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Q2 2014 Report

Aug 1, 2014   //   by dusty   //   DB Blog  //  12 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.

Since our last report we’ve spent the majority of the past year working on installing a DAB transmitter in Cork city. Though we purchased and tested the transmission and antenna equipment last summer, the actual installation and connection of our feed threw up more problems than anticipated. These problems were beyond our direct control so we had to rely on patience and perseverance to get through.

I’m very happy to say everything worked out in the end and our DAB trial is now available in Cork City. The topography of the city is more defined than Dublin, so the signal shall concentrate on the city area, and in particular, on in-building reception.

This second leg of the trail will also test connections between, and networking of, DAB transmitters using a number of different platforms from satellite downwards plus new data compression algorithms. As our trial is a Single Frequency Network (SFN), the Cork trial will carry exactly the same audio and data services as Dublin.

On a positive note, we had a very successful trial of DAB BWS during the Radiodays Europe Conference in Dublin last March. BWS is an acronym for Broadcast Web Site and it does what it says on the tin.

For this trial we created a small website of just a single html text page with targeted links. The html was updated dynamically using AIM’s Rapid software taking feeds from the All 80s studio playout system. The page was then broadcast alongside the audio so a listener could see the name of the song playing, and if they chose, could click links for more information on the artist playing, or current news/weather etc. All these short pieces of information were contained in a single html file which was under 16k.

The result was fantastic. Without cluttering the screen, the radio station made available several pieces of useful information to listeners, who in turn could ignore it or explore it using web-like links. The downside of the experiment was that it would only work with a SDR on a laptop as no receivers in the market are BWS capable.

However, it does show that broadcasters can deliver additional content in relation to their programmes, at the point of consumption, without the need for a phone app, website or any kind of internet connection. This is a huge leap forward, and in an increasingly visual digital age, a standard that will be expected from the listeners. Later this year we hope to develop BWS more as its ability to transmit information, is not only tremendously useful for programmers but could be revolutionary for radio advertising.

On the programming side of the trial, we are happy to welcome on-air Zenith Classic Rock, who will become a more permanent feature on DAB since acquiring their BAI licence earlier this year. To make room for them we sadly say goodbye to All 80s. The station was launched a number of years ago by our own director Dusty Rhodes. However, to avoid any thoughts of conflict of interest, the station has been sold to new owners allowing Dusty to concentrate 100% on the DAB trial and turning it into a full national service.

The outlook for the remainder of 2014 is good. Now Cork is on-air we have time to continue with more experiments in BWS, and Filecasting, the ability to broadcast on-demand podcast content. More to follow later in the year!

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


  • Hi,

    Great to hear the Cork launch is going well.
    Are there any plans to launch in Galway?



    • Hi Shane,

      Outside of our Dublin and Cork TX we’ve no further plans to expand the trial and have dropped the planned expansion to Limerick. Essentially, like others, we’re waiting for the Broadcasting Authority to move on DAB before investing any further.


  • Hi from maps it looks good but wanted to make sure. I was going to buy a DAB Radio for Christmas and just wanted to see if it covers Ardagh Limerick it should work off Woodcock Hill Thanks

    • Hi Robert,

      We don’t, and no longer have any plan, to operate in Limerick so the only DAB signal available is from RTE. I’m not sure if it will got as far as Ardagh so the only surefire way to test it is to borrow a DAB radio, try it out and see if the RTE signal reaches you.

      Best of luck and let us know how it goes.


  • Hi Dusty,
    remember you from the old pirate radio days of the 80, and 90, great times for radio then!
    Is there anymore plans for the south east to be back on Dab in the near future?
    Also how would I go about joining up somewhere to further my interest in the DAB world!



    • Hi Noel,

      We’ve no involvement in the SE DAB so you’re best bet is to get in contact with them direct. Make sure you join our email list for updates !!


  • DAB radio in Ireland is moving very slow, when will it rolled out from Mullaganish, analogue radio in the UK will be switched off in 2018. What is the problem here? We’re always running at the last minute.

    • Hi Mike,

      The rollout of DAB is fully dependent on the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland issuing the full broadcast licences. When they do everything will roll out nationally very fast.


  • Hi Dusty

    Just bought DAB radio as a gift for my friend who lives in Gorey …
    Have I wasted my money ?

    • Certainly not! All DAB’s come with FM so your friend has a great functioning present. When the BAI fully licence DAB and it arrives in Gorey, your friend will then have access to 20 or 30 brand new national digital stations!

  • Hi Dusty,

    I was thinking of buying a DAB radio and see in your posts above that you will not be operating in Limerick. Does this mean anyone with a DAB radio will no longer receive any extra digital stations, apart from RTE which you mentioned?

    I live in Kilfinane, Co. Limerick which is shown as dark pink on the map. We are close to Mitchelstown – would the Cork signal reach here or was our signal coming from Limerick?



    • Hi Ruth,

      We’ve decided to keep trial transmissions just in Cork & Dublin until the BAI fully licence DAB. Once they have done that we have everything in place to roll it out nationally very very fast. In the meantime, RTE are loud and proud on DAB in Limerick !


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