Digital Radio

Conversely, in Singapore DAB failed against FM and was discontinued

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And Canada flirted with DAB and even L-band digital radio as early as the 90s but it flopped; even IBOC is struggling there:

Canada is a much better analog(ue) to Australia than the European countries are (they have a cold desert instead of a hot one).

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And hence why they need DRM+ there yet as we know, incumbents like congested spectrum to limit new entrants.

Canada could only use L-Band for DAB because TV was using all of the VHF channels. It was a glorified trial - and Canada was the only country using L-Band + 110 volt receivers, so there wasn’t much of a hope for it.

It’s odd how Australia dismissed L-Band because the coverage was poor, so would have needed lots of transmitter sites - and now we’re planning lots of transmitter sites because we have too-few VHF channels available.

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The irony was not lost on me either.

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Good points and I’m not a fan of Spotify either. But if it came down to a choice between that and what’s currently on mainstream FM I wouldn’t be listening to the radio at all. The DAB stations (including 4KQ) and Breeze/Rebel are the ONLY things keeping me listening to Australian radio at all these days. At work I stream overseas stations and in the car it’s DAB and Rebel/Breeze. There is absolutely nothing else worth listening to on FM. That’s the point it’s gotten to I’m afraid. It there wasn’t DAB I would be doing mainly overseas station streaming.

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It will be interesting to see how this goes - changes in technology will play a big factor here

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sure streaming won’t kill radio, in the same way cassette tapes didn’t kill records. The big advantage of radio is it’s “localness” - as a queenslander when there is a big storm coming i instinctively turn to 4QR for the news. this is where radio shines and where it will keep alive.

there is also the “set and forget” of radio. what i mean with that is that with spotify in some cases there is almost too many choices. it’s easy (especially where i listen mostly - in my car with steering wheel controls) to change a song or a playlist. with radio, if i’m not too keen on a song i know a new one is coming up in a few mins.

and there is the advantage of not needing a phone (or a device to receive the stream) battery and reception in the car

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Streaming will win if local stations keep getting gutted by the networks. Localism will win in the end but only if it still exists in the future.

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I agree. It’s localism but also adequate variety of content. For example if I lived in a regional area with the choice of a top 40 station or talkback on commercial radio then I would have no choice but to stream. The current radio offerings in most smaller regional areas do not provide enough variety of formats to keep people listening to the radio. I know a lot of people in regional areas who have given up on terrestrial radio for that reason. That’s why I think it’s imperative to get additional stations into regional markets whether it’s via DAB, DRM or whatever.

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The BOM radar is your best bet for storms- nothing like seeing a big black-cored monster on the screen for yourself. I know that’s not so practical when you’re driving.

The ABC do a fairly good job of broadcasting severe thunderstorm warnings, but since storm events are so dynamic and cells develop/decay rapidly, it’s hard to provide timely information.

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True, but my interest is in more like power outages and road closures rather than where the storm is now

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Less will listen until the structural problems of streaming are resolved. The drop outs/sudden stops for no apparent reason in good signal areas need to be fixed. This relates mostly to mobile reception.

I would like to stream more often (usually to hear a variety of content as local choices in metro Brisbane don’t suffice) but often frustrated by drop outs some fifteen to twenty minutes into driving.

When I am outside the capitals, I’m always impressed at the number of cafes, wineries and other businesses that are using streaming to provide an option they don’t have locally. A cafe in Landsborough rotates their choice daily, staff decide. Same for friends of mine who work in a law firm in Albury.

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When I was in the US, several rental cars I had had the radar imagery built into the entertainment system and you could pull it up by just pressing a button.

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I will have to test whether I can do the same using Apple Car Play, by opening the Oz Radar Lite app. But it’s a good thing to have to avoid possible hail damage and road closures/flash flooding.

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I agree RFBurns it could survive and thrive into the future but (a big but :slight_smile: ) , I feel that radio biggest enemy is itself. The focus of the people running commercial radio (in Australia/ maybe overseas) has changed. Back when TV was “invented” radio reinvented itself and continued to reinvent itself into 70s and 80s with for example talk back, becoming big in the 70s. Music radio also grew. Interesting characters were on breakfast radio etc etc. A lot of the radio serials died because of TV and radio didn’t just “die”.

The morning news bulletins are another good example. In the 80s I can remember radios stations fighting for the best news readers. For example , 2WS news was great (even though it was a music station). Now it has changed somewhat. You would get some quite high profile newsreaders on radio too. I remember Ross Symons being on 2UW. Radio newsrooms don’t exist today like they did before.

The modern day argument, is times have changed we need to move with the changes :slight_smile: It is true the internet has a massive impact on our lives and we cannot turn back the clock. I am just not convinced the owners of the stations today are of the same breed as what they were back in 50s/60s when the threat of TV came along.

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Not all commercial radio stations support CRA’s direction on DAB+ and DRM+.

See comments section on story here ; https://www.radioinfo.com.au/news/drm-not-inferior-complimentary-says-ruxandra-obreja

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I live in Geelong/Melbourne and don’t experience these drop outs. I think rural areas just need more 4G investment and that’d be far more beneficial than more DAB transmitters.

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with the amount of low orbiting satellite constellations we are going to have it wont be needed!
Price wont be an issue as there is already going to be 3 players in the market.

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Very good post there, especially regarding the limitations of the proposed amounts of DAB+ coverage for outside of towns - something I’ve been banging on about here since I first saw those planning documents.

The current proposal for DAB+ is just unworkable on the face of it for regional areas - and nothing I’ve seen suggests that the CRA have a better plan beyond begging for more spectrum to be handed to them.

DRM would be particularly good for remote area broadcasters - Rebel/Breeze could perhaps operate a pair of DRM30 transmitters, they could broadcast their primary programs to huge amounts of their broadcast area that currently aren’t covered by terrestrial radio - at least outside of maybe a very high powered AM ABC station.

That said, given remote zone DAB allocations were made, what stops Rebel just applying for those now and getting on air? Would be hilarious if they managed to get their Mt Tamborine site on air before Gold Coast DAB exists.

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