Author Topic: DAB Radio  (Read 5363 times)

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #50 on: May 18, 2016, 01:27:54 pm »
Another receiver/meter is needed to check DAB reception where you are before blaming Pure.  It varies by area from piss weak to so strong that you don't even need to extend the aerial.

I even removed the fixed antenna from my Pure Oasis for neat's sake.

I'm not saying its all Pure's fault and no-one else's, but if Pure can't make a radio which functions in a reasonably well populated part of the UK, then they need to be upping the spec of their receivers, or making them with big warnings on the box saying "this radio will only work in half the UK"  I don't live anywhere obscure or particularly rural, its about 5 miles North of Portsmouth, hardly out in the sticks.  Basically, Pure have supplied me with a radio which not only had instructions which made no sense, referring to non-existent buttons (well actually that was the online manual, because the enclosed slip of paper really was utterly useless, and in tiny print), but didn't work.  The ability to attach a "proper" aerial might be handy!

On the occasions I managed to get it to pick up a signal (this was on the first floor of my home, traditionally expected to get a better signal than ground floor), the sound was rather "boxy", and its user interface is poor, requiring me to press 3 buttons in the correct time spacing, to change stations.  The display is lovely, with not a blue LED in sight, just a soft white display against a black background (made of a very statically charged plastic, which attracted cat hairs from yards away).

Its back to my 20 year old Sony, which has a brilliant user interface, and sounds OK, and actually works, albeit in FM and AM only.  if I want to listen to DAB stations, I'll have to switch on the router and the amp, and the Sonos, and do it via internet radio instead.  I shan't be trying DAB again anytime soon.
Wombat

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #51 on: May 18, 2016, 01:33:31 pm »
Another receiver/meter is needed to check DAB reception where you are before blaming Pure.  It varies by area from piss weak to so strong that you don't even need to extend the aerial.

I even removed the fixed antenna from my Pure Oasis for neat's sake.

I'm not saying its all Pure's fault and no-one else's, but if Pure can't make a radio which functions in a reasonably well populated part of the UK, then they need to be upping the spec of their receivers, or making them with big warnings on the box saying "this radio will only work in half the UK"  I don't live anywhere obscure or particularly rural, its about 5 miles North of Portsmouth, hardly out in the sticks.

In radio terms, that may well be the sticks, thobut.  It's not the done thing to aim radio transmissions towards mainland Europe at decent power, so much of the south-east that isn't line-of-sight from London or an inland-facing relay suffers from patchy coverage[1].  Same problem with DVB-T.

TBH, I reckon a DVB-S receiver or internet streaming would be a better approach to radio than DAB, unless it has to be mobile, in which case you can expect to use FM a lot of the time.


[1] This is actually why I stopped listening to the radio.  When all you've got are fuzzy BBC stations and Invicta FM (in those days it was all analogue), it's not worth bothering.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Tim Hall

  • Bright are the stars that shine Dark is the sky
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2016, 01:49:11 pm »
Ok, so I choose to listen to Planet Rock.

Still? We lost that at the end of last month, even in the car. In Bucks.

Didn't they change multiplex? Theoretically a retune/rescan should fix it. (Disclaimer: Her Majesty's Home Service is what I listen to.)
There are two ways you can get exercise out of a bicycle: you can
"overhaul" it, or you can ride it.  (Jerome K Jerome)

spesh

  • Keep calm and - Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #53 on: May 18, 2016, 02:25:50 pm »
Ok, so I choose to listen to Planet Rock.

Still? We lost that at the end of last month, even in the car. In Bucks.

Didn't they change multiplex? Theoretically a retune/rescan should fix it. (Disclaimer: Her Majesty's Home Service is what I listen to.)

They did - there were regular infomercials about the "Big Retune" for weeks beforehand (and the station name had (IIRC) a 'x' appended to it).
"There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." ~ Will Rogers

Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #54 on: May 18, 2016, 02:34:57 pm »
They did indeed -= but certain areas lost the signal for good as a result. Seems I'm in one of them. The car doesn't need a rescan, it does it automagically. Before the change of mux the station name showed preceeded by a z. That indicated that you would not be able to listen afterwards. Still Radio X is a reasonable (for me) substitute.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2016, 03:02:49 pm »
Yes, the owners of Planet Rock decided that maintaining a nationwide DAB presence was no longer part of the plan, and advised those of us who would permanently lose the signal to pick them up on DVB (Freeview). I tried the 50" TV in the passenger seat, but it didn't go well...

Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #56 on: May 18, 2016, 03:09:01 pm »
If I really want I can use the app on my phone and connect that to the iInterface on the car I guess, or stream via the dreaded bluetooth.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

TimC

  • Bike pilot
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #57 on: May 18, 2016, 03:11:15 pm »
Good plan - I hadn't thought of that (doh!). BT works extremely well in my car (Fiesta) from my iPhone, so I'll give it a go.

windy

  • Sitting on a bog in the North Atlantic
    • My Instagram
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #58 on: May 18, 2016, 03:12:02 pm »
We have DAB in Stornoway good reception and a lot better signal than am/fm (but only BBC radio 1-6 and no access to other stations).

