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Canberra Dab+ Trial


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#26 El Saif

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 04:36 PM

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).



Sound quality is good from my vivid DAB+ radio, though it is only mono through the main speaker and my earphones. I tried using my Ipod earphones but volume was too loud even on the lowest setting.

There is a two line green display and a blue light behind the tuning knob. Only SBS Popasia uses DLS to show the last song played and the current song. Radar Radio does not use DLS to show the last song played and the current song. but such information is available from their website.

To tune into a DAB+ station, ypu either use the presets or turn the rotary knob, you push the knob in when you see the station you want on the screen.

None of the stations use the PTY field. Data rates vary from 48kbps to 80kbps.

There is a flap on top, which you lift to preset 8 DAB+ stations or 8 FM stations. The radio can receive RDS data from the FM stations. It cannot receive AM stations at all, though 2 AM stations in Canberra also brodcast on DAB+. No ABC stations broadcast on DAB+ in Canberra.

It has a 74 cm extendable antenna, which I keep fully extended.

In Caberra, at DS, the Kaiser Bass DAB+ radio sells for $A79.95.

My Sony AM Stereo Receiver today shows no AM Stereo for 2CA, but intermittent AM Stereo for 2CC.

#27 Digital Penetration

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 10:03 AM

Sound quality is good from my vivid DAB+ radio, though it is only mono through the main speaker and my earphones. I tried using my Ipod earphones but volume was too loud even on the lowest setting.

I long for the days when radios/TV's/computers had a real analogue potentiometer volume control. I hate these up/down buttons that are either off or too loud even on the lowest settings.

You can buy an inline volume control for your earphones at Jaycar. The old-fashioned sort, with a dial...
http://www.jaycar.co...mp;SUBCATID=487

In Caberra, at DS, the Kaiser Bass DAB+ radio sells for $A79.95.

I must have bought one on special, then.

My Sony AM Stereo Receiver today shows no AM Stereo for 2CA, but intermittent AM Stereo for 2CC.

Can't say I listen to 2CC much (!) but every time I've checked it has been AM stereo with no sign of dropping out.

#28 El Saif

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 06:27 PM

Thanks for the link to the earphones. I will check them out next time I am at Jaycar.

I will also be looking for a 9 volt transformer that can be used with a car cigarette lighter so I can power my Aldi Digital Radio in the car.

#29 El Saif

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 06:35 PM

I have now been listening to the DAB+ transmissions for 10 days. I hope that the trial becomes permanent, as otherwise my $69 Aldi radio will become useless.

There are currently 12 DAB+ stations broadcasting in Canberra. They all broadcast on 211.648 MHz using AAC compression. Four of these stations relay existing Canberra commercial stations (2CA, 2CC, 104.7 and 106.3). Two of the stations relay existing SBS broadcasts to Canberra. SBS Two can be heard on FM 105.5 and SBS Two through a digital TV signal. SBS One can only be heard on SBS One through a digital TV signal. Radar Radio and My Canberra can also be heard through their websites.

That leaves only four completely unique to DAB+ broadcasts to Canberra. Classic Hits Plus at present only plays a looped tape. My Canberra is the only station with any local content, which consists of a 60 second news broadcast heard on the hour. SBS PopAsia is the only station to use DLS to provide the name of the current song and the previous song. SBS PopAsia mostly plays Japanese and Chinese pop songs. Radar Radio does list the current song playing on its website but not on DLS. The remaining two stations are Hot Country and SBS Chill.

Usually Signal Error on all 12 stations is zero. None of the stations use the DRC facility, which would allow listeners to choose the level of compression.

All the stations are low fidelity broadcasters as the bit rate is only 48 to 80 Kbs.

#30 DigitalRadioNow

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 08:41 PM

I have now been listening to the DAB+ transmissions for 10 days. I hope that the trial becomes permanent, as otherwise my $69 Aldi radio will become useless.

There are currently 12 DAB+ stations broadcasting in Canberra. They all broadcast on 211.648 MHz using AAC compression. Four of these stations relay existing Canberra commercial stations (2CA, 2CC, 104.7 and 106.3). Two of the stations relay existing SBS broadcasts to Canberra. SBS Two can be heard on FM 105.5 and SBS Two through a digital TV signal. SBS One can only be heard on SBS One through a digital TV signal. Radar Radio and My Canberra can also be heard through their websites.

That leaves only four completely unique to DAB+ broadcasts to Canberra. Classic Hits Plus at present only plays a looped tape. My Canberra is the only station with any local content, which consists of a 60 second news broadcast heard on the hour. SBS PopAsia is the only station to use DLS to provide the name of the current song and the previous song. SBS PopAsia mostly plays Japanese and Chinese pop songs. Radar Radio does list the current song playing on its website but not on DLS. The remaining two stations are Hot Country and SBS Chill.

Usually Signal Error on all 12 stations is zero. None of the stations use the DRC facility, which would allow listeners to choose the level of compression.

All the stations are low fidelity broadcasters as the bit rate is only 48 to 80 Kbs.


There'll be some form of digital in Canberra in a continuous form, CRA will make sure of it and ACMA is responsive to assisting digital radio where spectrum allows it.

It's likely that the Canberra stations still have analogue equipment or haven't installed all the digital radio add-ons into the broadcast chain. Personally, I leave my radio set to the time on the display, I am simply grateful that digital radio is on in Bris and provides a more consistent signal than the vagaries of AM/FM, the extras don't excite me.

If you're keen for the DLS song & artist function, e-mail or phone the stations involved, write a letter to the GM, they will appreciate the fact people are listening and the more letters they can show the beancounters for new equipment, the better - get your friends and family writing too!

#31 DigitalRadioNow

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 09:04 AM

All the stations are low fidelity broadcasters as the bit rate is only 48 to 80 Kbs.


