Downing street sent out their response to the following petition today which was incepted by David Price of Hifi World;
“We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to effect a national DAB Digital Radio switch-off by 2015.”
Details of Petition:
“Given that the two largest radio platforms in the UK are analogue AM/FM and computers (via Internet Radio and BBC iPlayer and podcasts), we call on the Prime Minister to stop wasting money building the national British Digital Audio Broadcasting ‘Digital Radio’ infrastructure. Both the existing analogue radio network and the internet already deliver superior sound quality and programme choice, and are also now ubiquitous in homes, businesses and cars, so there is absolutely no need for an another digital platform based on obsolete 1990s technology, contrived at a time before internet radio was possible.”
The final paragraph of the government response; 'Opinions about the quality of DAB often depend on the reception in any one given area. The Government is convinced that with the investment in building out and improving DAB coverage and reception, that the average consumer will benefit from the Digital Radio Upgrade programme.' Is just nonsense and entirely ignores the central problems that objectors have with regard to monophonic broadcasts and low bitrate.
I note that everything the government states is 'the average consumer' so are they expecting all to be reduced to 'average'. The whole FM radio concept was not born from average but an attempt at a new better standard and it certainly did that, personally I don't think the government should take any part in broadcasting standards but they do simply by charging for spectrum.
Equally so I think their decision is based solely on financial reward with no mention of sonic performance. Now the claim that a better signal will enhance the perceived sound is complete nonsense, however good the reception is it will never improve the bit rate.
I had one of the first DAB radios a Pure, one of the best at the time but I could never listen for long and gave it away in the end, admitted some channels were better than others but none were up to FM standard.
Whatever happened to stereo digital broadcast in the AM bands, sounded interesting a few years ago but I've heard nothing since, why did NICAM never make headlines as a broadcast medium as I've never heard any complaints about it's quality, OK it is compressed but in a lossless way and certainly not to the point of MP3 or DAB.
Are we all stuck in a trench, TV with NICAM, portable audio MP3, radio DAB, in many ways AM radio is better than many, it's only restriction being the bandwidth allocated to it, or single sideband reception that is used the world over for shortwave communication and requires only half the bandwidth.
Maybe a 'spread spectrum' system as used by the worlds army’s.