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Why Freeview Boxes do not have a DAB Tuner inside them?


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Old 31-01-2012, 09:52
tghe-retford
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Interstingly, while searching for a new mini-stereo, I noticed virtually all of them came with DAB+ (DAB compatible) recievers, so maybe the move to DAB+ won't be so far away.
Don't count on it. That'll be so the same device can be sold across Europe. The UK radio industry has ruled out any introduction of DAB+. Ever. I don't think we will see another DVB-T(2)/DAB hybrid receiver either.
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Old 31-01-2012, 11:12
ProDave
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A television set top box is really a box to watch television through.

Having radio channels on "freeview" is really rather pointless. When I see someone "listening" to radio via a freeview box, with the tv switched on, displaying a static caption, and listening through a pathetic tiny pair of television speakers I cringe.

Listening to radio should be through a decent amp and decent speakers. So if you are going to listen to DAB, have a dedicated DAB tuner as part of your hi fi setup.

Having said all that, a far better solution is use a satellite receiver connected to your hi fi to listen to the radio. Loads more channels available than on DAB, and in general most at a much higher bit rate.
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Old 31-01-2012, 11:29
mossy2103
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Having radio channels on "freeview" is really rather pointless. When I see someone "listening" to radio via a freeview box,.
Or maybe they do what I sometimes do - use the PVR and output its audio to my hifi system. In other words, the PVR is simply another audio source.
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Old 31-01-2012, 11:46
gomezz
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Having said all that, a far better solution is use a satellite receiver connected to your hi fi to listen to the radio. Loads more channels available than on DAB, and in general most at a much higher bit rate.
I believe that the radio channels on Freeview are also broadcast at a higher bit rate than DAB so just connect the Freeview STB to the hi-fi. Some STBs have better front panel displays than others which helps but getting to the right radio channel live by keying in the 7xx number is trivial with perhaps a P+/P- to step up or down the list without ever needing the TV turned on. It is easier than finding a station on FM/AM with a tuning knob or even one with a search function though not one with preset buttons.
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Old 31-01-2012, 12:11
2Bdecided
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Didn't they used to make a few TVs with FM (VHF) radios built in? I think I've got an old Ecko somewhere from the 405-line days. Cheaper to buy a TV with an extra tuner than to buy another amplifier and speaker (as part of a separate radio). Things cost a lot of money back then, and people were always looking for ways to save it.

Cheers,
David.
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Old 31-01-2012, 12:42
figrin_dan
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Or maybe they do what I sometimes do - use the PVR and output its audio to my hifi system. In other words, the PVR is simply another audio source.
Yes, me too. There is also an internet radio plugged into my amp for on demand. No need for DAB.
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Old 31-01-2012, 13:59
drgeoff
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Didn't they used to make a few TVs with FM (VHF) radios built in? I think I've got an old Ecko somewhere from the 405-line days. Cheaper to buy a TV with an extra tuner than to buy another amplifier and speaker (as part of a separate radio). Things cost a lot of money back then, and people were always looking for ways to save it.

Cheers,
David.
Indeed they did. I remember our family's first TV, a Decca DM4C purchased about 1957, had a turret tuner. Was it 13 positions - Band 1 channels 1 to 5, Band 3 channels 9 to 13 and 3 FM stations in Band 2? The tube and a lot of other circuitry were switched off in FM mode.

I also remember one day (a Saturday or Sunday morning?) my father listening to the same programme on both our LW/MW/SW radio and the TV (in VHF radio mode) at the same time. He said it was an experiment the BBC were doing with something called stereo.
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Old 31-01-2012, 20:07
Winston_1
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Those early stereo tests used BBC TV sound as one channel and Radio 3, or Third Programme as it was then known as the other.
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Old 31-01-2012, 21:04
Colin_London
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IMHO the future of HiFi radio listening in a controlled, fixed environment is not FM, not DAB and not MP2 via a TV broadcasting platform.

The future is high bitrate AAC streaming over the Internet to HiFi Streaming devices such as the Cambridge Audio NP30. These devices are over 400 but then again HiFi has always been premium priced.

So leave Freeview for TV and leave DAB for mobile and portable listening. If you have a fixed installation you don't have to rely on RF signals to get high quality broadcasts anymore. Anyone who says FM is better than 320kbps AAC Radio 3 HD radio is a liar or partially deaf
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Old 31-01-2012, 22:24
tghe-retford
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IMHO the future of HiFi radio listening in a controlled, fixed environment is not FM, not DAB and not MP2 via a TV broadcasting platform.

The future is high bitrate AAC streaming over the Internet to HiFi Streaming devices such as the Cambridge Audio NP30. These devices are over 400 but then again HiFi has always been premium priced.

