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Topic # 54255 16-Dec-2009 14:45
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There are plans to introduce Digital Radio to New Zealand - when they can decide on which standard to use. There are trial transmissions in Auckland and Wellington using DAB format.

Options are DAB, DAB+, DRM, DMB, and HD Radio, as listed on http://www.apsattv.com in the 15/12/09 postings on "What format for digital radio in NZ?"

Who listens to digital radio and where can you get a receiver?

The satellite radio stations are not receivable without a correctly pointed dish, but can you pick up the Freeview terrestrial digital radio stations in the main centres and/or the DAB trial transmissions using a special affordable portable or car radio?

This is new technology so would like to know more and give it a go.

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  Reply # 283120 16-Dec-2009 15:36
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As I understand it, there are no plans at all to roll out digital radio in New Zealand, beyond the limited trials currently underway. It is a completely different equation to that of digital television.

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  Reply # 283135 16-Dec-2009 16:43
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pedrogarcia: As I understand it, there are no plans at all to roll out digital radio in New Zealand, beyond the limited trials currently underway. It is a completely different equation to that of digital television.


There are no definitive plans but there certainly are plans. Based upon what I've heard there is certainly a greater than 50% chance of seeing a rollout in NZ.

The real argument is whether it should be HD Radio or DAB+. DAB+ is the most logical (and has been launched in Aussie this year) but existing spectrum owners prefer HD Radio because it uses the existing extremely valuable FM frequencies which they have management rights for. The rollout of DAB+ would create a whole new ball game as all operators would have equal access to the platform.

Personally I think digital radio will be a commercial failure it it is deployed, even in the UK the overall success has been very questionable. The differences between analogue and digital TV are significant. The differences between FM radio and digital are a lot less - the MPEG1 audio used for DAB is worse than a high quality FM station. DAB+ offers HE-AAC which can deliver better than FM quality but considering many commercial stations like ZM compress their music horribly in the first place even for FM the audio quality would be no different.





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  Reply # 283855 18-Dec-2009 18:16
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The only benifit in places like the US is more stations, NZ doesnt have the problems that they have since in any market there are only 2 at most adjoining ones, and the stations dont really care about continuity of service between them so in some cases the same freqs are used in both of them (solid gold between AK and ham, and ZM between waikato and tauranga)

all either proposal would benifit would be the hardware manufacturars, and with dvb-h on the way to being accepted worldwide, itwould be logical to skip the whole DAB or HD radio options.




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  Reply # 283865 18-Dec-2009 18:57
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Some stations have RDS also so you can see what station your listening to and what song is playing.
Its not very widespread yet I think, only tried the Waikato stations and found it on 89.8 ZM, Solid Gold FM, National and Concert.

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  Reply # 283882 18-Dec-2009 19:39
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RDS is very widespread, RNZ use it nationwide and virtually all TRN and MediaWorks stations now have RDS both for station name and AF in cities such as Wellington where they have multiple frequencies.

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  Reply # 283887 18-Dec-2009 20:12
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Yes, the 2 corporate networks seem to like using it out of spec which is a right pain in the friends car having all the stations on the touchscreen named meaningless crap as a result of them scrolling stuff where it should not be.

HD radio seems to be stupid in that the mux sizes are very small - you get 2 or 3 stations along side each FM carrier, at horridly low bitrates like 96kbit, or worse. Hardly an upgrade from FM, and if they drop the FM carrier then it gets some more, but then there is no benifit over DAB other than not needing another channel.

I think they can make the FM mono and squeeze in a couple more digital signals on the same channel which would be an ideal compromise IMO if they go ahead with it.

I really think that all they should do is tighten up the spacing when everything gets renewed in 2011, and see how DVB-H stacks up then.




Richard rich.ms

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