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Absolute 80's going mono on DAB


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Old 13-04-2013, 16:16
digiwigi
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http://onegoldensquare.com/2013/04/c...-absolute-80s/

"Due to high demand for national digital radio bandwidth Absolute 80s will broadcast at a reduced bitrate of 64k from midnight on Wednesday 1st May 2013."

What's the betting that Kiss is going stereo across the UK.
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Old 13-04-2013, 16:24
MSB
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It's to do with the launch of a new station, TeamRock.
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Old 13-04-2013, 16:57
hanssolo
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Absolute along with Bauer (Planet rock) have probably been offered a rate reduction on D1 which will help towards profitability?
http://www.mediaweek.co.uk/news/1153225/
the business made a pre-tax loss of £4.12m in 2011
But means a new competitor.

Simply put – DAB Digital Radio broadcasts as data which is decoded by your radio. You shouldn’t notice too much difference as we’re now using equipment for better sound quality with lower bitrates.

Don’t forget there are lots of ways to listen to the UK’s only national 80s music station – we will continue to broadcast at 128k online at http://absolute80s.com/ through our High Quality player.
Looks like Absolute are hoping not many will notice the drop to 64k on DAB using the latest encoders.
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Old 13-04-2013, 18:44
InterestedParty
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Good - hopefully they'll increase the bitrate on the main station to 128k as part of the changes as it sounds dreadful in the car.

I'll qualify my statement - I think that 112k for a flagship station, being promoted as a quality product, is really poor. 64k for the subsidiary service is ultimately no better really than a promo for the internet streams and suitable for use on a rubbish mono radio. The main Absolute station should be better.
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Old 13-04-2013, 19:07
James2001
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This sort of thing is the reason why I won't touch DAB with a barge pole!
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Old 13-04-2013, 19:19
Isambard Brunel
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This sort of thing is the reason why I won't touch DAB with a barge pole!
The adverts running on radio stations at the moment are annoying because they casually tell you that you can listen to "digital radio" anywhere. They give examples such as on your mobile phone, laptop at work or DAB radio, without mentioning that DAB bit rates make the stations you can't already hear on FM sound awful and mono! Mono in 2013!

They don't mention that regularly listening to the radio on your mobile phone can end up costing you a fortune, or that if you listen on a laptop at work, your employer may not be at all happy with employees consuming their business connection with such frivolities, and end up banning people from doing it. Plus, how many laptops have speakers that sound anywhere hear as good as a £50 FM radio? How many people hearing those adverts work in a position where they can be connected to a laptop all day by headphones?

And what about the implications of your employer needing a PRS licence if you openly listen to the radio on your laptop? I've never heard an advert for any other kind of radio that openly promotes people listening at work. I think there's good grounds for those adverts being banned just like all the misleading cable/satellite TV, ISP, telecoms and supermarket adverts that have been banned by Ofcom in recent years. But as Ofcom are part of the drive to promote DAB, it'll never happen, or they'll drag their feet and 'uphold' a complaint about them only after they've stopped being played anyway.

Those adverts really do remind me of 1950s adverts for jet age kitchens that make everything so simple and automatic. The reality was anything but.

When I listen to Absolute 80s, it's online to get decent sound quality. But that tethers me to a computer and headphones, so I tend to listen to Radio 2 more than anything else. If the whole country listened to radio stations online, they'd all go bust because they couldn't afford the cost of streaming. So in reality, when they promote "digital radio", what they really mean is DAB, hoping that only a tiny number of people dabble with online streams.
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Old 13-04-2013, 20:36
mfr
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It seems that most people don't care about audio quality and care more about choice. We have a compromise - DAB is being reworked to provide increased choice at the expense of quality; the Internet is providing a means of higher quality for those who do care. Broadcasters are, of course, hoping that Internet listeners will be in the minority (which they are by far at the moment).

I doubt many have much more than a kitchen radio in their workplace so it's unlikely high quality is required there. At home I use my iPhone and a good quality Bluetooth speaker to listen to high quality streams - DAB does the job for my bedside alarm and kitchen radio.

DAB provides me with Absolute in much better quality than analogue; we seem to forget that analogue doesn't provide Absolute80s at all!
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Old 13-04-2013, 21:47
ex pirat
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As a lot of people listen on small mono radios I would think few people will even notice ? The future of DAB is sadly mono ??.
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Old 13-04-2013, 22:20
mill9
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As a lot of people listen on small mono radios I would think few people will even notice ? The future of DAB is sadly mono ??.
I have DAB at home and in the car and both units are stereo
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Old 13-04-2013, 23:04
Musicman103
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I don't understand why 'better encoders' negate (or nearly so) a drop in bitrate.

