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Canberra Dab+ Trial


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#1 alanh

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Posted 07 July 2010 - 11:02 PM

All,
CRA's details of the trial.
Note: No ABC

The transissions are radiated from the Black Mountain Tower at an effective radiating power of 1 kW omnidirectional. This power is considerably lower than all other state capital city DAB+ transmitters of 50 kW.
This is to prevent interference to TV transmissions.

In common with all DAB+ Australian transmissions they are vertically polarised. Since most TV transmissions from Black Mountain are vertically polarised, a TV antenna can also provide a stronger DAB+ signal as long as a splitter is used to provide an additional antenna outlet.

AlanH

#2 MLXXX

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 12:40 AM

The transissions are radiated from the Black Mountain Tower at an effective radiating power of 1 kW omnidirectional.

So a person in Canberra can actually tune in now and hear DAB+? Or is there just an unmodulated multiplex carrier at this stage?

#3 MLXXX

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 04:40 PM

Or is there not even a carrier at this point?

#4 :)

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 07:50 PM

Bloody typical !

The pollies mandate dab+ for us around the country and theyre only now running a trial for it in the nations capital :o :rolleyes:

#5 jeloz

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Posted 08 July 2010 - 07:57 PM

I think it is now due to start August 6th
Jeloz

#6 Digital Penetration

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 08:59 AM

I think it is now due to start August 6th
Jeloz


Got any idea how long it will go for? I'm trying to justify the purchase of a DAB+ radio...

#7 alanh

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Posted 09 July 2010 - 12:54 PM

All,
The terrain of Canberra has required for DTV to have translators for Condor, Tuggeranong, Weston Creek/Woden and for analog Fraser. These transmissions need a UHF antenna which is useless for DAB+

All Canberra DTV transmitters except SBS use the same polarisation and band as DAB+, however the DAB+ transmissions are 1/50th of that for TV.

Provided the receiver has an antenna socket, an antenna for Black Mountain will provide a stronger DAB+ signal.

Reception reports will be interesting.

AlanH

#8 MLXXX

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 01:32 PM

It's interesting that the Digital Radio Plus* webpage refers to "digital quality audio" and "significantly improved functionality":

Through a digital radio trial many Canberra radio listeners will be able to experience digital quality audio, robust transmission and significantly improved functionality as part of digital broadcasting including more audio services, text and graphics on screen, plus pause and rewind on some receivers.


It is indisputable that the sound relies on digital technology. To that extent it has "digital sound quality". The actual quality of the decoded sound will depend on the bitrate allocated to each station in the ensemble. As usual, in the tradition of DAB+ promotional material, no details have been supplied regarding those vital statistics. If the experience elsewhere in Australia is a guide, the functionality of "more audio services" comes at a cost to audio quality. At a fixed listening location with good signal strength, DAB+ at 48kbps in my experience is well below FM radio's "analogue sound quality". Even 80kbps is lacking.

There will no doubt be text, giving the name of the song, if this feature is implemented for the particular station, similar to FM radio's RDS. Am not too sure about "graphics". What extent of graphics is currently in use in the major capital cities for DAB+? Is it "significant functionality"? It seems to me to be more the potential for functionality, a concept that doesn't sit well with a trial broadcast. But then that's promotional material for you.

I imagine, and hope, though that this trial may extend to a second ensemble, and then a permanent DAB+ service for Canberrans.
___________
* The website states: "Digital Radio Plus is a brand name supporting a partnership of commercial and public radio broadcasters set up to run digital radio in Australia.".

#9 jeloz

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 05:19 PM

Got any idea how long it will go for? I'm trying to justify the purchase of a DAB+ radio...


no..but i will find out for you

Jeloz

#10 Digital Penetration

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Posted 13 July 2010 - 08:11 PM

no..but i will find out for you

Jeloz


Thanks. The latest BroadcastTransmitterExcel.xls file from ACMA has the trial license (a "Scientific Assignment") going to June 2011. Bought a cheap Kaiser-Baas DAB+/FM unit from DSE today, but seems like there's nothing to pick up on the DAB+ band yet.

Edited by Digital Penetration, 13 July 2010 - 08:12 PM.


#11 Moasaica

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:39 AM

According to 2CA's Facebook page, DAB+ trial transmissions will commence tomorrow (15th July).

