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Digital radio trial extends to July 2012

By 4 August 2011 8

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has announced they’re extending the trial of digital radio in Canberra to July 2012:

The trials, using VHF Band III spectrum and DAB+ digital radio technology, are being conducted by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA).

Permanent digital radio services using DAB+ technology have been operating in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney since 1 July 2009. The rollout of digital radio services to the rest of Australia is dependent on certain policy and technological decisions that are still to be made by the federal government.

‘The ACMA remains committed to facilitating trials of new broadcasting technologies and is pleased to assist with the trialling of digital radio in these two cities,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. ‘The extension of the current digital radio trials will also allow further testing of DAB+ digital radio technology in regional areas. The findings from the trials are expected to be valuable in the development of the Australian Government’s regional digital radio policy.’

The trials have been conducted on an ongoing basis since July 2010, authorised under the ACMA’s policy for facilitating technical trials and the testing of new radiocommunications technologies.

‘It is important to note, however, that trial licences confer no longer-term rights over the spectrum in question,’ Mr Chapman added.

The Minister is currently considering a range of broader issues associated with a regional roll-out of digital radio, however it is likely that any government policy for regional digital radio will result in some combination of DAB+ services being provided in these markets in the long-term,

While in general the ACMA limits trials to a maximum duration of 12 months, it determined that the strong likelihood permanent DAB+ digital radio services will eventually be extended to regional Australia constituted ‘special circumstances’ warranting an exception to the rule.

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8 Responses to Digital radio trial extends to July 2012
#1
Holden Caulfield2:45 pm, 04 Aug 11

Can we get ABC programming yet?

#2
Jivrashia3:06 pm, 04 Aug 11

I for one am having a serious geek boner… Why wasn’t this publicly announced?
(Yes I do live under a rock, but do poke my head out every so often).

Holden Caulfield said :

Can we get ABC programming yet?

Seconded.

#3
John Moulis3:15 pm, 04 Aug 11

Holden Caulfield said :

Can we get ABC programming yet?

No, thank goodness. For that reason digital radio should be compulsory.

Seriously though, when are they going to fix up the constant technical problems and outages with the digital signal? With 2CC it always seems to go off air in the late afternoon and isn’t fixed until the following day. A week or so ago there was no digital signal for two days. At other times it goes off air for a few seconds and you miss important information if you are listening to talk radio.

I agree the sound is better with no interference. It is also good being able to listen to a full-volume signal all the time and not have to keep turning the radio receiver around to get the best signal.

Until they can provide some consistency in keeping the signal on air without frustrating interruptions it won’t ever be seen as a replacement for the old reliable wireless.

#4
colourful sydney rac3:51 pm, 04 Aug 11

John Moulis said :

At other times it goes off air for a few seconds and you miss important information if you are listening to talk radio.

BWAAA ha hahahahaha!

#5
Stevian4:04 pm, 04 Aug 11

Jivrashia said :

I for one am having a serious geek boner… .

TMI

#6
Grrrr4:31 pm, 04 Aug 11

Why does anyone listen to Digital Radio?

There’s the god-awfully-low bitrates the stations transmit at. Why would you bother listening something digital when they’ve managed to make it sound worse than the equivalent analog transmission?

There are a bunch of specific DAB+ handhelds/portables and a few hifi separates, but the average AVR or bookshelf stereo doesn’t even come with it. Seems to me like it’ still in early-adopter territory.

#7
colourful sydney rac4:36 pm, 04 Aug 11

Grrrr said :

Why does anyone listen to Digital Radio?

There’s the god-awfully-low bitrates the stations transmit at. Why would you bother listening something digital when they’ve managed to make it sound worse than the equivalent analog transmission?

There are a bunch of specific DAB+ handhelds/portables and a few hifi separates, but the average AVR or bookshelf stereo doesn’t even come with it. Seems to me like it’ still in early-adopter territory.

Particulalry for hate filled talk back radio??????

#8
senorhondo10:34 pm, 04 Aug 11

Love the idea of digital radio, but living behind Mt Taylor, no reception during trial – anyone else in this situation?

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