Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
 

DS Forums

 
 
 

DAB radios to be obselete?


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 09-03-2007, 18:17
shootthedog
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 13

I half heard a news report today that seemed to suggest that DAB was going to be replaced, around the time of DSO, by DAB+ (?) That the new service would offer a broader range of stations, but that current sets would be useless after the changeover.

Surely this can't be true?
shootthedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Please sign in or register to remove this advertisement.
Old 09-03-2007, 18:29
happyradio
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 147
I'm afraid it is true. They'll be as much use as a 405 line TV.
We change our PCs and cameras every few years, why not our radios?
happyradio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2007, 18:30
philengland
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Swansea
Posts: 4,751
i hope the people behind the change over will be made to replace peoples current DAB radios - people have spent money and shouldnt just be left with door stops

i for one will not be happy

i just add bitsto my pc - would never get a new one every few years
philengland is offline Follow this poster on Twitter   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2007, 18:37
Westward
 
Posts: n/a
It is true that current DAB radios are not compatible with the new DAB+ standard, which utilises the more modern and efficient AAC+ codec as well as more robust error correction. Current DAB radios will only decode MP2 broadcasts.

DAB+ radios will go on sale across Europe (including the UK) in the Summer and they will receive both MP2 and AAC+ broadcasts. Many countries in Europe have sold very few DAB radios so far and they will be able to use the new standard from late 2007. The UK has a "legacy" problem in that there are 3 million DAB radios out there which will not decode AAC+, and therefore a gradual transition to the new standard will be necessary.

I think it's certainly true that within 3-4 years there will be very few MP2 broadcasts in the UK and the existing radios will be virtually obsolete but by then the new DAB+ radios should be pretty cheap and the old radios can be replaced and discarded at a low cost to the consumer.

By the way, on which station did you hear this report?

Last edited by Westward : 09-03-2007 at 18:39.
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2007, 18:46
shootthedog
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 13
But I love my Bug and I'd be even madder if I had a hifi DAB/home cinema component. I think the report was on C4 lunchtime news, not surprised the BBC aren't saying much about it.

How long before Freeview+ with MPEG4 does the same to our current gen TV's and boxes?
shootthedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2007, 19:20
be more pacific
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 11,659
It was also mentioned on today's Working Lunch.

Glad I haven't invested in a DAB radio yet. If DAB+ is just around the corner, I don't think I'll bother with an interim format.

Last edited by be more pacific : 09-03-2007 at 19:23.
be more pacific is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2007, 19:37
sleepercat
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: London
Posts: 50

What I don't understand is why the government doesn't tell manufacturers to stop making analogue only (TV/Radios), by having a fixed cut off date for selling them.

After buying a pocket DAB and a hifi tuner, I would expect to be able to use them for several years, rather than keep having to replace them, because a 'better' method has been found to deliver a service.

When they have finished their hopefully long service lives, I will be sending them back to the manufacturer, so they can dispose of them according to the new EU Directive on waste electrical products.

I was thinking that this might encourage them to produce higher quality products, if they have to pay for disposal.
sleepercat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2007, 20:15
shootthedog
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by be more pacific
It was also mentioned on today's Working Lunch.
That sounds like it, apologies to the BBC It is a bit galling though when the Beeb have been pushing DAB as the future of radio for so long.

Does the AAC+ codec support DRM by any chance? If copy protection is behind this then it really is taking the biscuit.
shootthedog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2007, 00:21
Rodney
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Craigavon, Northern Ireland
Posts: 2,100
Originally Posted by shootthedog
How long before Freeview+ with MPEG4 does the same to our current gen TV's and boxes?
I think that's due before Christmas!

Thanks, Rupe!!
Rodney is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2007, 07:03
hanssolo
Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,182
Originally Posted by shootthedog
That sounds like it, apologies to the BBC It is a bit galling though when the Beeb have been pushing DAB as the future of radio for so long.

Does the AAC+ codec support DRM by any chance? If copy protection is behind this then it really is taking the biscuit.
It is very possible that the BBC (and some commercial stations) will keep the existing DAB system and FM stations going till say 2016 when the BBC charter is up for renewal, the digital TV switchover is complete and Ofcom have decided on the future of the DAB, FM and AM bands, where they have started a consultation (see ofcom site).
It could be that all large broadcasters might then move to DAB+ or Digital Radio Mondiale/DRM+, leaving FM just for small stations.

