Digital radio trial extended

johnboy 28 August 2013 29

digital radio

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has the happy news for the glorious few digital radio listeners that your shiny new radio is going to keep working:

Digital radio trials in Canberra and Darwin have been extended until August 2014.

Without this extension these digital radio trials (and the services provided under them) would have ceased on 31 August 2013.

‘The Australian Communications and Media Authority’s extension of these digital radio trials will allow further testing of DAB+ digital radio technology,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.

‘The extension further underscores our commitment to trialling new radiocommunications technologies.

‘Planning for the introduction of digital radio in regional Australia is still under development. The results of these trials are expected to continue to make a valuable contribution.

‘It is important to note, however, that trial licences confer no longer-term rights over the spectrum in question. The spectrum is only being provided for technology trials,’ Mr Chapman added.

The trials are being conducted by Commercial Radio Australia (CRA), and the ABC and SBS are active participants in the Canberra trial. The range of services being broadcast on the trials are determined by CRA.

While generally the ACMA limits trials to a maximum duration of 12 months, it considered that the testing program outlined by CRA is likely to continue to inform future planning of digital radio services in regional Australia where the challenges present very differently to those in metropolitan topographics.

The main beneficiaries seeming to be ABC fans who don’t like the cricket.

[Photo by Highways Agency CC BY 2.0]


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29 Responses to Digital radio trial extended
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Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 10:58 am 14 Nov 14

I’ve been having problems with my digital radio for the last few days, it seems unable to pick up any DAB signal. Is anyone else having issues or might it be an issue with my radio?

Reprobate Reprobate 11:07 am 29 Aug 13

I’m a big fan of the music on Canberra 100 Digital (not that the playlist has anything to do with Canberra) but the repetitive yay-Canberra promos they play from Tim Ferguson, Timomatic, Lauren Jackson, and a local Telstra guy) do get on my t!ts. Also I can’t find a stream to play via my idevices or internet radio AV receiver. Once it bites the dust at the end of the year (unless it gets rebranded) I’ll go back to My Canberra Digital.

IrishPete IrishPete 9:36 am 29 Aug 13

It’s actually quite depressing to think that in 2013 a self-setting clock is something to get excited about. After a power outage, or when daylight saving ends and begin, how many clocks do you have to reset? And by 2013 no-one has come up with a practical solution to it (mobile phones and computers excepted).

Yeah it’s a First World Problem, but technology giants happily “solve” lots of other FWPs for us, but not this one.

And of course DAB doesn’t solve it for us poor country cousins as we’ll probably never get DAB – we’ll be given a platinum-plated NBN to solve an AM-radio reception problem…

IP

OverLord OverLord 8:48 am 29 Aug 13

JC said :

OverLord said :

I must admit, I had no idea DAB even existed, but last weekend I bought a new sony clock/radio/iphone5 speaker dock and flipped out when I turned it on and the thing set it’s time AND date by itself. Brilliant!

Plus the ability to see the current song playing from the radio station, and listen to the Pop Asia channel is pretty fun.

Doesn’t take much to get you excited! A self setting clock. Out of interest in other countries such as the UK they broadcast a time signal, so over there analogue clock radios and even mechanical style clocks set themselves too. So if a DAB flipped you out I could well imagine what putting batteries in an analogue clock with self setting time would do!

But yeah DAB is pretty good and very welcome in this household. Just wish they would up the power a few more watts and reception out my way isn’t crash hot in some rooms.

Not much no, but it’s not like you go out and regualary update your clock radio/dock. And considering the one I had before had a tendancy for the power cord to fall out the back, you eventually get the shits having to frequently set the time. So yes, the little advances in technology thanks to the NASA space program are much appreciated.

JC JC 7:18 am 29 Aug 13

OverLord said :

I must admit, I had no idea DAB even existed, but last weekend I bought a new sony clock/radio/iphone5 speaker dock and flipped out when I turned it on and the thing set it’s time AND date by itself. Brilliant!

Plus the ability to see the current song playing from the radio station, and listen to the Pop Asia channel is pretty fun.

Doesn’t take much to get you excited! A self setting clock. Out of interest in other countries such as the UK they broadcast a time signal, so over there analogue clock radios and even mechanical style clocks set themselves too. So if a DAB flipped you out I could well imagine what putting batteries in an analogue clock with self setting time would do!

But yeah DAB is pretty good and very welcome in this household. Just wish they would up the power a few more watts and reception out my way isn’t crash hot in some rooms.

IrishPete IrishPete 6:18 pm 28 Aug 13

qbngeek said :

IP, in order to get ABC 666, I just bought a $10 car aerial kit and a couple of extension cords for the aerial cable. I used a Sony car stereo I had sitting around the house which is about 5-6 years old (only cost about $70 originally) and set it up with a transformer from Jaycar to get 12V.

I put the antenna ion the back of the shed up near the roof and ran the extension cables back down the wall to my workbench. It works quite well, you still get some static and it occasionally drops out (depending on the weather) but I am happy with it considering I really only listen to it on weekends when I am out in the shed and the garden. I can listen to Saturday gardening and that is really all I care about.

