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Advice in DAB radio

 
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Blondehedgehog



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
Posts: 286
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:19 pm    Post subject: Advice in DAB radio Reply with quote

I need advice. I have updated my TV but not my radios.

I have been looking at what is available but the choice and price are very different.

Can anyone recommend a make, tell me your experience....
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18214
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you know anyone who has one in the area where you live? I say this as although where I live is supposed to receive DAB well, in my experience it wasn't so. Listening to Radio 2 was like trying to do so with a dial up internet connection in that it was falling off after only a few minutes. A call to a local hi fi shop confirmed I wasn't the only one to have such problems.

So postcode reception isn't that reliable. I'd say stick with what you have if you're happy with it! I'm hoping the turn off date will be delayed and improvements have been made before it is.

H
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are inherent flaws in the underlying technology used by DAB and my understanding is that there may be changes in the way it's deployed in the UK. There's been a considerable resistance to DAB in other European countries (Germany in particular) and there's some back-tracking going on as far as roll-out plans are concerned here.

Buyer beware, as they!

For the record, I hate DAB.
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColinB wrote:
There are inherent flaws in the underlying technology used by DAB and my understanding is that there may be changes in the way it's deployed in the UK. There's been a considerable resistance to DAB in other European countries (Germany in particular) and there's some back-tracking going on as far as roll-out plans are concerned here.

Buyer beware, as they!

For the record, I hate DAB.


I'm surprised you hate DAB, Colin. It's a good idea - it just doesn't work very well in tandem with the FM signals: that will improve once FM is switched off. The functionality of DAB radios is quite good- they look awful (most of them - why the retro thing?) but they are easy to channel hop- that said - FM sounds better and DAB will never work properly in a car..... I'd be surprised if the FM signal is ever switched off though. Where I'm going this weekend ( Cornwall) only DAB works but only some DABs not all DABs are equal. John Lewis has a good selection of DABs- they even do their own one now.
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18214
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How can the signal be better once analogue is switched off?

H
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently the DAB signal isn't at full strength in some areas so that it doesn't interfere with FM- once FM is switched off - DAB will be turned up and all will be well. Smile
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18214
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you sure, as that still wouldn't persuade me to buy a set. I returned the one I did to John Lewis this time last year.

H
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only what a chappy told me. You might recall our DAB problem in Cornwall last year where one set, the Dualit worked perfectly and another set, a Pure One didn't work at all, right next to each other. It turned out that the Pure one had its reciever gain deliberatley turned down by Pure - they knew it wouldn't work in many areas and had no intention of fixing it. Maybe if you tried a different set it would work perfectly. I'm expecting a John Lewis cheap one (30) to arrive shortly- I'll let you know what it's like. We'll take it to Cornwall this weekend to see if it works there, if it does, it will stay there.
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rachel wrote:
once FM is switched off - DAB will be turned up and all will be well. Smile


That hasn't been the case in many areas of Germany, Rachel.
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah but that's Germany, Colin.


Our new DAB has just arrived along with our body analyser - so I'm off to the carpet shop.
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rachel wrote:
Yeah but that's Germany, Colin.


Er, right.................. I think!`Rolling Eyes My parents, on the north side of Plymouth, have line of sight to the transmitter which is now on full power following analogue switch-off and their DAB is nowhere near as good as FM. My dad has stopped using it (pity, because I bought him the unit).

Rachel wrote:
Our new DAB has just arrived along with our body analyser - so I'm off to the carpet shop.


Sounds perfectly logical to me!
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 18214
Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excuse my ignorance but are you saying that once the TV analogue switch off happens DAB should improve? We switched about 14 months ago and I bought my radio after that and signal was not good as I said above.

H
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Helen May wrote:
Excuse my ignorance but are you saying that once the TV analogue switch off happens DAB should improve? We switched about 14 months ago and I bought my radio after that and signal was not good as I said above.


