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Communications Earth Network

Norway Becomes First Country To Switch Off FM Radio (thelocal.no) 183

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Local Norway: Norway on Wednesday completed its transition to digital radio, becoming the first country in the world to shut down national broadcasts of its FM radio network despite some grumblings. As scheduled, the country's most northern regions and the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic switched to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) in the late morning, said Digitalradio Norge (DRN) which groups Norway's public and commercial radio. The transition, which began on January 11th, allows for better sound quality, a greater number of channels and more functions, all at a cost eight times lower than FM radio, according to authorities. The move has however been met with some criticism linked to technical incidents and claims that there is not sufficient DAB coverage across the country. In addition, radio users have complained about the cost of having to buy new receivers or adapters, usually priced around 100 to 200 euros. Currently, fewer than half of motorists (49 percent) are able to listen to DAB in their cars, according to DRN figures. According to a study cited by local media, the share of Norwegians who listen to the radio on a daily basis has dropped by 10 percent in one year, and public broadcaster NRK has lost 21 percent of its audience.
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Norway Becomes First Country To Switch Off FM Radio

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  • Patent? (Score:4, Funny)

    by harrkev ( 623093 ) <kfmsdNO@SPAMharrelsonfamily.org> on Friday December 15, 2017 @04:43PM (#55747977) Homepage

    Do they use the same patent-laden system as here in the US, or is there a chance to use an open decoder?

    • Do they use the same patent-laden system as here in the US, or is there a chance to use an open decoder?

      Hmm...do we have DAB in the US?

      This is actually pretty much the first I've heard of this...

      • Hmm...do we have DAB in the US?

        This is actually pretty much the first I've heard of this...

        Intentional pun?

        Well, even in Norway, where they do have it . . . it seems that a lot of folks will not hear it either. Too bad that a lot of cars won't get traffic reports any more.

        • Re:Patent? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @06:02PM (#55748481)

          Hmm...do we have DAB in the US?

          This is actually pretty much the first I've heard of this...

          Intentional pun?

          Well, even in Norway, where they do have it . . . it seems that a lot of folks will not hear it either. Too bad that a lot of cars won't get traffic reports any more.

          Digital radio suffers a big drawback. Unlsee the received signal is pretty much perfect, you are greeted with very high fidelity silence. It's called the Digital cliff. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

          An analog FM signal slowly fades over distance. A digital radio signal is fine one moment, than nothing, and the nothing happens at a much closer range. As well, there is no advantage bandwidth wise.

          Unfortunately, as soon as most people hear "digital something", they immediately assume it is better. Not always. So Norway has switched to a radio system with less coverage.

          • Unlike a crystal radio receiver the DAB receivers probably won't function without power so during an emergency where the radio station is broadcasting on a generator to a public without power we hope they have been checking their batteries.

            • by Strider- ( 39683 )

              Your crystal set radio also doesn't work with FM broadcast either, only AM.

              • I haven't actually used a crystal radio for years, I upgraded to a crank weather radio.

              • by Ozoner ( 1406169 )

                Lots of folks build FM Crystal Sets.

                http://solomonsmusic.net/FM_Cr... [solomonsmusic.net]

                http://theradioboard.com/rb/vi... [theradioboard.com]

                http://theradioboard.com/rb/vi... [theradioboard.com]

                http://theradioboard.com/rb/vi... [theradioboard.com]

                http://theradioboard.com/rb/vi... [theradioboard.com]

                • Interesting! From the first link:

                  To my surprise, the result is an astounding performer, pulling in four local stations in Tucson. When connected as a receiver to a good sound system the sound fidelity is as good or better than more expensive AM radios. In fact, it sounds "high-fidelity".

                  and

                  The circuit looks identical to a classic AM crystal circuit but is even simpler to build.

                  • The circuit looks identical to a classic AM crystal circuit but is even simpler to build.

                    It's called "slope detection". Normal AM detection is based on the amplitude of the received signal. All you have to do to detect AM is rectify the radio carrier and filter off the rectification ripple. What's left is an analog signal that varies in amplitude -- the recovered audio.

                    In slope detection, you make use of a selectivity of the receiver to vary the amplitude of the received signal. I.e., the sensitivity of the receiver has a "slope" in the envelope, where a higher (or lower) frequency has more se

              • by schnell ( 163007 )

                Remember that this, like almost everything else in life, is a case of trade-offs and "some win, some lose." You may be on one side or the other but some use cases/users will benefit and others won't. It's almost never purely black and white - if you think about both sides of the story.