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #59 on: May 18, 2016, 03:22:31 pm »
Not sure that the DAB radio in the kitchen can get Radio 4 consistently here in Outer London. I've stopped trying and only use it for Classic fm when I'm washing up and partner is away.
When we want Radio 4, we use our old radios.
IME DAB never fails to disappoint.

Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #60 on: May 18, 2016, 04:42:38 pm »
Yes, the owners of Planet Rock decided that maintaining a nationwide DAB presence was no longer part of the plan, and advised those of us who would permanently lose the signal to pick them up on DVB (Freeview). I tried the 50" TV in the passenger seat, but it didn't go well...

I'm guessing there were cost implications to that. I'm voting with my feet as I used to listen to it in the kitchen I can't get it on the DAB radio but could theoretically just move the ipad into the kitchen - although the speaker isn't as good and who wants to listen to rock on a tiny ipad speaker. I'm hoping they will notice my absence and pay the bill or whatever.
Duct tape is magic and should be worshipped

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #61 on: May 18, 2016, 07:27:20 pm »
Another receiver/meter is needed to check DAB reception where you are before blaming Pure.  It varies by area from piss weak to so strong that you don't even need to extend the aerial.

I even removed the fixed antenna from my Pure Oasis for neat's sake.

I'm not saying its all Pure's fault and no-one else's, but if Pure can't make a radio which functions in a reasonably well populated part of the UK, then they need to be upping the spec of their receivers, or making them with big warnings on the box saying "this radio will only work in half the UK"  I don't live anywhere obscure or particularly rural, its about 5 miles North of Portsmouth, hardly out in the sticks.

In radio terms, that may well be the sticks, thobut.  It's not the done thing to aim radio transmissions towards mainland Europe at decent power, so much of the south-east that isn't line-of-sight from London or an inland-facing relay suffers from patchy coverage[1].  Same problem with DVB-T.

TBH, I reckon a DVB-S receiver or internet streaming would be a better approach to radio than DAB, unless it has to be mobile, in which case you can expect to use FM a lot of the time.


[1] This is actually why I stopped listening to the radio.  When all you've got are fuzzy BBC stations and Invicta FM (in those days it was all analogue), it's not worth bothering.

But they don't aim transmissions to mainland Europe (which I can well see they want to avoid) but the transmitters are on the Pile of Shite, with presumably some degree of directionality back towards us on mainland 'ampsher.  Actually I must check if the DAB one really is at Rowridge with the others.

If there was a simple one box solution to receiving DVB-T (can't be arsed with S) I'd be keen.  For the PC, I may re-investigate TV cards (as there is an aerial lead terminating right alongside it), but for listening in bed, which is what the Pure radio alarm was for, I think its a lost cause.  My jaundiced view on the matter is that the way we do DAB in the UK is just plain crap.  We seem to be good at fouling up broadcasting, I recall being told by the powers-that-be, that digital telly would bring us HD and brilliant sound, and what we got for the first few years, was hundreds more channels of utter crap at poor quality.  Now at last, we have some reasonable picture quality on a few channels, and actually quite decent sound quality, but how many years has it taken?  Still got hundreds of channels of poor quality crap, though...
Wombat

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #62 on: May 18, 2016, 07:40:39 pm »
My jaundiced view on the matter is that the way we do DAB in the UK is just plain crap.  We seem to be good at fouling up broadcasting, I recall being told by the powers-that-be, that digital telly would bring us HD and brilliant sound, and what we got for the first few years, was hundreds more channels of utter crap at poor quality.

s/jaundiced/realistic/

DAB could have been robust for use in the car and/or high-bandwidth for Hi-Fi listening.  Instead we got something for your mum to listen to new channels in the kitchen on a retro-chic 'portable' with.  It's a technological dead-end, now that a high-quality audio stream is peanuts compared to what we're routinely throwing around the internet - often in more intelligent ways than broadcast radio.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #63 on: May 19, 2016, 08:28:22 am »
  It's a technological dead-end, now that a high-quality audio stream is peanuts compared to what we're routinely throwing around the internet - often in more intelligent ways than broadcast radio.

This.

DAB is currently throttled. The power of the broadcast is suppressed to prevent it overwhelming other radio. FM/AM was going to be shut down, DAB power boosted and most of the reception problems of DAB would have gone away.

Except that investing anything in DAB has become pointless for the reason given by Kim. It's a Betamax tech. Effing annoying, given that part of my income and employment depends on the success of DAB but hey ho, that's life.
<i>Marmite slave</i>

Wombat

  • Is it supposed to hurt this much?
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #64 on: May 20, 2016, 11:34:18 am »
Trouble is, whilst the internet may well be a good vehicle for audio and other streaming, its NOT available universally.  There are large swathes of the UK where you can't even get a phone signal, let alone any data.  Therefore I believe radio to be a "good thing that needs to be preserved", and of course its pretty simple to receive with a cheap portable box that doesn't use much power.  Maybe we should be abandoning DAB and putting resources back into FM (Sorry MrC!) but I have a horrible idea that the FM airwaves are too crowded and DAB was allegedly going to be the saviour of that problem.

