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Saturday, 6th October

Swindon and West Wiltshire earmarked to go digital toward the end of 2002

The town of Swindon and parts of Wiltshire are to become part of the local digital radio revolution, following the advertisement of the local multiplex licence for the area. Likely applicants include GWR Group-owned NOW Digital Limited, which would mean Swindon's GWR FM and Classic Gold securing a place on the digital multiplex. Since the area would also cover Bath, it is uncertain whether Bath's GWR FM could broadcast a separate breakfast show on the digital service, as it presently does on FM.


Whatever the outcome of the applications and consequent licence award, BBC Wiltshire Sound will be automatically guaranteed a place on the digital service.

Meanwhile, in other news, Panasonic has unveiled a DAB tuner which incorporates a 30 Gigabyte hard disk, allowing listeners to record up to 160 hours of programming in high quality. The tuner is a development of the Technics ST-GT1000, and has adopted the working title of "Value Added Platform" (VAP). Also under development are memory card, USB and RS-232 serial interfaces allowing a computer to be connected or programmes to be stored away from the machine. Onboard timers will allow the listener to record and playback shows. The system is similar to the TiVO recorder, which is used to record TV programmes.

Related links:
Wiltshire station listings on this site
NOW Digital website, from GWR Group plc
Panasonic website (does not yet have information about the VAP DAB tuner)

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