All your questions about Digital Radio answered here.
No. Unlike satellite radio or Internet radio, DAB digital radio is land based and only operates within its transmission range. UK services, including the BBC will not be available on DAB digital radio set here in Ireland as there is no capacity or regulatory framework to facilitate them and vice versa for Irish stations in the UK
No. DAB digital radio is a terrestrial technology using land-based transmitters. You can only listen to stations when you are within their transmission range. Some English language radio stations are available via satellite radio. For more information visit www.astra.lu.
Yes. In Ireland, DAB services are broadcast on a band of spectrum called Band III. Many European countries also use Band III
Possibly not, but give it a try. Some DAB stations can be received by plugging a standard FM or TV aerial into a DAB radio, but the best reception will always be via a DAB aerial. There's no guarantee your existing aerial will work.
Yes. Numerous car manufacturers now offer the option of installing DAB radios in your car. Rather than buying a car and then buying the appropriate aerial make sure to ask your car dealer if there is the option of buying a DAB radio installed model.If you don't have a car with a DAB radio installed you can a) buy a special DAB in-car radio and install it. b) get a combined FM/DAB roof mounted aerial for your car and replace your existing aerial with it, or c) you can buy a separate DAB aerial to sit alongside your existing FM aerial. There are two types of DAB aerials available for the car, either a magnetic mount for steel panels, or an active glass strip aerial which is an adhesive amplified antenna for glass mount. Many existing FM aerials are "helically wound". A helically wound aerial is short and stubby and is usually roof mounted. It is most often fitted to newer model cars and is designed to amplify the FM signal so may not work effectively with a DAB radio.
Portable radios usually feature either a standard telescopic aerial, or with hand held models, the aerial is usually built in to the headphones. Your digital radio hi-fi tuner will come with an indoor aerial, either a ribbon dipole or a monopole (half dipole). The aerial supplied should work well if you're within DAB coverage area, however if you're listening in a basement, or your building is steel-framed, or reinforced concrete, you might need an external aerial. As a rule of thumb, if you already have poor FM or mobile phone reception, chances are you'll need an external aerial. But first, see if placing the radio near to a window improves reception. To obtain the best results from an external aerial, either use a dipole (omnidirectional aerial - should work well for moderate to strong signal levels provided it is vertically polarised) or, in exceptional circumstances, a Yaggi (which has a much higher gain than a dipole, but is directional - best suited where reception is poor and all transmitters are in the same direction). The Yaggi aerial must be pointed at the transmitters. All DAB aerials must be vertically polarised. The higher the aerial is mounted, the better reception you will receive.
No, DAB and analogue radio will sit side by side for the foreseeable future.
Digital radio is currently available for 44% of Ireland's population, in the greater Dublin, Limerick and Cork areas. Digital radio will eventually be rolled out across Ireland however the roll-out depends on resources and regulatory developments. RTÉ has stated that it will not proceed any further with national roll-out until regulatory structures and roll-out plans are in place for Ireland's commercial broadcasters.
No. Because it's a terrestrial transmission system, you can only receive local stations within their transmitter range.
No, the reception you get depends on the coverage in your area.
If you have the same station playing on two radios, one analogue (FM/LW) and one DAB, you will notice there is a few seconds delay between the two. In fact you will hear the DAB broadcast slightly after the analogue version. There's nothing wrong with your radio. If you have digital TV, you'll find the same thing happens when you switch between analogue and digital transmissions of the same channel.The techie answer is when the station originates as an analogue broadcast, the signal must be transformed into a digital transmission using Mpeg2 encoding and COFDM modulation. This takes a couple of seconds, hence the delay when you hear it come out the other end. So, when you hear the 9 o'clock news, it's actually about 9:00:02!
An EPG is an Electronic Programme Guide, similar to that available on cable or satellite TV. An EPG lets you see what's on now and next, to search programmes and to set an advance timer record. It lets you scroll through all the programmes available on the various stations up to a week in advance, and to select the ones you wish to access or store for future listening. Several products on the market are already EPG compatible, and more are expected in 2009.
Yes. Go to any of the station websites listed on DAB radios and you will be able to hear their services live on your PC. To listen to any of the RTÉ stations select your station of choice on the right hand side of your screen.
Some mobile phone manufacturers are selling mobile phones with DAB in the UK. It is likely that these may become available in Ireland if there is sufficient consumer demand.
No. 3G and other mobile technologies are likely always to remain one-to-one systems and not broadcast technologies. You can get the engaged tone on a mobile phone system or the mobile network can become busy when there is heavy traffic, but however many people use a digital radio broadcast signal, you will never get the busy tone. Mobile telephony experts have underlined the fact that even a 3G network can only deliver a limited amount of data to a limited number of users at a time. Some analysts believe that combining the one-to-one functionality of 3G with the broadcast efficiency of DAB digital radio may ultimately be a highly attractive solution.
A multiplex is a block of frequencies containing radio and data services. Using digital technology, more services can be carried within these blocks than can fit into a similar FM spectrum. So, there's more room for more stations. There are two multiplexes on air in the present DAB trial but is expected that many more will roll out around the country in the next two years.
DAB kitchen radios start at approximately ¤40. Hand-held products are priced from ¤80 and DAB clock radios start at ¤85. Hi-fi tuners and micro systems start at around ¤150. In-car DAB radios vary in price depending on if you buy an all-in-one unit, or go for the separates option (a boot box and head unit) or if it comes pre-installed in the car. Integrated DAB radios start at approximately ¤150.
In much the same way as few national newspapers or listings magazines carry programme details of all the satellite TV channels, there is little printed information on DAB programmes currently available. However, many DAB stations list their programme details on their websites. All the RTÉ digital radio stations listings are available at www.rte.ie/digitalradio. EPGs will also become more widely available on radios soon and in due course some national listings magazines may include programme listings.
DAB digital radio receivers are stocked by many retailers around the Dublin area. They are available from most multiple high street electrical retailers and department stores such as Marks & Spencers, Tesco, Lidl, Dixons, Power City, Argos as well as from many independent hi-fi dealers and are available to buy online.
With digital radio you can listen to RTÉ's current services - RTÉ Radio 1, RTÉ 2fm, RTÉ lyric fm and RTÉ Raidio na Gaeltachta as well as RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Pulse, RTÉ Chill, RTÉ Choice, RTÉ Junior, RTÉ Gold and RTÉ Radio 1 Extra. You can also hear Digital Audio Productions' two independent digital-only stations, Mocha and All 80s, online at mocharadio.ie and all80s.ie.
Nothing. once you've bought your radio receiver, listening is absolutely free.
All DAB digital radio receivers come with a small screen. This screen serves two purposes: first it lets you scroll through a list of stations to find the one you want, and then, once you've settled on a station, it displays a line of scrolling text generated by that radio station.
Most stations already use scrolling text to broadcast their name and music format. Some also identify the track and artist you're listening to, tell you what songs are coming up next, deliver news headlines, sports results, contact web addresses and telephone numbers.
The first time you switch on your DAB Digital Radio you need to hit the Auto Tune button (also called Auto Scan) so it identify all the stations available in your area, otherwise it remains on factory settings. When you do this you'll see a number appear on the right of the screen which will rise as the scan continues. This tells you the number of stations you can receive. Once you've auto tuned the radio you don't need to do it again unless you take the radio to another part of the country with different coverage.