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Digital Radio

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by bdaudio, May 5, 2003.

  1. bdaudio

    bdaudio
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    This post didn't really seem to fit in any of the other forums, so here seemed like the best place.

    Does anyone here from the UK own a digital radio? If so, do the stations compress the dynamic ranges of the program material on the digital streams in the same way they do on FM?

    I keep seeing all these adverts promoting the superior sound of digital radio, but if the music has been compressed to death, who cares??!!

    I admit that a reduced dynamic range is good for listening in the car, or other noisy environments, but not so good for critical listening in the peace and quiet of your own home.

    thanks,

    Andy
     
  2. ReTrO

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    I've got an Arcam Alpha 10 DAB at home. It allows you the option to turn compression on or off in 5 steps. This is only available on somne stations though, the rest stay on full range dynamics.
     
  3. nathan_silly

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    Digital Terrestrial Radio is supposed to have better sound quality than DAB. So either a DAB only unit or Digital TV box with Digital radio already included- pretty obvious what to go for.
     
  4. bdaudio

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    OK, so this is selecting an uncompressed version of the stream in the multiplex or applying additional compression to the original signal.

    I'm particularly interested if this option is available on Classic FM and Jazz FM. Most commercial radio stations play music that is compressed to death on the CD anyway, but Classic and Jazz FM program material would really benefit from not being compressed.

    thanks,

    Andy
     
  5. bdaudio

    bdaudio
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    So Digital Terrestrial Radio is just an audio-only digital TV station??

    Why is the sound quality supposed to be better? Do they use a different digital compression scheme (as in ATRAC on mini disc) or does it just use a higher bit rate?

    Seems curious that the "also does" solution should provide better sound. You'd have thought that DAB would have the edge on sound quality, being intended as a sound only medium (plus a bit of data).

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention - I'd have overlooked this otherwise :cool:

    Andy
     
  6. lynx

    lynx
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    I recall reading an article which stated nearly all stations were compressing broadcasts to some extent now.The exeption being R3 iirc.
     
  7. Ian J

    Ian J
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    When DAB was first announced there was a lot of talk about how good the quality of transmissions were going to be and I believe that was the case to start with but the good old Beeb decided to sacrifice quality for quantity and reduced the bit rates on most stations so that they could stuff more channels onboard and the quality is now below FM.

    That's why I had a laugh when I heard that they were supporting HDTV.
     
  8. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Hi Andy I think it should be in this forum.

    Hi Fi systems, separates and other music delivery systems and formats
     
  9. rct

    rct
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    Currently most radio stations available on Freeview and Sky are 192kbps

    Rather disappointingly most DAB stations are of poorer quality, IIRC, most pop type stations are at 128kbps Classic FM is at 160, along with Capital FM. AFAIK only BBC Radio 3 now use 192kbps :(

    I use a Psion Wavefinder and to be honest it suits my needs fine... some background music whilst working. I certainly wouldn't buy a DAB Hi-Fi separate whilst compression rates are so high. For pure, natural sound stick with FM, if more stations and no hiss appeal to you then go with DAB/Freeview/S-Sat :)

    edit: as post below says, if your regular analogue reception is no good, digital radio may be a godsend ;)
     
  10. njiri

    njiri
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    bdaudio,
    I have a pure evoke 1 digital radio, and I think it's fab.
    All this stuff about bitrates is nonsense if your MW , SW, and FM reception is rubbish. I listen to radio 5 a lot, and also my local FM station while at work in a hospital, where both MW, SW and FM are impossible to get due to the location of where I am. DAB reception is excellent. Ditto at home, where I got frustrated with poor reception (I tried everything, and spent ££££ on aerials, boosters etc). DAB solved the lot. Make your own judgement by begging, borrowing or stealing a dab radio to see for yourself.
     
  11. rhoamish

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    I bought a separates DAB tuner this weekend: a cheapy (99 quid) Acoustic Solutions job. It's just for listening to the radio in the conservatory, with an old amp and speakers.

    The sound is quite clear, and it's as good, I'd say, as Radio 1, 2 and 4. However, Radio 3 on FM blows it away completely.

    But that rather misses the point: I like to listen to stations that I can't get on FM, such as 6music, Radio 7 and XFM (We're not from London, you know).

    So overall, I'll take a slight drop in quality if it means I'm able to listen to tracks that I actually like...
     
  12. Matinee

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    In terms of pure audio quality in ideal conditions, it's not as good as FM as the bitrate has been reduced.

    Given non ideal conditions it's somewhat better - you dont get hiss, crackle *does* exist (in the form of the signal dropping in and out, rather than actual 'crackle'), lots of extra channels and designed for mobile use.

    PK
     
  13. dts_boy

    dts_boy
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    lucky git, i tried buying one of these last year and was laughed out of every shop i went to. i have ntl and listen to classic fm and the rock channels a lot and they sound great. i personally wouldn't bother with a dab tuner yet, i am happy with the quality from the ntl box and its a box saved that i haven't got space for!
     
  14. Garrett

    Garrett
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    Moved from General Chat
     
  15. CounterWhine

    CounterWhine
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    I had the same dilemma recently (FM or DAB) and finally opted for DAB. Two reasons:

    1. The DAB option I was looking at was cheaper than the FM option.

    2. DAB is here to stay. Yes, it's currently compromised by low bitrates but my hope is that eventually we'll see more bandwidth and that bitrates will be restored to 192kbps. FM like AM will not be with us forever (I suspect).

    D.

    PS. I get my AV32R back on Friday with its DAB board fitted. I'll let you all know how I get on.
     
  16. mark67

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    I have had the Tagmclaren T32 DAB Tuner for 16 Months now and I think DAB is excellent.

    If you listen to R1...Kiss...Galaxy(URGH)...etc these are compressed to death. But it dosn't matter really because they play compressed rubbish anyway.

    If you listen to Classic Gold...Life...R2...Primetime...Planet rock etc these sound fine.

    It depends on what you want to listen to, Rubbish in (Galaxy etc)...Rubbish out.

    The choice is yours. Me, I wouldn't do without it.

    If you can your hands on the TAG t32, It sounds excellent on FM too.
     
  17. njiri

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    DTS boy,
    Try www.simplyradios.co.uk
    According to their website the Evoke-1 is in stock. They are very good, I preordered mine way back in September, and got it just before christmas, but they kept me informed as to why there were delays etc. I thoroughly recommend them.
    You know you're going to do it !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     

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