Digital Radio DAB+

Athena Media’s Digtal Radio report suggests DAB+ as a way forward for
local national and quasi national broadcasting. RTE has no problem
going DAB+. 20,000 DAB radio sets are not forward compatible and will
be unable to get the improved DAB+ signal. RTE closed down all its
medium wave (MW) services & said the budget saving would be spent on
digital roll out. RTE rolled out 18 year old DAB & now could adopt
DAB+ leaving set owners stranded? DAB+ sounds better than DAB even in
poor reception conditions. It is better at spectrum usage. (more
stations! to you and me) So my gripe is that RTE killed MW for poor
old DAB, and we could see them kill off DAB before independents even
start to broadcast in digital, this is a CRAZY WASTE. 20,000+ digital
radio set owners will be pissed off. dual broadcast of DAB & DAB+
would be spectrum inefficient. they were told it was old tech when
they trialled it but it graduated from the trial and has been made
available to up to 56% of the population.

More and more it seems broadcasters and the state institutions favour
multiplex systems over IP as it is a way of controlling who will
compete for our ears and our attention. Under the current broadcasting
system the scarcity of spectrum allows for the finite issuance of
licences controlling who can compete. But on mobile data towers and
with emerging technologies like wimax, access to spectrum is much more
democratic. IP radio services right now are available to mobile phone
owners via dedicated players and apps downloaded from device makers or
online radio stations. This shift is redefining what radio is and who
is allowed to run radio services. The old broadcast method of one to
many is being challenged by innovators and users alike. I doubt that
the incumbents and their regulators have much to gain in IP space,
when asked in the survey that was used to compile the digital radio
report, was online a competitive threat RTE said “No not a
replacement. A strong novelty factor.”

the report can be downloaded here

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