Digital Radio


Yep. Good radios can do even better than 400 kHz. My car radio easily pulls in weak tropo signals +/- 200 kHz from the high-powered Sydney services without any interference (e.g. on 104.3 MHz, 105.1 MHz, etc.). It’s fine even with 100 kHz separation (e.g. 88.0 MHz with 88.1 MHz).


Correct @Brianc68. It’s due to the TAB not acquiring ‘their’ 128 kbps.

Fairfax as it then was had enough capacity over 4BC and 4BH for any digital only stations.

DMG added to its allocation of Nova with enough capacity for Smooth and their digital stations. Remember that Brett ‘Nozz’ headed up DMG’s digital radio based in Brisbane when digital began and for many years.

SCA and ARN bought enough for their stations and if you look at the auction list, reached their limit for excess capacity bid.

Hence there was no demand from the existing operators who were the only ones eligible to bid (community sector did not bid unlike in Sydney).

Go back and ask them and bring a Neenish Tart for me.

Correct, why suffer the different characteristic of data streaming compared to broadcast via digital radio?

If I can receive digital radio, I use it, if I can only receive clear analogue radio, I use it. Only if either broadcast mediums aren’t available would I bother to stream.

Popular at cellar doors within range of the Adelaide digital signal.

In the ABT conversion auctions, only 4BK converted, all others baulked at the asking price. BC and TAB (then IP/IO were all offered and refused, history posted before via this forum has shown this + general knowledge).

KY & PM converted in Perth
KA & DN converted in Adel (DN/AD swapped when under common ownership)
UW & WS in Syd
KZ & TT in Melb

That was more based on market size and viability. If it was playing catch up, a third would’ve been auctioned or a separate process for converting 4BC, BH, KQ or TAB.

We know @Brianc68 that the incumbents will be lobbying Canberra visiting the halls of parli and writing strongly worded submissions to ACMA to stop the issuing of new licences. It’ll be a repeat of the Austereo v DMG effort that was fruitless. When will the commercial radio sector realise protectionism doesn’t serve them well.

On a TCBL, no longer licensed as a permanent station after the change of community of interest away from jazz. Required to prove themselves over again.

Fine, move them. Put them on 0.4 spacings between out of area stations such as Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast. Same way the Mt Dunsinane allocations cause no problem to Gold Coast stations.

Unfortunately, the time shifted bfast show from 4TAB is no longer playing in drive on 4TAB TWO, used to run after 3pm.

Write to ARN to complain, email and call. They’ve gone to the effort change offerings in Perth, they can do it again to replace another station with 80s.

Of course the ABT were happy to ignore this to allow an above rural grade of field strength of Gosford and Wollongong into many areas of Sydney for the CBD commute and often beyond.

Yes, of course it can be done. Australian regulators have had a wasteful approach to reuse to protect the incumbents.

Very interesting, great reading. So TV3 on VHF 9 for South Waikato at what site? Auckland C4 on also VHF 9 off Sky Tower? Same polarisation?


Drove a demo Audi for a few days in Dec 2016 which did. Terrible quality as focus is on data for audio as it should be. Unless text as 4TAB use, I don’t believe it should be used.

@Moe’s summary here shows what happened in Brisbane, why the 128kbps is yet to be auctioned. I recall we have discussed this a few time on this site since the auction:

Read up a couple of posts for more discussion from @Moe

So on the Gold Coast, Central Coast, Sunshine Coast, Hobart and other markets; SCA (or EON for SC/Nambour) already have two licences and can double to 384 CU and the other operator such as Hot Tomato, Nova or Camerons will only have 192 CU if they bid despite there being 672 CU available for commercial broadcasters on a Cat 1 licence for commercials.

384 + 192 = 576 (96 short of 672. Total multiplex is 864 CU)

That leaves 96 CU that cannot be auctioned to commercial broadcasters and places those licensees with two stations at a competitive advantage despite likely being the incumbent who has paid much less than those who bid at auction and have shouldered that cost plus setting up their station.


One thing that I think is unfinished there - is there even a process to have excess capacity re-auctioned?

Surely if you’re Rebel Media, you’d offer 4TAB some cash to go reopen that process, and then onsell that capacity to them.

The decision to allow The Edge to simulcast on Sydney DAB would make it very clear that 4TAB would be within their rights to carry such a service even though would relay a station not licensed to service that market, and EON Sports/Kinderling demonstrate that reselling DAB capacity is viable.

Either -
DAB is viable and these little chunks of spare spectrum are a potential goldmine for existing operators,
DAB is viable and there’s an illegal pact among existing operators preventing potentially threatening third parties from purchasing access to the DAB multiplexes,
Or DAB isn’t viable and even in a capital city with huge amounts of listeners with access to digital radio, it isn’t worth even a minimal price of entry to broadcast a station.

