More DAB Stations

More digital radio stations. Ofcom – finally – proposes DAB+

You can almost hear the sound of “beep, beep, vehicle reversing”. After many years of dismissing DAB+ as a UK broadcasting standard, Ofcom have announced that the time of DAB+ is approaching.

More listing choice: This could double the number of digital radio stations. From the new consultation document, <img src="http://img3.pseph.co.uk/cache/www.ukfree.tv/xico/stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk.png" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk link icon"> link iconBroadcast Digital Radio Technical Codes and Guidance Consultation on updates and amendments

The proposal is to allow the use of the <img src="http://img3.pseph.co.uk/cache/www.ukfree.tv/xico/en.wikipedia.org.png" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="en.wikipedia.org link icon"> link iconHigh-Efficiency Advanced Audio Coding in addition to the <img src="http://img3.pseph.co.uk/cache/www.ukfree.tv/xico/en.wikipedia.org.png" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="en.wikipedia.org link icon"> link iconMPEG-1 Audio Layer II that is used to encode the sound into the DAB broadcast. It does not change the fundamental levels, which remains <img src="http://img3.pseph.co.uk/cache/www.ukfree.tv/xico/en.wikipedia.org.png" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="en.wikipedia.org link icon"> link iconOrthogonal frequency-division multiplexing.

Ofcom says, in Section 2 Introduction of alternative audio encoding: DAB+

2.4 Use of HE-AAC encoded services within a DAB multiplex has been termed DAB+. The benefits of DAB+ are that it enables audio services to be broadcast at a higher sound quality for a given bitrate than MP2 or to fit additional services into a multiplex at a lower bitrate than MP2 but with equivalent quality. This provides the opportunity to carry many more services and/or better audio quality for services operating in the same spectral occupancy.

2.5 In our 2007 consultation <img src="http://img3.pseph.co.uk/cache/www.ukfree.tv/xico/stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk.png" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk link icon"> link iconThe Future of Radio we said that adoption of DAB+ could be desirable if this was the future direction of DAB across the world. DAB+ is now being adopted in many countries across Europe as well as Australia and other parts of the world.

2.7 It is likely that a complet change to DAB+ in the UK would be a longer term transition that would take into account the installed base of DAB-only receivers in the UK and the current relatively low level of penetration of sets that are compatible with DAB+. It is however likely to be beneficial to include the DAB+ standard into the Digital Code and to permit its limited deployment now and therefore enable the future wider adoption of the technology in the UK.

2.10 Inclusion of DAB+ in the Digital Radio Technical Code does not provide consent for services on existing multiplexes to switch to DAB+. Ofcom would however consider requests for services to switch to DAB+ from operators of existing multiplexes, taking into account the reasons for the request and the potential impact upon listeners that such a change would entail.

Comments are closed.