So leave Freeview for TV and leave DAB for mobile and portable listening. If you have a fixed installation you don't have to rely on RF signals to get high quality broadcasts anymore. Anyone who says FM is better than 320kbps AAC Radio 3 HD radio is a liar or partially deaf
There is one advantage over Internet streaming - over the air broadcasting is free-to-air.
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Old 31-01-2012, 22:41
Colin_London
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There is one advantage over Internet streaming - over the air broadcasting is free-to-air.
True - but going forward only a tiny minority won't be paying for an Internet connection of some sort. That cost covers a wide range of online activities, of which listening to the radio is only a small contribution.
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Old 31-01-2012, 23:05
drgeoff
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The future is high bitrate AAC streaming over the Internet to HiFi Streaming devices such as the Cambridge Audio NP30. These devices are over 400 but then again HiFi has always been premium priced.
I have several internet radios (sometimes called Wi-Fi radios) which can give remarkably good quality when their line out signals are fed to a Hi-Fi system.

"Streaming radio" would be trivial to add to devices such as BTVision, YouView, Freeview HD boxes (ones with ethernet connectivity) etc.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:54
2Bdecided
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IMHO the future of HiFi radio listening in a controlled, fixed environment is not FM, not DAB and not MP2 via a TV broadcasting platform.

The future is high bitrate AAC streaming over the Internet to HiFi Streaming devices such as the Cambridge Audio NP30. These devices are over 400 but then again HiFi has always been premium priced.

So leave Freeview for TV and leave DAB for mobile and portable listening. If you have a fixed installation you don't have to rely on RF signals to get high quality broadcasts anymore. Anyone who says FM is better than 320kbps AAC Radio 3 HD radio is a liar or partially deaf
There's a slight cost problem for broadcasters and listeners if this takes off. You can't (yet) have millions of people listening like this all day every day. iPlayer may have impressive numbers, but its still a tiny fraction compared with terrestrial broadcasts.

The other sad thing about relegating high quality listening to fixed at-home solutions is that listening via headphones to a portable device can offer remarkably good quality, and reveals all kinds of imperfections in the signal/encoding. FM was rarely up to the job, but high bitrate DAB was/is (Radio 3 only). Sometimes such listening is done in noisy environments, and sometimes in places where there's no radio reception anyway. But sometimes reception is fine and the environment is quiet - yet there's no high quality way to listen to live BBC radio, which is sad, because that's exactly what DAB promised. Rock solid reception, rock solid quality, across the UK, indoors and out.

Of course you can always use Radio Downloader to stock up your mp3 player from iPlayer before you go. Myself, I value the (delayed) on-demand/choice nature of this far more than any live element (except for the news, which I'll take in hissy mono of FM, if I must), so it's fine. I don't understand why, given the choice, people listen live - unless it's for aural wall paper.

Cheers,
David.
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Old 01-02-2012, 23:38
Peter Henderson
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Didn't they used to make a few TVs with FM (VHF) radios built in?
Indeed they did. I have a Philip's portable with such a feature, but i've never used it.

However, wouldn't it be a better idea.to have DAB radios with Freeview Radio built in ? We have a far better choice of radio stations on Freeview than we have on DAB in NI, and given the fact that virtually everyone should have access to at least BBC digital radio on Freeview post DSO, surely this would provide better coverage than DAB ?

Could such a set be produced and could you get reasonable reception from a telescopic aerial ?

Or is digital TV broadcast at too high a frequency for this to be feasable ?
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:18
Muzer
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Indeed they did. I have a Philip's portable with such a feature, but i've never used it.

However, wouldn't it be a better idea.to have DAB radios with Freeview Radio built in ? We have a far better choice of radio stations on Freeview than we have on DAB in NI, and given the fact that virtually everyone should have access to at least BBC digital radio on Freeview post DSO, surely this would provide better coverage than DAB ?

Could such a set be produced and could you get reasonable reception from a telescopic aerial ?

Or is digital TV broadcast at too high a frequency for this to be feasable ?
Probably unfeasible - I guess you'd need about the same signal quality as you do to watch TV (as if you watch TV, audio and video usually glitch at around the same time, so have the same cliff), so unless you can receive Freeview TV with a telescopic aerial, you won't be able to get Freeview Radio either.
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Old 02-02-2012, 19:28
drgeoff
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Probably unfeasible - I guess you'd need about the same signal quality as you do to watch TV (as if you watch TV, audio and video usually glitch at around the same time, so have the same cliff), so unless you can receive Freeview TV with a telescopic aerial, you won't be able to get Freeview Radio either.
Correct, the Freeview radio channels are multiplexed with the TV channels with the same level of error correction. If you can't receive one, you can't receive the other.
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Old 04-02-2012, 16:12
SimonBlackham
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This thread is going a bit OT and straying into Radio forum territory. We were talking about putting DAB tuners into DVB-T receivers....
..the whole point of my post was why bother?

