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London Lite10,868 posts since 4 Jan 2003
London London
Speculating here, but I believe Tony Dibbin was also Programme Controller or similar? So it may have been changes in management rather than just his presenter role that led to him leaving.


He was also the music programmer too. I'd speculate that James Bassam, also known as Bassman on Capital Radio will be doing the same job as Tony, but also tweaking the playlist.
VMPhil9,979 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Isn't the news as local as it ever was, I thought that was the deal for allowing to network 21 hours a day? So even though the new "local" programming is across the ITV regions, the news bulletins still match the original FM licence? (I may have got that wrong but I was sure the Myers report made news the key bit that remained local)

As for the new breakfast show - with chemistry like this, they're onto a winner...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AR_dyDneGqA

I know it's been a while since this was posted but I still can't quite believe it exists. It honestly looks like a fake sitcom from a Ricky Gervais show, right from the start of that dreadful theme tune. I know Jamie Theakston did a good job acting in Rock Profile and Little Britain but he's not so good here.
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VMPhil9,979 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Gold has now launched on D1 at 40kbps DAB+ Stereo. I find it kind of ironic that the one station that would actually be alright in mono, playing all those ‘60s mono singles, is now one of the few national music stations available in stereo. Although I have heard some Beach Boys songs on there in the past in *shudder* Duophonic.
DVB Cornwall8,646 posts since 4 Dec 2003
Westcountry Spotlight
Incidentally, if I read it right, Ofcom have removed all restrictions that formerly prevented DAB stations moving from DAB to DAB+ with effect from today.

DAB+: Our consultation proposed removing the current requirement for licensees to obtain specific authorisation from Ofcom before adopting DAB+ audio encoding. This was intended to remove potential barriers to the adoption of the more efficient DAB+ standard by broadcasters. We have decided to proceed with this change. Our consultation also proposed requiring multiplex operators to liaise with stations moving from DAB to DAB+ to ensure that listeners are provided with information on ways to continue listening to the service (e.g. ensuring that they are using a DAB+-capable radio). We have decided to implement this requirement, but recognise that we may need to introduce more specific listener communications requirements in future if the liaison requirement proves ineffective.

From

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0028/151993/statement-digital-radio-technical-codes.pdf
buster1,790 posts since 15 Mar 2006
London London
Much as I think DAB+ is the way forward, it is a shame that old DAB radios (which still make up a significant part of DAB listening) still show the stations as available but are then silent when you select them. It's quite a bad listener experience so I can see why they've been cautious. (for comparison, if your Freeview box doesn't do DVB-T2 channels, you're not even aware they exist).

DAB+ also seems to be heavily affected by the standard of the processing, more so than DAB to my ears. The Virgin DAB+ stations sound pretty metallic to me, like an old Real Player stream that hadn't got up to speed. Some others of the same bitrate aren't so bad. The new Global D1 stations (admittedly slightly higher bitrate) sound not bad at all. (and also it's a big relief to see Global so far using DAB+ to deliver stereo, rather than just cram in more stations)
VMPhil9,979 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Much as I think DAB+ is the way forward, it is a shame that old DAB radios (which still make up a significant part of DAB listening) still show the stations as available but are then silent when you select them. It's quite a bad listener experience so I can see why they've been cautious. (for comparison, if your Freeview box doesn't do DVB-T2 channels, you're not even aware they exist).

DAB+ also seems to be heavily affected by the standard of the processing, more so than DAB to my ears. The Virgin DAB+ stations sound pretty metallic to me, like an old Real Player stream that hadn't got up to speed. Some others of the same bitrate aren't so bad. The new Global D1 stations (admittedly slightly higher bitrate) sound not bad at all. (and also it's a big relief to see Global so far using DAB+ to deliver stereo, rather than just cram in more stations)

That is definitely a problem. Though if someone sees a station they'd like, and finds they can't access it, you would hope that would spur them into thinking about getting a newer radio that can access it. But it's frustrating that it can't display a message telling you why you're not hearing anything - it likely just makes people think the station is off air and tells them not to bother trying it again.


The DAB+ stations can sound very metallic. I know bitrate isn't everything but I imagine the fact that most of the national stations are on the extreme low end (24 or 32) doesn't help things, when that format is designed to be broadcast at around 48kbps. In fact I've noticed that one of the original DAB+ stations Fun Kids UK are now broadcasting in DAB+ 24kbps mono. I guess they thought the 'Parametric Stereo' didn't work at that low of a bitrate.
Orry Verducci1,645 posts since 1 Feb 2005
Anglia (West) Look East
Much as I think DAB+ is the way forward, it is a shame that old DAB radios (which still make up a significant part of DAB listening) still show the stations as available but are then silent when you select them. It's quite a bad listener experience so I can see why they've been cautious. (for comparison, if your Freeview box doesn't do DVB-T2 channels, you're not even aware they exist).

DAB+ also seems to be heavily affected by the standard of the processing, more so than DAB to my ears. The Virgin DAB+ stations sound pretty metallic to me, like an old Real Player stream that hadn't got up to speed. Some others of the same bitrate aren't so bad. The new Global D1 stations (admittedly slightly higher bitrate) sound not bad at all. (and also it's a big relief to see Global so far using DAB+ to deliver stereo, rather than just cram in more stations)

While there is an issue with older DAB radios, of which there are still a few around, I would argue they no longer take up a significant part of listening. Thankfully Europe and Australia have been using DAB+ entirely much longer than we have, so radios have been compatible for quite some time now. Certainly all the car radios and adapters I've come across are DAB+ compatible, and I know some of the older Pure radios are software upgradable to enable DAB+.


The metallic sounding audio is entirely down to the ridiculously low bitrates being used as VMPhil suggested. You'll notice the stations using 24kbps (i.e. BFBS) sound particularly bad. The standard itself with the right bitrates can sound very good as it's just AAC audio, same as used for HD TV, downloaded music and online videos. Ideally they should be no lower than 48kbps for stereo broadcasting, but 64kbps would be best. Hopefully when we reach a point where all stations are DAB+ encoded they'll increase all the bitrates rather than trying to cram in another 10 stations, as overly compressed audio is the one thing really letting DAB in this country down.

The Global stations sound a bit better as they've made the sensible decision to use a 32khz sampling rate instead of the 44.1khz rate normally used, which means they're not trying to cram as much audio data in the limited bandwidth. The downside is you lose any audio frequencies above 16khz, but most people won't really notice that. The DAB+ stations on the SDL mux sadly haven't had the same idea.
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TVEngineer41 posts since 12 Jan 2017
London London
[quote="Orry Verducci" pid="1172864"]
The downside is you lose any audio frequencies above 16khz, but most people won't really notice that.


Worth remembering that FM Radio has an upper limit of 15kHz.
I work in telly, I sometimes get time to watch telly. More of a technology geek than a presentation geek!
noggin14,628 posts since 26 Jun 2001
The downside is you lose any audio frequencies above 16khz, but most people won't really notice that.


Worth remembering that FM Radio has an upper limit of 15kHz.


Yes - BBC Radio is distributed to the FM transmitters using NICAM 32kHz sampled 14:10bit companded audio (very similar audio specs to the TV NICAM 728 system used for digital audio on analogue TV, and the audio system used in D-/D2-MAC analogue component systems)

As a result BBC FM radio has the same audio sample rate/bandwidth limitations as 32kHz sampled DAB+ (plus an analogue transmission path, but without any digital compression over and above the 14:10 companding)
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