Radio listeners prepare for digital switch-on

Malvern Gazette: Radio listeners prepare for digital switch-on Radio listeners prepare for digital switch-on

A NEW era for radio listeners will be ushered in this week when a new digital network is switched on.

The new Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) radio transmitters, which will serve Herefordshire and Worcestershire, will be turned on by West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin and former Worcester Warriors stalwart Craig Gillies during a ceremony on Friday.

It will take place at the club’s Sixways Stadium and the switch-on will mean local radio broadcasts can now be heard in crystal-clear quality on DAB digital radios as well as over the traditional frequencies.

Mrs Baldwin said: “This marks an important new era for local radio offering listeners better quality both at home and in the car.

“Local radio plays an important role in our community and often it is the best way to keep in touch with breaking news in the region.”

The new transmitters, which are at Ridge Hill and Malvern, will broadcast BBC Hereford and Worcester, Free Radio and Sunshine Radio on a digital platform to 532,000 in the two counties.

The stations will be broadcasting live from the event between 8am and 9om during their breakfast shows.

* Digital radio can be listened to in a number of ways: DAB digital radio, online and on TV.

* Digital radio sets give access to FM stations and a wide range of digital-only stations.

* They offer hiss and crackle-free sound.

* Tune in by the station’s name, not number.

* On-screen displays provide you with track and artist listings so you know what you’re listening to.

* Some digital radios even allow you to pause and rewind so you don’t miss a thing, with some having the option to record or plan programmes.

* National commercial digital radio is available to 90 per cent of the UK population and BBC national services are available to 93 per cent.

Comments (9)

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5:13pm Wed 4 Dec 13

MJI says...

What is the point DAB is pretty poor and worse than FM.
.
Crystal clear, no full of artifacts yes.
.
Stick with FM it sounds better,
What is the point DAB is pretty poor and worse than FM. . Crystal clear, no full of artifacts yes. . Stick with FM it sounds better, MJI

6:36pm Wed 4 Dec 13

DarrenM says...

DABs market share is actually falling on the latest stats, as surprisingly are digital radio listeners overall. DAB was s solution looking for a problem and has been a massive failure. It's also obsolete replaced by DAB+ but the UK won't upgrade as DAB has tiny market penetration and it would mean scrapping all the DAB radios that are currently out there. A large percentage of UK commercial radio operators are in the DAB no camp, and this is just a 'puff' piece as the DMCS are about to announce what they intend doing about DAB and FM in about 10 days time. My money is on no switch over date being announced for the near future, and it will keep being put off until it dies a quiet death.
DABs market share is actually falling on the latest stats, as surprisingly are digital radio listeners overall. DAB was s solution looking for a problem and has been a massive failure. It's also obsolete replaced by DAB+ but the UK won't upgrade as DAB has tiny market penetration and it would mean scrapping all the DAB radios that are currently out there. A large percentage of UK commercial radio operators are in the DAB no camp, and this is just a 'puff' piece as the DMCS are about to announce what they intend doing about DAB and FM in about 10 days time. My money is on no switch over date being announced for the near future, and it will keep being put off until it dies a quiet death. DarrenM

11:38pm Wed 4 Dec 13

Andy_R says...

DAB is the new Betamax.
DAB is the new Betamax. Andy_R

11:45pm Wed 4 Dec 13

fmspectrum says...

DAB dates back to the mid eighties and is considered by many today as being obsolete.

It was developed for national networks and so is unaffordable for local and community stations.

Almost 100 small scale stations, are opposing DAB, as a replacement for FM.

Many countries have either put DAB on hold, or completely abandoned it.

However, there is a digital solution that is affordable and flexible - www.drm.org

Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) meets the needs of large and small broadcasters alike.

It is cost effective and avoids broadcasters building a new network as it fits on the existing FM network.

DRM covers the existing franchise area as it sits, side by side, with FM within the existing channel.

Because DRM is broadcast in the FM band, unlike DAB it can be received on existing car aerials.

DAB on short range frequencies, is unreliable and cuts out, unlike FM which degrades gracefully.

