'Don't flick the switch'

'Don't flick the switch'

Posted February 8th, 2010 by debritz

In the UK, 50 broadcasters are lobbying the government to delay the planned 2015 switchover to digital radio. While digital is well established in Britain, they argue that consumers will not be ready to abandon their analogue sets by then - and it will give time for the current DAB system to be upgraded to DAB+, as used here in Australia. Unsurprisingly, the manufacturers of digital radios back the current government timetable. More here at Media Guardian. Meanwhile, The Australian reports today that digital radio sales in Australia have exceeded expectations. Lara Sinclair reports that more than 100,000 units were sold in the first six months of digital broadcasting. I'm told, however, that given Australia's geography, a full switch-off of analogue services here is a long way away. I note, however, the Dick Smith is offering a DAB+ radio for $78 - the cheapest I've seen so far.

Brett,at risk of sounding

Brett,at risk of sounding like a stuck in the past simpleton.I cant help but feel that the powers that be are overestimating all this new technology.In my humble opinion the vast majority of us here in the real world couldnt care less about digital radio,digital TV,HD TV etc...You've mentioned the Dab system is to be upgraded to Dab+...WTF !!!!!
Again,perhaps I'm wrong,but most of us who live in the real world just want to,after a hard days work,turn their Television or radio on and be entertained.We couldn't care less if it's HD,MD or whatever D.
Perhaps if the TV and Radio networks spent a bit more on writers and performers and a bit less on Dab+ and HD nonsense we'd all be better off ?
ps The cheapest digital radio at the moment is $78 ? The last radio I bought several years ago cost me $20...It still sounded terrific this morning.Why would I want to spend nearly 4 times as much to hear the same programs?

Posted by iforsy (not verified) on February 8, 2010 - 16:18
I take your point, but
I take your point, but sadly you won't have any say in it. Just as analogue television is being turned off, so will analogue radio - although perhaps not for a long time. Why? Because digital radio and TV takes up less of the wireless spectrum - and when the bits currently being used by the TV stations and AM and Fm broadcasters is switched off, the government will take it back and auction it off for other services (wireless internet or whatever's around the corner). The pay off is that, in most but not all cases, your reception will be better. And, as with the TVs, the prices of the sets will come down over time. As you say, thought, most people are happy with what they've got but, as with so many things decided by our political masters, that's just tough, because change is a'comin'.

Posted by debritz on February 8, 2010 - 20:55
Car Radio's

I own 2 classic cars with AM radio's and they both still work i love driving in my Classic Valiants listening to the crackle of the signal tuned into 3MP or maybe i should rip it out cut a hole in the dash so i can fit a SQUARE receiver and ruin the look of the whole dash board
Digital Radio is a waste of money all those old pensioners who own transistor radios will have to throw them away and miss out on it all together

Posted by Frithy (not verified) on October 29, 2010 - 12:53
Living in the future is rad

Hi Iforsy,

I live in the real world when my head isn't in the clouds. Last night I finished work and lay down on the couch to watch some TV.

Yesterday I watched Benny Hill on 7Two, The Colbert Report on ABC2, and Nip Tuck & Dantes Cove on the Go! Channel.

Without the move to digital, there would be no way that any of those shows would have got a run on an analog FTA channel in 2010.

Oh, and when i cooked dinner, I had my DAB+ radio on and listened to the ABC Jazz radio channel. Can't get that on analog either.

All of this digital business is actually quite easy to understand and it provides so many more opportunities for content that you'd otherwise not see/hear on local airwaves.

Posted by Dan Barrett (not verified) on February 9, 2010 - 11:05
Well Dan,you've convinced

Well Dan,you've convinced me.I was going to play golf over the weekend but now I'll be hot footing it to Dick Smith's on Saturday to spend $10000 on a new TV,CD,Set Top Box,Digital Radio (DAB+ of course) so I can spend the next 3 months of my life lying on my HD couch watching Benny Hill and listening to ABC jazz...On seconds thoughts I might just buy a gun and end it all now.

Posted by iforsy (not verified) on February 9, 2010 - 13:41
...Or you could just spend

...Or you could just spend $30-$50 bucks on a digital STB.

I'm not telling you to share my bad taste in content. Just telling you that it might be an idea to have some sense of what you're talking about before you start shooting your mouth off.

