DAB radio, a con trick?

  Bald Eagle 09:05 05 Dec 2008

Personally I think that digital audio broadcasting, DAB radio, has been one of the biggest con tricks put out by the media. I assumed when I bought my £50 worth of portable DAB radio that it would be portable. Wrong! When I opened the box I saw it also had FM capabilities. This I assumed was because DAB wasn’t universal yet. Wrong! It was because DAB is a proverbial pain in the behind to use.

Reception isn’t too bad at my bedside but if I take it downstairs and place it directly below where it was upstairs it takes a lot of messing about to re-tune it in. The aerial is in a completely different position. Compound this with the fact that my body interferes with the signal, I have to tweak and move away at least 2 metres then go and tweak again!

In the kitchen it will only work on top of the microwave and once again aerial direction is ultra sensitive. The dining room is a total no go area!

I should have realised this portable new technology was flawed when I read the instruction that said that for best reception take off the aerial and connect the satellite dish onto it by the “F” connector! How portable is that?

Well and truly conned.


  Bald Eagle 09:18 05 Dec 2008

Plus it EATS batteries!


  Al94 09:48 05 Dec 2008

satellite dish????

  canarieslover 09:48 05 Dec 2008

I believe quality is only equivalent to 128bps MP3 anyway so it is a downgrade from good FM. Its like digital television where the noise and pixelation caused by a poor signal make it worse to watch than a few faint lines across the screen in poor signal conditions with analogue. Even poor FM is much easier on the ears than poor DAB as fading signal does not jar the ears. But this was the only way the government could make more money out of the available bandwidth, again the con(ned)sumer loses.

  Noels 09:55 05 Dec 2008

I bought a DAB radio about 4 yrs from a well respected radio manufacturers and I was very disappointed. I paid about £60 which appeared to be mid-range.
On talking to many other people I came to the conclusion that there is very little wrong with the DAB broadcasts. The problem more often than not is in the quality of the radio itself.If it has poor quality speakers you will get poor quality sound if it has poor quality cicuitry you will get poor quality reception.
I like a lot of others thought that digital broadcasting was going to be brilliant whereas its only as good as the reception equipment.
P.S I'm not a technical expert.

  laurie53 09:59 05 Dec 2008

Did you not check reception before you bought, as recommended by most decent dealers?

When I went to the website and put in my postcode I was given a list of station I should get no problem, and a list of "possibles" given favourable conditions.

It was 100% accurate.

My DAB reception is far superior to my FM (and mobile phone) reception.

  laurie53 10:01 05 Dec 2008

Incidentally, I've also got DAB in the car and get very little drop out, unless I'm up in the Highlands where even FM and AM are absent.

  Pine Man 10:28 05 Dec 2008

Have to agree with Laurie53. I got DAB about 4 years ago and wouldn't dream of returning to FM.

  mooly 11:41 05 Dec 2008

DAB radio IS capable of CD quality sound. Sadly this has been undermined by the profusion of "trashy" commercial stations reulting in the bit rate having to be cut.
The BBC relented when Radio 3 was cut from 192 to 160 kbs due to howls of protest although it still often reverts back to that. Even this bit rate was considered to low for quality audio in the early years.
The early advertising majored on CD quality sound. So in my opinion, yes it was con.
There is talk now of DAB + which will make all current DAB receivers redundant. This will use more agressive bit rate reduction still but the encoding/decoding process will make up for that and overall the audio quality will be better.
DAB used MPEG 2 I think from memory which due to "less mauling" of the data is capable of extremely high quality at the expensive of a high bit rate.

  Arnie 12:51 05 Dec 2008

click here

Enter your POSTCODE in the box to check the coverage of your area.
After viewing the results of this there is still no guarantee that a good signal will be obtained in all areas of one’s premises without the use of an aerial.

Technical info.
click here

Give some thought to the opening paragraph:

“The wire aerials that come with tuners or hi-fi system will not give optimum reception, and to get the best out of a radio it is better to get an aerial fitted to the outside of the house, either doing it yourself or getting a firm to install it for you. If you don't want to, or cannot, get an aerial fitted to the outside of your house, **then the next best thing would be to install an aerial in your loft**, because as far as aerial positioning goes, the following rule of thumb applies: "the higher the better".”

** Check that any roofing felt if fitted in the loft, does not contain a metallic foil.**
If this is the case the foil it will severely attenuate the radio frequency signal.

N.B. Not all DAB radios are fitted with a means of connecting to an external aerial.
So check the back of the radio.

Some further advice.

click here


  The Brigadier 12:52 05 Dec 2008

I bought an Acoustic Solutions Portal 1 DAB Radio for £40 in November 2004.
It runs on both mains & batteries and it performs very well indeed.

It does depend on where you are for the strength of reception.
But I have found it to be a lot better than other models on the market.

In fact it’s the best £40 I have spent on a radio/MP3 player in years

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