                Short version: more than half a century ago, interested organizations - ranging from the military to railroad networks to local police/fire to nascent TV/radio broadcasters - were all given broad swathes of spectrum. This was

            • Unlike your crystal radio people actually have DAB receivers.

          • An analog FM signal slowly fades over distance. A digital radio signal is fine one moment, than nothing, and the nothing happens at a much closer range.

            You mean an FM signal gradually fills with static.

            I consider this to be a huge advantage of digital radio, because I have a very low tolerance for static. If I can't get a clear signal, give me silence. This wouldn't be such a problem except that it always seems that everyone else in the car has a much higher tolerance and doesn't want me to turn the static-filled radio station off.

            Of course, I also have a very low tolerance for too-frequent, too-long, and too-loud ad breaks. And for guffawing DJs who d

            • An analog FM signal slowly fades over distance. A digital radio signal is fine one moment, than nothing, and the nothing happens at a much closer range.

              You mean an FM signal gradually fills with static.

              Actually you dont get silence with DAB. You get loud pops and UIiiiiuah sounds. That are infinitely more annoying than white static. Though I believe Norway actually has DAB2 which has error-detection so it might turn to silence instead.

          • by cats-paw ( 34890 )

            Digital radio suffers a big drawback. Unlsee the received signal is pretty much perfect, you are greeted with very high fidelity silence. It's called the Digital cliff. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ [wikipedia.org]...

            well not exactly. the BER rate degrades smoothly with signal level which degrades smoothly with distance. The problem is that if you lose enough bits you get nothing, whereas with FM you just get more static. also it doesn't have to be "pretty much perfect", whatever that means, that's why there's somethin

            • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 )

              The problem is that if you lose enough bits you get nothing, whereas with FM you just get more static. also it doesn't have to be "pretty much perfect", whatever that means, that's why there's something called error correction.

              I deal with Digital and analog signals every day, being at present involved in Emergency communications. The digital repeaters and radios we use do have a striking difference in range. Digital is much less. The manifestation of this is that at high signal strengths, a traditional FM signal and a Digital signal sound for practical purposes, identical. The Digital signal has a more silent background, but for all practical purposes, they are the same.

              As the signal strength from one radio to another is decr

          • An analog FM signal slowly fades over distance. A digital radio signal is fine one moment, than nothing, and the nothing happens at a much closer range.

            Closer is a matter of opinion. Having switched from FM to DAB+ myself last year I find I'm happily able to listen to DAB+ in areas where I've turned off the FM out of frustration.

            In an emergency situation I agree, FM carries further and you can hear meaningful data through noise, especially when the stereo signal drops out. But when listening to music, FM will hiss and burp, and drop from stereo to mono while the DAB signal just keeps on humming along.

            So Norway has switched to a radio system with less coverage

            Critical coverage yes. But this isn't a 2-way critical l

      • Re:Patent? (Score:5, Informative)

        by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @05:15PM (#55748205) Homepage Journal

        The US standard is HD Radio, which is a proprietary system (not merely patent encumbered, it's controlled by one company and uses things like a custom audio codec that's similar to, but not identical to, AAC-HE) and it remains a mystery as to why the FCC blessed it, as it was opposed by most of the industry and, like I said, is proprietary.

        It is not the same as either of the European standards (they have one for FM, and one for AM). The system has one advantage over Europe's DAB for FM system, in that each station can transmit an analog signal and two or more digital channels over the same frequency. The first digital channel is always a digital version of the analog channel, while the others are alternative audio stations.

        • Cough-cough - revolving door - cough -cough
        • But ... But ... But. Analog FM in the US can (and does) transmit additional signals using Subcarrier Audio (SCA-Although SCA actually is an acronym for something related that no one can remember) . No, the audio quality isn't super. So what? It's adequate and pretty much no one cares about accurate reproduction of frequencies even dogs can't hear. The muzak played in stores used to be, and I think often still is, an SCA channel from some local FM station.

          Does anyone other than a few radio station engin

          • Both our (wife and mine) cars have HD Radio so I'm familiar with it and listen to it. The additional channels are bonuses, they're not always useful but they do add some choice. I don't believe they're provided locally, instead broadcasters just play a syndicated feed from somewhere.