Impracticable to retro fit - who wants to drill their car roof to fit a DAB aerial ?

Unlike FM, DAB is high drain on batteries and is not available on mobile phones.

Needs new broadcast sites approaching 1,000 - perhaps three times more than existing BBC.

DAB unaffordable as small stations have to rent space on multiplex and lose ownership of their hardware thus encouraging monopolies.

Stations must pay a fee to deliver content to central broadcasting mast - additional costs over FM.

A Government subsidy to DAB operators will likely be contested as being contrary to E.U. rules.
DAB dates back to the mid eighties and is considered by many today as being obsolete. It was developed for national networks and so is unaffordable for local and community stations. Almost 100 small scale stations, are opposing DAB, as a replacement for FM. Many countries have either put DAB on hold, or completely abandoned it. However, there is a digital solution that is affordable and flexible - www.drm.org Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) meets the needs of large and small broadcasters alike. It is cost effective and avoids broadcasters building a new network as it fits on the existing FM network. DRM covers the existing franchise area as it sits, side by side, with FM within the existing channel. Because DRM is broadcast in the FM band, unlike DAB it can be received on existing car aerials. DAB on short range frequencies, is unreliable and cuts out, unlike FM which degrades gracefully. Impracticable to retro fit - who wants to drill their car roof to fit a DAB aerial ? Unlike FM, DAB is high drain on batteries and is not available on mobile phones. Needs new broadcast sites approaching 1,000 - perhaps three times more than existing BBC. DAB unaffordable as small stations have to rent space on multiplex and lose ownership of their hardware thus encouraging monopolies. Stations must pay a fee to deliver content to central broadcasting mast - additional costs over FM. A Government subsidy to DAB operators will likely be contested as being contrary to E.U. rules. fmspectrum

8:11am Thu 5 Dec 13

Andy-Apache says...

The problem DAB addresses is that of available bandwidth. You can cram much more stations into a small bit of spectrum (like DTV) thus freeing up spectrum to sell of at huge profit. (Look up how much Analogue TV spectrum sold for!!)

However, the downside as many have already recognised is poorer quality, not better. How many hifi' DAB tuners can you think of? I can think of about three, whereas just about every manufacturer I can think of produced several FM models.
The problem DAB addresses is that of available bandwidth. You can cram much more stations into a small bit of spectrum (like DTV) thus freeing up spectrum to sell of at huge profit. (Look up how much Analogue TV spectrum sold for!!) However, the downside as many have already recognised is poorer quality, not better. How many hifi' DAB tuners can you think of? I can think of about three, whereas just about every manufacturer I can think of produced several FM models. Andy-Apache

8:22am Thu 5 Dec 13

Local fan says...

DAB is poor in a multiple of ways, it will not be around for long.
DAB is poor in a multiple of ways, it will not be around for long. Local fan

8:39am Thu 5 Dec 13

Ted Elgar says...

@ fmspectrum "Unlike FM, DAB is high drain on batteries and is not available on mobile phones."

But, err, internet radio is.. The BBC Radio app is good.
Surely the answer is going to be 'streaming in the car' within a few years?
@ fmspectrum "Unlike FM, DAB is high drain on batteries and is not available on mobile phones." But, err, internet radio is.. The BBC Radio app is good. Surely the answer is going to be 'streaming in the car' within a few years? Ted Elgar

1:31pm Thu 5 Dec 13

MJI says...

Andy_R wrote:
DAB is the new Betamax.
Wrong Betamax was good, unlike DAB.
[quote][p][bold]Andy_R[/bold] wrote: DAB is the new Betamax.[/p][/quote]Wrong Betamax was good, unlike DAB. MJI

10:31pm Thu 5 Dec 13

localman69 says...

What is all this rubbish about "better quality". Come on, Harriett, we expect better of you than this. Please research first before pushing out the hype and **** about DAB.
What is all this rubbish about "better quality". Come on, Harriett, we expect better of you than this. Please research first before pushing out the hype and **** about DAB. localman69

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