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Car Manufacturers and DAB

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by degringo, May 5, 2005.

  1. degringo

    degringo
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    Hi,

    I'm currently assessing new cars, as I'm due to replace my company car in the next few months and I'm wondering if any manufacturers have DAB radios as optional extras. So far I've not found one that does, which i find pretty poor.

    Has anyone come across any manufacturers that offer this option.

    Thanks
     
  2. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Unless you live in one of the big cities, you'll find DAB coverage rather poor. Most domestic users can get good DAB reception using an external aerial mounted high up, but unfortunately this is not possible in a car. Until DAB coverage improves, I doubt whether you'll see many car manufacturers supplying it.
     
  3. CTID

    CTID
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    well I find my DAB coverage great - a bit of a breakup round pately bridge but that is in the middle of nowhere. And this is on a crappy Goodmans unit. DAB gets a bum rap for some reason, but I think it is fantastic. 6 music, Virgin, 5 live (and sports extra) all great quality and I can't wait for test match special.
     
  4. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    Maybe if you lived in one of the white areas on this map you would know why DAB gets a "bum rap" ?
     
  5. Fred Smith

    Fred Smith
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    Ford used to offer the Blaupunkt DAB 52 as an option on some models of Mondeo and Vauxhall have an Astra with DAB.

    As for in car DAB reception, from reading his post I doubt 'Nick_UK' has any actual experience of it.

    I do, three years or so with a Blaupunkt DAB 52 (no not in a Ford). Two cars and three DAB aerials later, I would highly recommend it but don't get a stick on inside windscreen aerial, get an outside one, preferably roof mounted.

    Virgin all over the UK in stereo, Radio 5 that you can listen to and Five extra, etc, etc.
     
  6. CTID

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    Nick_UK, which DAB head unit do you have then? and what are your pros and cons of it?
     
  7. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    I don't have a DAB in-car unit - I wouldn't waste my money where I live (in one of the white areas on the map). However, I do have a portable DAB radio, and the reception is total crap, unless I wander around, when I can find the odd spot where it works quite well. Thank god I didn't spend a fortune on it. I am not going to buy a car head unit when the majority of the areas that I drive in have very poor DAB coverage.

    FM car stereos are cleverly designed - the stereo separation is reduced as the signal strength decreases, to improve the signal to noise ratio. You can easily demonstrate this effect by tuning in a couple of presets to a strong R2, R3 or R4 frequency and a weak one, and switch between the two. In very weak signal areas, the stereo indicator may be on, but the stereo separation will be very poor. However, you will still be able to listen comfortably.

    With DAB, once the signal has dropped to a level where the BER (bit error rate) is higher than the tuner can correct, you start hearing the classic bubbling and squeaking noises, or the radio mutes. Saying that Virgin and other stations are available across the UK is an irresponsible statement, when the UK coverage map clearly shows that this isn't so. The only new DAB transmitter planned is in Tunbridge Wells, where DAB reception is almost impossible in much of the town. There aren't any other new transmitters planned, so the situation is not going to improve in the forseeable future.
     
  8. CTID

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    hence why it is important to get advice from owners :rolleyes: DAB was developed for in car use - you do generally move around in a car so reception dead spots may be entered but you do then move to better reception. In poor reception it automatically changes to FM so you are in a win win situation.

    Bearing this thread in mind
    http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=209634

    for me in North Yorkshire using a cheap goodmans head unit, reception is good with very occastional drop outs. If it does drop then FM kicks in. I would expect any better unit (probably all of them :D ) to get even better reception as the goodmans aeriel is split with the FM. I get 6 music & 5 extra (no other option than DAB) plus superb improvement to Virgin, 5 live, Radio 4 LW.
     
  9. degringo

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    Thanks Guys,

    I listen to DAB at home and have superb reception in West Yorkshire.

    It;s good to hear people who use dab to give their opinions on in car Dab reception as I will be going along that route, even if i have to fit an aftermarket unit.

    Thanks for all your responses
     
  10. rozzar

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    i have a Blaupunkt DAB53 headunit with the rest of the kit mentioned in my sig (click the link). I find the coverage great with what is supposed to be a glass mount aerial but i just have it in the boot pointing upwards :D
     
  11. simon100

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    You might also want to consider this gadget if you end up with a car with a head unit that you can't replace:
    http://www.revo.co.uk/index.php

    I agree that DAB is a bit flaky at times, but since having discovered The Arrow (showing my age) I now have one in each main listening area of the house and would not go back to FM.
     

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