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Digital Switchover.

Confused about the future of radio? Joshua

Listening to the Radio is a popular pastime of blind and partially sighted people. Like the rest of the population many are switching to digital radio.

Read our handy guide to what you need, when you’ll need it, what will happen to your favourite stations…and more.

What is DAB?

Digital Radio or DAB is a new way of broadcasting radio stations which offers a wider choice of programs with more Stations: National, Local and regional catering for all kinds of interests and groups of people. It also gives hiss free sound and many DAB radios have features including information about the channel or the ability to pause and rewind live radio.

What Stations am I likely to receive on DAB?

As with FM, the DAB Coverage depends on the signal strength in your area. You can check this by entering your postcode on the Digital UK Website.

I hear FM will be switched off. Is this correct?

No, It is planned that digital radio switchover will take place no less than two years after certain criteria have been met.
The criteria are:

  • National digital radio coverage to match FM coverage.
  • Local digital radio to reach 90% of the population.
  • 50% of radio listening to be on digital radio platforms.

It is unlikely that the digital radio switchover will happen before 2015.

Will National BBC Radio stations Eg. Radio 1, 2, 3 and 4 be switched off on FM at that time?

Yes, It is proposed that all national stations should move to broadcasting only on digital. This includes the BBC.

What about my local BBC Station? Eg BBC Radio Sussex?

All national, regional and local BBC stations will switchover to digital radio.

What if I can't receive DAB radio in my area?

As part of the criteria put in place before the switchover can take place, digital radio coverage must match FM coverage. Don’t worry if you can’t receive digital radio yet, it will be rolled out throughout the UK so you will soon be enjoying the extra features and content digital radio has to offer. In the meantime, you could buy one of our radios that receives both digital and FM, so that you can get a signal now but will also be ready for the digital future.

Which commercial stations will switch over?

All national commercial stations will switch over. Regional and large local commercial stations are expected to be digital-only, with smaller and community stations remaining on FM.

Will AM services also be switched off at switchover?

AM services will either move to FM or to digital only.

Does this mean the end of my local community radio station?

No! Most local community radio stations will continue to broadcast in FM. Most current radios also have FM which will be used to transmit the local and community stations when the switchover takes place. You’ll still be able to listen to your favourite local station in the same way you do now, digital radio just opens up the options for further listening.

Want to know more?

If you would like to know more about the digital radio switchover and how it may affect you, call us on 01622 754757