ABC to join the digital radio trial

By 5 August, 2011 21

The Beast has tweeted that ABC Radio is joining the extended digital radio trial.

ABC Radio has confirmed it will participate in the digital radio trial which has been extended for a further 12 months. Switch on date TBA

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21 Responses to ABC to join the digital radio trial
#1
Holden Caulfield11:29 pm, 05 Aug 11

Awesome, thanks for the update.

Suck it John Moulis, haha.

#2
John Moulis6:02 am, 06 Aug 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Awesome, thanks for the update.

Suck it John Moulis, haha.

Hmmm, bit of a coincidence they announce this the day after my RA post. The power of RA? More like Aunty being caught flat footed and having to play catch up yet again.

#3
patrick_keogh8:56 am, 06 Aug 11

Well the ABC was playing some silly political game when it decided not to participate in the first trial period. Not sure what that was about. For that matter calling it a “trial” is a bit moot as there have been so many DAB+ receivers sold in Canberra that there would be riots if ACMA eventually said “No, we’ve had the trial and decided not to go ahead with DAB+ in Canberra”.

Understand that final arrangements (spectrum allocation) can’t be done until analogue TV is turned off but surely it could have been positioned as Phase1 and Phase2 rather than a “trial”?

#4
puggy8:10 pm, 06 Aug 11

patrick_keogh said :

For that matter calling it a “trial” is a bit moot as there have been so many DAB+ receivers sold in Canberra that there would be riots if ACMA eventually said “No, we’ve had the trial and decided not to go ahead with DAB+ in Canberra”.

Australia still hasn’t decided if it’s going with Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) for regional areas (of which we are considered one for these purposes). It runs in the AM bands, which being of a lower frequency than FM, has much better coverage. I imagine that “digital cliff” they talk about with TV reception is a lot more annoying for radio, so this is a real issue.

For interest, they were testing digital radio way back in 1993, at the then Department of Transport and Communications! I got to build some switch boxes while on work experience for one of the listener tests they were carrying out.

#5
caf8:49 pm, 06 Aug 11

I wonder if this includes JJJ.

#6
patrick_keogh10:16 pm, 06 Aug 11

puggy said :

Australia still hasn’t decided if it’s going with Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) for regional areas (of which we are considered one for these purposes). It runs in the AM bands, which being of a lower frequency than FM, has much better coverage.

Like I said, all well and good to tell Albury, Bathurst etc. to buy DRM radios, but running the “trial” for so long here in Canberra has forced their hand a bit. I predict that no matter what heppens elsewhere in “Regional” Australia, Canberra will be DAB+, otherwise there will be a lot of people looking to insert DAB+ radios into appropriate parts of the ACMA anatomy.

#7
Morgan10:41 pm, 06 Aug 11

Canberra is the transmuter for a whole heap of rural areas, I don’t think they will pick a technology that is not suitable for that purpose. It is branded as a trial – Not up to ACMA to pay for your radio.

#8
LSWCHP11:01 pm, 06 Aug 11

Morgan said :

Canberra is the transmuter for a whole heap of rural areas, I don’t think they will pick a technology that is not suitable for that purpose. It is branded as a trial – Not up to ACMA to pay for your radio.

Transmuter?

#9
miz2:42 pm, 07 Aug 11

Does anyone know why 2CA, which is supposed to be broadcasting in digital, does not come up on my set top box list of available digital radio channels? The only ones that come up are SBS x 2.
Sorry if this a ‘bleeding obvious’ question, but I am pretty much a non-tech head (instruction manuals are still essential for people like me!)

#10
johnboy3:02 pm, 07 Aug 11

Your set top box is receiving something different yet again. Confused yet?

#11
patrick_keogh5:24 pm, 07 Aug 11

johnboy said :

Your set top box is receiving something different yet again. Confused yet?

To expand on JBs extremely terse answer…
Yes there is digital audio that comes from your set top box. SBS and ABS both transmit audio-only programmes on what is essentially a TV format. However that is not what we are talking about with DAB+. It is an entirely different format on different frequencies. Unless you have purchased a DAB+ radio receiver you won’t be able to receive these programmes. It is the intention longer term to replace analogue radio (AM and FM) with digital transmission, much like analogue TV is being replaced by digital TV (hence your set top box). The advantages are similar (better quality and more channels). The only debate is about two competing standards for transmitting digital radio. One is DAB+ and the other one is called DRM. DAB+ has been chosen for the larger Australian capital cities, the question now is which will be used in Canberra and elsewhere.

