Radio is different as you have long wave, short wave, medium wave, SSB, USB, LSB, FM, VHF UHF and loads of other stuff.
Does anyone still listen to long wave or short wave? 
Bob_Milton
Grafter
Posts: 688
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Digital radio switchover

Does this answer any of the questions.
http://www.worlddab.org/
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,099
Thanks: 434
Fixes: 21
Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Digital radio switchover

Ah, Quentin Howard of GWR fame Cool
@Samuria
DAB radio is not the same as radio on Freeview, it has its own slot on the spectrum (Band III) where the old 405 line ITV used to be. So there is no problem with clashing with existing services.
N/A

Re: Digital radio switchover

Ahah!
Found the article that made me think that DAB was on its way out...
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/04/02/dab_disaster_analysis/
Its quite a long article, but worth the read if you have an interest.