The planned demsie of FM

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The planned demsie of FM

Post by 07bloomfieldb » 01 Feb 2009 09:45

It would appear that the government is planning to phase out FM in a few years time. They will only do this once 50% of people listen to dab. So do everyone a favour and persuade your firiends, family e.t.c. to use fm. ... 858946.stm ... report.pdf

Failing which we need a petition.

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Post by Finger Painter » 01 Feb 2009 13:03

Hurrah for FM and I couldn't agree more.

I'm quite an avid listener to the radio when home and despite having a collection of DAB radio's there just seems something lacking over good FM reception. In this sense I'm as guilty as the rest in the promotion of DAB, but I can also blame my wife partily in to the mix being as for some reason she is bit of a DAB fanatic.

I have also heard plans are a foot to change the format of DAB hence making the present flock redundant. How much truth lies in this I have no idea, but it is food for thought if considering DAB.

Why and how the government get involved in broadcast transmission formats I have no idea, but may be they ought to spend more time sorting out more pressing issues.

I have no doubt a number of independent stations will continue to hold the FM flag high well past any government 'sell by date'.

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Post by JollyJeweller » 01 Feb 2009 13:34

Gulp....I like DAB :shock:

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Post by vincula2008 » 01 Feb 2009 14:00

I think DAB's practical and convenient, troublefree and easy on the ear... like a... turntable? Give me a break!! My dentist loves DAB radio, it's sooooo convenient that everything ends up sounding pretty much the same, it has a bandwidth that reduces soundstage to prehistoric drawing perspective and it makes music more sterile than bleach. A great idea, though, when you're simply too tired to deal with interference and weak reception conditions. When you're simply too tired of...??? :?
Sorry, I'm a Frequent Moron :lol:

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Re: The planned demsie of FM

Post by JaS » 01 Feb 2009 14:24

07bloomfieldb wrote:It would appear that the government is planning to phase out FM in a few years time. They will only do this once 50% of people listen to dab.
They don't broadcast DAB radio or Digital TV around here; I guess I'll have to wait for perfect sound and 24/7 reruns of Top Gear :wink:


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Post by LPspinner » 01 Feb 2009 19:51

Hi Guys:

I’ve always used FM radio (FM stands for Free Music) and to my mind no HiFi system is complete without a good FM tuner and a nice twig to get your favorite FM station. We have lots of opportunities here in Australia for good quality live broadcasts and I would think it’s a sad day when the FM network is closed down.

JollyJeweller Wrote:
Gulp....I like DAB
Don’t to feel too ashamed. DAB, if done properly can actually sound quite good. We have just would up a Test transmission DAB service here in Australia and the 192Kbps stream can sound very good and is comparable in quality to FM Radio. (We shall wait and see what happens with the proposed DAB+ service when it is rolled out later this year …) Unfortunately you guys in the UK are stuck with greedy DAB ensemble operators that are screwing you big time with low bit rate and very poor sounding data streams of less than 128Kbps, and that’s bad … very bad.

And that is why you guys in the UK need to force you’re BBC and Ofcom to either keep the FM band going or start using your DAB service properly by upping the DAB bit rate back up to 192Kbps.



Post by Guest » 01 Feb 2009 22:19

Perhaps its the area I live in but I've yet to hear a DAB broadcast that can be described as "hi-fi" or anything close. To me, it smacks of Mr Blair's past intervention for all things digital. In these days of reducing carbon footprints, I wonder how many people know the huge power consumption of digital transmitters...almost twice that required for analogue FM. Hmmm.

It also has a horribly compressed bandwidth, which, ironically will become even more compressed as bandwidth space is consumed following station switchovers from FM (more stations = less bandwidth). FM to my ears, and I'm not claiming this as fact, matches or exceeds the dynamics and quality sound reproduction of all but the very best vinyl system. Just listen to anything broadcast from Radio 3 or one of the live recording sessions for Radio 2, simply wonderful. DAB may have the low background noise of CD, and to me, this is the crunch...its a marketing gimmick which panders to the crowds in the same way CD was pushed in favour of all those crackly inconvenient LPs.

