Digital radio unpossible in Canberra

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.


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27 Responses to Digital radio unpossible in Canberra
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Danman Danman 12:25 pm 27 Aug 09

Trevar – Father Bob and John Saffran on Triple J is my fave podcast.
Just hit up the ABC website and start downloading.

Overheard Overheard 12:02 pm 27 Aug 09

georgesgenitals said :

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.

I know what you mean. When I first got broadband, I used to come in late on a Friday night and logon to a community station in Boston, Mass. and it was consistently good stuff (to my ear, anyway).

Art Art 7:51 pm 26 Aug 09

p1 said :

Maybe if they turned of analogue TV, it would free up some funding to speed up the process?

When that happens, I bet they’ll sell of the unused spectrum like in the US for a 4G network.

AG Canberra AG Canberra 5:19 pm 26 Aug 09

I understand cars will start having tri band (am/fm/digi) from 2011

But some of the biggest issues in regional areas are to do with emergency broadcasting. At the moment almost everyone has access to an am radio. once we phase in digi getting everyone over to it and ensuring everyone has access will be the hard part.

James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 2:38 pm 26 Aug 09

Enginerd said :

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.

I enjoyed the ‘up against’ line….. Is this a competition?

Surely, it is up to the broadcasters (who are private companies) paying for the new infrastructure to allow the new services.

Or is the govmit paying the capital cost of the new hardware……

I remember the stereo AM rollout in the mid 80’s – I used to listen to 1206 AM to go to sleep (in the days when you had to drive to the top of Mt Ainslie to hear the Sydney FM stations). I was woken up many a time with a 1Khz test tone being broadcast at about 3am. Yep – this must the the bush capital…

Ceej1973 Ceej1973 1:58 pm 26 Aug 09

Don’t bother about Senator Ellis. She has been posted OS for a while. See earlier article on her posting!

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 1:37 pm 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). And yes, back when I had a shed and a garden, pottering and listening to football and Newsradio all weekend were great.

+1
So many devices now can’t receive AM. Why do outlying areas get their ABC on FM but capitals stay stuck on AM?

caf caf 1:33 pm 26 Aug 09

mred: Yes, it’s a different technology, which you need a different reciever for.

And it’s about 15 years too late.

mred mred 12:53 pm 26 Aug 09

Is digital radio different to what we already get via a digital tv tuner? I can currently pick up: ABC DiG Radio, ABC DiG Jazz, SBS Radio 1, and SBS Radio 2. I assume we’ll get more stations.

trevar trevar 11:58 am 26 Aug 09

farnarkler said :

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

Although on this issue we’d have to battle with Hobart for that honour.

Art makes an interesting point, but I think that, like television, radio may have something of a revival with the digital age. We were among the first to buy a twin tuner set top box with a hard drive, so we could record two channels at once (all the good shows are on at the same time), and never have to watch the ads. Essentially, this is also on-demand, but a different technology from what Art was describing.

I know I would like to listen to Father Bob and John Saffran on Triple J, but my household is not conducive to listening to the wireless, and I’ll be buggered if I’m going to take an hour’s drive just so I can listen. So when someone invents a digital radio for the trevarmobile that will record my Sunday night show for me so I can listen to it when I’m driving around, I’ll pay up for the technology.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:58 am 26 Aug 09

Enginerd said :

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.

Following on from RandomGit’s comment at post #11…

WTF? What do you mean “up against”, it’s not hosting the bloody Olympics. Seems a really odd situation to me.

Waiting until 2011 and beyond sucks dogs balls, so get writing to your MPs people.

Please. 😛

p1 p1 11:40 am 26 Aug 09

Maybe if they turned of analogue TV, it would free up some funding to speed up the process?

jazza 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 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 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 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 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 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 Gungahlin Al 5:59 am 26 Aug 09

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

Overheard 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.

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