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DAB Radio

 
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rougherdiamond
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:04 am    Post subject: DAB Radio Reply with quote

ADMIN Edit. Discussion split from Sony TomTom SatNav thread here.
Another missed chance, still no digital radio as standard on this model. A good concept but without digital radio as part of the package it is a system with a built in shelf life of 3-5 years they will have to try harder.
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PaulB2005
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DAB? The technology that has failed to take off and means the analogue switch off keeps getting pushed back? I don't blame them for leaving it out.

TBH I can see these being very popular.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have to admit that DAB has been a disaster. Reception is still an issue for many and mobile it's even worse.
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thedragonslair
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2010 10:42 pm    Post subject: DAB works fantastic in the car, Its not a failed technology! Reply with quote

PaulB2005 wrote:
DAB? The technology that has failed to take off and means the analogue switch off keeps getting pushed back? I don't blame them for leaving it out.

TBH I can see these being very popular.


I have to disagree about the reception of mobile DAB.

I have had 2 JVC car stereos with the optional DAB unit and its been brilliant. I have been using them for about 3 years travelling all over the UK and rarely do I get poor or no reception. I could not contemplate going back to crappy FM with its pathetic selection of stations, with DAB you get the likes of Absolute Radio and dozens of other stations to choose from.

Anyone who criticises DAB is out of date, it now outsells FM radios by a big margin and is massive improvement on FM. Its about time it was better supported in the car!

Mark
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Andy_P
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2010 10:52 pm    Post subject: Re: DAB works fantastic in the car, Its not a failed technol Reply with quote

thedragonslair wrote:


Anyone who criticises DAB is out of date, it now outsells FM radios by a big margin and is massive improvement on FM. Its about time it was better supported in the car!


Beg to differ....
1. DAB is theoretically capable of similar quality to FM, but the way it has been implemented in the UK means that even with perfect reception it has demonstrably inferior audio quality to FM.
2. The DAB system used in the UK is already outdated technology (much of the rest of Europe has opted for DAB PLUS), but we have no timetable for a switch over.

2. If it is outselling FM I suspect it is only because of the incredible marketing hype (much of it funded by the government), There also had to be legislation enacted to force car manufacturers to install it into their new cars, as they weren't doing it voluntarily.

3. My personal experience of DAB has been very poor. I am on my third DAB unit for use as a bedside radio and alarm clock and with all of them the reception has been dreadful. Our window is a large bay and the house is a normal brick/breeze block construction but I can only manage to get half-acceptable reception while standing on the bed with the units held at head height. On the ones where extension aerial sockets have been available, it has not made much difference.

Even out in the garden I can still clearly hear the digital companding "artefacts" which to my ears are far more objectionable than the hiss increase and stereo image width reduction you get as FM signal strength drops.
Thankfully, 95% of DAB radios on sale in the UK also have FM receivers built in. I know why!
(I would also mention that I live in West London, not in the middle of nowhere, far from a transmitter.)

Lots more depressing factoids on the Guardian website... 24 reasons why DAB might not make it
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thedragonslair
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:43 pm    Post subject: Re: DAB works fantastic in the car, Its not a failed technol Reply with quote

I would agree that we should be adopting DAB Plus but we have what we have.

I live in the middle of Birmingham and have excellent reception in my house, I understand that some people will be unlucky and not get a very good signal, most likely because of the surrounding buildings blocking the signal but this is also true of FM, TV signals and mobile phone coverage, what you cant do is condemn it just because it does not work for you. I have a poor signal on O2 phone in my house, it doesn't mean that the O2 signal is poor everywhere.

My point is that if you put a good DAB unit into your car like the JVC unit I have and fit a good external aerial (not an internal one) you will get very good coverage with no breakup on the vast majority of the UK roads, even in a lot of rural areas the reception is good although obviously there are areas with poor coverage. As somebody who does over 40,000 miles a year all over the UK I speak from experience.

As for digital artefacts I rarely hear this, I am someone who loves good quality audio having spent a fortune on expensive home cinema and audio systems, I can honestly say that the quality of DAB in the house and car is superb. whenever I have a passenger in the car they are amazed at how good it is.

DAB radios were outselling analogue radios before people new of the switch-over. And don't forget that if it wasn't for legislation of the digital switch-over of TV many people would still be watching analogue.

As for the argument that 95% of DAB radios also have FM, its not because of poor DAB reception, not all local FM stations can afford to be on DAB so you have a choice, and yes if you live in an area where you have poor reception you still have FM.

