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RTÉ to cease radio transmission on DAB network

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,009 ✭✭✭Hodors Appletart


    has DAB not just gone the way of Minidisc

    good tech, but rendered almost immediately obsolete

    I did have a DAB radio for a time, but Smart Speakers (Alexa, google et al) are just better.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,277 ✭✭✭✭ednwireland


    the what what (i live in donegal :) )


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,475 ✭✭✭Jpmarn


    There are only 4 DAB transmitters in the Republic of Ireland so availability was not widespread and large parts of the country could not get DAB. It was only available in Dublin, Louth and in the areas of Cork and Limerick cities. The decision to turn off the DAB transmitters was taken in the last couple of years when RTÉ were announcing cuts of about €60 million from it's budget in the last couple of years. They have decided not to close the digital stations as they will continue to be broadcast online and on Saorview.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,439 ✭✭✭KildareP


    Not altogether surprised. A solution in search of a problem in many ways. Almost like it was meant to be the FM equivalent of digital switchover for TV but without any of the equivalent benefits.


    Very sparse coverage and personally found it difficult to listen to due to the watery metallic sound caused by the compression. Couldn't maintain an uninterrupted signal while commuting between Dublin and North Kildare.



    DAB+ would of course improve matters, but when you look at the regulatory framework (or lack thereof), a general unwillingness for anyone else to partner up to share costs of expanding coverage, our relatively small population and density compared to elsewhere in Europe to support niche services, does it make sense to continue ahead?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,431 ✭✭✭touts


    Apps like Tunein have killed DAB. No point continuing the rollout.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,986 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    Jpmarn wrote: »
    There are only 4 DAB transmitters in the Republic of Ireland so availability was not widespread and large parts of the country could not get DAB. It was only available in Dublin, Louth and in the areas of Cork and Limerick cities. The decision to turn off the DAB transmitters was taken in the last couple of years when RTÉ were announcing cuts of about €60 million from it's budget in the last couple of years. They have decided not to close the digital stations as they will continue to be broadcast online and on Saorview.

    I understand that they will also continue to be available on the Virgin Media digital tv platform. I gather this was mentioned this morning on RTE Gold, which I saw on the thread about RTE Gold.

    Edit: I'm grateful again to the RTE Gold thread for giving me another update on this! It appears that these stations will continue to be available on all the different digital tv services as before. It's on a link about how to listen at the end of the article.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,986 ✭✭✭Declan A Walsh


    Another thread was started at the same time as this one!

    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2058164981

    I think they could be merged.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,146 ✭✭✭✭Hurrache


    I think most people are looking at DAB from the point of view of tuning in from home, but I used it mostly when in the car. And when you're abroad, it's a pretty good service elsewhere.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭Former Former Former


    While DAB had a lot of theoretical advantages, it was the right tech at the wrong time. This had been coming for a long time, but delighted the digital stations will continue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,430 ✭✭✭Charles Babbage


    While of course there are alternatives, this seems degredation of service. Living in Dublin and driving frequently towards Dundalk I had good use of this in the car, or at least did in pre lockdown days, and over the last 6 years I got several radios, (e.g. bedside clock) in the house.
    Streaming broadcast material is not a good use of national bandwidth, whatever about the particular economics of RTÉ.

    I think the economics of transmission in this country are a bit odd. Part of the licence fee should fund transmission, with moderate charges for people to then use it.

    So that is my bank closed and my radio station gone in two days. What will be tomorrow?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 50 ✭✭Insidethetent


    Let's wrap our heads around this:


    UK: OFCOM introduced DAB very successfully throughout the UK and recently further developed a mini-mux regulatory framework, bringing new opportunities for niche broadcasters, genres and communities at low cost.


    Ireland: BCI/BAI gave RTE/2rn the sole DAB MUX licence, RTE setup entirely in-house digital stations with no obligations to facilitate alternative broadcasters with carriage or access.

    RTE decides to close the DAB network (4/5x transmitters in-situ and one sitting unpowered in a rack) for RTE cost containment. Staff (all paid) remain on payroll, studios remain, transmitters/transmission/links remain.


    What costs have been saved here? Electricity and maintenance of 5 transmitters?


    Yet again the regulator surrenders to the incumbent operator and regulatory capture to industry insiders, failing in its duty of care to diversity and fostering competition.



    Imagine the blooming of Ireland's creativity across mini-mux DAB low power bandwidth-efficient networks, musical genres and communities currently unserved or under-represented.


