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All posts by Stan

Below are all of Stan's postings, with the most recent are at the bottom of the page.

Mark: that's true. But it's also true that DAB listening accounts for only 25% of all radio listening. The other 10-11% are internet/smart phone, or some other digital platform. I also know several people who have their DAB radios switched to FM.

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Mark: Many people will go out and buy a DAB to be with the "in" crowd, to "keep up" with their neighbours/family. How many people actually listen solely to DAB is another question, like I said earlier, there are people with DAB who prefer the sound and quality of FM and have their digital radios switched to FM. There are also people who have had DAB's bought for them as a gift or whatever and the radios are tucked away in the loft, still in the box.

Yes, many people DO believe in DAB, and that's proved by the fact that some 16% said they are more likely to listen to radio now because DAB has improved choices and quality. However, many people of all age groups still prefer Analogue, and it's only right that everybody should have a choice rather than being bullied into DAB.

Sorry I missed your statement about the percentage of listening - it's beer o'clock, what do you expect.

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MikeB: I agree with everything you have just said. Yes it was that very radio. If it was normally going for £29.99 I might have understood the, erm, questionable quality, but, as it had a retail starting price of £79.99 there was really no excuse (or maybe that's why they lowered the price) but that was my first impression of DAB (or BAD) I'm afraid. It was a BAD radio and included BAD+ (though I couldn't see any plus sides about it). FM was slightly better, slightly more steady SOUND, prob little to do with the signal. A good quality DAB radio must be obtainable for £40, not £100+.

DAB listening may grow somewhat, but on the other hand it may well have pretty much peaked. If it has only managed to reach a quarter in 20+years... The other devices like tablets, smartphones etc ARE going to grow rapidly, but realistically they will NEVER replace traditional broadcasting. And certainly, Analogue will continue being the biggest SINGLE listening platform for quite some time yet, which is why we don't want or need a switchover, certainly not yet.

I agree that Analogue will have an ever-shrinking presence in the market, switchover or no. But a vital presence nevertheless. We cannot put all our eggs in one basket and rely solely on DAB and the internet, that just won't do. As time goes on new technologies develop. But that should just make it clearer than ever that being multi-platform is simply the price for being in business in the 21st century, not an excuse to bully people into new technologies if they are perfectly satisfied with what they have.

Also, I'm afraid I have to take your point about more people using digital radio (in whatever form) automatically meaning less people using Analogue with a pinch of salt. It could well be that radio listening is simply expanding because of these technologies, and as a result of that the share of Analogue listening is declining.

There will always be Analogue. Long live FM

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MikeB: My mother has a Pure Evoke-1. It's superbly built, with (I believe) a maple surround, and is of quality that will last a lifetime (theoretically, because the powers that be will no doubt force some other "upgrade" on us which will make it defunct). However, I fail see what DAB has to offer me except higher energy bills and, presumably, less reliability (more complex technology = more prone to failure, right?). Okay, one or two stations are digital-only stations, but I have always managed without them. Until I think that DAB has something to offer me which Analogue can't, I am simply not interested.

Radio is not TV. We are lucky we don't often have national emergencies and communication failures BUT WHEN/IF THEY COME. The Government will need to transmit emergency information to the populace using reliable time-tested Analogue technologies.

Endless(often misleading) campaigns by the radio industry has meant that many people are under the impression that Analogue will cease soon, which is why they are, effectively, being pressured into buying into DAB. They are just trying to look to the future. Speaking of TV - the television has never been anything more than entertainment, the radio can potentially be a lifeline. We must keep MW/FM going so it is ready to be put into use at the press of a button. To go about it any other way could well cost many lives... We should thank our lucky stars that we don't often get these situations, but when they come they come without warning. All this cyber-terrorism, climate change etc they keep talking about.

" Could well be - but thats still a decline, and every tablet, smartphone, laptop or DAB/internet radio sold is one less person looking for the FM switch"

NOT NECESSARILY. As you have said in an earlier post, the average person doesn't seem to care whether they are listening to DAB or FM. People might well buy a DAB radio, but will still switch it to FM if that's where their favourite station is. As for tablets/iphones - people might well buy them so they can listen to radio on the move - but when at home they may still listen to FM.

If listeners - some 8 million of them - are happy to switch to MW to listen to their favourite stations, there really is no reason to think they won't do the same for their favourite local FM stations. Yes, of course, commercial radio goes where the ears are. Commercials are still broadcasting on MW to this day. Yes, most have also gone DAB, but are continuing to simulcast on AM. They will more than likely do the same with FM.

As I've said before, there may or may not come a time when all Analogue is discontinued. I just don't expect it to happen in my lifetime, if ever. There will always be a MW/FM audience. There simply wouldn't be enough room on DAB for all national and local stations.

The Analogue TV switch off happened chiefly because of Government's intentions to auction it off. FM/MW/LW are worth ZILCH.

