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geek4me

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#237601 9-Jun-2018 14:16
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I have a DAB/DAB+ Radio in Wellington. A scrolling message on the receiver says that Kordia are shutting down their DAB/DAB+ trial on 30 June, concluding with - We hope to be back one day!

 

I am sad to see this go as the quality of the sound is much better than FM. While many countries have embraced DAB technology including the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia it's sad to see that New Zealand is not doing the same. It looks like NZ radio stations don't want to invest in the technology. Perhaps they are looking at alternatives such as DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale) though I doubt this is the case.

 

Are there other DAB radio listeners among the Geekzone membership or is the radio a dying art form - it appears to be so far as DAB radio is concerned in NZ. DAB RIP from 1 July it's back to FM radio.





Oh no, not another end of the world prediction


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andrewcnz
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  #2032542 9-Jun-2018 14:25
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Bit of info on the NBR site about DAB in NZ(free article).


richms
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  #2032543 9-Jun-2018 14:25
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Sounds much worse than my good stereo was on FM with the outside antenna, but for the crappy tabletop one it is better until I walk past it and it breaks up as the sigal goes from lots of bars to no bars in an instant.

 

Its a solution for a problem that has long been solved by other means. 192kbit is hardly a hifi stream. Some of them on it are 32kbit. Yuck. When there is multimegabit paths available that can take a unicast connection of content you want, the broadcast of low quality audio that may in some cases be better than FM is not worth investing it without content. And all the content is online anyway.

 

Ive moved things around. The coax to the room with the stereo in is now used to carry 3gsdi from a converter for watching the NVR. Chromecast audio and a amazon dot are the only sources I use now. And occasionally the cassette deck.





Richard rich.ms

 
 
 
 


geek4me

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  #2032824 10-Jun-2018 09:29
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There have been criticisms of DAB in the UK. DAB technically provides lower audio quality than FM in the UK due to 98% of stereo stations using a bit rate level of 128 kbit/s with the MP2 audio codec, which provides poorer sound quality than FM-quality (assuming good reception on both DAB and FM).

 

Bit rates of 192 kbits/s and above are needed for good sound quality with 300 kbits/s and above better still and MP3. Like with satellite TV where quality varies from unwatchable to great it's not DAB that is the issue it's what bit rate and MP rate is used.

 

If New Zealand does ever adopt DAB I hope they don't skimp on the quality.





Oh no, not another end of the world prediction


robjg63
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  #2032827 10-Jun-2018 09:39
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andrewcnz:

Bit of info on the NBR site about DAB in NZ(free article).


Interesting article. I had no idea Kmart is selling a DAB radio for $24 !




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler


sbiddle
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  #2032831 10-Jun-2018 09:43
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The real issue is simply business reasons. NZME and Mediaworks have paid huge amounts of money for FM licences in a supply and demand market.

 

If DAB+ was to be officially launched would the market then be fair if a new player could start up simply by paying a small monthly fee to Kordia to be on their platform when other broadcasters have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for exclusive licences?

 

 

 

 


Dunnersfella
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  #2032986 10-Jun-2018 12:30
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sbiddle has it in one!

 

MediaWorks and NZME stalled any attempts to get the DAB network off the ground and I don't say I can blame them...

 

They spent a fortune on frequencies and DAB meant that soooo many more could be stacked, making the price they paid seem ridiculous. Was this good for the radio listeners of NZ?

 

Well... NZ has a MASSIVE number of local radio stations considering our small population, it really does.

 

The focus through out the industry was clearly on networked nationwide products that could easily be localised with local add break-outs or announcer slots where it was deemed appropriate. This was effectively done to ensure financial viability, something that the two big players, frankly, struggled with.

 

Adding more stations may have increased choice for radio listeners, but it certainly wouldn't guarantee and increase in programme or audio quality. Some would argue the opposite - but it's all hypothetical.

 

 

 

Quality debates aside, one other massive element spelled the end of DAB radio...

 

The internet.

 

From streaming music services to internet radio (like iHeartRadio are tied into the same corporate structure as NZME) there's grave fears that NZ's radio industry will go the same was a terrestrial TV. Unless it adapts, which frankly, it appears to have done very well with over the years... remember when people said TV would kill radio? Or newspapers? Or magazines? Or CD's? Or the internet...?


sbiddle
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  #2032996 10-Jun-2018 13:05
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DAB uptake is also a chicken and egg situation. in Australia 8 years after a massive launch they now only have 25% of the population in the big markets where DAB+ is broadcast who listen regularly. They aren't even at the point yet where every new car comes with a DAB compatible radio.

