Digital radio for Australia even further away

Digital radio for Australia even further away

OldRadio.jpg The Australian radio industry has been talking up the potential of digital radio — better signal, multiple channels, on-screen information such as who’s talking or what track is playing — for years, but never seems to progress much beyond limited trials. The situation doesn’t seem to be improving. Neil Shoebridge reports in today’s Australian Financial Review (the paper that doesn’t put its articles online, so no link, sorry) that a previous plan for full-scale capital city digital radio broadcasts to commence in January next year has now been entirely abandoned. May looks like the earliest possible starting point, and with a government deadline of July 1, further delays wouldn’t really surprise me. When I’ve played with digital radios before, I’ve been impressed with the sound and liked the extra info, but it seems to me that until we’ve actually got channels up and running with content you can’t get on conventional radio, no-one’s going to get that excited. Even then, the massive growth in online radio might have killed digital radio before it even began. Do you find the concept of digital radio tempting? Is your current car radio good enough for you? Have you abandoned conventional radio for podcast nirvana? Broadcast your thoughts in the comments.


  • tough call.. I think digital radio will eventuate itself in the future. Especially considering all digital tv’s are able to tune into digital radio, I think it will be down to the content available.

    The UK has a vast array of digital radio channels, many not even available on standard AM/FM

    I think if the major commercial networks can provide the content, the people will tune in.

    However its never been a more exciting time to be into internet radio – interesting interview with the founder of here…

  • I think digital radio could potentially fill a niche that is currently served by some online stations. The problem with online radio is that it’s hard to be mobile unless you have some sort of uber-generous wireless data plan. Digital radio won’t have end-user bandwidth costs. At least, I _hope_ it won’t.

  • There doesn’t seem to be much that is really compelling about digital radio. I mostly listen to radio in the car so any imrpoved sound quality will be drowned out by engine noice. Having the name of the song that is playing being displayed is handy when the stations don’t back-announce it, but is it really worth getting a new radio for?

  • As someone who rarely has access to online radio due to slow or no internet, and also as someone who can appreciate high quality music *pats UE Super.Fis* digital radio is very compelling.

    Does digital radio itself have any kind of range advantage over analog?

  • The blame for the delay this time should be firmly be aimed at ACMA.

    The regulator wouldn’t work in an iron lung I’m sure.

    ACMA have dragged their knuckles on DRB planned for far too long now and came up with half baked transmission plans that wouldn’t have allowed the higher signal threshold needed for DRB available in many places.

    Using some silly arguments about interference to adjacent TV services, ACMA has hobbled and held back the DRB launch.

    Don’t even get me started on the fact that adjacent cap city markets have been left out either – these ‘commuter markets’ are very high users of radio, relying on cap city and local stations.

    Total madness to omit them when all that’s required is that Defence use their spectrum more efficiently and shuffle off the 230-240 MHz, ‘channel 13’ frequencies – this would allow all existing cap city and adjacent markets to be on air together.

    What I’m looking forward to is the standardisation of TX location and that all services will leave the same TX antenna, equal, clear radio on all stations, no inferior AM susceptible to poor quality car radio aerial connection builds or circuit deficiencies.

    While we’re at it, throw out the 1980’s, outdated licence area definitions and allow DRB to ‘live a little’ and cover far and wide to ensure good coverage within the primary area.

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