Germany flicks off-switch on DAB
Struggling to be heard
Germany will end Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) next year after a ten years experiment. Public radio stations demanded another €180m to keep it going, but the independent commission responsible for the allocation of licence fees says it is over.
DAB has been under development since 1981, and Germany was the first country in Europe to start test transmissions. However, the technology never caught on - only a couple of public and regional radio stations participated in experiments and 200,000 digital receivers were sold.
Part of the problem is that analogue FM never went away and most people didn't seem to care for the clear digital-quality sound, and were left nonplussed by such benefits as easy tuning and message displays with song names and titles.
DAB is struggling almost everywhere in Europe. The standard never really succeeded in Europe except in Denmark and the UK, where this year the upgraded DAB+ format will be launched (including podcast services).
Experts believe Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) and DVB-T have surpassed DAB technically. German public broadcaster ARD says it will somehow continue experiments with digital radio. ®
£30 will buy you a clunky, tinny, mono DAB radio, or perhaps a slightly better spec'd refurbished & discontinued factory repack from Richer Sounds on a good day.
But £30 will buy you a nice sounding stereo FM radio with a bass boost that doesn't make the sound muffled that you can turn up a lot louder than the DAB sets, especially on headphones.
Good DAB radios can cost a relative fortune, such as the Pure Evoke 3 or Roberts RD50 for £200, and they're still just kitchen radios! They're not "hi-fi" quality and even if they were most of the stations you can pick up are not. Many aren't even in stereo! I'm not even sure if you can buy an FM radio for £200 that doesn't include a tape or CD, but if you could it would certainly sound an awful lot better. FM pirates sound a lot better than many legal DAB stations.
And the cheapest car radios cost £9.99. How much for DAB?
This is the problem with DAB. The advocates keep promoting the £30 sets because they're too embarrased to admit you need to spend over £100 to get a half decent stereo one and when people buy the cheap ones they're left unimpressed.
Nice to hear the worry about DAB being another betamax getting good coverage on tonight's Chris Evans show on Radio 2 (available on Listen Again in the first hour of the show).
Interesting comment re-the analogue signal for the telly being deliberately degraded (or at least delivered in such a way as to ensure an inferior signal)
Anyway, there's no such thing as an FM band, or an AM one for that matter. There's Long Wave and Medium Wave and Short Wave(lots of those) and there's Very High Frequency (these are all names for a range of frequencies on which radio waves may be transmitted) but there doesn't appear to be a Frequency Modulated or an Amplitude Modulated radio band, so any comments with reference to such things are clearly worthless and written in ignorance.
May I suggest Charades? If lacking a good-quality wireless signal, then this wonderfully stimulating parlour game, negates a need for the dross churned out on Radio1.
Re: Digital - my arse
what you are talking about is digital terrestrial TV (DVB-T) trying to deliver radio instead of a tv independent system.
It's exactly what KEF recommends and it's exactly the wrong way!
Digital is not the problem, but bad digital not fitting to the task can be a problem. Digital TV is not aimed at being used at travelling speed either.