            I do wonder though, with streamed radio being so popular (I know T-Mobile doesn't meter it, no idea if other carriers are as progressive), whether the need for digital radio will disappear anyway. The only advantage FM has is

            • The only advantage FM has is to make it easier to broadcast locally, but if the digital channels are effectively national, and if everyone's just plugging their phone into their car and playing one of the numerous online radio stations, then what need is there for it?

              Local radio has a significant place for keeping the public informed in any disaster or event of local significance. Imagine your national streamed audio feed interrupting every minute or so with notices from Everytown, USA, almost all of which are irrelevant to you. While your locality might be placid and peaceful at the moment, there's always something happening somewhere. "An accident on I5 northbound at the Terwilliger Curves has closed the highway. Plan an alternate route." Do you even know where the Te

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by harrkev ( 623093 )

        Yeah, we have it. I even have a couple of FM tuners that pick it up. I have never seen a digital AM radio in the wild.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

        Here is a tuner that you can likely pick up in a store today:
        https://www.bestbuy.com/site/i... [bestbuy.com]

        However, there is not enough compelling reason to invest in HD radio in the US, at least from my experience.

        • Ok thanks.....

          I do tend to listen at times to the radio (FM) in the car....and just recently got a new car.

          I'm playing with the free intro on that new car with XM radio....but doubtful I'll pay for it at end of free 3 mos trial.

          I mean, between free FM radio and streaming amazon prime off my phone or using my iPod....I've got plenty of free music options.

          If I swap out my CB radio from the old car to the new one, I also get weather radio with that in case of emergencies while out driving....

      • We don't have DAB in the US. We have HD Radio instead, which is a completely different system.

        DAB and its successor DAB+ replace the analog signal with a digital one. Much like digital TV, the DAB broadcast can carry multiple channels of audio. DAB uses the not-very-good MP2 codec; DAB+ replaces it with HE-AAC. The standard for the transmission stream is published by ETSI.

        HD Radio augments the analog signal with digital subchannels. They are broadcast in pedestals on both sides of the analog carrier (they l

  • Sounds Rough (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Thelasko ( 1196535 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @04:46PM (#55747987) Journal
    Some car audio systems are extremely integrated into the vehicle. They may be stuck with a nonfunctional radio for years.

    I know people who are still complaining about the digital TV transition here in the US, because they used to be able to get a weak signal with analog, and now they get nothing. Sounds like Norway is having the same problem.

    They should have transitioned this over ten years like digital TV in the US.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      They should have transitioned this over ten years like digital TV in the US.

      Actually it was more like 22 years:

      The DAB standard was initiated as a European research project in the 1980s.[1] The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) launched the first DAB channel in the world on 1 June 1995 (NRK Klassisk)

      Long story short, they bet on the wrong horse because with 3G/LTE/5G data transmission you can listen to anything. Most people are unsatisfied with DAB, it's a broadcast solution for a unicast present and future. And the actual broadcast needs like emergency transmissions etc. were better covered by FM. It's the radio companies pushing through a transition that is now unneeded because they've got huge sunk costs that would otherwise be worthless. And quite a few customers

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @04:49PM (#55748001) Homepage

    DAB has worse battery life than FM, a shorter reception range for the same TX power, and often (depending on bit rate and codec) poorer audio quality. No one was asking for it, its purely politicians grandstanding and looking like they have their finger on the pulse of technology. Also the FM band being 30Mhz wide - less bandwidth than a modern ethernet cable - isn absoltely not use for modern data comms so it can't even be sold off for that to raise money.

    I suspect all that will happen is legal broadcasters lose listeners hand over fist especially in car, and pirate radio takes over the FM band.

  • . . . when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. (Sansui 3000A tuned to KCRW)
  • by jlowery ( 47102 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @04:52PM (#55748039)

    but that's because of Spotify and online news feeds. I expect because of that, the U.S. has seen a comparable drop in FM listeners.