Yeah, been meaning to try that or something similar, thanks. Have lots of old car stereos and aerials lying around, but definitely want it in the house. I can just squeeze adequate reception from a radio in one spot in the bathroom, which I can hear all over the house (small house!) but it’s very sensitive to interference, especially from mobile phone chargers and LED lights!

99% of in-car radios get good reception where I live, but a few don’t. Even my landcruiser with a wing-mounted rubber aerial does OK!

I actually caught some good digital reception on the hills recently, but it may have been particular atmospheric conditions that day.

Sorry, I am not saying where I live as there are too many feral trolls on this forum.

Not sure if we can send personal messages on RiotACT, but if you can I am happy to tell you a bit more off-forum.

IP

qbngeek qbngeek 4:12 pm 28 Aug 13

IrishPete said :

switch said :

qbngeek said :

Internet radio means I can get almost anything I want and I can do it on my computer, laptop, tablet or phone. Combined with Spotify, Audible and podcasts I have no need for terrestrial radio any more, either at home or in the car.

And the TuneIn app for when you’re on the move, if you have a fairly generous data allowance. Digital radio is dead, it just hasn’t realised it yet.

perhaps you don’t travel to places with no mobile coverage, or just one network which you don’t have access to? maybe NBN will kill it, but that’s a long way away yet.

IP

I use Tune-In when I am on the Hume Hwy or at work, but as IP said it is no good if you have no coverage. That’s where a Spotify subscription (and a big offline playlist) comes in handy along with Audible to ease the boredom on the daily commute.

qbngeek qbngeek 4:08 pm 28 Aug 13

IrishPete said :

Response to various other posts:

Not just Braidwood in a black hole, most of the rural area east of Canberra. No-one can explain why car radios seem almost immune from the black hole – is it they are better receivers, or does the car act as an antenna? I put my hifi receiver’s AM antenna on my house’s corrugated iron roof, with no discernible benefit. I keep meaning to connect up a spare car radio inside the house, to see how that works.

Digital radio has a short lag yes, but so does streaming in my experience. I expect both could be fixed if the broadcasters cared enough.

Digital radios can be bought for well under $100. Given their extra functionality over your $5 transistor from GoLo, they may be worth it. But try to find one with AM, FM and DAB+ just in case! DAB car radio are now under $150 on Ebay, but my main car has a proprietary radio with steering wheel controls and so on, so I’ve baulked at replacing it. Instead I have a Pure Highway stuck to the windscreen, feeding the car stereo through its line-in. I bought it a magnetic roof aerial (a bit like for mobile phones).

Does anyone know why digital radio wasn’t rolled out with digital television? It seems like a huge missed opportunity. Digital TV is universal, Australia-wide. Surely putting a few more ABC radio channels onto it instead of home shopping would have been a good idea?

IP

IP, in order to get ABC 666, I just bought a $10 car aerial kit and a couple of extension cords for the aerial cable. I used a Sony car stereo I had sitting around the house which is about 5-6 years old (only cost about $70 originally) and set it up with a transformer from Jaycar to get 12V.

I put the antenna ion the back of the shed up near the roof and ran the extension cables back down the wall to my workbench. It works quite well, you still get some static and it occasionally drops out (depending on the weather) but I am happy with it considering I really only listen to it on weekends when I am out in the shed and the garden. I can listen to Saturday gardening and that is really all I care about.

IrishPete IrishPete 1:41 pm 28 Aug 13

switch said :

qbngeek said :

Internet radio means I can get almost anything I want and I can do it on my computer, laptop, tablet or phone. Combined with Spotify, Audible and podcasts I have no need for terrestrial radio any more, either at home or in the car.

And the TuneIn app for when you’re on the move, if you have a fairly generous data allowance. Digital radio is dead, it just hasn’t realised it yet.

perhaps you don’t travel to places with no mobile coverage, or just one network which you don’t have access to? maybe NBN will kill it, but that’s a long way away yet.

IP

IrishPete IrishPete 1:38 pm 28 Aug 13

Response to various other posts:

Not just Braidwood in a black hole, most of the rural area east of Canberra. No-one can explain why car radios seem almost immune from the black hole – is it they are better receivers, or does the car act as an antenna? I put my hifi receiver’s AM antenna on my house’s corrugated iron roof, with no discernible benefit. I keep meaning to connect up a spare car radio inside the house, to see how that works.

Digital radio has a short lag yes, but so does streaming in my experience. I expect both could be fixed if the broadcasters cared enough.

Digital radios can be bought for well under $100. Given their extra functionality over your $5 transistor from GoLo, they may be worth it. But try to find one with AM, FM and DAB+ just in case! DAB car radio are now under $150 on Ebay, but my main car has a proprietary radio with steering wheel controls and so on, so I’ve baulked at replacing it. Instead I have a Pure Highway stuck to the windscreen, feeding the car stereo through its line-in. I bought it a magnetic roof aerial (a bit like for mobile phones).

