DAB digital radio

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DAB Digital Radio - The Perfect Present



Answers to your questions, top tips and the basics of DAB digital radio

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This section reflects some of the questions that we get asked most regularly about DAB digital radio. We've designed the website to be a comprehensive source of information, but if you're looking for a quick answer to a specific question, we hope you'll find it listed below.

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  • Why have I had poor reception at certain times?

    Occasionally transmission is affected by planned maintenance work that is carried out at transmitter sites. You may notice that you temporarily lose some stations or the signal strength is reduced (making the signal unreliable) for a while. If you usually pick these stations up without a problem, once the work has been completed everything should go back to normal.

  • Can I pick up stations from outside my local area?

    By entering your postcode in our coverage checker, you will get a list of stations that you should be able to receive in your area. Some local stations broadcast in several parts of the country but normally they will only be licensed to broadcast in their local area, so Newcastle radio will not be available in London.

    Your local retailer should also be able to provide you with further information about the digital radio stations available in your area.

  • Will I need a new aerial?

    Most DAB digital radios come with an aerial, but it's wise to check before you buy.

    Handheld digital radios usually feature either a standard telescopic aerial or the aerial will be built-in to the headphones.

    In-home digital radios usually feature a telescopic or wire aerial - if you live within the coverage aera then this is usually sufficent to pick up a signal. If you are receiving a clear signal then there's no need to install an external aerial.

    In-car receivers usually come with a whip aerial (which is in addition to any FM/AM aerial you may need).

  • What should I do if I live in an area with marginal coverage?

    Reception in-home can be improved by installing external or loft mounted aerials. Prices for these start from approx 20, but they do need to be installed by an expert.

    For more information, contact the CAI (Confederation of Aerial Industries Ltd) - 01923 803030.

  • Where can I find information about DAB digital radio frequencies?

    Most DAB digital radios automatically scan and store the stations that are available, so you shouldn't really need to use the manual tune. In most cases, the manufacturers include that facility for consumers living on the very edge of a coverage area, in case they wish to manually tune whilst trying to position an external aerial.

    Entering your postcode in our coverage checker will give you a list of the stations that are available in your area.

    Should you require further information about licensed areas for DAB digital radio, the regulator, Ofcom, should be able to help you on 020 7981 3040 or visit their website.

  • Why is there a time delay between digital radio and analogue radio?

    Digital broadcasts lag behind those on FM because the processes used in sending information are different. Some stations such as Classic FM have made a special effort to delay their analogue signal to make any time delay less noticeable.

    There is also a difference between some digital radios - some take longer to process the signal, particularly those that can rewind.

  • Can I use my DAB digital radio abroad?

    Countries have their own policies about the development of DAB digital radio, and you can find out more about the status of each country by visiting the website for WorldDMB.

    However, digital radio can be broadcast on two different bands: Band 3 (used in the UK) or L band (used in some other countries). Most radios sold in the UK only allow you to pick up Band 3 and so would not pick up foreign stations in countries using only L band to broadcast, although it is possible to buy a radio that can receive both Band 3 and L band. But, even if your digital radio works abroad, you won't be able to pick up UK stations there.

  • Can I listen to UK stations abroad?

    Unfortunately your digital radio will not be able to receive UK stations abroad. DAB digital radio uses land-based transmission and so signals from the UK do not reach other countries. UK stations are also licensed to broadcast on DAB digital radio in the UK only and therefore not able to broadcast abroad.

  • How can I get better reception on my handheld DAB digital radio?

    Generally, handheld DAB digital radios require a more robust signal to perform as well as an in-home receiver.

    Getting good reception on small personal products can still be a challenge as this type of product often has the aerial hidden inside the headphone cable. As such, the products often need a strong signal in order for them to work reliably.

    Keeping the headphone wire untangled, fully extended and holding it slightly away from your body helps the aerial in the headphone cable and can help improve your reception.

Postcode Checker
Enter your full postcode for details of which DAB digital radio stations you're likely to receive.

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