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Q2 2013 Report

Jul 1, 2013   //   by dusty   //   DB Blog  //  17 Comments

At the end of each quarter you can get an update with the latest developments and achievements of the dB Digital Broadcasting DAB trial. To automatically receive updates by email or RSS feed see our Join In page.

Q2 has been exceptionally busy for our DAB trial.

The pace has really picked up with the trial now carrying twice the services we had at launch. In addition to All 80s, Pure Classic, Raidio Ri-Ra, Sunshine Radio and UCB we have just been joined by UK based Amazing Radio. This is a mile-stone for Irish radio as Amazing is the first UK licenced station to broadcast terrestrially in the Republic of Ireland. Our feeling is they won’t be the last.

One thing we learned while adding new services is that new mux configurations, once again, show up deficiencies with many receivers. Some receivers update and add new services automatically as one would imagine. However not all do. Some require a listener to re-scan their radio. Two receivers in particular needed a full factory re-set. While we work with receiver and chip manufacturers to fix issues such as this it is good to know these limitations. We shall use this knowledge with particular attention to how we reconfigure the mux in addition to adding a “re-scan” message on DLS to alert listeners of changes.

Also during Q2 we carried out extensive audio tests. We operated two DAB+ channels carrying the same audio but with different settings. Listeners were asked to respond on our website with their observations. What surprised us was the amount of listeners who rated both channels as being equal in quality despite a difference of up to 32k. This strengthens observations, made elsewhere in Europe, that once the audio is acceptable quality the majority of listeners are happy.

On conclusion of our audio tests, our feeling is that DAB+ offers excellent quality at half the bit-rate of traditional DAB. This bodes well for the future as it further reduces costs for broadcasters and increases the choice of stations available to listeners.

Finally, we are pleased to say, our trial licence has been renewed by ComReg and firm orders have been placed for transmission and antenna equipment needed for our expansion to Cork. It’s going to be a busy summer!

As always your feedback is greatly appreciated in the comments section below. Remember to keep up-to-date automatically by email, RSS or our Twitter feed.

17 Comments

  • Still nothing in the NW.
    We do exist and many listeners would avail of DAB+
    or better (and easier!) DRM. .Why not a trial?

    The other possibility is the new Mpg4 radio only receiver.
    I have had the use of one (made in Korea)
    with excellent results but limited prog content ( from RTE DTTV)
    And bring on European content!
    ádh mór
    d msh

    • Hi Damhlaic,

      We would love nothing more than to be on-air everywhere! However, with the temporary nature of a trial licence, it does not make financial sense to run anything other than a limited service. That’s just an unfortunate reality 🙁

      We’re hopeful the BAI will begin working on DAB later this year. The sooner they do, the sooner we can get on-air in the NW!

      Cheers
      Dusty

  • Hi,
    I am the lucky owner of a Pure Evoke3 receiver, with recording facilities. Living in Co Meath, and with the aid of an antenna, I can pull in the BBC DAB signal from Nthn Ireland. I love the the BBC’s EPG and how easy it is for me to schedule programs for recording. Is there any future likelihood of RTE having an EPG that is compatible with my receiver? Regards, Pat

    • Hi Pat,

      I *think* RTE are or were running an EPG service but you would really have to direct your query to them. For our own trial, it is on our list to test an EPG service but I’m not sure when. Getting on-air in Cork is our main priority for now.

      Cheers,
      Dusty

  • I enjoy the trial and understand that as it’s a trial the selection is limited but really right now all I can get is 80th, 70th, Amazing (which is horrible) and Ria-Ra.

    What happened to Sunshine, Loveradio and classic? These stations just disappeared.

    I really think you should have a section on your webpage that tells us what stations you currently cover and update it when new ones show (just like 70th suddenly popped up) and other go offline.

    • Hi!

      Throughout 2013 we’re operating a number of new formats on short trial runs. They include Classical, 70’s, Love and Album Rock so expect them to come and go. Our permanent services remain as All 80s (80s), Sunshine Radio (Easy/Country), Raidio Ri-Ra (Top 40), Amazing Radio (New Music) and UCB (Christian).

  • Hi Dusty,

    Is there any reason why there are so few independents on the DAB service in Dublin. I understand this is only a trial service but how long does a trial service have to run for? I’m astonished that, in this day and age, all of the commercials aren’t up and running on DAB. We seem to be light years behind the UK and other countries.

    Is it ComReg that are holding this up or are the stations simply not interested in being on DAB?

    Best regards,

    Kev.

    • Hi Kevin,

      It is nothing to do with ComReg or the BAI for that matter. Anyone licenced as a broadcaster or content-provider by the BAI is able to partake in the trial. This includes commercial operators. In fact, commercial operators are the easiest of all as they require no further licence to simulcast on DAB. Unfortunately, for their own reasons, very few have chosen to take part.

      However, that also means our Mux is full of vibrant new services and not repeats of existing FM broadcasts. We’re also garnering interest from UK operators, more of whom my join the UK’s Amazing Radio which is on-air in Dublin right now.

      I hope this helps answer your question.

      Cheers
      Dusty

  • HI Dusty,

    I noticed all80’s is gone off my dab radio, is this a permanent situation ?.

    I still listen on my pure flow net radio.

    great station by the way

    regards

    tony murray

    • Hi Tony

      All is working fine !

      Cheers
      Dusty

  • Can’t seem to get any DAB reception in Greystones, is this normal?

    • To answer your question, lack of DAB signal in Greystones is perfectly normal!The DAB transmitters are on the other side of the mountain so Greystones require extra fill-in transmitters.

  • Is DAB available yet in Galway City and surrounding area? I live in Moycullen

    If it is not yet available, do you know when it may be.

    If Irish stations are not available yet, are there any UK stations that I could pick up?

    Thanks, Harr

    • Hi Harry,

      In short, DAB is not available in Galway. From my view, DAB won’t be on-air in Galway until the BAI licences a national commercial multiplex.

      Cheers,
      Dusty

  • I understand that your test licence runs out this month. Does that mean we will not have dab radio in Galway city. Thank you.
    Hughie .

    • Hi Hugh,

      I’m not sure where that information is coming from because our licence certainly doesn’t expire this month and we are not on air in Galway! As far as I’m aware this is also the case with the two other operators of DAB, Total Broadcast and RTE.

      Cheers,
      Dusty

  • Hey Folks,
    Origionaly from Meath but living in Cork, was listening to the likes of “Amazing” & “Zeneth” up in Meath over the bank holiday. Got back to Cork today and re-tuned my DAB Hi-Fi and am picking them up! Excellent!! 🙂

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