Friday, 6 January 2017

Norway to switch off FM radio in risky, unpopular shift to digital

quote [ Norway is set to become the first nation to start switching off its FM radio network next week, in a risky and unpopular leap to digital technology that will be closely watched by other countries considering whether to follow suit. ]

This will piss off some Norwegian drivers.
[SFW] [science & technology] [+3 Interesting]
[by HoZay@8:13pmGMT]


HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 8:27pm GMT on 6th Jan
I'd have some questions:

1. Is it free over-the-air?
2. I've never listened to DAB radio. Is there any "fuzzy" reception when you start getting out of range, or is it a "clear signal or nothing" affair, like digital TV?
3. How would radio stations with the same frequency work where their signals butt up against each other? Like, 100.5FM is different in St. Louis than it is in Chicago (I imagine), so where's the demarcation line and what does that frequency sound like when you're transitioning?

I guess I'm asking these questions more from an American standpoint, since I imagine it'll come here eventually. It'd probably have to be worked out a lot differently over a large country like the U.S., since interference and who owns what station are already a thing.
cb361 said[1] @ 12:46am GMT on 7th Jan [Score:1 Informative]
As far as I know, all DAB stations are free to listen to but that doesn't mean that the options for encryption isn't (or can't be) built into the standards. It's digital, so you could do pretty much anything.

When I drive into a tunnel, the sound just cuts off. When I exit a tunnel, it takes a few seconds before the sound starts again. There is no intermediate quality.

I don't know very much about DAB, but I don't think designations like 1005FM have very much meaning, because you are insulated from the underlying mechanic. You don't listen to a frequency, you are presented with a long list of available stations, much as if you were listening to Internet Radio. DAB stations can include additional information streams like the name of the song/artist currently playing. There's no

You can have different stations lists in different parts of the country.

It's a much better system, but I don't think the uptake in the UK has been what the industry hoped for, probably because DAB radios have remained more expensive than FM.
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 10:17am GMT on 7th Jan
Huh. I'd have to say, having the radio cut out thanks to a tunnel or bridge would be nostalgic in the extreme. FM radio has gotten good enough that such things rarely happen to me anymore.
cakkafracle said @ 8:54pm GMT on 6th Jan
Why fucking switch it off, why not have both?? goddamn it
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 9:00pm GMT on 6th Jan
They're saying they can get 8 times as many stations via DAB, the sound quality will be better, and it can be better broadcast around the mountains and fjords. That's the claim anyway.

I'd ask what the plan is for the unused FM spectrum. Does some cell phone company want more bandwidth or something?
foobar said @ 9:27pm GMT on 6th Jan
Because that's a massive swath of bandwidth just going to waste.
HoZay said @ 9:03pm GMT on 6th Jan
If they did this in the US, it would put a bunch of small stations out of business. Is that the case in Norway, Europe generally?
HP Lovekraftwerk said @ 10:45pm GMT on 6th Jan
Are there many small stations left that aren't in remote areas? I know Stephen King owns a rock station in Maine, but just about everything else is Clear Channel or some other megacorporate-owned entity.
eidolon said @ 12:41am GMT on 7th Jan
If they did this in the US my car would no longer be able to use radio. Small price to pay for the fact that it can't be hacked. No USB ports, no Bluetooth, no WiFi.
HoZay said[1] @ 1:44am GMT on 7th Jan
My pickup has a cassette player.
foobar said @ 3:02am GMT on 7th Jan

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