    The board of the BAI needs to take a positive, innovative fresh look at the landscape and embrace inclusivity, diversity, there's a lot of empowering technology including mini-mux DAB.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,402 ✭✭✭StaticNoise


    While I am not surprised that the network is being axed, I do question the idea of retaining the services online and in other forms.
    I understand that there is a lot of love for RTÉ Gold, but with 2XM, Pulse and the others- I would wonder how strong the listenership is to justify this.
    I completely agree with the value of a service not pertaining only to listeners (especially since if we look at the rationale behind PSB) but I would have to question if the figures are even remotely justifiable for such a service.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,878 ✭✭✭frozenfrozen


    shame because the audio quality was noticeably higher in the car.

    Tune in from the phone over bluetooth is obviously the same thing but I won't end up listening to an irish station if I go to the bother of starting it up


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,013 ✭✭✭Brian CivilEng


    When I first got a DAB radio about 15 years ago I remember most of the Dublin commercials were there. After a year or so they disappeared but Dusty Rhodes' jukebox channels remained for another couple of years. Were these a separate broadcast or did RTÉ just carry the commercial stations too?


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    For a good section of the Irish population, DAB radio has the same mystical conotations as HAM radio. They don't know much about DAB, and don't care much for it. They don't want to pay that much for a radio product.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,402 ✭✭✭StaticNoise


    When I first got a DAB radio about 15 years ago I remember most of the Dublin commercials were there. After a year or so they disappeared but Dusty Rhodes' jukebox channels remained for another couple of years. Were these a separate broadcast or did RTÉ just carry the commercial stations too?
    There were some periods where the commercials were on board. There were similar 'tests' on other multiplexes across the country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,458 ✭✭✭jogdish


    has DAB not just gone the way of Minidisc

    good tech, but rendered almost immediately obsolete

    I did have a DAB radio for a time, but Smart Speakers (Alexa, google et al) are just better.
    Head over to the Alexa/Google Home threads to see how often they fail, I agree they have replaced dab but far from being as reliable, plus ads before streams on GH.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,995 ✭✭✭Glaceon


    jogdish wrote: »
    Head over to the Alexa/Google Home threads to see how often they fail, I agree they have replaced dab but far from being as reliable, plus ads before streams on GH.
    Streaming is grand when it works. When it doesn't, it's a pain. Rebuffering is an annoyance, made worse by some of the commercial stations that insert an ad before a stream starts playing; so when the stream does rebuffer you then have an ad before things go back to normal.

    DAB was nice to have but the will was never there to expand it, which is a shame.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,433 ✭✭✭Former Former Former


    xieann wrote: »
    For a good section of the Irish population, DAB radio has the same mystical conotations as HAM radio. They don't know much about DAB, and don't care much for it. They don't want to pay that much for a radio product.

    Indeed.

    It's like trying to convince the public that Netflix will never give you the same picture quality as a 4K Blu-Ray. It's true, but it just doesn't matter to people.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Pete Best


    DAB only works if there’s a decent transmission network, and RTÉ definitely doesn’t have this, so no wonder most people in the Republic of Ireland don’t listen to DAB.

    This is very reminiscent of the Century Radio fiasco before Radio Ireland ( now Today FM )won the licence for a national commercial station.

    The running joke was you could listen to Century radio in a car park 800 ft up a mountain somewhere. I think they had just one FM transmitter on Three Rock and maybe one in Cork but that was about it.

    Where I live I can receive 65 stations on DAB, though the SDL mux is a bit patchy around here. Not a bad choice, even if many are London based. It’s great compared to FM here.

    It’s pity many stations are in low bitrate mono though. DAB+ can’t come soon enough.

    DAB works if you’re committed to it. RTÉ was never fully committed to the technology, which is why it’s failed.

    Hopefully, one of the commercial operators will take over the franchise. Bauer maybe, now they’ve bought Communicorp, who were opposed to DAB ?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Pete Best


    There were some periods where the commercials were on board. There were similar 'tests' on other multiplexes across the country.

    Yep, there were trial multiplexes in Cork and the southeast that ran for quite a few years but they’ve since closed down.

    There’s no reason why DAB can’t succeed in the Republic of Ireland, because there are plenty of relatively cheap DAB radios from various manufacturers both from the major high street retailers and Amazon.

    The main reason DRM failed was because there were no receivers but DAB is different.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,646 ✭✭✭The J Stands for Jay


    has DAB not just gone the way of Minidisc

    good tech, but rendered almost immediately obsolete

    I did have a DAB radio for a time, but Smart Speakers (Alexa, google et al) are just better.

    Man, if Sony hadn't gone with the ATRAC compression/DRM.....

    I still use my MD Walkman for those times when I'm between music subscriptions. In the olden days it was handy for the commute, worked where there was no mobile reception and would run for ages off a single AA battery that was too low in power for whatever kids toy it had been in.