The experience overseas would tell you it’s the first one, my pessimism for the industry tells me it’s either the second or third.


It’s sometimes interesting to see how long it takes stations to update images on the DAB+ slideshows when presenter or branding changes happen on various stations (2UE was transmitting an outdated “Weekend Breakfast with John Stanley” slide for ages after he moved to the weekday breakfast show) but aside from that, it wouldn’t particularly bother me if they stopped transmitting them.

From what I can tell, most of what the images (even on stations like Sky Sports Radio, would 4TAB be similar?) do is achieved in the text, typically displayed as a scroll/ticker on many receivers.


Yes I’ve often wondered why Grants don’t try to do a deal with 4TAB to get River 949 on DAB in Brisbane. It would seem obvious.


Good question, would have to look over the ACCC agreement again.

Or if you were the Camerons and wanted River on the Brisbane signal. But you’d have to lease it from an existing operator.

Leasing surely? ARN or SCA still own the spectrum?

Agree, doesn’t stop ARN with the 96.1 over digital.

Always wondered why Bill doesn’t lease space for 2SM in Brisbane for a larger footprint for Laws. Very cheap entry to Brisbane, especially in light of 4BC running 91% 2GB content.

Hence the ACCC agreement, if that is a viable idea, ACCC need to review/investigate.

Considering their woeful marketing or lack thereof for digital, unsurprised.

Where’s the Paul Thompson Austereo SA FM vision of giving radios away until critical mass is reached. Digital is viewed as an add on rather than an evolution and we know about the last add on radio had (AM stereo).

Well written!

Great minds think alike, just wrote that before seeing your post.


Mediaworks, which operates TV3 and what was C4 had their analogue Waikato services at Ruru, near Cambridge, whereas TVNZ and all the UHF channels were located at Mt Te Aroha. Waikato VHF was on Vertical Polarisation. All TV now is off Mt Te Aroha on digital.

Auckland’s main TV is transmitted from Waiatarua, in the Waitakere Ranges to the west of Auckland. Sky Tower only transmits a low powered relay of the DTV services from Waiatarua. Back in the day, it transmitted analogue C4 on NZ Ch1 and TV3 on NZ Ch5 at about 100 watts to serve the inner city but it didn’t transmit analogue TVNZ.


Recently rescanned one of my digital radios and have come across this station I never heard of. It is unavailable though. Something tells me my radio buckled!


that was a DAB+ station Fairfax ran until around 2013-14


Best way to get rid of defunct stations like those is to do a factory reset! :slight_smile:

There are quite a few DAB+ only stations from the past that I remember, but “Buckle” (which I presume was pre-NTS) doesn’t seem to be one of them. Was it even broadcast here in Sydney?


Both my Digital radios which are both Akai branded (one being an old model and one being a new model) are receiving the “buckle” station which isn’t available… So it might be returning?


Briefly iirc- it was a country music station. It was on air in Melbourne for a fair bit longer.

AM and FM DX

2ch is really pushing dab radio. They say in the ad it is far superior than FM though. In my view misleading. But 2ch is equal to the best sounding dab station in the country with 2gb. Hope they continue like this and not turn into wsfm on dab.


Yes, heaven help us if FM ever gets switched off in favour of DAB.

The audio quality simply isn’t good enough to listen to it for any length of time on most stations,

Though I think we are probably 15-20 years away from that occurring thankfully.

By then hopefully a high quality version of all stations are available online.


Might take 15-20 years for the NBN to get to a state where 99% of the population in Australia is able to stream at a HQ bit rate for the online stations - if you’ll excuse my cynicism of the NBN rollout :wink:


Took a drive down to the Northern Rivers on Saturday and went via Lions Rd now the NSW side is all fixed. I managed to get the DAB signal with no dropouts all the way to the border loop lookout! I was amazed. That is decent for DAB.


That’s good going. I went to Border Loop last year but didn’t think to try DAB there as I thought it would be a non-starter.


Interesting… in my location I notice that 9A has better reception than 9B and 9C. Is it using a different transmitter? Is 9B/9C using Gore Hill and 9A using Willoughby? Basically got no aerial plugged into my USB radio now get listenable reception. 9B/9C nothing.


According to ACMA records. 9A & 9B from Artarmon. Whilst 9C is registered against both Artarmon & Willoughby. Is Willoughby the standby site for 9C? I’ve no idea…

Initially with a dongle SDR & DAB software I obtained best SNR from 9A, followed by 9B & 9C was the worst with former TV antenna. Now with a replacement TV antenna (that probably is more broadband to former antenna) I receive equal SNR reception more or less between 9A & 9C with 9B a dB or two below 9A/9C. However with a better quality receiver just looking at the spectrum amplitudes I really can’t discern any significant difference in the signal levels between the 3 DAB+ multiplexes.

Important issue is - do you get any dropouts?