If ch4 radio get the new national DAB mux in 2008 they might be the first to use DAB+ for some of their programmes.

DRM is confusing as it relates both to Digital Radio Mondiale and Digital rights management:

Digital Radio Mondiale is the equivent to DAB+ for AM bands as both use the AAC+ codec and share simular station info data systems.

Digital rights management can be used with any codec and in UK broadcasting, drm subscription is used by; Sky/Musicchoice, Jazz FM and Ministry of Sound on the internet's Realnetwork, Worldspace and the DAB-IP TV channels on DAB used by BT and Virgin Mobile (except BBC1 which is currently FTA).

There was talk of a subscription ad free version of Classic FM, but has not materialised yet.

Last edited by hanssolo : 10-03-2007 at 07:07.
hanssolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2007, 08:26
Westward
 
Posts: n/a
The BBC said recently that at whatever point consumers in the UK buy a DAB radio they will be able to receive "a variety of BBC services", but interestingly they didn't guarantee that all their services would be available in MP2 for years to come.

Most DAB radios also have FM so I think it's highly possible that the MP2 versions of Radios 1 to 4 will be removed from the mux and the others could be reduced to 64k mono in order to fit in AAC+ versions of all their networks. In time the MP2 stations would then be gradually dropped, but it will happen much sooner than 2016 I think, more like 2011.

The BBC are pretty keen to get BBC7, Asian Network and Radio 4 in stereo full time and to improve the quality of the music services which, despite all the tweaking, still sound far worse than FM.

Nick Piggott of Digital One has said on an internet site that the existing mux operators will be looking to make the transition to AAC+ as soon as possible.

Last edited by Westward : 10-03-2007 at 08:31.
  Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2007, 20:40
redcar1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Redcar, N. Yorks
Posts: 1,764
Oh great! I'll have five obsolete radios when this happens - three portables and two Walkmans - oh, and two hi-fi tuners aswell.

Still, I'll get over it and think that a replacement is necessary as DAB sounds poorer than FM. I just hope that DAB plus is properly implemented - in other words, to increase the quality of the existing stations and guarantee it for good, not just to launch another plethora of jukeboxes. I don't hold out much hope though - in the ever increasingly commercial world of broadcasting these days quantity will always come before quality.
redcar1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 01:19
marshmallows
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,323
Originally Posted by happyradio
We change our PCs and cameras every few years, why not our radios?
Because not all of us DO change our PCs or cameras every few years, and even if you do it doesn't affect the people who don't. Just because you buy a new camera, it doesn't make older cameras stop working.

Radio is different because we all have to use the a small number of common standards as there isn't room in the spectrum to fit them all in. If DAB+ replaces DAB it means everyone who has bought DAB is left out in the cold.

The only way to introduce a new standard uncontroversially is to make it overlap with the old standard for a considerable period of time, which is the way 625 replaced 405.
marshmallows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 08:25
Spot
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Norwich, Tacolneston tx
Posts: 19,928
Many people would expect a radio to last a very long time, simply because that's what radios tend to do. I'll wager there are quite a few 30+ year-old sets still in daily use. I have a portable in the kitchen which is 27 years old and still going strong.
Spot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 08:39
hanssolo
Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,182
Originally Posted by Westward
Most DAB radios also have FM so I think it's highly possible that the MP2 versions of Radios 1 to 4 will be removed from the mux and the others could be reduced to 64k mono in order to fit in AAC+ versions of all their networks. In time the MP2 stations would then be gradually dropped, but it will happen much sooner than 2016 I think, more like 2011.
Good idea
But there are some DAB radios even on sale now that do not have FM. But set owners will probaly also have other FM sets.

As Frontier Silicon says on it's website the new DAB+/FM Venice modules are supposed to be pin-compatible with all previous Venice modules, the same maybe for the Radioscape modules, perhaps Roberts, Pure and other makes could setup a system to factory upgrade Evokes etc to the latest standards for a small fee.

Might be cheaper for the bidders of the 2nd national commerial mux to upgrade sets and work with Digital One to convert the existing DI mux to AAC+ rather than setup a new national DAB transmission setup with the old codecs?.