Yes, that's the theory, Helen, because the bandwidth used by analogue TV is then freed up and can be occupied by other bandwidth-hungry services. DAB - like DVB-T (terrestrial digital video broadcasting such as Freeview) - requires very high power to drive extremely high frequency digital data streams through the air. In areas where Analogue TV is still operating, the digital power has to be limited. In such areas, this is evident by the breakup that you get with DAB and what's called "mosaic dropout" on digital TV transmissions, which is the blockiness you get when the stream is interrupted due to badly aligned aerials or atmospheric influences. In the case of radio and TV, heavy compression is used also (witness the public furore when Radio 4 was transmitted using a mere 96 Kilobits per second data rate - totally inadequate).

As I said, DAB is flawed and it's not going to be fixed anytime soon. Even Cameron has thrown aside the previous government's plans to expedite the switch-off of FM radio transmissions - with good reason!
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
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Location: Cheshire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks!

H
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Fred



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 225
Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DAB hasn't been as successful as it should have been due to poor planning by various governments/OfCom etc. I think they'd be stupid to go for an FM/AM switch off now.

In my opinion the future of radio is multi-platform, DAB becoming another way of listening, alongside FM/AM/Internet/Sky/Freeview etc. Can't get RDS, which controlls the BBC Local Radio travel news cutting in when you're listening to R2 or a CD on DAB, as far as I'm aware!
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quickssandra



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
Posts: 158
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weird isn't it, the difference in quality? We're not supposed to have DAB at all, but we do, and it's really good. We bought a radio after Christmas, when we found it was working.

It's a luxury to be able to put 6Music on.
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just tested one of these, it arrived earlier

it's a no frills low cost ( less than 30) DAB from a good place

http://www.johnlewis.com/230670809/Product.aspx


It's as light as a feather, it sounds great, it works really well- the display is very small though. It comes with a tiny AC adaptor but can run on batteries if you wish. It has two speakers behind the front grill and a sub woofer outlet on the back which gives it a much more expensive sound. It feels a bit cheap but then it was only 30 - only niggle is that you have to press a menu button to change the display to read "Tune" then use the Volume up/down button to select a new channel, then leave it for two seconds and it will retune to the new channel you've selected but it doesn't switch out of tune mode unless you press the mode button again afterward - so if you forget, it's easy to change channel when you wanted to adjust the volume. Overall: a good kitchen DAB Radio for next to nothing and I think but I will check it has a three year guarantee. Smile
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RockitRon



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 7565

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indeed it has, most unusual for something costing less than 30.

Not sure that I go a bundle on that high-gloss-plastic look, and I don't suppose that 4xAA batteries will last long in it, but if it sounds OK and will pick up the gang in the Cornish kitchen it should be ideal.
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11258
Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, my feelings are well known here about DAB and what product to buy! Razz
110% recommend the Roberts unit with recording ability.. can't go wrong with this if you can't always find the time to listen to live shows..
I'm presently listening to the first programme about Kenny Everett - for the third time! ( it's sooo good! ) and the Morecambe & Wise show before that.
Of course it depends where you live regarding DAB reception but for me... FM better quality than DAB? NO WAY! Shocked
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ColinB
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:

Of course it depends where you live regarding DAB reception but for me... FM better quality than DAB? NO WAY! Shocked


DAB is a very heavily compressed datastream wheras full-specification FM stereo isn't compressed, so even though DAB might sound better on a small unit thete's no way it's better than properly set up FM.

It's a bit like comparing an MP3 audio file to an analogue studio master tape. So much is lost with MP3.
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SantaFefan



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 11258
Location: top of the cliffs in Norfolk

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't got a "Music Centre" type set up with DAB, only my two Roberts portable variations.. without a doubt, DAB sounds so much better than when switched to FM on these at least..
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SantaFefan wrote:
I haven't got a "Music Centre" type set up with DAB, only my two Roberts portable variations.. without a doubt, DAB sounds so much better than when switched to FM on these at least..


