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Ofcom DAB switchover coverage planning proposals

Ofcom has recently published some details of how the DAB network can be improved to match the coverage of the current FM network.

Ofcom has recently published some details of how the DAB networ
published on UK Free TV

The proposals cover the most pressing needs for the DAB network:

  • provision of local radio DAB for those areas with no current coverage
  • coverage of both homes and in-car use
  • the addition of a new block (5A) that will allow the local radio blocks to expand to fill the "editorial" coverage areas to match the current FM areas
  • the use of 99%/99% DAB prediction for indoor home reception, and normal car use.


Of particular interest are:



Ofcom is asking for responses using this online form: Responding to the DAB Coverage Planning consultation by 5pm on 14 September 2011.

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Comments
Sunday, 10 July 2011
M
michael
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:31 AM

Pure Highway - easily googled for information, reviews and suppliers, for example:
www.pure.com/products/product.asp?Product=VL-60905

link to this comment
michael's 857 posts GB
S
Steve P
sentiment_satisfiedGold

1:10 PM

Thanks Mike - £80 plus £20 or more for bits!

It will need to come down!

Would it work throughout a house?

link to this comment
Steve P's 1,172 posts GB
I
Iain Davies
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:38 PM

If you don't mind listening to radio through a load of hiss and mush, then stay with FM!!!
With FM, even how good the signal is you still get hiss in stereo mode. DAB is a must if you listen to R3 or CFM.

link to this comment
Iain Davies's 351 posts GB
Monday, 11 July 2011
M
michael
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:22 AM

Steve - the Highway or an mp3 FM transmitter is very low power, only intended to "replace" a physical connection to an FM receiver in close proximity, as in a car. They may go through a wall to a good FM receiver elsewhere in the house, but aerial positioning etc couldbe critical. Iain is right about stereo. Although DAB bit rates are disappointingly low, a good stereo DAB signal can be more acceptable than an equivalent FM signal with stereo hiss. R3 via AAC is impressive, however, but there is not enough available bandwidth in the DAB band for higher bitrates - unless some sound-alike stations were "amalgamated" to allow for higher bitrates for music. Fewer stations -> lower revenue -> not likely to happen :-((

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michael's 857 posts GB
W
W E Price
12:04 PM

When will we receive a DAB radio service in Llanidloes Mid Wales?

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W E Price's 2 posts GB
S
Steve P
sentiment_satisfiedGold

5:02 PM

WE Ap Rhys - shortly after you get decent road and rail links to N and S Wales.

ie This year; next year; sometime; ... you guessed it!

http://stakeholders.ofcom….pdf


link to this comment
Steve P's 1,172 posts GB
Tuesday, 12 July 2011
M
michael
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:45 AM

Inscrutable law of nature : either you can live in a nice place, or you can have nice DAB reception on the kitchen portable. Either/or - the occasional exception will confirm the rule :-)

link to this comment
michael's 857 posts GB
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
T
Trevor Harris
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:11 AM

@michael

Many people find these FM transmitters useless but it does depend on where you live. In my area you can get it working with the car stationary but as soon as you start to move you get interference.

In fact the car radio problem will probably be the decisive factor in the demise of DAB. At the moment only 1% of cars have a DAB radio. Only 14% of new cars are fitted with DAB radios so it is going to be along time before a significant number of cars DAB enabled.

The breaking news this morning is that Portugal has switched off it's DAB transmitters. It could not justify the costs for a very small number of listeners. With the economic crisis in europe we can expect other countries to follow suit.

link to this comment
Trevor Harris's 367 posts GB
S
Steve P
sentiment_satisfiedGold

11:02 AM

... Grant Goddard : radio blog: PORTUGAL: DAB digital radio switched off

On 1 June 2011, R?dio e Televis?o de Portugal [RTP], the state broadcaster in Portugal, instructed Anacom, the national transmission provider, to switch off all DAB radio transmitters.

RTP explained in a press statement that its decision was the outcome of budgetary constraints and the fact that no commercial broadcasters had agreed to broadcast on DAB. Additionally, it said that "high priced radio receivers had prevented many people acquiring them."

Says it all really?

How much money is anyone other than BBC spending on DAB?

And as Digital Radio is already broadcast on DTB, what point is there in having a second digital broadcast network?

link to this comment
Steve P's 1,172 posts GB
M
Mike Dimmick
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

2:39 PM

Steve P: DVB-T is not designed for mobile reception. The receiver has to read the entire multiplex all the time, every bit transmitted, while for DAB (and DVB-H) it knows when the data for the station you're listening to will arrive, so it can power the receiver up just for the data it needs. The Doppler effect - frequencies shift if the receiver is moving - is also a problem, as inter-carrier interference occurs. This happens at speeds well below 60 mph for the mode of DVB-T used in the UK after switchover. The Doppler effect still affects DAB, but not as much, both because it transmits at lower frequencies and because it uses fewer carriers. It's the difference between being able to use it on a high-speed train (coverage permitting) and only at walking pace.

http://www.broadcastpaper….pdf

Only the BBC National Radio stations and a few commercial radio stations are broadcast on DVB-T. The commercial stations are carried on commercial multiplexes, which have significantly lower population coverage than the PSBs, due to not being carried on all transmitters, and also at lower power than the PSB muxes on many of the transmitters they are carried on. The commercial muxes are not regionalized, so you get 'national' variants of Capital FM and Heart rather than the local breakfast show.

DVB-T is not a replacement for radio broadcasting in whatever form.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB
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