I can (well, ALLMOST) guarantee you that, for as long as I live, there will always be radio stations of one or another sort that I will be able to receive on my Sony, and I'm sticking with it. If that makes me some sort of "Luddite", then so be it. I will make the most of it.

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Mike B: "You may wish that Sony will be to receive a signal as long as you live, and you might be right, but I would not guarantee it."

Time will tell. If I had to bet either way, I should bet on some station somewhere in the UK and/or even abroad (if only on Short-Wave) broadcasting on Analogue for my lifetime (a time scale just for argument's sake, but I could just as well say until the NEXT century or further ahead), even assuming there is room for EVERY single station on DAB/DAB+ and that EVERY station will simulcast on digital. MW has, apparently, been on death row for half a century, but is still attracting new licences. In fact, I would hazard a prediction that Analogue, especially FM, will outlive DAB. Come the middle of the century I imagine people will either stream radio via computer, iphone, tablet, or listen via Analogue simply because of it's simplicity, low running costs, ready availability and reliability. DAB will simply (very slowly and gradually) be squeezed out as there will be no room nor need for it.

"Your tablet, Ipod, etc, with all your music, plus anything online such as Spotify, Iplayer, TuneIn, etc is available, and you can send it to any speaker, radio, etc you like, if you want. For something like the Sonos, you can stream from whatever you like to up to 32 Sonos speakers. If I have a dock at home, and a smartphone, do I need a radio at all?"

As Michael has pointed out in the post above mine, it isn't always that straight forward.

"Brianist has already explore the idea of emergency broadcasting, but I am trying to think of such an emergency which wiped out all broadcasting but FM radio."

Actually, all Briantist pointed out was the methods of communication used by emergency services to communicate with eachother, not to the populace.

True. Actually, I wasn't talking so much about FM as MW. And yes, we are LUCKY we haven't had the equivalent of the hurricane Katrina or the floods in Queensland in Australia. In fact, both those disasters wiped out both FM and digital, and guess where people were getting their essential information from. That's right, the good old MW.

For example, as Michael said in an earlier post, BBC locals could and indeed should be sustained on MW to keep it alive.

You said in an earlier post that nobody is being bullied into digital.

YES THEY ARE. To say that Analogue will cease for main stations will effectively force many people (not me, not quite a few people, in fact) to go out and buy into DAB, even if, like me, they prefer Analogue. If half of listeners are still listening to it, it's MADNESS. Only when Analogue is, maybe 5%-10% should it be switched off. At the very least, I think it is not at all unreasonable to ask that if they want to make my good-quality radio largely redundant through no fault of my own then they should give me £100 compensation so I can go out and invest in a comparable quality DAB, like your Evoke-2.

This, of course, wasn't an issue with TV because a digi-box was/is obtainable for £20, and virtually all existing TV's could be converted.

Do not underestimate Analogue. It still has a few major advantages over digital which won't very easily be overcome by the latter. And it still has considerable support. TOGETHER WE ARE MANY.

I think most people who are easily convinceable about the merits of DAB have already bought into it and they take the total share of DAB listening to 25%. Digital streaming will continue to grow, Analogue may well make a come back as the main form of listening to radio at home if DAB fails to be revitalised and is squeezed out. Unlike Analogue, it costs far too much to run to keep it as a basic/standby if its problems aren't solved soon.

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Yeah. DAB and other complex technologies are prone to failure, I could name you people whose digital radios died on them within a few months of purchase. I can guarantee you that THEY won't be buying another one, they aren't exactly cheap, are they?

FM is the true gem of radio broadcasting. May it live forever

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Well yeah, the more ordinary FM radios can sometimes fail, but that doesn't happen very often, and they are simple to repair. And in the event of some mystery breakdown which defeats the average radio enthusiast, or is uneconomical to sort out, a new one can be bought for very cheap.

I still struggle to think why anyone would listen to music on DAB. If I want to listen to music broadcast IN MONO... then I will just switch to MW.

DAB is NOT always superior to FM, far from it. It was never meant to replace FM and other Analogue broadcasting anyway. In fact, it's becoming clearer than ever to many that DAB was Dead And Buried from the word go.

Okay, DAB is superior to MW. WOW. That's really impressive, considering MW is a technology from the 1920's (approaching 100 years old!!!)

DAB vs FM??? Technology is supposed to progress, not regress.

There will, realistically, always be FM broadcasting, in some form. All will NOT be roses for DAB after any daft "switch-over". It will, in fact, be facing ever-stiffer competition from an emerging commercial FM sector at a local level.


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A DAB radio converter for a car costs £150. Apart from a few gadget geeks not many people are likely to bother with it, especially as the end result really does depend on where you are.

There is no real audible difference between DAB and FM, provided both signals are good. If anything, music is superior quality on FM as at least it's stereo quality. Therefore, until something comes along that will change that, FM is here to stay, if only on a local level.

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