Sydney's digital radio broadcasts get off to a shaky start

The nation’s most populous city joins Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane in broadcasting DAB+ services

Sydney has become the fifth state capital in Australia to commence digital radio broadcasts, joining Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. With this latest move, the five-state plan for beginning metropolitan broadcasts of digital radio has been completed and there are now 44 digital radio services transmitting around Australia.

Commercial Radio Australia’s CEO Joan Warner said that Sydney’s switch-on “illustrates how a highly competitive industry has come together to create one of the most spectrum efficient and sophisticated digital radio networks in the world.”

Stations will be broadcasting at half power for the initial weeks of the activation while any technical issues are addressed, followed by a variable power mode to eliminate interference. Warner explained that this was required due to Sydney’s large number of high-rise buildings. Broadcasting was also delayed by poor weather conditions over the past month.

“Nearly 60 per cent of Australia’s population will now be able to access digital radio services but Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth represent just five out of the 105 commercial radio Licence Area Plans," Warner explained. "The industry is committed to ensuring all Australians are able to access the enhanced form of free to air radio and we’ve commenced talks with Australian Media and Communications Authority and the Federal Government to plan the rollout of digital radio throughout the rest of Australia."

Listeners in the Sydney metropolitan area will now be able to listen to 2CH Easy 1170, 2DAY FM, 2GB, 2KY Racing, 2SM, 2UE, 702 ABC, ABC Classic FM, ABC NewsRadio, ABC Radio National, ABC DiG Radio, Koffee, MIX 106.5, NOVA, Novanation, Pink Radio, Radar, SBS National Radio, Triple J, Triple M, VEGA and WSFM Classic Hits. A full list of stations broadcasting nationally is available on the Digital Radio Plus Web site.

Tags digital radio

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Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

Good Gear Guide

1 Comment

Jeff Herbert

1

Bush BR20DAB and first Digital experience - Lara Victoria.

Purchased for $148 from K Mart.
This is a black "piano" gloss table top with a cloth speaker cover.
Itwhich is unwelcome when has a sturdy handle and claims tooperate on 6 x C batteries and on mains.
It claims a max input of 13 watts,which is high for a small device.
It has twin speakers each of 1 watt and plays in stereo on the FM Band.
Sadly,in common with other brands, it plays only in MONO in the DAB mode.
In DAB mode it emits a low level hum, which is unwelcome in close proximity.

The good news is that it receives all of the DAB listed stations from melbourne. We are at a 60 Km line of sight distance from Melbourne, in flat terrain.
The reception is close to excellent, not even requiring full extension of the antenna.

The good news in this locality is that reception of classical or other music is free of imperfections. ---- If only it was in stereo!!!

Unfortunately the secondary melbourne classical station is not yet on DAB.

The blue backlit mini screen on the BR20 and also the heavenly blue touch sensitive controls, are all very pleasing.

But inputting 13 watts, it seems unlikely to be cheap or reliable as a portable in places such as the garden. Attempting to use non-alkaline batteries [brand new, unused]I was unable to get any performance.

Also the device offers a very useful "standby" mode, with a red illuminated touch key [which changes red on contact] This also suggests an unacceptable drain on batteries.

Fortunately on disconnection from the mains power, the device retains a memory of the selected presets.

Unfortunately the poor little speakers do not produce a satisfying quality sound. There is clarity, and a slightly velvet treble. But no bass and an absence of the top level sound spectrum accuracy offered by some budget small radios such as Sansui.

It certainly improves on average AM reception for fringe reception, such as ABC News Radio.
There is a "headphone line out" which may enable the sound quality to be expanded through a better amplifier.

Satisfied?
Yes, but slightly underwhelmed.

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