If you listen to radio and want high quality you won't use DAB when higher quality DVB-T and FM radio are available alternatives.

The great majority of radio listening is IMHO still FM because either...
a) portable (FM) receivers are convenient and high enough quality under many circumstances (limited by the device/reception not the broadcast)
b) DAB is not high enough quality when you want good sound
c) very few (if any?) cars have DAB receivers and if you want higher quality (than the ubiquitous FM) then you will listen to CDs (or other portable media)
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Old 04-02-2012, 16:19
gomezz
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if you want higher quality (than the ubiquitous FM) then you will listen to CDs (or other portable media)
Not if you like to listen to Neil Young.
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Old 04-02-2012, 17:30
SimonBlackham
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Not if you like to listen to Neil Young.
...and Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Joe Cocker, Slipknot, The Vandals, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Marr etc - on the contrary their unique sounds require a high quality delivery system !!!!
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Old 04-02-2012, 18:47
gomezz
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No. Only our Neil?
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Old 08-02-2013, 12:28
Garry_McAuley
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...and Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Joe Cocker, Slipknot, The Vandals, Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Marr etc - on the contrary their unique sounds require a high quality delivery system !!!!
So true!
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Old 09-02-2013, 22:16
kev
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...I would suggest that the vast majority of us still listen to radio daily using tinny portables (a 'frog' in the bathroom), clock radios (in the bedroom) and car radios - in our case all still stubbornly FM.
I'm not so sure - whenever I go round to friends houses it's 6 Music, Smooth or Capital on the TV; my sister always has Radio 1 on her TV - no one of my generation seams to have a radio or hi-fi anymore - the alarm clock has been replaced by the iPhone, music comes from the laptop or the ipod (often connected to the via and Apple TV). I've noticed on a lot of tv documentaries a tv is sat in the background with Smooth Radio and the likes on. Interestingly it's always Freeview radio - never seen anyone use the Sky or Virgin ones.

Apart from myself and my parents I can't think the last time I went into anyones house and heard the radio on the radio - TV and Laptop yes, radio no,

I only wish I could integrate one of my DAB USB tuners into XBMC (and have it detected by TVHeadend) so I could jettison the dedicated DAB tuner - It's so much more convenient having all the media in one place, as a result I don't listen to the radio much now.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:11
David (2)
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i dont think radio over mobile internet is an option yet, at least not for many of us with mobile data caps. We can no longer have radio or our music collection on loudspeakers at work due the law wanting our company to pay around 7k for some sort of upgraded license. But we can use personal devices (headphones), eg mp3 players and personal radios on headphones. Our company doesnt provide a wifi hot spot for this sort of thing so theres no way to piggy back their broadband for radio, which means either using the mobile data network, for which there are data caps, or using over air radio such as DAB or FM.

At home you could use your broadband + wifi, provided no data caps on your broadband.

On a wider point, why all the fuss.....its radio, its not seen as important by most (with people now caring less and less about tv picture quality what chance anyone caring about radio?). And thats the point, you wont get some sort of gold standard box which provides DAB with Freeview, as there is little or no demand for it, and Freeview and satellite already carry their own selection of radio stations, so no point in adding an FM/DAB tuner which increases the cost of the unit, plus people get confused with having 2 aerial sockets as well. People already have other radio such as portables or proper hifi radios too, so this is simply a non starter.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:01
Spot
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In many locations the DAB which people might be wanting to pick up will not be transmitted from the same site as the TV signals. Where I live, all DAB muxs are transmitted from a radio only mast very nearby, which I suspect I'd pick up using almost any aerial - however only two of these three muxs are dupilicated at the TV site which is further away. So those in a less favourable reception area than myself might find themeselves unable to receive the third mux (the local one) even if they can get the other two from the TV site on an aerial which isn't ideally suited to the frequencies in question.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:14
kev
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In many locations the DAB which people might be wanting to pick up will not be transmitted from the same site as the TV signals. Where I live, all DAB muxs are transmitted from a radio only mast very nearby, which I suspect I'd pick up using almost any aerial - however only two of these three muxs are dupilicated at the TV site which is further away. So those in a less favourable reception area than myself might find themeselves unable to receive the third mux (the local one) even if they can get the other two from the TV site on an aerial which isn't ideally suited to the frequencies in question.
The frequency difference seems to mean there are no directional properties of the aerial anyway - prior to the BBC multiplex launching from Mapperley Ridge (about 2km away) the TV aerial only gave me Digital 1 and local DAB services (about 120 degrees off the beam of the aerial), as soon as the BBC national services launched on the same transmitter I got them error free too. The TV and (BBC) DAB transmitter in both cases was Waltham.
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