A lot of people talk about Digital Radio. Whether you’re on the eight ball or have never even heard of the service before, this article will provide you with the info about the revolutionary digital radio that you need to know to make the most of it. Your car might even be compatible!
The DAB Radio service started as a European experiment in the 1980’s and Norway was the first country to launch a digital radio station in 1995. At the time Australia started using the service, an upgraded version was available – aptly named DAB+. Being a late adopter had its perks and as a result this version fixed some bugs like interference issues and added enhancements such as higher quality Audio.
Now for the best part: The service is free, and certain models of cars have DAB+ receivers built into them! Just like analogue radio, you can tune in without a need to subscribe or apply to the service and you have an array of new and current stations to choose from. In order to access digital radio in Australia, you need to live in one of the capital cities as the service has not been implemented across the country yet. As popularity spreads and the government builds more infrastructure, DAB+ will be available in more places across Australia, currently the signal will drop off completely once you leave these areas (unlike FM which fades out with static.) Due to the broadcasts being on a higher frequency than AM/FM stations, you need to have a radio that can receive the signal. You can fit an aftermarket radio that can pick up DAB+ signals, and most models also integrate analogue radio as DAB+ can lose signal outside of metropolitan centres.
Apart from more stations and better sound quality, what makes digital radio so special is that radio text can also be transmitted to your device. This means you will know the name of the song you are listening to (maybe even see the album art depending on your radio display) as well as being up to date with the weather forecast and traffic conditions. If your car doesn’t currently come with a compatible device (and a fair few imported European vehicles are made to use the DAB system, which is not cross compatible with DAB+), there are many options for in-car receivers available, with more receivers on the market as the listening trend grows.
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