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In Car DAB - any good?

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by johnaalex, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. johnaalex

    johnaalex
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    I will be ordering my new company car in the next few months and I expect I will stick with Vauxhall. They do have options for a factory fitted DAB radio (but you have to give up the sat nav). Considering some of the comments here about poor DAB reception in some areas would I be better sticking with a normal radio?

    TIA for help/comments.

    Regards

    John
     
  2. Crocodile

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    I guess that largely depends upon which Acton?

    Having used DAB in the car for 2 years now, I've found coverage & reception very good within the areas I travel (London/M25, South East & East Anglia). You need to look at what you want from DAB. Positives are:

    If you need (& will listen to) the extra stations once the novelty has worn off.

    If you're West London Acton & plagued by pirates on FM. DAB will certainly eliminate that.

    You regularly listed to AM stations that are available on DAB.​


    Negatives are:

    You're looking for the promised "CD Quality Sound".

    You already get satisfactory reception on FM.​
    Ignoring the low bit rates being transmitted on DAB, remember that a line fit factory unit is going to be a low cost exercise on behalf of the manufacturer rather than a quality one. If the head unit is poor to start with (as most line fit units are) then DAB will also sound poor.
     
  3. Richard46

    Richard46
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    One of the few things DAB is much use for IMO; so long as you mainly drive in good signal areas. Had a Pioneer in car DAB for a few years and notwithstanding the ludicrously over complicated controls it is fine. Rock solid in the M25 area as mentioned above. Whether I would swop one for Sat Nav is another matter. :)
     
  4. Gemz1982

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    why is DAB better then sat nav??

    Is DAB radio worth getting. I saw a unit in argos for like £100 which adapts orignal car stereo to DAB radio. Is it worth getting.

    I dont know much about DAB radio, what exactly does it offer.

    Thanks
     
  5. Richard46

    Richard46
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    Hi

    I didnt say it was; they are completely different things. Just that the original poster had been offered the option with his new car.

    If you read back through the thread crocodile has itemised most of the pluses and minus accurately. Plus I think reception is steadier than FM in a car; at least it is on my head set/aerial combinations. That is when you can get the signal all; it is not nationwide, although coverage is expanding all the time. Dont know about the Argos deal; it might depend on the aerial arrangement that comes with it; or not as the case may be. I thought you needed a different kind of aerial for DAB in a car; I have separate aerials for Dab and FM.

    Richard
     
  6. Crocodile

    Crocodile
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    Just wanted to update.

    I've been listening to BBC stations recently & I've found coverage much more patchy than that of Digital One, especially around Norwich. Frequently the signal breaks up to the point where it is unlistenable. Where available, the Pioneer I have should switch to the FM equivalent but it only does this when the DAB signal is lost completely. 95% of the time it just distorts.

    When the switch does happen, it's quite a revelation how much more open & natural the uncompressed FM sound is.

    As Richard46 has already suggested, making use of advanced features like DAB text really require a full time passenger to operate the controls. Pioneer's implementation is rubbish to the point of being unusable.
     
  7. A Legal Beagle

    A Legal Beagle
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    Hi there everyone.

    I bought i DAB radio for my car about 6 months ago. from ebay :D Although i dont need to travel to far to work etc. DAB in a car, in my opinion is excellent and way better than fm/am.

    At first I bought it mainly because i listen to talksport which is terrible on AM.
    once i got it fitted and paid for a separate aerial, :( the choice is endless! :) (depending I suppose on where your based and traveling to/from)

    I now listen to stations, previously i'd not heard of! I bought a Blaupunkt woodstock DAB52 for £100 and with CD, MMC support and options for extra accessories to be attached at the rear, ipod, amp etc. The unit is a bargain :clap: :thumbsup:

    Its a bit of a distraction at first with the news etc scrolling across the screen :eek: but i have almost got used to ignoring it and concentrating on the road! :rolleyes:

    The bottom line is whats more important to you. Sat nav or DAB radio?

    :smashin:
     
  8. johnaalex

    johnaalex
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    Thanks for all the comments - seems like I will stick with standard FM with Sat nav for the following reasons:

    DAB in car still seems to be less relaible with regards to reception
    Sound quality on DAB not as good as FM
    The main reason for going DAB would be for BBC5 which I only listen to when LFC games are being broadcast when I am driving. (I may just get a pocket DAB for these occasions).
    Also, as the new CD players can handle MP3s I expect overall radio listening will reduce.

    Regards
     
  9. Mediaman_12

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    I have also got a Woodstock from ebay (great value). If you dig around on the Blaupunkt websites you can find a PDF of the user manual. It recommends that the scrolling display is turned off (the question arises from this is, why is is on by default?) and gives instructions on how to do it. (I could upload it somewhere and post a link, but it's a bit on the big side though)

    I found the included un-powered 'stick on' DAB antenna very poor, I fond an 'adapter' at my local Car radio shop that turns the FM antenna in to a powered DAB one, I now have very good DAB reception, and find that the sound is 'clearer' than my FM reception.
     
  10. 10bii

    10bii
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    A curious American here and was just wondering how many channels you guys in the UK get on DAB? Does your service provide nationwide coverage? How about coverage in more remote areas of the country?

    We have some relatively new local digital radio here in America but the more popular form of digital radio is satellite radio. I'm subscribed to one of the two services (XM) and we get around 150 channels with around half being music.
     
  11. Nick_UK

    Nick_UK
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    DAB reception varies depending on where you are. Out here "in the sticks" near Peterborough, we can get about 30 stations, but if you live close to a big city like London or Manchester you get loads more.

    Satellite radio hasn't really caught on here yet, and may never catch on. I can understand the attractions of satellite radio in a huge country like America, but I'm not so sure that we need it here, except in places like the extreme north of Scotland, or the Welsh mountains.

    To see what you can get & where go to the BBC DAB website and punch in some post codes.
     
  12. 10bii

    10bii
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    30 channels sounds pretty darn good compared to old FM. Do you how many stations they can ultimately provide?
     
  13. mousey

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    I live out in the sticks too, I have had my digi radio for over 2 years and still can only get about 10 station (off the top of my head) I get all the bbc's 1-7 and a few other channels.
    I would still rather have a DAB though as what I do get is crystal clear.
     

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