05/12/2008

Media 05/12/08

Digital Radio Assignment

I will be answering the following question on Digital Radio.

With reference to specific stations, how has digital radio changed the audience experience, for listeners to both public service and commercial radio in the UK?

DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting Systems) I think, has changed the experience for audiences rapidly. Since DAB was invented, it has had a huge impact on how we listen to radio. It has clearer signal than the FM or AM signals which were originally off putting and had rather poor signal, unless of course you are in a town or city but with DAB, you can listen to clear radio where ever you are, or nearly.

Britain, at present has DAB broadcasting right now to around 80% - 90% of the country. Even now, radio stations are working together to get that percentage higher by installing more transmitters and building new websites.

By having DAB, listeners are able to listen to more music, shows, comedy and more news, sport and weather updates. However it’s not just adults they want to attract, its kids as well. They want to introduce more Children’s shows, which in my opinion will get kids listening to the radio more often than watching the telly.

It’s not just stand alone radios that have DAB now, you can have portable radio or music players which can receive DAB transmission which makes it accessible for all audiences who maybe don’t have DAB on their radio. If you can’t receive DAB, you can buy DAB adaptors which plug into your music player or iPod giving yet again more accessibility to more people around the country. By looking at this, I think that the UK’s audience has been taken seriously to make sure that DAB is accessible to as many listeners as possible.

Radio 1 and 2 for example has DAB transmitting throughout the country. These two stations are the most listened to in the UK, and by having DAB, people can listen without having to listen to crackling all the time, especially for people who are driving to and from work in their cars, newer cars are starting to have DAB, which I forgot to mention earlier. However the only disadvantage with DAB is, if by any chance you do lose signal, which is rare, then you lose signal completely maybe for a few seconds or minutes, where as with FM you only partially lose signal, which results in a bit of crackling but it least you can just still make out what they are saying.

I don’t think that there are any stations now that don’t transmit DAB, from what I’ve seen anyway. On my DAB radio, I can pick up radio 1, 1 extra, 2, 3, 4, 5 live, 6 music, 7, world service, Asian. Others I can pick up are, Planet Rock, Classic FM, Virgin, used to be able to pick up Jazz, birdsong (not worth listening to) and more. When I’m at college I can pick up Wyvern FM, BBC Hereford and Worcester as well as all the stations I have mentioned so far. When I’m at home I can pick up all my local stations as well as all the stations I have mentioned so far apart from BBC Hereford and Worcester and Wyvern FM.

All in all, I think that radio has gone up a level for the UK and for many other countries that are developing their own stations to transmit DAB. I think that now DAB is here, more and more people will listen to DAB now that radio has improved, quite a lot.

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