Saturday, February 16, 2008

Digital Radio

DAB Digital radio is being portrayed in some quarters as the 21st century's version of Betamax, the video format that lost out to VHS in the 1970s.

News that media giant GCap is to close two digital stations and has sold its digital platform has added to the arguments that the format is unlikely to find widespread favour in the UK. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7238768.stm
When C4 News reported on this earlier in the week, they said that digital radio doesn't work well in cars.

According to the Financial Times, 'Barely 1 per cent of cars in the UK have a digital radio.' No mention of it not working well: the implication is that it's just car manufacturers dragging their feet. But anyway, GCap may have a short term motive: 'It would be a tragedy if GCap does pull out of  digital [..] for the sake of fighting off [a bid from] Global [Radio]', said one figure. (9 Feb; there were 2 articles - p13 (the front of the 'Companies..' section) and p16. I'm told that their website no longer charges "occasional visitors")

If there is an excess of capacity (bandwidth) and people are complaining that the quality is less in the UK than elsewhere,  why don't they use the capacity to improve the quality (bits per second)?  Or would that be too simple?

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