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Radio switchover deadline ‘too hasty’

by Sarah Griffiths on 14 September 2010, 16:22

Tags: General Business

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Radio ga ga

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has decided that a 2015 target date for making a digital radio swap is ‘far too early' considering the amount of preparation required.

The report, which is put together by the Consumer Expert Group (CEG) said: "The target date for a digital switchover should be revised upwards as 2015 is realistically far too early for the necessary preparations to be put in place for consumers."

It recommended that an independent body should be set up to give the public the information they need to make the switch if the Government intends on phasing out traditional radios.

The report is pushing for a digital switchover date only to be announced when no more than 30 per cent of listening remains analogue and when coverage and signal strength issues have been resolved.

It also said no date should be set until DAB radios have been standard in cars for a minimum of two years and reliable solutions are offered for retro-fitting cars.

 "Any switchover to digital radio must only happen when listeners are ready and when the industry has delivered what consumers need," said Leen Petré, chair of the CEG.

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries added: "I am pleased we share the view that any switchover to digital radio should be driven by listeners. Consumers should lead the way to switchover and this is the key principle that drives the Government's digital radio action plan, this report will make a valuable contribution as we implement our plans over the coming months."

HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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Why do we want a switchover? Analogue TV tuners were only really in TVs, analogue radio is in loads of things! I'd rather they kept working thanks.
As for digital TV, I personally find digital radio to be worse than analogue as instead of just loosing some clarity if you get a poor signal you completely loose sound and it makes it awful to listen to. As I do most of my listening in the car I can't see how digital will improve that situation and I'd probably just ditch the radio altogether as I don't buy much music these days.

Do many manufacturers of cars, where I'd imagine most radios are incorporated, install digital sets as standard? Also as we're all just about to have a 5% price hike due to VAT are people really going to be in the mood to replace all their existing radios in their home. My alarm radio alarm clocks all work fine and are at least ten year old as are some of my cd/radio players why would I want to change them just to receive digital radio :s
I hope there is a bigger plan for all the old FM stuff, I am sure there is parts of the world still using it.

My car radio can take a DAB tuner but it was very expensive last time I looked (a few years ago I will admit).

I am happy to change over as long as the cost isn't too high, eg, a DAB alarm clock for less than £10.
I initially thought digital radio would bring CD quality to the radio. I was wrong - the benefits hardly seem worth the investment and I'll stick with analogue thanks all the same.
Well I'm a big fan of digital radio. I have a properly installed roof top aerial on my Golf, and the signal hardly ever disappears, it's far more consistent than FM ever was when I listened to that. Occasionally you get a half second blip, but that's about it until it just drops completely when you are in the middle of nowhere, but FM would do the same.

I did have an internal windscreen aerial before and it was pants, so you definitely benefit from a professional install.

However, I do agree that 2015 is too hasty. The first thing they need to do is mandate that new cars have DAB and there should be options to upgrade current car models with DAB stereos. I guess VW should be able to do this very easily as all their stereos are the same fit, it's just the aerial that might cause problems.