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DAB+ Digital Radio Explained

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With DAB becoming ever more popular. We have decided to answer some common questions for you.

Do I need to go and buy a digital radio now?

No. National radio is likely to continue on FM for the foreseeable future, so you don’t have to rush out to buy a digital radio now. However, if you want access to the extra stations available on digital radio then you should consider getting one. It’s worth noting that you can also listen to digital radio on the internet. 

I want to buy a DAB radio. Should I get one with an FM tuner included?

Yes. Even if there is a digital radio switchover, ultra-local and community radio stations will continue to broadcast on FM - FM is not being switched off. To receive the widest range of stations you should look for a digital radio that also includes FM.

UK DAB coverage isn’t complete yet either, so it would be useful to have FM included in the radio as a back-up for the time being. All of the DAB radios we offer include FM radio still.

Why are there plans to switch to DAB when digital radios use more energy than FM radios?

DAB and internet radios have screens so you can view the station list and other information. A radio with a screen is likely to use more energy than one that doesn’t have a screen.

If your FM radio doesn’t have a screen, the chances are that a DAB one will use more energy. However, if your analogue radio also has a screen, which model uses more energy out of the DAB and FM one is likely to depend upon the particular models in question.

The DAB signal where I live is poor, how can I receive digital radio?

Before a national station switchover from FM to DAB can be announced, the Digital Radio Action Plan stipulates that DAB coverage must be comparable to FM. More DAB transmitters are being installed on an on-going basis, so although you may not be able to receive DAB now, you should be able to by the time switch-over happens.

Why are you not releasing more and more DAB+ Radios?

The industry has decided to make sure the DAB platform is stable before rolling out huge amounts of products. As time goes on, there is anticipation that something may change. The main reason is that DAB+ is not fully supported around the country yet. With the demand of Android units, the focus has been on that. We feel in 2016, we may start to release more models.