    To keep on subject, I hired a van with a DAB radio a while back, and it seemed like a decent setup. Alas, it was superseded by new technology before it got started


  • Registered Users Posts: 105 ✭✭Jonathan1990


    If DAB does go soon in Ireland I've always wondered whether there are places the radios will still work from getting UK signals.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Hurrache wrote: »
    I think most people are looking at DAB from the point of view of tuning in from home, but I used it mostly when in the car. And when you're abroad, it's a pretty good service elsewhere.

    https://www.dabplus.de/programme/

    so much choice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,422 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    there will be a few disappointed DAB car radio users, especially those UK import cars.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Pete Best


    there will be a few disappointed DAB car radio users, especially those UK import cars.

    My Toyota Verso is now 6 years old and has MW, FM, and DAB/DAB+. Most U.K. cars now come fitted with DAB/DAB+ radios as well as Bluetooth.

    Surely, most new cars in the Republic of Ireland have DAB/DAB+ fitted ?

    The Irish Radioplayer is a great app and I often listen to the southern stations that way using Bluetooth. I can store favourites and use the up/down buttons to change channels.

    Last time I was down in Killarney and Galway, back in 2016/17, I found 4G reception fairly poor until I got quite close to Dublin, so I’m not sure if that has changed, but I’d imagine that would account for the low online listening figures.

    4G/5G coverage is pretty good in the North.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,146 ✭✭✭✭Hurrache


    there will be a few disappointed DAB car radio users, especially those UK import cars.

    I don't understand why? They'd have all bands on them anyway wouldn't they?

    It's practically the opposite in the UK, they had planned on leaving FM for digital but was delayed with no new date planned AFAIK.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Pete Best


    If DAB does go soon in Ireland I've always wondered whether there are places the radios will still work from getting UK signals.

    Some border areas should be able to get the BBC, NI, and D1 muxes.

    I’d imagine some of the higher areas of Dublin and North Wicklow might get something from North Wales maybe ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 178 ✭✭KReid


    Let's wrap our heads around this:


    UK: OFCOM introduced DAB very successfully throughout the UK and recently further developed a mini-mux regulatory framework, bringing new opportunities for niche broadcasters, genres and communities at low cost.


    Ireland: BCI/BAI gave RTE/2rn the sole DAB MUX licence, RTE setup entirely in-house digital stations with no obligations to facilitate alternative broadcasters with carriage or access.

    RTE decides to close the DAB network (4/5x transmitters in-situ and one sitting unpowered in a rack) for RTE cost containment. Staff (all paid) remain on payroll, studios remain, transmitters/transmission/links remain.


    What costs have been saved here? Electricity and maintenance of 5 transmitters?


    Yet again the regulator surrenders to the incumbent operator and regulatory capture to industry insiders, failing in its duty of care to diversity and fostering competition.



    Imagine the blooming of Ireland's creativity across mini-mux DAB low power bandwidth-efficient networks, musical genres and communities currently unserved or under-represented.


    The board of the BAI needs to take a positive, innovative fresh look at the landscape and embrace inclusivity, diversity, there's a lot of empowering technology including mini-mux DAB.

    There's nothing stopping new stations being broadcast online as opposed to on DAB.
    touts wrote: »
    Apps like Tunein have killed DAB. No point continuing the rollout.
    While DAB had a lot of theoretical advantages, it was the right tech at the wrong time. This had been coming for a long time, but delighted the digital stations will continue.

    Agreed. One thing people tend to focus on here is what DAB is and get outraged as to why we aren't using it here and how we missed something not rolling it out. What we need to be looking at is listeners habits, there's no point shoving some technology people dont want onto them. Look at any young person, they use their phone to access all sorts of entertainment, they are very unlikely to buy a seperate product that only has DAB on it when they can access all the same stations on the internet. While adults over 30 are quite likely to have a Smart Speaker or device for streaming. Audio quality isnt really an issue to non-radio people. With internet coverage increasing every day and the rollout of 4g/5g, DAB seems totally irrelevant here. As someone else said, DAB is good technology, but it came between FM and Online Listening.

    I'm aware of that DAB will be available in any cars made from 2020, but with the world changing rapidly, WFH is more popular, less commuting. If I was involved in radio station here, I wouldn't be bothered by this, an online app that is transferable between Website/Phone/Smart Speaker is a far superior product.

    Having said all that DAB is perfectly fine, and is widely used across Europe, and had we incentivized it more for the commercial sector when it was launched we may be looking at an FM switch off, although regardless off the route, I feel we will end up almost entirely on Internet Based streaming by 2030.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,422 ✭✭✭ford fiesta


    Glaceon wrote: »
    Streaming is grand when it works. When it doesn't, it's a pain. Rebuffering is an annoyance, made worse by some of the commercial stations that insert an ad before a stream starts playing; so when the stream does rebuffer you then have an ad before things go back to normal.

    DAB was nice to have but the will was never there to expand it, which is a shame.

    Streaming is fine with a half decent broadband connection! Sounds like you're in an area with a poor connection.


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