DAB Digital Radio

A few weeks back I looked at the advantages of Digital TV over conventional terrestrial TV and concluded for the small cost of upgrade that it was certainly worth the small investment of £50 or so in order to receive the new high quality digital stations. This argument was strengthened by the fact that before long conventional TV transmissions will be terminated and so the only way to continue to receive TV would be through one of the methods mentioned in the article.

That particular instalment of Click prompted a number of questions regarding Digital Radio and whether I thought that was a worthwhile investment or not at this stage in its development.This would usually be a question that I wouldn’t be qualified to answer but ever since a friend of mine purchased a DAB radio for his car I have also been toying with the idea of taking the plunge and buying a DAB car radio for myself and hence have done a bit of background research on the subject.

I intend no offence towards Gemini FM here but after living in Cardiff for a year of my life and enjoying a number of high quality local radio stations I have found the choice in Torbay somewhat limited by comparison.Fortunately we do live in a DAB covered area so the purchase of a digital radio would give access to a far greater range of stations including Core, Virgin, SBN, Life, Kiss, Galaxy, 1Xtra, 6 Music, The Storm along with digital versions stations you would conventionally receive in lower quality FM transmission such as Gemini and Radio One.

There are receivers available to suit most applications; you can buy a DAB radio for your car, computer and existing stereo system as well as starting fresh and purchasing a portable radio or full standalone system which includes DAB capabilities as just one of the features.Prices do vary obviously depending on the format that you choose but to give you an idea you would probably be looking at starting prices of around £80 for a portable player and £200 for an in car player.

Those looking to buy a unit that isn’t going to be moved around the country won’t really have much too worry about DAB signal strength as it is my understanding that Torbay is very well covered by DAB transmitters.Those who are looking for a portable solution; for example radio player in a car may find themselves from time to time dropping out of DAB coverage as they roam the UK but in this situation the player will just switch back to operating in FM mode until you re-enter a DAB area.Of course new transmitters are being erected across the UK on a weekly basis so soon there shouldn’t be any areas that aren’t covered.

It should be explained that the advantages of digital over analogue just stop at just offering a wider selection of stations but also that those you do receive should be of better sound quality.A number of additional benefits are also available on some models such as being able to see what song is going to be played next and most impressively the ability to rewind and record live radio onto memory card.I should also mention that DAB radios do require special aerials and that although these will almost always be sold with the radio please do check before making a purchase.

About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges who supply a wide range of printer cartridges at the UK’s lowest prices.

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