It will be exciting to hear 2CA in digital stereo, as opposed to AM mono (even though it has been broadcasting in AM Stereo as well up until very recently), playing real 'classic hits' from the 60s to 90s, as opposed to the modern pop/rock that both 104.7 & MIX 106.3 plays. Even though I'm a Sydneysider, I'll be looking forward to going to Canberra or a day or weekend sometime down the track & taking my portable DAB+ receiver with me to listen to 2CA in digital stereo (as opposed to streaming it on the net back home in Sydney).

#12 Digital Penetration

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 08:23 PM

Test transmissions have started (I just checked at 8:20pm, 14/7/2010). Some streams are the actual station audio, 2CA is playing a loop "A new digital era is about to start, Thursday 12 noon..."

#13 mgaleano

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:21 PM

According to 2CA's Facebook page, DAB+ trial transmissions will commence tomorrow (15th July).

It will be exciting to hear 2CA in digital stereo, as opposed to AM mono (even though it has been broadcasting in AM Stereo as well up until very recently), playing real 'classic hits' from the 60s to 90s, as opposed to the modern pop/rock that both 104.7 & MIX 106.3 plays. Even though I'm a Sydneysider, I'll be looking forward to going to Canberra or a day or weekend sometime down the track & taking my portable DAB+ receiver with me to listen to 2CA in digital stereo (as opposed to streaming it on the net back home in Sydney).

I wonder what the quality of the sound will be like! I have to go visit family down there to tune in :).

#14 Digital Penetration

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 10:45 PM

I wonder what the quality of the sound will be like! I have to go visit family down there to tune in :).


Listening to the Kaiser Baas cheapie from DSE on headphones, I get:

MIX 106.3 64kbps AAC - good sound
MIX 106.3 PLUS 64kbps AAC - noticable "drainpipe" artifacts
My Canberra 64kbps AAC - "drainpipe" artifacts
RADAR RADIO 64kbps AAC - "drainpipe" artifacts
SBS Radio 1 48kbps AAC - "drainpipe" artifacts (speech)
SBS Radio 2 48kbps AAC - good sound
104.7-HIT MUSIC 64kbps AAC - good sound
2CA 64kbps AAC - good sound
2CC 64kbps AAC - drainpipe artifacts
Hot Country 64kbps AAC - Good sound

"Drainpipe" artifacts are because it sounds like they are speaking/playing music from down the end of a drainpipe! Note that all music I could hear is pop/rock, so it is not ideal for picking up errors. I would prefer to hear real acoustic instruments that I am much more used to.

#15 DigitalRadioNow

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 01:27 AM

What's the coverage like? Suburbs or region names if you prefer.

#16 Digital Penetration

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:25 AM

What's the coverage like? Suburbs or region names if you prefer.


Pretty good. Reception in my house is no problem, even without the antenna extended. I'm 5km from Black Mountain. as the crow flies. Coming over Hindmarsh Drive this morning it dropped out at the top of Red Hill, but this area is full of multipath on the FM, so I wasn't surprised. I only had the radio setup next to the windscreen with its antenna extended, so a real antenna would probably do better. It is even working inside my work building, which is notoriously bad for AM/FM reception. I've mocked up a possible coverage area plot for the trial in Radio Mobile, I'll put it in the attachments section.

#17 DigitalRadioNow

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 10:51 AM

Pretty good. Reception in my house is no problem, even without the antenna extended. I'm 5km from Black Mountain. as the crow flies. Coming over Hindmarsh Drive this morning it dropped out at the top of Red Hill, but this area is full of multipath on the FM, so I wasn't surprised. I only had the radio setup next to the windscreen with its antenna extended, so a real antenna would probably do better. It is even working inside my work building, which is notoriously bad for AM/FM reception. I've mocked up a possible coverage area plot for the trial in Radio Mobile, I'll put it in the attachments section.


That's wonderful, let me/us know of the URL.

#18 mddawson

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:19 PM

Just tuned in my Kogan and I am getting good reception in Gordon (25ks from Black Mountain - no line of sight).

Edited by mddawson, 15 July 2010 - 09:20 PM.


#19 ChaosMaster

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:33 PM

Just tuned in my Kogan and I am getting good reception in Gordon (25ks from Black Mountain - no line of sight).

That is a very good result for the low power service it is, IMO.

