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Digital Radio Is Coming, Pt.1

Digital radio broadcasts will finally start in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney on 1st May with 71 radio stations (ABC, SBS & commercial) on ten DAB+ transmitters. This is the first of a series of articles giving you the details on this complex and completely new radio broadcast medium.

By Alan Hughes

Digital radios will have excellent sound quality and a lot of features that are not available on the existing radios we have listened to over many decades.

For example, to select a station you will pick its name from a list. There will be no need to tune across a band. If you are in a car and move out of digital signal range, the receiver will automatically select another digital, FM or AM signal containing the same program. When you move back within range, the receiver will automatically switch back to the digital signal.

Timeshift will be available so you can delay listening to broadcasts, just as you can right now with TV if you have a suitable recorder. And while many existing radio programs can be downloaded as Podcasts, most digital radios will have flash RAM cards to store programs. 

So you will be able to timeshift, “rewind” and pause the programs while recording and “fast forward” after the recording is complete.

And just as digital TV has an electronic program guide (EPG) so too will digital radio. EPG will allow automatic recording of programs within the radio.

Other features

  • Dynamic Label Segment (DLS)

    DLS will show text information on a screen. This could be telephone numbers, website addresses, track-now-playing and announcer names. A maximum of 128 characters can be displayed at a time.

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