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November 16, 2006
Don't touch that dial!
From BroadcastNow (subscription required)
Ofcom has signalled the end of FM radio with a report suggesting the spectrum could be used to make way for digital radio and mobile TV. The Future of Radio report outlines the changing landscape of radio and says the spectrum occupied by FM radio (VHF Band II) could be used for other things as listeners move to digital platforms.
Hold your horses a second, OFCOM!
As Jack Schofield points out in his TechnologyGuardian column today:
British consumers are being short-changed by the BBC’s support for low-quality audio… Recently I’ve been pointing out that the technology used in the UK for DAB (digital audio broadcasting) is obsolete, that the sound quality is inferior to FM radio and that we should be preparing to move to a new DAB2 standard.
FM generally gives better audio quality than DAB. Yet OFCOM want to get rid of FM before sorting out a decent replacement. Nutters.
As Schofield rightly says, the British radio industry needs to make the painful decision to jettison DAB and bring in a better version, using modern compression techniques. Only when that’s bedded in should they start thinking about getting rid of the FM dial, rather than trying to flog as much spectrum as they can to the highest bidder (as is happening with Digital TV).