#20 RF Burns

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 05:21 PM

Listening to the Kaiser Baas cheapie from DSE on headphones, I get:

MIX 106.3 64kbps AAC - good sound
MIX 106.3 PLUS 64kbps AAC - noticable "drainpipe" artifacts
My Canberra 64kbps AAC - "drainpipe" artifacts
RADAR RADIO 64kbps AAC - "drainpipe" artifacts
SBS Radio 1 48kbps AAC - "drainpipe" artifacts (speech)
SBS Radio 2 48kbps AAC - good sound
104.7-HIT MUSIC 64kbps AAC - good sound
2CA 64kbps AAC - good sound
2CC 64kbps AAC - drainpipe artifacts
Hot Country 64kbps AAC - Good sound

"Drainpipe" artifacts are because it sounds like they are speaking/playing music from down the end of a drainpipe! Note that all music I could hear is pop/rock, so it is not ideal for picking up errors. I would prefer to hear real acoustic instruments that I am much more used to.


Interesting comments regarding sound.
Is 2CA 1053 still broadcasting in AM Mono?

I am asking this as your personal opinion D. P. as you listen to 2CA in AM stereo (normally).

Putting reception quality aside & any interference, in a perfect reception environment (say standing at the exhibition centre, next to the 2CA 1053 AM transmitters), would you say 2CA sounds/would sound better in AM Stereo or DAB+ digital radio? Judge on quality of sound, how close to natural/original it sounds & the length of time you could listen before feeling fatigued & wanting to turn off.

We've all been through the arguments of FM & DAB+ which one sounds better, but I'm just wondering about how AM Stereo compares.
AM mono to stereo DAB+ digital is no argument, but I'm just wondering why has AM stereo been turned off, (could be just temp. technical issue, but cynically I don't think so), & from an AM stereo station, why do they have a comparison sample on their web site of AM mono to DAB+ digital stereo, the comparison sounds a lot like AM mono to AM stereo, not necessarily sounding any better as AM mono to DAB+ stereo.

Arguing the point of DAB+ sounding like FM or having FM quality sound is one thing, but if AM Stereo actually stands up to DAB+ digital & sounds similar or very close to each other, then the argument for DAB+ digital radio is weak at best & pushing the use of DAB+ digital radio is going to be very difficult indeed. Compare AM mono to DAB+ will be no contest, but compare AM Stereo to DAB+ & if they are very close, people are going to seriously wonder what's all the fuss & what's the point. Turn off AM stereo & you've negated & silence that argument, which may actually be a very valid & credible one.

#21 Digital Penetration

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Posted 16 July 2010 - 05:47 PM

Interesting comments regarding sound.
Is 2CA 1053 still broadcasting in AM Mono?
.
.
.


Yes, unfortunately, still mono. I've just made a short AM vs. DAB+ comparison, five seconds of AM, then 5 of DAB+ etc. I'll put it in the attachments section now. MP3 file

As for AM stereo vs. DAB+, I think the example I've just uploaded will show that when AM is good, it is equal to DAB+ at the low bitrates we are using. I think the AM sounds better, since the DAB+ has still got those "phasey" artifacts and the bass seems lacking. Drumbeats aren't right, they sound "hollow." But in a noisy environment, like my office, DAB+ wins hands down.

Edited by Digital Penetration, 16 July 2010 - 07:31 PM.


#22 Digital Penetration

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Posted 17 July 2010 - 09:44 AM

2CA back in AM stereo. I must have been listening at the right moment this morning, there was a pause, dropout, dead air then a little while later I saw my stereo pilot light was back on. I've made another comparison with DAB+ in 2CA AM stereo vs DAB+

#23 alanh

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:37 AM

All,
Canberra Trial more details

AlanH

#24 El Saif

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 01:45 PM

All,
Canberra Trial more details

AlanH

I bought a DAB+ radio from Aldi yesterday for $A69. I live in an area with poor TV reception, but I can hear all 12 DAB+ stations clearly.

The radio from Aldi is labelled as Vivid, but I have seen the same radio sold elsewhere labelled Tone Tech for a higher price.

My AM Stereo Receiver shows that neither 2CA or 2CC are broadcasting in AM Stereo. The radio from Aldi is only mono.

#25 Digital Penetration

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 02:02 PM

My AM Stereo Receiver shows that neither 2CA or 2CC are broadcasting in AM Stereo. The radio from Aldi is only mono.


2CA went back to mono about two weeks ago, after being stereo for a couple of weeks. Hope it is fixed (again!) soon. 2CC was stereo when I last checked two days ago.

Update (Saturday, Election day): 2CC still stereo & 2CA still mono :-(

Is the Aldi DAB+ radio always mono? Is there a headphone socket (that might be stereo)? If it is only mono, it is poor value (eg a Kaiser Baas model from Dick Smith is the same price and stereo through the headphone socket).

Edited by Digital Penetration, 21 August 2010 - 12:05 PM.