 

As much as I'd love to see DAB in NZ the reality is it would simply offer me zero benefit over what I have now. Radio listing at home is all via Google Home.

 

 

 

 


 
 
 
 


MichaelNZ
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  #2033025 10-Jun-2018 13:42
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I suggest neither. IP streaming is where it's at.





Integrity Tech Solutions @ Norsewood, New Zealand


alasta
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  #2033106 10-Jun-2018 15:32
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I use IP radio exclusively, except when I am driving long distances. In that situation I find that traditional FM gets more consistent coverage than my phone.

 

How does DAB compare with FM for signal penetration over distances?


richms
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  #2033373 10-Jun-2018 21:26
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Im exclusivly spotify in the car now. Dont even think I have set the FM presets since last time I had to disconnect the battery.





Richard rich.ms

stinger
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  #2033382 10-Jun-2018 22:07
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Dunnersfella:

 

sbiddle has it in one!

 

MediaWorks and NZME stalled any attempts to get the DAB network off the ground and I don't say I can blame them...

 

 

Would this really be the case? Australia has DAB in the capital cities. As far as I know, it has lead to the existing networks having more stations (e.g Triple J have Unearthed and Double J on DAB, Triple M have a classic rock station on DAB), not new players entering the market.


jarledb
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  #2033398 10-Jun-2018 22:27
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The mobile network is not made to be able to take over for broadcasting. It is a matter of 1-1 streaming, not 1 to many. So if everyone started streaming their radio it would take down the mobile networks.

 

DAB+ is probably the best current system for broadcasting, and I doubt anything will be available soon that will do a better job.


Dunnersfella
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  #2033455 11-Jun-2018 05:52
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stinger:

 

Dunnersfella:

 

sbiddle has it in one!

 

MediaWorks and NZME stalled any attempts to get the DAB network off the ground and I don't say I can blame them...

 

 

Would this really be the case? Australia has DAB in the capital cities. As far as I know, it has lead to the existing networks having more stations (e.g Triple J have Unearthed and Double J on DAB, Triple M have a classic rock station on DAB), not new players entering the market.

 

 

 

 

Yup - back in my broadcasting days I had the CEO of the company I worked for tell me as much.

 

She had her reasons, I'm sure the Australian media companies have theirs.


sbiddle
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  #2033467 11-Jun-2018 07:37
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stinger:

 

Dunnersfella:

 

sbiddle has it in one!

 

MediaWorks and NZME stalled any attempts to get the DAB network off the ground and I don't say I can blame them...

 

 

Would this really be the case? Australia has DAB in the capital cities. As far as I know, it has lead to the existing networks having more stations (e.g Triple J have Unearthed and Double J on DAB, Triple M have a classic rock station on DAB), not new players entering the market.

 

 

Due to the fact we only have two major players in NZ rather than the 3-4 in Australia I don't really see the same thing happening in NZ. Big markets are already saturated with 10 or so brands from NZME and Mediaworks covering all the major demographics so there is no need for them to introduce new brands which would simply fragment their market share even further.

 

The risk from DAB is that in markets where they don't have frequencies currently to have a brand in place that the introduction of DAB is once again fragmentation.

 

Why would you pay money to be on a platform that's not going to offer any significant advantages over FM for the majority of listeners? Even if you did introduce new stations the Australian market is proof that even after 9 years you'll still only have 25% of the population within a DAB coverage area actually tuning into a DAB station. NZ would struggle to get DAB uptake that high, and if DAB launched in NZ now there would be no way we'd get even close to 25% by 2026. That's an incredibly small number of listeners in the NZ market.

 

People listening while driving is a key radio market (around 40% of total listening), and in countries like Australia where people buy new cars that has driven most of the growth. With NZ having such an old vehicle fleet and reliance on Japanese imports that typically still don't even have NZ radios that growth won't happen. Even if a dealer is going to put in a radio into a Japanese import you can guarantee it will be the cheapest $40 FM radio that can find, not a $250 DAB head unit.

 

 

 

 


alasta
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  #2033482 11-Jun-2018 08:38
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richms:

 

Im exclusivly spotify in the car now. Dont even think I have set the FM presets since last time I had to disconnect the battery.

 

 

I don't like listening to music in the car because of the background noise (don't buy a Mazda3 with 18" wheels if you hate tyre roar).

 

Sometimes I listen to podcasts, but most of the time I listen to RNZ National. I had pretty much seamless FM coverage when I drove between Wellington and Napier a few weeks ago, so it would be interesting to know whether Kordia's proposed DAB network would provide the same coverage footprint. I'm guessing there is no hope it would fill existing FM dead spots like Blenheim - Kaikoura or Blenheim - Nelson.


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