It's the same with our DAB/FM sets Santa, including the one I mentioned yesterday- the FM side of it is pants but that doesn't mean that FM is pants. We have, well hubby has his old 1980s boogie box thing he had at uni way back when and the FM on that is fantastic. I think the FM band on most DAB/FM radios is of very low quality - it could be to keep the price down or it could be more sinsiter than that, if lots of DAB users start saying FM is rubbish then it may encourage FM users to switch. FM proper though is of much better quality than DAB: the dynamic range of FM is wider than the dynamic range of human adult hearing- so you hear everything possible. DAB sound suffers from quantisation errors and granular noise- a common facet of digititisation-( the sound between the sampling: is what you never hear) some DAB sets have a very hollow sound, like the guts of the sound has been taken out - cos it has. Smile
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Blondehedgehog



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
Posts: 286
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for your input, it has made very interesting reading.

Might just hold back for a while. Laughing

Keep info' coming ..... Wink
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nod



Joined: 24 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rachel wrote:
Currently the DAB signal isn't at full strength in some areas so that it doesn't interfere with FM- once FM is switched off - DAB will be turned up and all will be well. Smile


Completely different system and frequencies that don't interfere, unlike TV Very Happy
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nod



Joined: 24 Dec 2006
Posts: 3555

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Advice in DAB radio Reply with quote

Blondehedgehog wrote:
I need advice. I have updated my TV but not my radios.

I have been looking at what is available but the choice and price are very different.

Can anyone recommend a make, tell me your experience....


We have Roberts DAB/FM that uses rechargable batteries in the bathroom and the 2 bedrooms have PURE Tempus-1S and Evoke 1-XT, both the 'wooden box' types, the tempus has an ipod cradle to play the ipod through the auxialary socket, and both have the extension speakers which make them stereo, the XT has the advantage you can take the aerial off and use an external aerial for a better signal. All work fine Very Happy
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Gnasty Gnome



Joined: 28 Jul 2007
Posts: 313
Location: West Wales

PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only found one good thing about DAB radio so far; I can listen to 5 Live Xtra or whatever it's called, when sitting out in the garden. As you can probably guess, this did not include the current Ashes series as I did not fancy getting hypothermia!


The advantage, during a TMS broadcast, is that my enjoyment is not interrupted by "Yesterday in Parliament", the shipping forecast or God Squad, all of whom sem to conspire to turn up just when it's getting interesting.

Unfortunately my DAB radio is as much use indoors as my mobile phone is.

When DAB's come as standard fitting in a lorry I might start to show an interest. Until then, I'll stick with the hiss and crackle of good old AM/FM thank you.
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Rachel
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The DAB I mentioned earlier- works where our Pure One doesn't in Cornwall but I'm changing my initial assessement to "It's not that great actually" but it works. My phone radio sounds better.
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nod



Joined: 24 Dec 2006
Posts: 3555

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ColinB wrote:
Helen May wrote:
Excuse my ignorance but are you saying that once the TV analogue switch off happens DAB should improve? We switched about 14 months ago and I bought my radio after that and signal was not good as I said above.


Yes, that's the theory, Helen, because the bandwidth used by analogue TV is then freed up and can be occupied by other bandwidth-hungry services. DAB - like DVB-T (terrestrial digital video broadcasting such as Freeview) - requires very high power to drive extremely high frequency digital data streams through the air. In areas where Analogue TV is still operating, the digital power has to be limited. In such areas, this is evident by the breakup that you get with DAB and what's called "mosaic dropout" on digital TV transmissions, which is the blockiness you get when the stream is interrupted due to badly aligned aerials or atmospheric influences. In the case of radio and TV, heavy compression is used also (witness the public furore when Radio 4 was transmitted using a mere 96 Kilobits per second data rate - totally inadequate).

As I said, DAB is flawed and it's not going to be fixed anytime soon. Even Cameron has thrown aside the previous government's plans to expedite the switch-off of FM radio transmissions - with good reason!


Are you saying DAB is lmited by Analogue TV ?. I don't think it is. TV uses 470-860 MHz, DAB is around 200MHz so not affected.
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Helen May



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't think it was either nod.

My experience was after the switch over so it's unlikely to get any better where we are.

H
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