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Digital radio unpossible in Canberra

By Holden Caulfield - 25 August 2009 27

I’m not sure how many Canberrans care about radio, but I quite enjoy listening to the wireless. This is especially the case during the footy and cricket seasons where a bloke can go about his business in the shed with just the dulcit tones of his favourite sportscaster for company.

So, the advent of digital radio has sparked my interest. Having the freedom to choose which games of football that I can listen to, for example, is cause for great excitement.

Less exciting is the fact that current legislation means it is impossible for Canberra to receive digital radio. Yes, that’s right, by law, only Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth are currently able to receive digital radio.

Recent contact with ABC 666 Canberra suggests that local testing could begin before the end of this year, although this is yet to gain sign off.

In the meantime their advice, and that of the digital radio website, is to write a letter to your local Federal MP. If you can be bothered, I urge you to take your pick from Bob McMullan (northside, roughly speaking) and Annette Ellis (southside) and get writing.

What’s Your opinion?


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27 Responses to
Digital radio unpossible in Canberra
jazza 11:23 am 26 Aug 09

i’m very interested in getting digital radio. apart from better quality, i like the data streaming that goes along with it. still, i can see from the perspective of those rolling the tech out that high population centres are a better testing ground, and so are a better investment to start off with.

Enginerd 10:12 am 26 Aug 09

Digital radio maybe in Canberra next year as part of a regional rollout trial. Currently we are up against Darwin, Hobart and Townsville. If this doesn’t happen Canberra is in the 100 regions scheduled to get digital radio by 2011/12.

Trunking symbols 10:04 am 26 Aug 09

Reminds me of when radio first began. The “capital cities” were all given multiple commercial licences while “regional centres” only received one. Thus you had Hobart with around a quarter of Canberra’s population getting two commercial stations while Canberra only had one until 1975. Out of interest Launceston also initially had two commercial stations.

switch 9:29 am 26 Aug 09

Overheard said :

Personally, I’d like to have it here. I’d like to get Radio National and 666 in FM quality as I can at the coast (RN and ABC South East).

You can get RN in FM. I do. Point a decent FM antenna towards Mt Ulandra, (34 49 18S 147 54 00E),
horizontal polarisation.

RandomGit 9:00 am 26 Aug 09

I’d be interested to know what the idea is behind this law. It’s like a WTF moment, how can it be possible?

georgesgenitals 6:35 am 26 Aug 09

I used to really enjoy radio, but these days can’t find a station in Canberra that plays what I like. Digital radio would hopefully open up some new options.

Gungahlin Al 5:59 am 26 Aug 09

Hasn’t stopped all the big chains selling those overprices mono receivers though.

Overheard 4:11 am 26 Aug 09

I don’t know enough about broadcast spectrum with any authority. I just wonder what the experiences of those using it now are. Are we that connected that it gives a consistent, clear signal?

Three related stories. I’ve been plagued with WiFi internet dropouts, denials of service, etc on and off (lately on, which is to say ‘off the air’) since April 2008. It sometimes dictates which side of the house I sit.

My GPS phone rarely works for the reason I chose that model: the GPS. A tech at Droptus told me they’re hopeless in built-up areas, don’t use them. Not good for business in other cities.

This morning while every thing else was closing down or dropping off, ABC DiG radio just dropped off the air.

I don’t if these are all relevant, but having suffered through the pixilation issues of a set-top box, I’m wondering how connectivity is going.

Personally, I’d like to have it here. I’d like to get Radio National and 666 in FM quality as I can at the coast (RN and ABC South East). And yes, back when I had a shed and a garden, pottering and listening to football and Newsradio all weekend were great.

Art 11:36 pm 25 Aug 09

Good point Holden and the added data features of digital radio open up some interesting options such as score readouts on the screen of the radio.

Most disappointing thing so far is the total lack of integration of digital radio in new products.
They’ve all being stand along units so far. When I look at my home, all the radios are built into other systems. A part of the satnav/CD unit in my car, in the AV Receiver of my home theatre and in my iPod dock.

Holden Caulfield 10:00 pm 25 Aug 09

Art said :

Radio is old. Not the programs on it, but the technology itself. Like television, it relies on us planning our days and nights around being near it. I think on-demand stuff and podcasts will be of far more use. Gosh knows I’m never near a radio or in the car when AM is on ABC or All Things Considered from NPR is on NewsRadio so I just stream it off the internet.

This is good and I don’t mind the odd bit of podcast action. But it doesn’t work so well for live sports, haha!

farnarkler 9:46 pm 25 Aug 09

Nothing wrong with radio Art. I’m finding 1053 is quite nice whilst driving. No cretins in the studio attempting to be funny about some current affair, just good oldies. Sometimes it’s nice not knowing what the next song is going to be.

Art 9:38 pm 25 Aug 09

Oh, and who cares if it takes a while to come in. You car stereo will need to be replaced so you’re not going to get it tomorrow unless you have a grand or so for a new head unit and install.

Primal 9:37 pm 25 Aug 09

At current digital radio prices, my enthusiasm is significantly reduced.

Art 9:37 pm 25 Aug 09

Radio is old. Not the programs on it, but the technology itself. Like television, it relies on us planning our days and nights around being near it. I think on-demand stuff and podcasts will be of far more use. Gosh knows I’m never near a radio or in the car when AM is on ABC or All Things Considered from NPR is on NewsRadio so I just stream it off the internet.

farnarkler 9:28 pm 25 Aug 09

Pathetic. It really reinforces Canberra’s reputation as being the bush capital.

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