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BBC launches 16 new DAB Transmitters across the UK

aonslow

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Jul 27, 2015
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The BBC has launched 16 new DAB transmitters meaning that more than 96% of the population should now be able to receive digital radio.

The new areas include: Glossop; Holywell, Bagillt and Flint, Flintshire; Skinningrove, North Yorkshire; Newcastle Emlyn; Wokingham and Bracknell; Barrow-in-Furness, Whalley and Clitheroe, Lancashire; Skegness, Ingoldmells; and Ramsey, Isle of Man.Today’s announcement also improves the “robustness” of coverage in areas that are already served.

“It is fantastic that more listeners will be able to enjoy the full range of BBC services. Extending national DAB coverage is an important part of building a digital future for radio,” said director of radio, Helen Boaden.

- See more at: http://www.prolificnorth.co.uk/2015/10/bbc-launches-new-dab-transmitters-across-the-north/?utm_source=Weekly+Industry+Newsletter&utm_campaign=b539d25772-WorldDAB+Weekly+Industry+News+15.10.15&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_763f8b15e5-b539d25772-177581945#sthash.S9U0qZLa.dpuf
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Anyway, DAB is s##t.

I've proved that to my own satisfaction over the years with an FM and DAB roof aerial in a strong reception area with two FM/DAB tuners from 2008 until a couple of months ago.

You get much better quality than DAB from BBC iPlayer Radio (with the added benefit of listening to programmes whenever you like).

Even radio via Freeview & Freesat sounds better than DAB with typically 192kbps vs 128kbps (or less), much better signal, and the ability to connect with optical cable direct to a DAC.
 

Andy Clough

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Apr 27, 2004
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Won't help me. I've virtually given up on DAB in my house, and I live in south west London. Reception is terrible.
 

Andrew17321

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Nov 12, 2008
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Why would anyone with an internet link want DAB? You can WiFi internet radio round your house at better quality than DAB. Our car has a high quality radio with DAB; my wife and I tried it once and immediately switched back to FM. That was 18 months ago, and I haven't tried it again since.

I am genuinely curious to know why anyone on this forum (who is presumably into HiFi and has internet access) would want DAB? Is it simply ease of use?
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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aonslow said:
The BBC has launched 16 new DAB transmitters meaning that more than 96% of the population should now be able to receive digital radio.
You appear to be one of the few who likes it and wants it, going by your other posts. For most of us it's an answer to a question we didn't ask and sounds worse than FM.
 

Diamond Joe

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Mar 1, 2008
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Doesn't matter to me one way or the other, I seem to live in a radio black spot, the only radio I listen to is off Freeview. As far as I can see though, the only good thing about DAB is Radio 6.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Diamond Joe said:
Doesn't matter to me one way or the other, I seem to live in a radio black spot, the only radio I listen to is off Freeview. As far as I can see though, the only good thing about DAB is Radio 6.
Channel 707 on Freeview (or use BBC iPlayer Radio obviously).

I've been without FM (and DAB) since I retired my old Marantz M-CR603 very recently. We live in an excellent reception area (the Rowridge transmitter is visible from our roof on a clear day) and I have enjoyed BBC FM broadcasts - with a decent tuner and aerial - all of my adult and teenage life.

Although I have been streaming radio, digitally, more-and-more over the last few years, it does seem odd to have a completely unconnected FM aerial co-ax lead on the floor for the first time! I am not entirely dependent on the BBC iPlayer Radio app or other internet radio. I have my TV connected (with optical cable) to my Quad Vena so Freeview radio is the 'fall-back'.

My initial instinct - upon boxing up the old Marantz - was to buy a little Pro-Ject Tuner Box S and get FM back (for nostalgia or whatever) but I managed to stop myself.

Another device haunting me for the last few weeks is this very early 1970s Trio Stereo tuner on ebay for £50. The lights, the tuning scale, the meters. Nnnarrghh!

But sanity has prevailed and I will weather it out. I wanted minimalist, I got minimalist. Digitally streamed radio sounds excellent and iPlayer Radio allows me to listen when I want to. No contest.

No-one is ever going to miss DAB in the same way when they switch that off eventually.

Odd when you consider that BBC FM distibution (from studio to transmitter) has been 13 bit PCM digital since the 1970s and 24 bit NICAM 3 since 1993. This is probably why BBC FM 'analogue' radio was/is capable of such great quality all these years :)
 

aonslow

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Jul 27, 2015
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I completely agree, WiFi internet radio definitely is better quality. especially if you live in a place where DAB reception is rubbish! DAB is a lot better in cars than FM - But again, you have to have to signal available.
 

aonslow

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Jul 27, 2015
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Why wouldn't I like that DAB radio gives a clearer sound and stops me having to tune my radio?

Question - Why don't you like DAB?
 

aonslow

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Jul 27, 2015
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What are all of these FM lovers going to do when they switch off FM in years to come? They'll have to convert whether they like it or not *biggrin*
 

aonslow

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Jul 27, 2015
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Shocked that you have rubbish DAB in South West London - Maybe they'll sort themselves out one day soon
 

Andrew17321

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Nov 12, 2008
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aonslow said:
Why wouldn't I like that DAB radio gives a clearer sound and stops me having to tune my radio?

Question - Why don't you like DAB?
Because the sound quality of DAB is poor compared to some internet radio, eg BBC Radio 3 on 320 AAC stream, to FM, and to Freesat radio. DAB is OK for talk, but not for music as far as I am concerned, most of the interesting fine detail is lost. So, as there is a choice, I can avoid it. And no tuning is needed now on FM when presets are set, an internet station is just a click away.