  • by cybersquid ( 24605 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @04:54PM (#55748055) Homepage
    Remember the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"
    • by should_be_linear ( 779431 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @05:22PM (#55748239)
      It is wasteful. You can replace 1 FM station with 13 DAB+ stations. Anyway, I would encourage switching to full 4G internet coverage everywhere, which enables infinite TV and radio capacity, among other things.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by ThosLives ( 686517 )

        What some consider "waste" I consider a "feature": the extra redundant analog information in AM/FM that allows me to listen to (or watch) a distant signal with fairly high noise. Now you either get a station or you don't, there is no "I'm beyond the design signal to noise ratio so I get a little static but otherwise no big deal."

      • Yeah sure great idea! Then we can all pay, pay, PAY for everything, all the time, or receive NOTHING! Screw that. Radio is FREE, that's the whole point of it. Knock it off with this 'streaming' crap already, don't you see it's a trap?
      • I do agree FM can be improved upon. Almost any sufficiently old technology can be.

        However, it is not broken. It still works as well as ever for those who have compatible equipment. Like most cars made in the last 50 years.

        OTOH, replacing it with an incompatible system definitely introduced breakage.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Let me introduce you to my little friend the Shannon–Hartley theorem [wikipedia.org]. This is information theory's corollary to the 2nd law of thermodynamics" [wikipedia.org].

        Channel capacity = bandwidth * log2 (1+S/N).

        Simply put, more data means vastly reduced range. And in this house we obey the 2nd law of thermodynamics" [youtube.com].

        “The law that entropy always increases, holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Max
        • by amorsen ( 7485 )

          FM is an extremely wasteful way to encode signals intended for human ears. It would take a very incompetent set of engineers to come up with a digital standard worse than FM. Alas, they succeeded in doing just that and saddled us with DAB.

          DAB+ is a reasonably decent if not exactly cutting edge implementation of digital radio though. If you spent a comparable amount of money on making a DAB+ network like what was spent on the FM network over the years, you would get flawless reception and wonderful sound for

          • As others have stated, simple FM has amazing range and noise resistance due to all the redundant information. The redundancy in various DAB type signals, even with all of DAB noise correction, is minuscule compared to old FM. Denmark is a small flat county, but where I live near Seattle the mountains, hills and distance between stations often kills even simple FM. When you destroy the bandwidth like they did for digital TV and range do to a fraction of what it was with analog. - My experience anyway.
            • by amorsen ( 7485 )

              DAB is transmitted at a higher frequency than FM, so it has worse ground-following properties. For hilly areas, go low-power DRM in the old AM band. That will provide FM-like quality with AM-like propagation. Or go DRM+ on the FM band.

              FM does not have particularly amazing range and noise resistance. Something as simple as reflections makes it cut out regularly. The primary reason it works so well is that it is being blasted out at 150kW from 250m tall towers, whereas the competing digital signals generally

      • I would encourage switching to full 4G internet coverage everywhere, which enables infinite TV and radio capacity, among other things.

        The "other things" include the need to send separate copies of the same data for each receiver. For live broadcasts, this is only "infinite" in its wastefulness.

        BTW, while most cryptocurrencies are regarded as wasteful, there was a project called Kryptoradio [koodilehto.fi] for distributing the blockchain via DVB transmissions. You'd need an uplink to send money yourself, but the broadcast downstream would suffice for points of sale, for instance.

      • Oh, so you'll go from one rebranded Clearchannel station to 13.

    • Remember the saying "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"

      Spectrum is a finite resource. Analogue broadcasts on useful spectrum are effectively "broke" in the modern age. It's not just FM. If you go ask for a land mobile license you won't get it for an analogue transmitter anymore either, and they expect you to make do with frequencies with vastly narrower bandwidth.

      • If you go ask for a land mobile license you won't get it for an analogue transmitter anymore either,

        Uhh, yes. Why not? At least in the US, 11k0f3e is still a quite valid mode.

        and they expect you to make do with frequencies with vastly narrower bandwidth.

        The "frequencies" don't have narrower bandwidth, but yes, the 2013 mandate for narrowband means you cannot get a wideband allocation anymore. But you can get analog.

        The main driving force for digital in the US was because DHS would not grant money to local agencies unless they included P25 in their system. It wasn't because P25 was so much better, it was because DHS thought it was, and because if some had it, then in the name of in

        • means you cannot get a wideband allocation anymore. But you can get analog.

          So by extension: An FM station stuck with these kind of requirements would start sounding a lot more like AM. The point is that FM is wasteful on spectrum.

