Both Talk Sport 2 and Talk Radio have switched to DAB+ transmission on the SDL National DAB multiplex. Talk Sport 2 has made a direct switch, meaning some older DAB radios can no longer receive the service
Talk Radio has begun a period of dual transmission, with the new DAB+ service identified by a ‘+’ at the end of the station name. Dual transmission ends on 26th June, allowing some time for listeners to upgrade their radios if required.
Both stations have switched from 64 kbps mono, to 32 kbps DAB+ stereo. The use of stereo is unlikely to be of benefit as both services are talk based, but the changes free up additional space for new services, including the forthcoming Times Radio. Unlike some other DAB+ services which suffer from poor sound quality, Talk Radio and Talk Sport 2 do not appear to be affected in the same way.
Talk Radio, Talk Sport 2, and Times Radio are all operated by News UK’s subsidiary Wireless Group, who alos hold a 30% share in the SDL National DAB multiplex. SDL stands for Sound Digital Limited.
Viamux have partnered with industry website Radio Today to offer free regional small scale DAB workshops.
The sessions will offer guidance on how to set up and run a DAB+ multiplex, as well as advice on writing license applications, funding equipment, and finding partner stations.
A live demonstration of software-defined radio also forms part of the sessions.
The first workshops are; Belfast on Saturday 14th September, Edinburgh on Saturday 28th September, and
Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Saturday 5th October
For more details, visit the Viamux website at www.viamux.com/workshops.html
The dominant monopoly that is Global Radio has expanded its presence on DAB. National duplicates of Capital, Heart and Smooth have been added to the Lincolnshire DAB multiplex and the Hereford and Worcester DAB multiplex.
These services are already available on the D1 national multiplex. Capital UK has a national 80 kbps mono slot, as does Smooth (labelled as Smooth Extra), and Heart has a 32kbps low quality stereo DAB+ slot (labelled as Heart Extra).
The new versions are all in stereo ‘original version’ DAB, with a bit rate of 112kbps, offering slightly better sound quality. These services are exactly the same as the national versions, and do not widen the choice of services available.