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Knowhow - IT and Technology Help

Knowhow is the award-winning end-to-end services brand supporting Currys PC World. Knowhow strives to better serve customers throughout the lifetime of their products and to help them get the best from their technology. Services include delivery and installation, set-up, repairs and protect.

This article series will be introducing new technologies as well as helping us enjoy and make the most of new products for years to come.

Knowhow No. 25

Roberts Radio

Music, sport, news and plays - our radio has so much to offer us and with digital radio we have even more choice. Read our guide to digital radio to keep you tuned in.

A guide to digital radio

The Knowhow

DAB stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting. It's a way to listen to radio using digital technology - bringing you more stations and digital quality sound. In some areas you can receive over 40 radio channels for free. All you need is a DAB Radio that can pick up the digital signal.

Advantages of DAB:

More choice:

One of the highlights of digital radio is a greater choice of national stations and a wider selection of music types. DAB stations are transmitted in 'multiplexes' (large number of stations grouped together). There are two national digital multiplexes - one that carries all of the BBC stations and a second that has commercial stations and many regional stations also have national coverage.

Ease of use:

The DAB signal contains extra information DAB digital radio can display. You don't need to remember wavelengths or frequencies; just choose the station name. Your radio can display the name of the artist and track currently playing, or the current programme and you can see what show or song is coming up next. You may also get technical information, such as the name of the multiplex/ensemble, the channel and frequency, the signal strength, the bandwidth used and mode (stereo or mono). You can also buy some DAB digital radios that let you pause, record, and even rewind your favourite shows.

Single Frequency Network

Often FM stations use several frequencies so the station can be heard over a large area so if you are travelling you often have to re-tune to a different frequency to follow the same station. DAB uses a single frequency network (SFN), where all transmitters use the same frequency for a particular station so no re-tuning is necessary.

Sound quality:

If you live in a strong signal area, you'll find you have uninterrupted listening without the signal 'dropping out'. There shouldn't be any hiss or crackle with digital radio although in low signal areas there could be a slight wobble in the sound.

Why is there a delay between analogue and digital radio?

DAB offers many highlights and advantages as a radio format but there's one way it's slightly behind analogue radio - its timing.

If you were to listen to the same station on two radios, one analogue and one DAB, you would notices a few seconds delay between the two - with the DAB broadcast slightly after the analogue.

This is because digital and analogue signals are sent in different ways. Analogue signals are transmitted directly, but digital signals are compressed before being transmitted and are then uncompressed by your radio and turned back into sound which takes a second or two longer.

If you want to be accurate when setting your clock by the radio you should use the analogue broadcast.

 

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