          Just because something isn't broken doesn't mean it can't be vastly improved, or needs to be vastly improved for that matter. Old coal fired power stations also aren't broken, that doesn't mean they don't need to be replaced with something better.

  • by foxalopex ( 522681 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @04:58PM (#55748083)

    It's interesting but with every advance in broadcast radio technology it has required a massive jump in radio equipment. AM could for example be received in an unpowered crystal radio set with virtually no components! (Yes it could run off radio waves like magic!) FM required significantly more parts and I imagine DAB requires a much more advanced digital receiver. Frankly I don't see the advantage of doing this, it's not like most cars have super high quality sound systems with all the road noise. I think this is probably just a bad idea in most areas.

    • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @05:17PM (#55748219) Homepage Journal
      Oh now come on, it's easy to make a digital radio receiver out of a naturally semiconducting crystal, three paper clips, a speaker, some copper wire, and a Raspberry Pi.
    • My Dad likes to listen to AM talk radio. Whenever we drive under power lines he complains about the buzz in the signal.

      "Why can't they come up with some technology to get rid of that?" he says.

      "It's called FM radio, Dad."
    • For each advancement in everything humans have done complexity has increased. If it were achievable with zero complexity then we likely would have achieved that stage earlier in our development.

      If you want to get very historical, AM wasn't simple. What was simple was spark gap transmitter. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] It worked very well over very long distances and needed only the most crudest of equipment to work. The problem is it wasn't very selective and was incredibly noisy across a very wide spe

  • by TomR teh Pirate ( 1554037 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @05:04PM (#55748143)
    Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I can tell you that there is a plethora of digital FM stations that my car stereo simply cannot receive. Their FM counterparts come in just fine. A lot of listeners are likely to find that listening dead zones are going to increase significantly.
    • Living in the Netherlands I get the exact opposite. I can pick up some 10 stations on FM, and a cool 95 on DAB+.

      But since you're in SF you're not using DAB+ are you.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @05:35PM (#55748321) Journal
    It used to be that America was the leader on tech and pushed open source and effective solutions. DAB is absolutely the RIGHT way to do that.
    Then we have America. We picked not only a closed architecture, but one that sux.

    Keep up the good work Europe.
    • Re:this kills me (Score:5, Interesting)

      by amorsen ( 7485 ) <benny+slashdot@amorsen.dk> on Friday December 15, 2017 @06:44PM (#55748719)

      DAB is a horrible standard. DAB+ is not so bad, except it is useless for local radio stations.

      There are two sensible digital radio standards. DVB-T2 (because the transmitters already exist for TV, so the first 50 or so radio channels are practically free) and DRM+ (Digital Radio Mondiale).

      DAB+ is almost as good as DVB-T2, but DVB-T2 was out years before. It makes zero sense to switch TO DAB+, it is legacy before it gets implemented.

      • hey, what you guys have is lightyears ahead of what America did. [wikipedia.org] I love Canada,but there are days that I wish they would look at what America does and when we get off the track, they should implement the right shit and force AMerica back on.
        • by c-A-d ( 77980 )

          We tried digital radio here in Canada in the 90s. It was a massive failure. They could attempt it again, but I already don't listen to radio so I wouldn't care.

          • yeah, you guys tried DAB, but it was too early. Sadly, after that, your standard is now the same standard as America's. And yes, you DO have HD radio. It SUX. Basically, it is killing radio as we know.
            Hopefully, AM stays around, but I suspect that down the road, GOP will demand that it be killed and the spectrum given to some of their business friends.
      • There are two sensible digital radio standards. DVB-T2 (because the transmitters already exist for TV, so the first 50 or so radio channels are practically free) and DRM+ (Digital Radio Mondiale).

        Does Digital Radio Mondiale have digital restrictions management?

      • by jrumney ( 197329 )
        DVB-T2 does not work well in moving vehicles. That is one important area where DAB+ has it beat. DRM+ requires switching off analogue FM first, DAB+ uses a different frequency range, so can roll out in parallel. Europe doesn't have the 200kHz channel spacing on FM that the US does, so they can't just squeeze a couple of digital subcarriers onto existing analogue FM stations.
        • by amorsen ( 7485 )

          Like the AC says, DVB-T2 works absolutely fine up to motorway speeds. You might struggle on a high-speed train if you are going directly towards or away from the transmitter.