Can I suggest that if you haven't tried DAB in the car yet, don't knock it, don't listen to the doom merchants who love to ruin a good thing. If like like me you go up and down the country, give it a try, you wont regret it.

Mark
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Guivre46
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1.The technology is already out of date.
2.The radios remain 4/5 times more expensive than analogue.
3.DAB takes orders of magnitude more power to run.
4.You need a bandwidth of at least 160kps to match FM sound quality
5. Commercially unviable as the listener numbers are too small to support so many stations.
6.Other new technologies are already gaining ground.
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MaFt
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might be worth pointing out that Andy_P has worked in Pro Audio recording and so is likely to be listening for different artefacts etc that 'normal' (no offence Andy!) people wouldn't normally notice. Perhaps his keener, trained ears are the reason he notices it more than others?

Me, personally, I'm not bothered about DAB. I listen to Kerrang! Radio on my DVB TV while I'm working - audio quality isn't that important there!! Other than that I am not willing to shell out the huge difference in price just for it to be digital.

A TV with DVB (Freeview) built in are very very similarly priced to one with just an analogue receiver, but with radios it is not the same proportion. Also, DAB radios.. well, they just look hideous! I'm yet to see one that looks normal!

MaFt
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Andy_P
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, but to me the audio quality of DAB is awful even with good reception - harsh and very tiring to listen to.

DAB only uses MP2, which dates back to the 1980s.
MP2 was only intended for use at reasonably high bit rates (around 192-256 kbps for a stereo station)
But in order to squash ever more stations into a limited bandwidth 98% of all stereo stations on DAB in the UK only use 128 kbps MP2. And it sounds crap.
The BBC transmit BBC7 in glorious mono and they even reduce the Radio 4 signal down to mono in the evenings when Radio 5 Sports Extra is transmitting (that was after they tried to "steal" 20% of Radio 3's bandwidth for the same purpose and there was an outcry amongst Radio 3 listeners).

The BBC's own R&D department states that at least 192kbit/s is necessary for a high fidelity stereo broadcast :
ďA value of 256 kbit/s has been judged to provide a high quality stereo broadcast signal. However, a small reduction, to 224 kbit/s is often adequate....
At 192 kbit/s, it is relatively easy to hear imperfections in critical audio material."

And we're using 128....

I could also rant on about the enormous cost involved in the switchover, the huge amount of extra power needed to transmit the stuff and the huge numbers of extra batteries you need to receive it for more then a few hours on a portable radio.
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PaulB2005
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget when the UK catches up with the rest of Europe and adobts DAB2 you'll have to replace all your DAB radios as they are not backwards compatible.

Plus as the signal with DAB weakenes it degrades faster than FM.
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Andy_P
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaFt wrote:
I listen to Kerrang! Radio on my DVB TV (Freeview)


That's the daft thing!
Radio on Freeview, cable TV and Internet radio are all BETTER quality than the "premium" DAB service we have now.

DAB (and especially DAB+) are capable of reasonably good results, but have been squeezed into an impossible position by political and economic constraints. (http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/dab/intro_dab.htm
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DaveNN
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andy_P wrote:
MaFt wrote:
I listen to Kerrang! Radio on my DVB TV (Freeview)


That's the daft thing!
Radio on Freeview, cable TV and Internet radio are all BETTER quality than the "premium" DAB service we have now.

DAB (and especially DAB+) are capable of reasonably good results, but have been squeezed into an impossible position by political and economic constraints. (http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/dab/intro_dab.htm


just to throw my two penneth in..
I've been using a Highway (portable/car) DAB system for a few years now.
This system transmits to your in car system in FM (sorry if this is teaching you all to suck eggs..but there may be readers here who have never come across this type of thing)- or you can use headphones if you are wandering about with it.
The annoying thing about this is the fact that the aerial is permantly stuck to the windscreen, so this will mean a replacment when I change the car.
Reception is generally OK. But (of course) not a patch on FM.
The reason for me buying a DAB is because my Passat doesn't have LW (for Test Match Cricket on R4..so I listen via 5Live extra- for instance) & the AM reception is piddle poor,especially at night when you get bleed over from Johnny Foreigner.
In addition, I can pause the broadcast (if the phone goes, for instance) & can rewind if I want to listen to something again (music, typically).

As for the actual sound quality...well...it's in FM!!

I also have DAB at home...I have no issues with sound quality/burble or reception in general.
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