A petition is a great idea. If that doesn't work, lets storm all those old antiquated, efficient, cheap to run, sensible FM broadcasting stations and refuse to leave until someone pulls the plug on DAB! :wink:

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Post by MonkeyBoy » 02 Feb 2009 15:01

I guess I'm actually lucky that radio stations in the U.S. are so lousy. I rarely even bother with radio any more, so if it disappears I probably won't even notice. As for digital broadcasts, here in the states we have Sirius and another system (I forget the name) and I have heard that they don't even play any Beatles. That's why I have cd's. I can listen to what I want in my car without having to put up with some marketing analyst deciding what they think I should like. I haven't even bothered with radio at home in many years. Maybe radio is better in other countries.

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Post by michaelevans60 » 02 Feb 2009 20:53

Given the only thing I use the radio for is Radio 4 (of which I am an avid listener) I'm a massive fan of DAB.

Most people don't go to the effort of getting a decent fm signal (even many of us lot) - is it worth keeping fm for Radio 3 and some of 2?:

Personally I don't think so because when I really want to listen to classical I put on a record - even if you are lucky enough to have the best fm receipt it is difficult to achieve the required silence. On the basis of democracy I think far more people listen to Radio 1 and local radio (to which DAB isn't really an issue - and they are used to iPods anyway) than the few discerning Radio 3 concert listeners.

So I say chop fm and save the overhead. None crackly pop, clear spoken word (I think the listening stats would be much higher for radios 1 and 4 than 2 and 3 (barring Wogan's diatribe and the more we can suppress that the better :wink: )) will please more of the people more of the time.

Sorry hi fi bods but this is one I think it is worth letting go.

The only thing I wonder is that I think the fm signal won't be switched off at all. Sort of makes the whole debate redundant.

It will be parallel broadcast for ages for 2 reasons:

1: We don't yet have full coverage with DAB
2: What about all the cars...?

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Post by Stone » 02 Feb 2009 21:22

I love FM radio and have invested in a very good tuner accordingly. Though formats are sometimes (ok often) ridiculously tight or niche specific, and commercials drive me a bit batty at times, because I live in an urban area I still have lots of choice...we still have a pretty good public broadcaster here too!

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Post by Abandonflip » 02 Feb 2009 22:30

This is a real conundrum for me - I listen to quite a lot of radio, even if just as background noise, but DAB reception in my area is a less than pathetic second best to FM.

What's more, the BBC keep threatening enormous compression on certain services, the worst of which is R3.

I just hope people like listening to classical music that sounds like a bad long-wave broadcast!

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Post by Alabama978 » 02 Feb 2009 23:26

Until they get the bit rate up to at least 192Kbit with good reception in all areas FM is my choice.

One nation who pushed the technology has learned the hard way - Germany. Must have the worst take up of DAB per head of population. The last time I looked at the figures they had sold 300,000 units in a country of around 85 million people!

Some of the German broadcasters have actually handed back the DAB licenses due to it being a complete loss financially. They did not market it properly either because unlike UK with specialty stations on DAB to attract audiences Germany just put the same programs out as were on FM.

The average household has 5 radios including car radios so I guess not too many will be forking out for DAB as a replacement for all of those anytime soon.

DVB-T succeeded over analogue TV because people got added value like the EPG etc.

DAB = Dead Audio Broadcasting :)

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Post by 07bloomfieldb » 03 Feb 2009 07:35

Getting a good fm signal is not hard. I have a 3m antenna bhind the hifi and a booster. This combination eliminates hiss.

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Post by Axon » 03 Feb 2009 09:04

Digital radio on my setup is actually extremely good around here, if done right. The local classical and NPR stations tend to pump out really good digital signals, and one of the local pop stations has a solid dance mix (albeit at very low bitrate) running on an HD Radio subchannel.

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Post by ChrisMM » 05 Feb 2009 09:51

Those of us who have lived with decent hifi tuners for 30 years plus won't agree with some of the above posters. It's as easy and cheap to get a roof FM aerial as a TV one, and the sound from anything over about £100 tuner is infintely preferable to the horribly compressed DAB. DAB's most appropriate use would be in cars where, ironically, it hasn't been applied. Even on a cheap desktop system FM sounds better. The UK public has been sold another pup by the (Tory - 1996) government, vested business interests and the BBC. Democracy has nothing to do with it - we haven't been given a choice!

Only hope is internet radio - on my Squeezebox some US stations sound superb and again ironically the BBC ones sound awful!!

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