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Tuesday, 22 November 2011
N
Nedbod
sentiment_satisfiedGold

11:00 PM

Not quite true Mark. BBC Radio 4 has reduced its bit rate over the last 10 years to allow additional sports coverage, particularly on Friday nights to the extent that its stereo output (on FM & Freeview & online) has to go out in mono on DAB (including Any Questions & The Friday Play). At a recent ANY QUESTIONS in ELY, I asked the warm up chap if he would ask the audience of about 400 how many of them had DAB in their cars and the answer came back : ZERO !!! How can the BBC realisticly switch off FM in 2015 if hardly anyone has DAB in their cars ? It costs £600 to add the purpose made Toyota DAB radio to their new AURIS. This despite a DAB button giving the impression it already has DAB fitted as standard, WHICH IT MOST CERTAINLY DOES NOT. THE new AURIS doesn't have LW either, so I have actually gone backwards from my last Toyota AURIS, as I cannot now receive YESTERDAY IN PARLIAMENT, THE DAILY SERVICE or the CRICKET & SHIPPING FORECASTS at NOON & 5:50pm - apart from on 720kHz MW in some areas (albeit in very poor quality).

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Nedbod's 619 posts GB
Wednesday, 23 November 2011
M
michael
sentiment_satisfiedGold

10:24 AM

DAB v FM v AM. I recently took my personal DAB on the train. FM came and went. DAB came and went. AM was the most consistently audible of the three, albeit with variable QRM. Similar observations were made in a hospital, with AM surprisingly good in the evening, with the bonus of some clear European stations. DAB certainly has the potential to provide the clearest reception, but only if there are many and more powerful transmitters carrying at least the national multiplexes - doubtless a top priority in the upcoming mini-budget...

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michael's 857 posts GB
M
Mark
sentiment_satisfiedSilver

7:08 PM

@ Nedbod

The policy of reducing the Radio 4 bit rate when 5 Live Sports X is on-air after 5pm was introduced in 2001. This is not a permanent reduction and Radio 4 will often be in stereo in the evenings (although not this week due to the tennis).

FM switch-off will not happen in 2015, everyone knows that - it's now generally accepted that it will probably happen around 2020.

The average life cycle of a car is eight years so many people will have DAB fitted as standard by then - Ford, Vauxhall and others will fit DAB as standard in all of their models by the end of 2012.

The BBC's FM transmitters will need replacing shortly after 2020 so at this point they will just not bother with FM and concentrate on DAB instead. It's similar to the policy now in place with long wave.


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Mark's 181 posts GB
Saturday, 10 December 2011
N
Nedbod
sentiment_satisfiedGold

2:41 PM

So does that mean after 2020 Radio 4 listeners will be receiving some programmes in much reduced quality than the do now !!

What an absolute joke. In which case I suggest they leave BBC R4 FM exactly where it is now (in 24/7 STEREO), including better quality BBC World Service overnight than its own specific DAB channel.

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Nedbod's 619 posts GB
M
Mark
sentiment_satisfiedSilver

5:22 PM

BBC R4 FM is not in 24/7 stereo - many of the programmes are produced and broadcast in mono even though the stereo indicator is lit up all of the time on your radio.

Today, PM and most of the factual and documentary programmes are in mono.

Personally I think they should leave Radio 4 at 128k on DAB and reduce Radio 3 to 160k round the clock whenever 5 Live Sports Extra is on-air.

Unfortunately Radio 3's increasingly small audience has more influence with BBC management than listeners to other networks hence they get to enjoy 192k in the evenings.

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Mark's 181 posts GB
Sunday, 11 December 2011
M
michael
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:38 AM

Zero bit-rate DAB : Are there iron-clad commitments to extend the
DAB transmitter network irrespective of the economic downturn, which will doubtless be with us for some time to come? In many rural areas, DAB reception remains inferior to FM. Crackly AM or swishy FM are not perfect, but vastly superior to zero-bitrate DAB... In terms of "realpolitik", geographically targeted retention of FM would appear to be indicated until DAB de facto offers a better service.

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michael's 857 posts GB
M
Mark
sentiment_satisfiedSilver

10:22 AM

@ michael

The BBC has just signed a new contract with Arqiva to build out its national DAB multiplex to 97.2% of the population by 2015.

This funding was built into the 2010 licence fee settlement so it isn't affected by the economic downturn.

BBC - Press Office - Tim Davie speech



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Mark's 181 posts GB
M
michael
sentiment_satisfiedGold

11:06 AM

That is reassuring for the BBC national network, Mark. What are the prospects for Commercial DAB operators? It would appear some are struggling to survive. Some listeners might be willing to forego some sound-alike commercial stations, but BBC local and regional DAB depends on commercial multiplexes. FM reception is very variable. AM reaches parts others cannot reach, but can be noisy, of course! We are considering a new car in 2012. If it has DAB, it will be interesting to see where DAB works - judging by travelling with my personal DAB, there will be little rural joy with local DAB, which is especially valued on the road.

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michael's 857 posts GB
S
Steve P
sentiment_satisfiedGold

2:44 PM

If thery cannot have 24/7 stereo for main channels they need a different way of broqadcasting.

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Steve P's 1,172 posts GB
M
Mark
sentiment_satisfiedSilver

3:19 PM

@ michael

An Ofcom statement on local DAB rollout is due before Christmas.

It will cost £30 million (the BBC, commercial radio and the DCMS will each pay £10 million).

Most of the commercial radio multiplexes are owned by the transmission operator Arqiva so they are not "struggling to survive".

Digital 1 (owned by Arqiva) is now full and there is a queue of stations trying to get on there.

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Mark's 181 posts GB
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