Does anyone know why digital radio wasn’t rolled out with digital television? It seems like a huge missed opportunity. Digital TV is universal, Australia-wide. Surely putting a few more ABC radio channels onto it instead of home shopping would have been a good idea?

IP

switch switch 1:13 pm 28 Aug 13

qbngeek said :

Internet radio means I can get almost anything I want and I can do it on my computer, laptop, tablet or phone. Combined with Spotify, Audible and podcasts I have no need for terrestrial radio any more, either at home or in the car.

And the TuneIn app for when you’re on the move, if you have a fairly generous data allowance. Digital radio is dead, it just hasn’t realised it yet.

qbngeek qbngeek 12:50 pm 28 Aug 13

ToastFliesRED said :

Video may have at least initially killed the radio star http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_Killed_the_Radio_Star

but has radio (digital or not) been killed by podcasts and live internet radio feeds? Internet radio (at least for me) still suffers from lag but where reception is available I can listen to music streams of any specific genre or a podcast. it almost seems like audio cassettes being caught in the middle between vinyl and CDs but then again, whatever media people choose to access different media or news should be an option, hell if people still want to converse in Morse code then why not, why place restrictions as long as data/information is interoperable and available to all

Internet Radio is a godsend and I love it very much. As you may imagine there are not a lot of radio stations in Braidwood (two I think, one of which is community radio and the other is the 88.0 tourist channel). We are in a black hole where we cannot get any of the ABC stations very well, depending on your aerial and reciever (works in my shed using the old car stereo with a car aerial on the roof, but not in the house on the stereo with external antenna).

Internet radio means I can get almost anything I want and I can do it on my computer, laptop, tablet or phone. Combined with Spotify, Audible and podcasts I have no need for terrestrial radio any more, either at home or in the car.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:46 pm 28 Aug 13

Long may it continue!

switch switch 12:32 pm 28 Aug 13

Grrrr said :

DAB would be alright if it wasn’t for the lousy-sounding low bitrates. The broadcasters squeezing in as many channels as they can and don’t care about degrading the audio across them all. Great new technology, crippled to sound worse than analog FM. You get much higher bitrates from Internet radio stations.

On a related matter – each of the commercial TV stations in canberra now have 2 ‘shopping’ channels in their MUX. They devote about a third of their stream to crap that anyone with half a clue removes from their TV’s favourites/channels, so we don’t even see it in the list. Stop stealing bandwidth from decent shows, jerks!

+1

StrangeAttractor StrangeAttractor 12:11 pm 28 Aug 13

StrangeAttractor said :

I find it’s most useful when ABC newsradio on FM is broadcasting the bloody house of Reps all day, digital radio still has the newsfeed!

Actually, I forgot, this was in Sydney, we don’t have newsradio on digital in Canberra yet.

Grrrr Grrrr 12:04 pm 28 Aug 13

DAB would be alright if it wasn’t for the lousy-sounding low bitrates. The broadcasters squeezing in as many channels as they can and don’t care about degrading the audio across them all. Great new technology, crippled to sound worse than analog FM. You get much higher bitrates from Internet radio stations.

On a related matter – each of the commercial TV stations in canberra now have 2 ‘shopping’ channels in their MUX. They devote about a third of their stream to crap that anyone with half a clue removes from their TV’s favourites/channels, so we don’t even see it in the list. Stop stealing bandwidth from decent shows, jerks!

ToastFliesRED ToastFliesRED 11:26 am 28 Aug 13

Video may have at least initially killed the radio star http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_Killed_the_Radio_Star

but has radio (digital or not) been killed by podcasts and live internet radio feeds? Internet radio (at least for me) still suffers from lag but where reception is available I can listen to music streams of any specific genre or a podcast. it almost seems like audio cassettes being caught in the middle between vinyl and CDs but then again, whatever media people choose to access different media or news should be an option, hell if people still want to converse in Morse code then why not, why place restrictions as long as data/information is interoperable and available to all

Roundhead89 Roundhead89 11:18 am 28 Aug 13

caf said :

puggy said :

…and Canberra, as ever, is considered a non-metro area.

I find that the situation is more nuanced – Canberra is a non-metro area when infrastructure is being rolled out to metro areaas, but is a metro area when pork is being doled out to non-metro areas.

Sorry to double post but old timers like me can remember before 1975 when we had only one commercial radio station – 2CA – while Hobart had three and even lowly Launceston had had two for many years. I always said it was because Tasmania had five marginal electorates and was constantly being pork barreled while here in Canberra we blindly voted Labor no matter what.

smiling politely smiling politely 11:13 am 28 Aug 13

I enjoy being able to listen to ABC Jazz while I’m cleaning the kitchen in the evenings, pretending to much more urbane, cool and interesting than I actually am. In my defence, I am currently growing a beard. Beards make people more interesting, don’t they?

54-11 54-11 11:00 am 28 Aug 13

But 2CA has been off the air for the last day or two. Maybe they pre-empted the end of the trial?

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