Last edited by hanssolo : 11-03-2007 at 08:44.
hanssolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 10:16
David (2)
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: North Wiltshire
Posts: 15,725
So my old portable FM radio could outlast the current DAB one? Switching to yet another technology now is madness. The only way to do it, would be to run both, but I understand they share the same bandwidth and frequencies, and there's no "free space" at the moment, so some services on current DAB would have to be removed or downgraded in some way to make room for new DAB+ stations. So thats going to be popular then!

Will the engineers have to upgrade every current DAB transmitter to cope with DAB+, or is more like different software on the same hardware?

If the current DAB system had more capacity, they could improve the quality, and add more stations, all on the current DAB specification. Switching on more DAB transmitters would take care of any reception issues. If these things were done, we wouldnt need DAB+. Surely the same limitations will still apply to DAB+ anyway - especially if it shares capacity with current DAB stations as well.

Lets hope the BBC stop showing their digital radio infomercials, as the DAB sets shown on there will soon be obsolete.

After being stung by DAB, I wont be in any hurry to buy a DAB+ set. Chances are they will think up DAB v3.0 and all the DAB+ units will be dead technology as well.

Dave
David (2) is offline Follow this poster on Twitter   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 10:28
Inkblot
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: West London
Posts: 20,378
Originally Posted by David (2)
Lets hope the BBC stop showing their digital radio infomercials, as the DAB sets shown on there will soon be obsolete.
How soon is soon? Even the strongest advocates of DAB+ on this forum now seem to accept that it's going to be at least four years before anything happens. Previously there were claims that DAB was dead and would probably be switched off in a few months. It's not going to happen that quickly, is it?

And don't forget that the advantage of introducing new radios that can handle DAB, DAB+ and even DRM is that no one needs to rush into making a decision. You can buy a new radio, once they're available, and it should work fine with the current stations and with any new services in the UK, Europe and beyond. There's no need to panic... yet.
Inkblot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 10:39
Westward
 
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by David (2)
Switching to yet another technology now is madness. The only way to do it, would be to run both, but I understand they share the same bandwidth and frequencies, and there's no "free space" at the moment, so some services on current DAB would have to be removed or downgraded in some way to make room for new DAB+ stations. So thats going to be popular then!
After 12 years on-air only 15% of people have bought a DAB and sales have almost come to a full stop. Doesn't that tell you that the present system has failed?
Will the engineers have to upgrade every current DAB transmitter to cope with DAB+, or is more like different software on the same hardware?
No transmitter upgrades are required as it's the same technology (Eureka 147), unlike DRM+ which is a different system.
If the current DAB system had more capacity, they could improve the quality, and add more stations, all on the current DAB specification.
There won't be any more capacity at national level, it's awarded by international agreement. That's why using MP2 will never work because it can't deliver the required quality, particularly on the BBC mux.
Switching on more DAB transmitters would take care of any reception issues. If these things were done, we wouldnt need DAB+. Surely the same limitations will still apply to DAB+ anyway - especially if it shares capacity with current DAB stations as well.
Why waste money on more transmitters when DAB+ includes Reed-Solomon coding which makes the signal much more robust and permits a drop to protection level PL4A, thereby increasing mux capacity.
Lets hope the BBC stop showing their digital radio infomercials, as the DAB sets shown on there will soon be obsolete.

After being stung by DAB, I wont be in any hurry to buy a DAB+ set. Chances are they will think up DAB v3.0 and all the DAB+ units will be dead technology as well.

Dave
I agree that the BBC should be more honest about this but word is getting through even to non-technical people that the original DAB system is about to be shelved, hence sales have ground to a halt.

I would be surprised if there is a version 3 within the next 15 years or so because AAC+ and MPEG Surround are not likely to be upgraded in the near future. They are brand new technology unlike MP2 which dates from 1991 and was already out of date when the first Evokes went on sale in 2002.

Last edited by Westward : 11-03-2007 at 10:47.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 10:54
jack patterson
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 855
Originally Posted by shootthedog
I half heard a news report today that seemed to suggest that DAB was going to be replaced, around the time of DSO, by DAB+ (?) That the new service would offer a broader range of stations, but that current sets would be useless after the changeover.