I did try to assist your income, MrC, but 'twas not to be.  :(
Wombat

Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #65 on: May 20, 2016, 11:47:37 am »
DAB is saddled with that rubbish codec which is half the problem. The other one is that I suspect 90% of the radios in the UK are permanently tuned to one station and that's probably split between three , BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4 and some local radio station (not sure why as these are invariably rubbish). People don't really see the advantage of buying a more expensive radio that has worse sound quality to get something they can already get just fine.
Upgrading TVs was OK especially as it coincided with the change from CRT to larger and higher def flat panels, also TVs have a limited life (CRTs did especially) but radios last forever it seems and people often have several, one in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, one in the garage or shed one in the car etc.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #66 on: May 20, 2016, 12:59:45 pm »
Trouble is, whilst the internet may well be a good vehicle for audio and other streaming, its NOT available universally.  There are large swathes of the UK where you can't even get a phone signal, let alone any data.  Therefore I believe radio to be a "good thing that needs to be preserved", and of course its pretty simple to receive with a cheap portable box that doesn't use much power.

Absolutely, but that's an argument for analogue - probably LW/MW AM[1] - radio, if anything.

FM is the stuff of Chris Tarrant and tinpot dictatorships.   :hand:


[1] On the basis that it goes round corners, and it's reasonably straightforward to cobble together an AM receiver using stone knives and bearskins.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #67 on: February 13, 2018, 11:36:13 pm »
Is this an opportunity for me to RANT?

I have two DAB radios. One is a wood encased PURE and the other is black plastic in the kitchen.

#1 does not feed its stereo out properly.
#2 takes about 30 seconds to tune in when switched on and the black plastic has turned from 'velvet' to Incurably Sticky. Radio 4 is usually unavailable on this receiver.

I am unimpressed.

Partner says it's a small sample but two out of two costly FAILs do nothing to boost my confidence...

I bought partner a cheap DAB radio for Christmas 2016 from Sainsbury's.
It needed about six hands to work it.

Partner lost his temper with it today and smashed it up after it lost its presets.

#2 is still Horribly Sticky but functions OK

Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #68 on: February 14, 2018, 02:03:10 am »
FWIW I was given (as a pressie) a Roberts 83i radio about three years ago.

 I would never have bought such a thing, having had disappointing experiences with DAB radios in the past. However this is actually bloody good; easy to operate, sounds good, and will happily pick up DAB when the signal is weak. Changing stations between a few presets is a one-button job and even stations that are not preset are not difficult to access.

In fact it also allows easy access to internet radio (Ethernet or wifi); a pretty seamless interface allows access to literally thousands of channels from all over the world.

The built in speakers are pretty good, but receiver also has line outs so you can plug it into a hi-fi system

If a cheaper radio were available with the same functionality I would unhesitatingly recommend it. As it is, the Roberts (there is now a revised model I think) is something of an investment, but IMHO it is worth every penny even at that price.

BTW I also have a cheap DVB-T receiver plumbed (audio only) into my hi-fi, and have satellite speakers in the kitchen. Good sound quality there for a minimal cost (over and above the base cost of the audio system).

cheers

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #69 on: February 14, 2018, 12:53:09 pm »
Sainsbury's radio was installed in garage/man cave, mostly to supply music for workouts on home gym.
There's still a trusty FM radio there.

Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #70 on: February 14, 2018, 01:32:47 pm »
I have had numerous bad experiences with cheap DAB radios and some that are not cheap to buy are still cheaply made. Pure? Pure something..... ::-)

I was inclined to believe that the whole technology was flawed;  that is why I was so surprised by the Roberts 83i. It really is so much better!

cheers
 

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #71 on: February 14, 2018, 02:02:44 pm »
Might look at Roberts as a birthday pressie; might not.
I really HATE my kitchen radio's Pure stickiness! I can't touch the beast but it seems to work OK.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #72 on: February 14, 2018, 02:04:06 pm »
It's not so much the technology as the way it's applied in the UK.  Stingy bitrates and feeble ERP mean instead of robust, near-CD-quality radio that works in the car, we get never-mind-the-quality-feel-the-width extra channels for older people with rubbish high-frequency hearing to listen to on faux-retro sets in their kitchen.  Which is fine, as far as it goes, but a hell of a missed opportunity.

Given the inherent overheads in digital decoding, you might as well use an internet stream these days.  If that's not practical, the bitrates are better on DVB, and FM Just Works.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #73 on: February 14, 2018, 02:22:50 pm »
We don't usually have the internets in the garage.
I know FM Just Works but David really likes DAB clarity.

He just can't do with DAB faffy interfaces.

Re: DAB Radio
« Reply #74 on: February 14, 2018, 02:56:03 pm »
Then get a proper FM aerial on the garage roof and buy a second hand separates tuner and amp or a receiver plus some speakers off eBay. It will be as clear as bell and sound much better than DAB.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.