It's still MP2
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Old 13-04-2013, 23:18
Mr Pringle
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I see and understand all the current complaints, but surely this demand for capacity is just pushing the case for the second national 11A block to be licensed? When that happens, the demand will go down because the amount of commercial capacity available will be doubled across the UK!
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Old 13-04-2013, 23:48
darkisland
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I have DAB at home and in the car and both units are stereo
Oh dear.
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Old 14-04-2013, 05:19
jaffboy151
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I see and understand all the current complaints, but surely this demand for capacity is just pushing the case for the second national 11A block to be licensed? When that happens, the demand will go down because the amount of commercial capacity available will be doubled across the UK!
The problem is its not commercially viable to run more then a 64k - 80k mono stream on national dab, so even if space was there I doubt it would be used as you think, more likely just more mono stations, even if there was demand.. All these problems could be solved by a move into DAB+ without the need of a second national multiplex
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Old 14-04-2013, 07:11
hanssolo
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Untill more DAB+ sets get sold it will be better for Abs 80s to go mono at 64k on D1 hoping that many listeners will stay for the music and not notice or mind too much it is mono? Notice there are no comments on the Absolute blog yet.
DAB provides me with Absolute in much better quality than analogue; we seem to forget that analogue doesn't provide Absolute80s at all!
They are keeping the main Absolute station in stereo on DAB and extending it to Northern Ireland along with (mono) 80s and 90s, also with more DAB sets in cars, so it may not be long before Absolute starts to wind down mono AM which costs more to transmit than stereo DAB. Closing 1215 AM will save about £2-3m a year to finally help Absolute become profitable.

Then when Absolute is profitable, and more DAB+ sets are sold move towards gettting DAB+ stereo for the decades stations, or help pay for D2?
Also soon 3g/4g HD sound radio streaming will be more practical outside major cities, which might be the way to go?
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Old 14-04-2013, 08:07
David_Ayling
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you could end up with jest the BBC & local muxes having stereo stations on them. as that is how it looks right now
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Old 14-04-2013, 09:09
hanssolo
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you could end up with jest the BBC & local muxes having stereo stations on them. as that is how it looks right now
Looks like Classic is staying at 160k stereo, and also the main Absolute station will stay stereo as it tries to get AM mono listeners to move to stereo DAB?

It could be some of the current Abs 80's listeners might move to Gold or Magic which are stereo on local muxes, but doubt it?
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Old 14-04-2013, 10:47
andys corner
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I'm an absolute am listener, I have dab at home but my car is conventional fm and am, the cost of upgrading the whole lot isn't viable. Doesn't help when their competitions are for a radio- got that
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Old 14-04-2013, 11:47
hanssolo
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my car is conventional fm and am, the cost of upgrading the whole lot isn't viable.
Not according to Absolute.
http://www.absoluteradio.co.uk/listen/in_your_car.html
There's a range of superb in-car DAB radios available from just £50. They're all simple to install and give you access to dozens of free radio stations
But they are not pushing too hard (maybe after DAB is in NI?) and their link to £50 radios does not work.
But £50 adaptors do exist (but may need a roof mount aerial in some areas)
http://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/Beat_40...car_radio.html
along with some £70 in dash sets!
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Old 14-04-2013, 12:04
simonk243
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Why are they still claiming to be "the uk's only 80s station" when there is free radio 80s they use the tag line all the time ?
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Old 14-04-2013, 13:01
Westy2
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Why are they still claiming to be "the uk's only 80s station" when there is free radio 80s they use the tag line all the time ?
To be fair, Free is a local station for the West Midlands, disregarding that you can listen online.

Absolute is marketed as a national brand.

Fair point though.
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Old 14-04-2013, 13:14
Alan Thew
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Why are they still claiming to be "the uk's only 80s station" when there is free radio 80s they use the tag line all the time ?
Yes, this has been bugging me for ages too! The fact that Free 80s is a local station is irrevelevant; it's an 80s radio station and it's in the UK. Therefore Absolute 80s' claim to be the UK's only 80s radio station is simply not true.
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Old 14-04-2013, 13:16
Alan Thew
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What's the betting that Kiss is going stereo across the UK.
Good - hopefully they'll increase the bitrate on the main station to 128k as part of the changes as it sounds dreadful in the car.
I don't think either of these things is going to happen. Absolute 80s and Planet Rock will go to 64k and the new station TeamRock will take the remaining 80k. I suppose if TeamRock also joined at 64k, Absolute could go back up to 128k, but that strikes me as rather unlikely. DAB bitrates only go one way!
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Old 14-04-2013, 13:19
kev
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I've never heard an advert for any other kind of radio that openly promotes people listening at work.
You've never heard the "Your at Work Station", "The Home of the No Repeat Work Day" and all the other variants on the same theme stations have been plugging for years - getting people to phone in who are listening in the work place for their local station to come round with cakes or even do a show from there?

Rock FM, Century 105 and 106, Virgin, and Absolute are all stations which have promoted this sort of listening for years.
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Old 14-04-2013, 14:03
simonk243
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To be fair, Free is a local station for the West Midlands, disregarding that you can listen online.

Absolute is marketed as a national brand.

Fair point though.
Yeah I guess Absolute may get away with it as they are available nationality on dab, whereas free radio you have to tune in online outside of there fm and dab transmission area ?
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Old 14-04-2013, 14:26
andys corner
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Not according to Absolute.
http://www.absoluteradio.co.uk/listen/in_your_car.html

But they are not pushing too hard (maybe after DAB is in NI?) and their link to £50 radios does not work.
But £50 adaptors do exist (but may need a roof mount aerial in some areas)
http://www.dabonwheels.co.uk/Beat_40...car_radio.html
along with some £70 in dash sets!
If I was going to go that route I would upgrade the external aerial, as the one I have is awful- not sure if it is past it's best or if ford scrimped on aerials for the focus in the early 2000s

If I was able to fit it myself the entire upgrade would be about £130, would probably make sure the speakers were 100% and maybe upgrade them too.

Then again the car was £900, maybe not a job for this car
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