          You can get portable TV sets for car passengers, they work just fine.

        • DRM+ requires switching off analogue FM first, DAB+ uses a different frequency range,

          The MODULATION method uses the frequency being modulated. I.e., DRM+ could be used on a channel at any frequency, as could DAB+. You can have AM at 100.1MHz, or FM at 1.00MHz. That's physics. Licenses are the current limit.

      • It makes zero sense to switch TO DAB+, it is legacy before it gets implemented.

        The great thing about legacy is that there's just soooo much equipment on the market to chose from. Why would a country switch to DAB+? Because other countries have. That alone is a very powerful and sensible reason to adopt something.

        • by amorsen ( 7485 )

          So explain why Norway switched to DAB+... There isn't all that much equipment to choose from, in the vast majority of Europe most new cars do not come with DAB+ receivers.

          The only reason to switch to DAB+ is to be able to sell more broadcasting rights so we can have more stations playing the same music. But broadcasting rights are worth nothing if no one can hear what is broadcast, which is why Norway had to switch FM off.

          • So explain why Norway switched to DAB+... There isn't all that much equipment to choose from

            Errr are you high? DAB+ has the largest choice of equipment from any digital radio standard. Shelves are literally stacked with DAB+ tuners, portable ones, boom boxes, all from major brands. Every car audio brand has DAB+ to choose from. And there're several manufacturers offering DAB+ in cars, which is several more than any other standard.

            As for broadcasting rights, hardly. In countries where the switch to DAB+ has happened there haven't been any new rights created. Just that existing stations with existin

            • by amorsen ( 7485 )

              There is precisely one country where the switch has happened, so your statement is a bit meaningless.

              Denmark is trying to be on the leading edge of the curve, and the reason for that is certainly the DKK signs in the eyes of the politicians. Ever since the first 3G auctions brought in fortunes, the politicians act exactly the same way whenever someone mentions the word spectrum.

              As to the largest choice of equipment, it still can't beat FM here fifteen years after the introduction. As Norway demonstrated, sw

              • There is precisely one country where the switch has happened, so your statement is a bit meaningless.

                No there is precisely one country which no longer has FM. We're not talking about who turned off FM, we're talking about who adopted DAB+ which happens to be all of Europe, large parts of Asia, Australia, NZ, and several of the middle east. A few fools tried DAB and discovered it the turd that it is, several of them then wholesale switched to DAB+, except for the one we all love to hate: UK. A couple of countries also adopted DMB, South Korea being the biggest market there. ... Oh but they are also running

  • Better quality? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat ( 796938 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @05:37PM (#55748339) Journal
    allows for better sound quality

    By better sound quality, do they mean the signal isn't compressed six ways to Tuesday so music sounds tinny, weak and as if it's coming through a wire a raccoon is chewing on?
    • By better sound quality, do they mean the signal isn't compressed six ways to Tuesday so music sounds tinny, weak and as if it's coming through a wire a raccoon is chewing on?

      Yes that's exactly what they mean. The vast majority of the stations sound just fine. Early moves to DAB are what sounded horrible. 96kbps sounds like utter garbage in MP2 which cemented much of the digital radio reputation, but is plenty good enough in AAC.

  • by Misagon ( 1135 ) on Friday December 15, 2017 @05:41PM (#55748367)

    DAB radio does not provide more channels and better quality.
    It provides the option between more channels or better quality: pick one!

    And we all know what gets picked every time.

    • DAB doesn't
      DAB+ does.

      But I'm sure my opinion is just based on the fact I didn't have monster cables in my car audio system.

  • I've had a car with a data connection and streaming built in for the past three years. I never listen to the radio. I do have a few radio stations I listen to over the data stream but they are all in distant cities and I couldn't receive their FM broadcasts even if I wanted. Most of the time I just listen to various streaming music channels. It's much more reliable than radio reception. No noise. Doesn't drop out.

    • by dryeo ( 100693 )

      Great if you're lucky enough to live somewhere with cell reception and can afford the data streaming price.

  • Why change?

    I listen to FM radio everyday. It works great. I already have the receivers.

    Get off my lawn.

  • I've yet to listen to any DAB station which doesn't sound like overcompressed shite like listening to a 64kbps MP3 or worse.

APL hackers do it in the quad.

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