Feeds

DAB: The View From the Bubbling Mudbath

In defence of British digital radio

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

So. Any regrets?

One, he told us, was that perhaps broadcasters should have ramped up coverage more gradually, rather than arriving with 90 per cent coverage on Day One of the relaunch in 2002. Perhaps 40 per cent coverage would have been an adequate start - and instead of spending that capital on transmission, it could have gone on marketing and promotion.

Even now, however, coverage is far from complete. Muxco received a license for Mid and West Wales last month, in which it promises to roll out "indoor coverage" to 40 per cent of the local adult population... by 2012. Won't broadband internet have overtaken this hobbling nag by then?

Piggott said GCap was committed to transmitting its streams over the net, but that it was most suitable for the "thick part of the long tail" of stations. He talked about taking advantage of new spectrum that could be used by Wimax.

More positively, there were some interesting new devices that could tap into the unused data capabilities, with the mobile networks providing an uplink.

And for low power, there's DVB-H. The French have gone their own way, with a Gallic flavour of DVB-H audio. There's no point replicating that here, thinks Nick, because it means a new infrastructure:

"Both WiMax and DVB-H have been designed to do specific things, and they'll probably do that to some degree or another. However, in both cases access to the network is predicated on a device/subscription model, and the network densities - in terms of number of sites and towers required - are very high. The infrastructure costs are far in excess of those of DAB, so DAB still looks like the right combination of economics and functionality to carry mass-market broadcast radio and associated data services.

DAB's flexibility is its greatest asset, he says:

"I would like to think that DAB is a technology that can span a very wide set of devices. DAB strengths are that it has superior cost of delivery other other forms of wireless. It's handheld, it's mobile, and battery power requirements are lower."

"At one end is the 'kitchen radio', which is a cheap, simple, low-functionality radio device - the ones that now sell around the £20 mark. Towards the other end is a fully integrated, fully connected, handheld, battery-powered media device where DAB is still adding value through a good variety of free-to-air radio channels and data services."

Piggott agrees that the data promise of DAB - which we first highlighted over seven years ago, has been neglected. Public transport is a great example where the one-to-many data stream could be used.

And don't forget the potential for using 3G as an uplink, or phones as a UI - something else we were talking about in 2000. Nick highlights TTP's nanoDAB, due in September. It's a Bluetooth headset with a built-in DAB receiver, and uses the phone as the display. If they build it, will they come? ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.