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Monday, 1st February 2010
Taskforce looks at radio swappage scheme

Digital Radio UK, the taskforce with the unenviable task of persuading listeners to ditch their FM radio sets in favour of DAB digital radio receivers, is looking at a trade-in scheme offering dicounts on new kit.

Although in early stages of discussion, it is hoped such a scheme could help achieve greater uptake of digital radio with the ultimate aim of switching off analogue radio transmissions in 2015.

The swappage scheme could offer a twenty percent discount on a new DAB radio, with traded-in FM radios being offered to developing countries.

However, the scheme could be met with opposition from radio listeners, with major gripes being the robustness of the digital radio signal, signal blackspots and the economics and environmental cost of replacing multiple radios.

Concerns have also been raised by lobbyists that, in the rush to complete digital switchover, the UK is adopting a substandard system using an inefficient audio codec.

Other countries using digital radio broadcasting, such as Australia, have chosen a different route - launching services using a more efficient DAB+ standard, which offers better sound quality at lower broadcast bitrates, allowing more stations to broadcast in the same bundle. Radio enthusiasts are concerned that the UK's current DAB system is outdated, allowing a limited number of stations in each bundle, giving rise to a lower sound quality than should be expected with a digital switchover.

Although several premium DAB radios manufactured since 2008 are compatible with both the DAB standard (used in the UK) and newer DAB+ standard, lobbyists would like the UK to switch to the DAB+ standard straight away. Such a move is likely to kill off DAB digital broadcasting in the UK, knocking consumer confidence as older DAB radios - which cannot be upgraded to a different standard - would end up in landfill.

To receive DAB digital radio stations in the UK, you need a DAB digital radio - a type of radio that can receive digital radio broadcasts. For more information, discover more about radios available to buy.

DAB digital radio logo

Related links:
find radio stations, on this website.
national BBC DAB radio stations, on this website.
national commercial radio stations, on this website.
guide to DAB digital radio, on this website.
DAB digital radio portables and receivers
cheaper DAB portables/receivers
Alarm clock DAB radios
Handheld/personal/pocket DAB radios
DAB digital radio systems - hifi and tuners
DAB digital radio FAQs

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