You don't understand why progression of technology is important? That's fine. Ignorance is bliss. Apparently being a dick is too.

Posted by Dan Barrett (not verified) on February 9, 2010 - 16:06
Oh Danny Boy ! What a

Oh Danny Boy ! What a sensitive little soul you are ! Your absolutely right...I obviously dont "understand why progression of technology is important".
My whole point is that it seems ridiculous to even a blissfully ignorant d-ck like me that I should be expected to buy numerous highly expensive gadgets to continue to watch and hear the same dross that I watch now.
As I've said before...In my opinion ( and its only my opinion) the majority of people I know dont go to bed dreaming of buying the latest digital stb or the most expensive HD flat screen TV...They just want to watch the footy,news or their favourite soaps on the TV they've had for the last 8 years.
Why should they be forced to change ?
ps The last time I watched Benny Hill was in 1978...Help me out here please mate...Do they still slap the little bald guys head ???

Posted by iforsy (not verified) on February 9, 2010 - 17:07
Buying a set top box is the

Buying a set top box is the best option. When MEPG2 DTV is scrapped, it is far easier on the hip pocket to toss out somethiing worth $30 to $50 than over $1000. The present analogue TV's will work with any set top box, but no set top box will work on a digital TV, as the entire idea of a set top box is to receive the digital signal and convert it to analogue to watch on an analogue TV. With a digital TV, the receiver would not be able to read the converted signal from the box.

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 3, 2010 - 20:23
Digital TV

Well said! Buying any digital TV for $1000 or more at the moment will not help one's savings at all, especially when the current system of MEPG2 digital TV will be scrapped before the end of the decade and replaced by MEPG4, which will instantly make all existing cuurrent digital TV's unusable and obselete.

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 3, 2010 - 20:17
DTV Choices

"Yesterday I watched Benny Hill on 7Two, The Colbert Report on ABC2, and Nip Tuck & Dantes Cove on the Go! Channel. Without the move to digital, there would be no way that any of those shows would have got a run on an analog FTA channel in 2010."
This is true, though if they had not aggregated all the city and regional TV channels back in the 1990's, gone to PAL Plus Analogue, rather than digital and relayed ALL individual commercial TV stations throughout the country via satellite everywhere, we would still have HD pictures, as PAL Plus provides that, analogue signals which are capable of covering areas far larger than digital, the conversion would be simple if even needed at all, and we would have hundreds of choices of free to air commercial TV channels. Yes, we would need a satellite antenna, but as everything would be here in Australia, the antenna would be quite small and at a reasonable price. I suggested this to the powers that be back in the early 1990's, but they were more interested in making huge profits from the viewing audience by forcing them to continuously upgrade their receiving equipment. As far as extra ABC stations are concerned, this could have been done quite easily with analogue, simply by clearing the UHF band of two way radio broadcasts from Channels 21 to 27 and extending the UHF band above Channel 69.

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on October 3, 2010 - 20:10
Don't Flick the Switch

Most Digital radios I've seen have one speaker you can't get stereo sound out of one speaker.And the ones I've seen with two speakers are so close together you would'nt really get the stereo effect anyway. I wonder who is going out buying Digital radios ? Probably people in the radio industry mostly And what do you do with your analogue radio ? Throw it out I guess.

Posted by Edward Thirkill (not verified) on February 17, 2010 - 18:18
Digital TV and Radio

Don't wish for any analogue to be switched off. They have already switched off analogue TV in Mildura Vic, leaving at least 600 homes completely without free to air TV. These include people there WITH digital receivers. If analogue radio switches off it will also be a total disaster. When the USA switched off analogue TV in 2009, they instantly lost 75% of their viewing audience. Any wonder why so many jobs have been lost there. To make it worse, the present DTV system here in Australia is MEPG2. After analogue TV goes, within six years, they will upgrade to MEPG4, which is NOT backwards compatable. This will mean ALL current digital TV's and STB's around today, will have to be tossed out and replaced. Within another six years after that MEPG5 is planned and guess what, all MEPG4 equipment will be out being collected by the council. The best advice is keep your analogue TV and use a cheap set top box. This way, when you need to replace your equipment, you won't have wasted a huge amount of money. The whole plan of introducing digital is to force the consumer to keep buying new TV's, radios, etc and make more big bucks for the businesses.

Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on September 18, 2010 - 22:15