Digital RadioTrial Hits Canberra, Listeners Warned On Service Interruptions
Commercial radio stations 2CA, 2CC, Mix 106.3, 104.7 Hit Music, plus multicultural and multilingual stations SBS Radio 1 and SBS Radio 2 are the first stations to begin trials. And for the first time, listeners in Canberra can also hear four extra commercial digital only radio services, Radar Radio, Mix Plus, my Canberra Digital and Hot Country Canberra Digital.
Commercial Radio Australia chief executive, Joan Warner said: “The Canberra trial will provide valuable experience for regional radio broadcasters in working with the DAB+ signal, equipment and functionality, while we as an industry continue to work with the Government on a public commitment to prioritise the allocation of enough spectrum for the rollout of digital radio throughout the rest of Australia.”
Although the DAB+ signal is at low power for the trial, it is already expected to cover a large part of the Canberra area. The second phase of the Canberra trial is expected to begin by September, and will be the transmission of the test signal directly into Parliament House.
“Transmitting the DAB+ trial signal into Parliament House will allow us to identify any challenges that buildings of this type may present to the DAB+ signal and at the same time provide a real example of the benefits of digital radio services to all MPs and Senators,” said Ms Warner.
SBS Managing Director, Shaun Brown said: “SBS radio is initially broadcasting our additional in-language services, SBS Radio 1 and SBS Radio 2 and in the next few weeks Canberra listeners will be able to hear our trial digital only stations SBS Pop Asia and SBS Chill.”
“Capital Radio, ARN and Austero will broadcast four additional digital only services and we are confident that should the ABC be able to find funding to join the trial, we should be able to accommodate them,” said Ms Warner.
Key partners in the Canberra trial include; broadcast transmission infrastructure company Broadcast Australia, and multiplex infrastructure providers and systems integrators UGL Infrastructure/Radioscape as well as more than 20 digital radio receiver manufacturers.
Leading retailers, Harvey Norman, Dick Smith and the Good Guys are supporting the digital radio trial by stocking DAB+ radios in local stores, but consumers are warned that the digital service in Canberra may be discontinued until the Government commits to making provision for DAB+ digital outside of the five major cities on a permanent basis.