Surely this can't be true?
Scare story.Nonsense

In the same way as the electronics industry made it possible for colour TV to work on B/W TVs, the same is with DAB IE the old DAB will not have the same features as the new DAB but you will certainly be able to play it .
jack patterson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 11:05
alanwarwic
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 23,020
methinks we will be ok to 2014 or so.
Just expect all of those commercial stations that no one listens to to disappaar 1st.
alanwarwic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 11:08
Gerry1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,232
Originally Posted by David (2)
After being stung by DAB, I won't be in any hurry to buy a DAB+ set. Chances are they will think up DAB v3.0 and all the DAB+ units will be dead technology as well.
So you were never 'stung' by Sky? You never bought a converter to receive Astra 1D, and never bought a minidish to get 28.2 degrees East?
Gerry1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 11:21
Gerry1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,232
Originally Posted by jack patterson
In the same way as the electronics industry made it possible for colour TV to work on B/W TVs, the same is with DAB IE the old DAB will not have the same features as the new DAB but you will certainly be able to play it .
Not a valid comparison, I'm afraid.

The PAL system is backwards AND forwards compatible. A black and white transmission can be received on a colour set, and a colour transmission can be received on a black and white set (although obviously in black and white).

However, although a new DAB+ set will receive the old DAB stations, an old DAB set WON'T receive any DAB+ stations. So when all the DAB stations have upgraded to DAB+ you will have to buy a new radio.

Unless L-Band is used nationally (very unlikely because the costs would be astronomical) there's no room for all DAB services to be simulcast in DAB+.

A more accurate comparison would be the upgrade from 405 to 625 lines. For a while, the new sets also catered for the old 405 standard, but you couldn't see 625 programmes on a 405 set.

Last edited by Gerry1 : 11-03-2007 at 11:27.
Gerry1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 13:20
marshmallows
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 1,323
Originally Posted by sleepercat
What I don't understand is why the government doesn't tell manufacturers to stop making analogue only (TV/Radios), by having a fixed cut off date for selling them.
Partly because that would be EXTREMELY unpopular and have very little point. Governments tend to do things that are popular or make life easier for them, but replacing analogue radio does neither of these things.

No one knows what the standard for radio will be, because unlike digital TV there's no widely accepted single standard. Radio is also different because it's used so much in portable devices which people take from country to country, so an international standard is even more important.

It's not helped by countries such as France and Sweden considering DAB and then rejecting it (Sweden even set up a working DAB network which it then dismantled).
marshmallows is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 13:32
hanssolo
Forum Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 11,182
Originally Posted by marshmallows
No one knows what the standard for radio will be, because unlike digital TV there's no widely accepted single standard. Radio is also different because it's used so much in portable devices which people take from country to country, so an international standard is even more important.

It's not helped by countries such as France and Sweden considering DAB and then rejecting it (Sweden even set up a working DAB network which it then dismantled).
There is now 2 worldwide compatable standards in DRM and T-DAB+ which links to T-DMB. Both use AAC+ and there is a commercial set by Morphy Richards which can pickup DRM now and is upgradable to DAB+. More sets will follow.
France, Sweden, Canada, Korea and China are adopting the new standard.

The new Worldspace system will also be S-DAB and T-DMB compatable.

More on Sweden, Canada, Korea and China DAB news here
http://www.worlddab.org/news_letter.php
France is testing DRM and DAB+ in Paris and Sweden is planning to switch DAB back on in October.

Last edited by hanssolo : 11-03-2007 at 13:46.
hanssolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2007, 14:02
kev
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: South Notts (Waltham TV TX)
Posts: 19,177
Originally Posted by Gerry1
So you were never 'stung' by Sky? You never bought a converter to receive Astra 1D, and never bought a minidish to get 28.2 degrees East?
10 for a "Channel Expander" is pretty easy to swallow when you are already paying ~25 a month for the service anyway - my parents had to get a subsided VideoCrypt decoder to get Sky Multi-channels - but without the decoder the STB still worked and got services (e.g. Eurosport, Cartoon Network, TNT, VH-1 Germany). Like many subscribers they got a free minidish and digibox - so all they ever had to buy at any significant was the original STB and then a decoder to get the Sky services. In all cases the old equipment carried on working - and the original STB would still be working now if it hadn't failed around 30 minutes before we got Sky Digital install.

No one is realistically going to subsidise the upgrade of my five DAB radios, internet radio isn't really a viable alternative as all the different bloody codecs means my Streamium can't get all services (and even if it did the next "greatest thing" will mean it's not) - so there is basically the choice of updating everything - after being burnt once I ain't going to be in any rush to switch or going without. My MP3 player will win out.
kev is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 
Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:20.