Digital Radio


I suppose the assumption is that it ends up like DAB radios in cars - cheap enough that it just becomes the default, the support just gets thrown in because they probably just use an SDR chip similar to the PC DAB sticks, rather than any real desire to support the growth of DAB.

Most DAB+ receivers don’t do AM at all, so if the market moves in that direction it’ll eventually be a forced move if radio survives.

My pie in the sky idea would be having a national commercial multiplex like Digital One in the UK. Putting all the ABC/SBS multiplexes on a 9C SFN with the local variants on the local commercial multiplex could free up 1 channel for doing so.

Sell the licenses on the basis that broadcasting on it counts as 1 commercial license in every market, with it counting towards the 2 station limit, unless their stations cover less than 30% of the population combined. So that would be any station with 2 stations in the state capitals out, while some smaller operators, and independent ones would be free to purchase.

Sure it wouldn’t be local stations, but neither are the mostly networked stations that already fill the dial.


Yes, I have - but it still doesn’t want to work :frowning:


Well I’ve kind of got it working now.

It launches, except it can’t detect any signal, despite SDR#, MPXTool, etc all being able to access the SDR (one at a time).



Let’s take a trip down memory lane:

TXA claim their credit:

Sydney launch coverage from ABC, this happened in the four other major metros:

Someone made a video for YT of the launch in Melbourne:

Wikipedia article has good references and details:

2008 radioinfo article:

Does that make us all feel old? One decade on.

Am To Fm Conversions In Solo Markets

How utterly depressing to think it’s been 10 years. If you asked people on the street what digital radio is 9 out of 10 would give you a blank stare.

IMO there was actually more awareness of AM stereo back in the day. It was just the availability and cost of the receivers that doomed it. The awareness was there though.

Digital radio has the opposite problem. Lots of cheap receivers but no awareness


I’d be interested to see what would happen in Geelong, local community station The Pulse has been starved of cash for years with its operator Diversitat making good use of its building for its own training but the radio studios still have all old 3GL panels and untouched in donkeys years, no investment whatsoever


Digital radio wasn’t very well marketed or promoted.

I also think alot of people thought because they had receivers with digital AM and FM frequency readouts, that they already had digital radio (as they were often misleadingly labelled as digital radios).


Yes that is exactly what most people think digital radio is. The entire education campaign needs to go back to the drawing board and focus on “AM, FM, and DAB+”. Don’t call it digital radio at all.


I dropped into the Martin Place DAB launch, meeting a certain forum member there. It very much reminded me of my old high school’s fete rather than a significant milestone in Australian broadcasting history.

At ten years old, a child can usually do much more than simply stand on their own two feet. It’s time for DAB+ to grow up and find its identity, otherwise it will join AM Stereo as a (rarely read) footnote in some distant academic history of Australian radio.

The faffing around (or, more correctly, almost inertia) from the regulators hasn’t helped, though.


I seem to recall that about two or three years after the launch of Digital Radio, there was another series of live events across the five main capital cities with all the major commercial broadcasters.

Do people here think that running a similar event to mark a decade of DAB+ transmissions in the major markets complete with a relaunched promotional campaign later this year would be a worthwhile exercise or not really worth the effort?


Yeah I was there as well. Remember watching Mike and Sandy Aloisi interviewing Nathan Rees on 2UE. Won a Sangean WFR-1D+ from them as well by entering an SMS competition.

I was also at this one. In Sydney it was held at Circular Quay in the park next to the MCA. Jason Morrison was doing 2UE Breakfast by then. The turnout wasn’t as good as the opening but.


I remember the rather extreme lengths I went to to get reception on the first day of full time transmissions. I’d bought one of the few DAB+ capable USB receivers, an Albrecht DR-403, late in 2008 in preparedness.

On the day transmissions started, I had to scramble to find a spot where I could actually get reception. The transmissions were at reduced power to start with (15kW?) and there was also a null towards Geelong to try and limit reception where I lived.

The device used a mini BNC connector, so I couldn’t connect it to the main roof antenna (I didn’t know I could just get an adaptor for a while) and I was also limited in antenna placement by needing to have it close enough to my PC to actually use. I eventually got out my horrible old laptop with its single USB port and took it outside to get a small amount of signal and finally scan in the multiplexes - though ABC/SBS wasn’t on air yet.

Once the service went to full power, reception was fine, but that first day was fairly entertaining as I tried to get enough signal to hear it.

I have some good memories of the early pop up stations - getting songs to play on Choose The Hits was cool, especially finding the ones most out of their format. Plus, sound quality was a bit better with more stations at higher bitrates earlier on - it’s like a lot of things, we’ve got more stations now but I think choice has reduced.


Correct, as witnessed by the many complaints on reviews of the Philips radio product I posted a link to some weeks ago recently.

Exactly, a great way to eliminate confusion.

Lack of leadership and/or being held back by the Minister’s office.

If you could clean out the outdated thinking within CRA, it’d be worthwhile, however, that’s not happening.

I certainly didn’t bother a second time.


Ah yes, Choose The Hits Jelli. I remember trying to game its system as well by choosing older rock tracks. There is definite irony in 2DAY FM Sydney’s current format.


Well guess what.

I tried ZOO DAB in Sydney tonight, now there’s no sound at all!


I didn’t get a chance to ring them like I was going to last week… Hopefully tomorrow or Friday.


If you turn it up all the way you can just hear it over the buzz.


I have been to busy and forgot about calling someone :frowning:

Will mention it today


The 9A DAB+ multiplex in Hobart from Mt Wellington went off the air this morning, after transmitting a test tone for the last few days.

According to the letter SCA sent out to local radio stations and other communications license holders, the permanent service should commence tomorrow (March 1st).


I just heard a promo saying “Coles radio, now available on DAB Digital Radio” in Coles Kingston (near Hobart)!


Oh yeah, maybe if you rig up a massive aerial to get Melbourne DAB.