#12
switch9:30 am, 08 Aug 11

patrick_keogh said :

The advantages are similar (better quality and more channels).

I think you mean “better quality OR more channels.” There’s only so much bandwidth available.

#13
patrick_keogh2:46 pm, 22 Aug 11

switch said :

patrick_keogh said :

The advantages are similar (better quality and more channels).

I think you mean “better quality OR more channels.” There’s only so much bandwidth available.

No I meant better quality and more channels. Digital broadcast is much more efficient in the use of bandwidth than analogue.

#14
switch2:38 pm, 30 Aug 11

“Switch on date TBA”

Radio National and 666 are on now.

#15
Holden Caulfield2:41 pm, 30 Aug 11

switch said :

“Switch on date TBA”

Radio National and 666 are on now.

Cool, so any recommendations on a digital radio to buy?

#16
Waiting For Godot3:56 pm, 30 Aug 11

Holden Caulfield said :

switch said :

“Switch on date TBA”

Radio National and 666 are on now.

Cool, so any recommendations on a digital radio to buy?

Get a Sangean one from Bing Lee. It is the best brand and can pull in stations from a greater distance than most other brands. It also has an inbuilt recharge function. Install rechargeable batteries (NiMH), connect the recharger each night when you go to bed and take the radio around with you during the day. It also has five preset buttons so you can listen to your favourite stations without twisting knobs and needing to switch between AM and FM.

#17
RegGrundies4:41 pm, 30 Aug 11

Digital Radio is such a scam and a technological step backward

Because of the digital signal timelag it will become impossible for example to go to the footy with your little headset & listen to a game – as the action will be a few seconds ahead of the radio call

Just the same as happens with Digital TV changeover – gone are the days of listening to ABC Radio while watching the cricket pictures on 9/WIN

Farcical situation where technology is going backwards and live is no longer live

#18
pete094:49 pm, 30 Aug 11

RegGrundies said :

Digital Radio is such a scam and a technological step backward

Because of the digital signal timelag it will become impossible for example to go to the footy with your little headset & listen to a game – as the action will be a few seconds ahead of the radio call

Just the same as happens with Digital TV changeover – gone are the days of listening to ABC Radio while watching the cricket pictures on 9/WIN

Farcical situation where technology is going backwards and live is no longer live

This happened with analogue too?

#19
patrick_keogh6:18 pm, 30 Aug 11

pete09 said :

RegGrundies said :

Digital Radio is such a scam and a technological step backward

Because of the digital signal timelag it will become impossible for example to go to the footy with your little headset & listen to a game – as the action will be a few seconds ahead of the radio call

Just the same as happens with Digital TV changeover – gone are the days of listening to ABC Radio while watching the cricket pictures on 9/WIN

Farcical situation where technology is going backwards and live is no longer live

This happened with analogue too?

No Pete, I’m sorry, you’ll have to look elsewhere for the reason. Broadcast signals travel at approximately the speed of light whether they are digital or analogue. One might argue that there are some digital-analogue conversion steps involved (may or may not be relevant because so many steps in the chain are digital anyway) but these can add at most milliseconds to the process.

#20
creative_canberran6:49 pm, 30 Aug 11

pete09 said :

RegGrundies said :

Digital Radio is such a scam and a technological step backward

Because of the digital signal timelag it will become impossible for example to go to the footy with your little headset & listen to a game – as the action will be a few seconds ahead of the radio call

Just the same as happens with Digital TV changeover – gone are the days of listening to ABC Radio while watching the cricket pictures on 9/WIN

Farcical situation where technology is going backwards and live is no longer live

This happened with analogue too?

I think people are getting confused between the broadcast delay and the electronic delay.

The broadcast delay is the 3-10sec delay broadcasters use for live feeds so they can hit a mute/censor switch should something occur.

The electronic delay is that caused by the characteristics of the transmission path, the signal and the receiver hardware. I don’t think analogue entirely escaped it, but it’s a very noticeable problem with digital signals. How much of a problem depends on the receiver which is where the delay occurs.

The digital radio signal consists of an AAC bitstream that has to be processed and turned into the analogue signal you can actually hear. It’s about 3 seconds on average, though it’s safe to say it will be worse for battery operated devices trying to make the chipset sip battery power as opposed to a plug in device.
http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/hometech/digital-radio-in-your-pocket-20100324-qwew.html

#21
Holden Caulfield9:20 am, 02 Sep 11

Just picked up an Oxx radio via eBay and am very impressed by sound quality of AM stations. Great to have access to ABC on digital radio too, hopefully it won’t be too long until all are broadcasting via digital.

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