And for drivers, coverage by DAB is poor on roads away from where 96% of the population lives, ie away from cities.
 

chebby

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Jun 2, 2008
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Andrew17321 said:
DAB is OK for talk ...
No it's not!

Have you ever heard a well-recorded Radio 4 drama on FM? It can be as demanding as most music especially in terms of communicating all the varied acoustics involved.

I wish people would stop fobbing off customers and users of so-called speech or talk-radio. My 1st choice of medium to preserve these performances is to buy the full-fat BBC CD for good reason.

DAB is wholely deficient for talk radio - as well as everything else - with it's flat, ponderous, muddy sound and lower bitrate MP1 technology.

I would rank sound quality as follows (1st highest) ... 320K AAC Radio 3 digital stream / BBC FM broadcasts especially when live / other BBC Radio digital streams / Freeview Radio / ... / ... / Radio 1 on anything! / two tin cans and a piece of string / Radio Stations that include the word 'Gold' in their name / DAB.
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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aonslow said:
Question - Why don't you like DAB?
Because compared to a decent FM tuner with a good aerial it sounds absolutely bloody rubbish.

I'm not against digital reception: internet radio far surpasses the ancient technology used for DAB, but I don't have a dedicated internet radio. I do however have a damn good FM tuner that's been peforming faultlessly for 25 years, and I have no intention of replacing it until I absolutely have to.
 

nick8858

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Aug 8, 2011
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Excellent, thats 16 more sources of mediocre quality music output then. Had DAB on a Denon unit - rubbish even with a good signal, thin, wak quality. Compare that to FM on a 1970's Pioneer receiver which is truly superb. Question answered
 

iMark

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May 16, 2008
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I simply can't believe that anyone is investing in the completely obsolote DAB. Most countries have started upgrading to DAB+, which is slightly less bad but still suffers from very low to low bitrates. Here in NL, the broadcasters have started pusing DAB+ because the FM band is becoming a bit crowded. However, most people seem to like the sound of FM and hardly anyone wants to pay extra for the option of DAB+ on the car radio.

I think that DAB and DAB+ will be completely obsolete by 2020. Most people will be able to stream radio through a mobile device like a smartphone while on the move and at very decent bitrates. Imagine listening to BBC Radio 3 in glorious 320 kbps in the car or on a train.

I listen a lot to the radio and I don't miss DAB or DAB+. At the moment we have 36 stations in FM quality through our cable TV operator on 2 FM tuners. Through our digital boxes we can listen to even more channels from the cable TV company. We can stream the TuneIn radio app to the Airport Express. We stream just about any radio station from my Mac Mini to our Airport Express.

DAB and DAB+ have been surpassed by radio over internet. It's more flexible and because of the higher bandwidth, the sound quality is much better. FM still has some part to play. I quite like the radio on my iPod Nano. There is no way that you get a DAB+ chip into a device like that and I'm not even talking about the extra battery power you would need.
 

cse

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Mar 3, 2008
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I've actually found DAB on my new Arcam solo music to be very good. Certainly not poor sound quality. Fm via my rooftop aerial is more spacious, but suffers from mild hiss and distortion on radio 3. Internet streaming sounds excellent but suffers from dropouts via Bluetooth. So no perfect solution where I live. I'm going to try chrome cast audio as alternative but not sure how it will work via my iPad mini 4. Strangely I didn't have as much hiss with my old Ion Obelisk FM Tuner. BBC internet radio is the future but the internet is unreliable in rural areas. DAB is also unreliable in rural areas though. FM is easily the most instantaneous and reliable, despite the background hiss. I also listen to MW quite a lot, again totally reliable, but dreadful at night.
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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Strange to think that DAB transmissions actually started 11 years ago in London.

Knowing that I was a music lover, a kind bunch of ex-work colleagues clubbed together and bought me a DAB radio as a leaving gift. (I was genuinely grateful for their gesture as they'd been taken in by the DAB hype and thought they were doing me a favour) Fortunately, I was given the receipt "in case it goes wrong".....It 'worked' upstairs but not downstairs. Couldn't get rid of it fast enough.

In contrast, my Quad FM4, fed by a 5 element roof aerial, sounds (and looks) as good as it did 32 years ago, in 1984.

I was following the FM switchoff debate quite closely at one time. Different Culture Secretaries have been under pressure (mainly from national DAB-only broadcasters I think) to give a date, 2015 was once thought likely. Pretty sure they also said that they wouldn't consider it until at least 50% of the population were listening digitally - so they've got an excuse to do it any time. Judging by those on this forum though, it's DAB they need to switch off!

BBC keep plugging away with patronising 'adverts' praising the advantages of DAB. The Government would like to sell off some FM space but now seem more reluctant to tell people what's good for them. Last time they did that, 17 million people begged to differ.
 

Gray

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Nov 27, 2015
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chebby said:
Gray said:
Strange to think that DAB transmissions actually started 11 years ago in London.
26 years since test transmissions started in 1990 and 21 years since public launch in 1995.
I stand corrected, thanks Chebby. I knew there was a 5 at the end, don't know why I got 2005 in my head.

26 years since test transmissions! Someone must be sad about the poor takeup of DAB.

As loads here are saying, it's not much more than an irrelevance (Then and now)
 

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