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Digital Radio Upgrade

Digital Radio Upgrade

Product Code: Digital Radio Upgrade

Digital Radio - DAB

DAB stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting (the name of the system). To listen, you need a DAB digital radio - you can't receive digital stations on a traditional FM/AM radio.

Where DAB digital radio is available

Currently, around 86% of the UK can receive DAB digital radio.

BBC local radio

BBC local radio services are broadcast on DAB by commercial operators, because the BBC only has the capacity to broadcast its national services. For advice about specific local radio reception problems, you should contact the local operator.

Reception problems

With DAB, you may sometimes get 'bubbly' or 'underwater' noises, or the sound may break up or cut out altogether, but you will not experience the hiss, crackling, fading or station overlap that you get with FM or AM radio. The noises or break-up are usually caused by a weak signal. Try the following to strengthen the signal that your radio receives.

Aerial: make sure the radio's aerial is fully extended, whether it is the telescopic type or a thin wire. If you sometimes have trouble tuning to a particular station (getting a "Station not available" message), try touching the aerial as you select the station, thus using yourself as an aerial booster. With a personal (handheld) radio, the aerial is often in the headphone lead, so make sure it is not coiled up or twisted.

Location: signal strength can be reduced in very built-up areas, in basements, and inside buildings with walls of materials such as thick stone or reinforced concrete. Placing the radio near a window can help, and reception may be better upstairs than downstairs. Many DAB radios can display the signal strength on their screen, which can help you find the best position. If you still can't get good reception, you may need an external aerial.

External aerials

Most DAB radios can take an external aerial - unscrew the fixed aerial and attach the cable from an external aerial in its place. DAB aerials are different from FM/AM or TV aerials, so make sure you have the right type. An indoor aerial may be enough, but for the best reception you can install an outdoor aerial. This should ideally be on the roof or high up on the outside of the building, though it may also give good results in the loft. To listen to DAB radio in your car, you need a DAB aerial - an FM/AM aerial will not work.

Interference

DAB is less affected by interference than FM/AM radio. However, sudden interruptions, especially in regular bursts, may be caused by an electrical appliance or a faulty central heating or fridge thermostat. If possible, check an FM radio to see if it is affected by crackling noises. Try switching off or disconnecting your electrical appliances one at a time to find out what is causing the problem.

Equipment for receiving DAB digital radio

When buying a DAB radio, look for the DAB logo. Some analogue radios are advertised as "digital", but this only means that they have a digital display rather than a tuning dial or bar. DAB radio sets available include portables, clock radios, hi-fi tuners, DAB adapters, personal (handheld) radios and car radios. Some radios allow you to pause, rewind and even record live radio. You can get a DAB receiver that plugs directly into your computer, or a PCI card that goes inside it, so you can listen to DAB radio on your PC or laptop. (This is not the same as listening via the internet.

For more information on  Digital Radio Upgrade  talk to  GTech Surveys Limited

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