Digital radios

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seahermit
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Digital radios

Postby seahermit » Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:16 pm

I have been slow to embrace DAB radios (what do the initials stand for anyway?) in view of the higher cost and also having read more than once that reception was poor in some parts of the country or not even as good as FM.

I have several FM radios and listen to music a lot, but on my cheaper radios I have had frequent problems getting a decent signal in Hastings and good quality sound (without a lot of interference and sometimes bouts of the radio repeatedly going off-tune). It seems to depend very much how near you are to one of the relay transmitters. Almost never been able to get Classic FM in my part of the world.

So, got myself a small Logic DAB radio just to try it out - and I am knocked over by the quality of the sound. Superb - continuously crystal clear and sharp, together with a brilliant display which gives me the radio station and the song currently being performed! Sorry if this sounds dumb - but I hadn't kept pace with how the technology has moved on.

Is there really such a big gulf between FM and DAB? Is this normal or a freak occurrence?! I'm tempted to go further and update my stereo etc. but just trying to assess the situation first ..

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Richard
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Re: Digital radios

Postby Richard » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:02 pm

Digital audio broadcasting (DAB) is audio broadcasting in which analog audio is converted into a digital signal and transmitted on an assigned channel in the AM or (more usually) FM frequency range.
I was unimpressed with this years ago but maybe it has improved a lot since.
I have no problem at all with the Roberts R9993 3-Band Portable Radio, it is not DAB and is simple to use and the sound quality is good, it costs less than £20 and the batteries last for ages.
It is light and easy to use.

I can't see much interest for the hobbyist in tinkering with DAB radios, or repairing them, the old valve-operated ones and the later transistor ones, operated by 'radio-hams' seem to be from a bygone age now, but I'm darned sure it was a heck of a lot more fun setting up your own radio station as part of an amateur radio club and tinkering with the constituent parts (tuners, amplifiers, speakers, etcetera) swapping information and generally having fun - Tony Hancock and his exploits with valve-radio were ofcourse abject failures.

Radios such as:
Roberts, Hacker Hunter, Hacker Herald, Grundig, Pye, were famous names.
FM reception requires a telescopic arial as far as I know, certainly for analogue radios.

A happy hunting ground for many.

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seahermit
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Re: Digital radios

Postby seahermit » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:04 pm

Ah, wondered what the acronym meant! I get a bit fed up with the plethora of technical jargon these days, HDMI and all the rest, suspect the nerds are trying to make the rest of us develop an inferiority complex.

I agree that all the fun of hands-on tinkering has gone, in place of circuit boards and computerised systems (e.g in cars). Actually it raises wider, quite serious issues of humans losing their basic skills, except for a few expert boffins. If the post-nuclear/apocalyptic scenario beloved of disaster movies ever actually happens, I think a lot of people would have difficulty just surviving - i.e. knowing how to start a fire or use their hands to make a basic shelter, construct some simple tools etc. Think about that ..!

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Richard
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Re: Digital radios

Postby Richard » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:33 pm

The story was that in June 2009 the Government published its "Digital Britain" report in which it said it would like to switch off all national analogue FM radio in 2015, (e.g. BBC Radio 1 to 4 and Classic FM), not local ones, like the BBC local radio stations.
There have never been any plans to cease local radio FM transmissions.

Analogue terrestrial television in the United Kingdom was, traditionally, the method most people used to receive television.
It was phased out and replaced by digital terrestrial television between 2007 and 2012 on a region-by-region basis.
You can get radio stations on the TV of course, presumably received digitally via the arial in some suitable DAB format.
Exactly how the picture and sound is received by different parts of the arial on the roof (assuming you are not using cable or Sky) is another matter.

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seahermit
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Re: Digital radios

Postby seahermit » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:19 am

I had forgotten about the plans to ditch national analogue radio broadcasts - but why has that not happened? Or will it still happen eventually? I'm also surprised that local stations will still be free to broadcast on FM - at first sight it seems a bit of a fudge, maybe there are technical reasons for the mixed approach.

One of my friends has been given a big old TV, but it occurs to me that surely it may no longer work if analogue was switched off? In any case, my flat-screen TV gives such a beautiful pucture and is so compact that I can't understand why anyone would want to stick with an old TV taking up half the room!

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Richard
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Re: Digital radios

Postby Richard » Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:02 pm

The short answer is yes! Old analogue TV's may still work but only via a converter box.
Plus some old analogue transition period TV's may already have dual receiver decoder boxes built-in.

DVD recorders of course, just hook up to the modern TV's in built 'box'.

https://www.lifewire.com/analog-tv-dtv- ... on-1845700

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seahermit
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Re: Digital radios

Postby seahermit » Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:13 am

As a postscript to my eulogy on digital radios, I suppose that the sound quality on this newly acquired DAB radio MAY be a bit "tinnier" and less mellow than the sound on my FM radios - my hearing is on the wane, so I can't tell precisely. But the clarity of the sound is outstanding and no interference whatsoever. I'm so pleased with it that I'm thinking about getting another larger one.

DAB radios are generally more expensive - on the internet several small pocket FM radios ("trannies") are priced at under £10. Most equivalent tiny DAB radios are £20 or more. But the sound quality is the thing - and something called DAB+ is now coming onto the market, supposed to be a superior version of the technology.

Just checked your link about analogue TVs. It looks very interesting, thanks, I'll read that.

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Derek Jempson
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Re: Digital radios

Postby Derek Jempson » Thu Jan 04, 2018 6:33 am

On a related note, my kitchen DAB digital radio died over the holiday period, so yesterday I bought a new one (medium price range). The sound quality is not wonderful, and it is decidedly "tinny" at some higher frequencies. The radio is Bluetooth enabled, so I was wondering if buying a Bluetooth speaker would be the answer. I know absolutely diddly-squat about Bluetooth and radios, so maybe this wouldn't be feasible?

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seahermit
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Re: Digital radios

Postby seahermit » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:51 am

Presumably you mean the radio could be linked via bluetooth to a larger or better quality speaker. A friend gave me a small bluetooth speaker (6" long) mainly intended for pairing with a smartphone. But the sound quality is pretty good, the volume excellent and I use it for listening to videos or films on the PC. (You can also get them in pairs and set them up as stereo speakers).

I have some videos bookmarked on YouTube - orchestral pieces, favourite Monty Python clips etc.! I have covetous eyes on a larger, more powerful bluetooth speaker - for some reason there are several very good ones online which are not that expensive and, so far as I know, they are capable of being paired with various other devices e.g. TV.

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Richard
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Re: Digital radios

Postby Richard » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:35 am

I have a tiny 2" cube 'bluetoot' speaker called 'marsboy' you need a little usb stub to make the blue-tooth connection and the volume and sound defies belief.
Such a small cube and such rich and loud sound - it is incredible!
Irritations are the time taken to switch it on and wait for it to 'warm up' and it needs recharging frequently, plus the connection may be lost as you walk a distance around the house away from the computer playing the music (in my case) or if you have a smartphone, presumably it is already with you all the time.
Of course if you play in the same room as the device it is ideal and the technology will only improve in time.
:)


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