Have the details changed from this post?

http://www.dtvforum....&...t&p=1583343

If so, go into that thread in update us on what the current situation is if could please :)

#32 DigitalRadioNow

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 09:26 AM

There was a question about when will the ABC be on the Canberra trial?

They will not be on in the foreseeable future as they have no specific funding for the infrastructure.

The same goes for ABC and SBS in Darwin.

If you want the national broadcasters on, e-mail/write/phone to the communications and shadow communications minister as well as local Canberra Federal MPs and Senators.

There is a mention somewhere of the cost of the Canberra trial, both commercial owners have spent a pretty sum for it.

#33 El Saif

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 10:23 AM

Todays Canberra Times has two articles on digital radio in Canberra.

There will be a function on 1 March at Parliament House for the politicians who will receive a free digital radio. The digital radio signal will be boosted for the event.

Commercial Radio Australia will apply to ACMA to extend the trial beyond July 2011 and increase ther signal from 1 kilowatt to 3.1 kilowatts.

#34 mgaleano

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 07:26 PM

Todays Canberra Times has two articles on digital radio in Canberra.

There will be a function on 1 March at Parliament House for the politicians who will receive a free digital radio. The digital radio signal will be boosted for the event.

Commercial Radio Australia will apply to ACMA to extend the trial beyond July 2011 and increase ther signal from 1 kilowatt to 3.1 kilowatts.

I went to canberra. With my car radio. For some reason my Prolinear car radio it was unlistenable! It keep on dropping out. I have no idea why... I had my portable sangean radio in the car (parked) with minimal aerial and I could pick up a clean signal you could just see see the tip of the Telstra tower nearby. Is it because the aerial is too good and picking up some TV interference from Goulburn?? Is it transmitted from Black Mountain? I was also driving around and could see the tower it was dropping out! Strange, back in Sydney no dropouts from South of Campbelltown up to Wahroonga (via Cumberland Hwy not M7). So I don't think the unit is faulty.

Any suggestions why? I wonder it is because they are doing work. I assume if its more power for the 1st of March is it just a matter of pumping more electricity so the work would not impact it ? Have to go there after March and see if the extra power does anything. Let me know if you think its the TV interference t

Edited by mgaleano, 20 February 2011 - 07:42 PM.


#35 El Saif

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 11:45 PM

I live in Canberra. I can think of three possible reasons for your problems.

1. The signal strength in Canberra is at present only 1 kw, whereas in other cities it is 50 kw.

2. In the last few days several DAB+ stations have been off the air for several hours at the same time. They were:
2CA
CH Plus
My Canberra
2CC
Hot Country

The other seven stations were operating normally.

3. As Canberra is hilly with only a 1 kw DAB+ transmission, there are several translators on hill tops. Perhaps these multipath transmissions confused your car radio.

#36 RF Burns

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 06:48 AM

I live in Canberra. I can think of three possible reasons for your problems.

1. The signal strength in Canberra is at present only 1 kw, whereas in other cities it is 50 kw.

2. In the last few days several DAB+ stations have been off the air for several hours at the same time. They were:
2CA
CH Plus
My Canberra
2CC
Hot Country

The other seven stations were operating normally.

3. As Canberra is hilly with only a 1 kw DAB+ transmission, there are several translators on hill tops. Perhaps these multipath transmissions confused your car radio.


To my knowledge, there are no DAB+ translators in Canberra, (or anywhere else in Australia, as I don't think the Melbourne one is operational any more), the only place it broadcasts from is Black Mountain.

About turning up the power levels, it's possible only a small TX was installed & it's running at capacity, so a new TX will need to be installed & connected, this may have something to do with stations being off air, otherwise turning up the power is only a matter of pushing a button on the TX or even doing it remotely from a computer or "smart phone".

When this test was initially talked about/started they were going to install a DAB+ translator inside parliament house for the pollies to test/listen to Digital radio from. This seemed strange to me, as it kind of defeated the point of how good DAB+ digital radio is supposed to be, needing translators to be able to listen indoors, so I guess they decided to turn up the power instead. Whether it makes much of a difference remains to be seen.

#37 mgaleano

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 06:50 AM

I live in Canberra. I can think of three possible reasons for your problems.

1. The signal strength in Canberra is at present only 1 kw, whereas in other cities it is 50 kw.

2. In the last few days several DAB+ stations have been off the air for several hours at the same time. They were:
2CA
CH Plus
My Canberra
2CC
Hot Country

The other seven stations were operating normally.

3. As Canberra is hilly with only a 1 kw DAB+ transmission, there are several translators on hill tops. Perhaps these multipath transmissions confused your car radio.

Yeah ... The thing that confuses me the most, Wonder why my portable radio was fine at the fixed location... where are the translators? if any? I don't there are any.

I have a feeling it might interference with 10 CTC Analog Goulburn. I have noticed on analog this radio is improves coverage with that booster aerial. I could get ABC news radio 630 just outside Goulburn and it had hardly any interference (during daylight hours) my old radio could not get such a clean signal. FM is improved as well.

I just heard on 2CA (I listen online) they will increase the power, I wonder if this will help my car radio. He stated the sound is so much better. I tend to agree with him in 2CA transmission he stated it greatly improved the sound compare to the AM.

BTW I do have an AM stereo radio and when I did hear it I compared to digital with my earphones, digital did sound better. But I might be comparing apple with pears. I suppose I will never find a DAB+ which also has AM stereo built in.

If anyone could confirm if my theory is right being television from Goulburn would be the culprit.

Edited by mgaleano, 21 February 2011 - 07:36 AM.


#38 Digital Penetration

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 10:04 AM

If anyone could confirm if my theory is right being television from Goulburn would be the culprit.

Doesn't seem likely, in fact I'd expect the interference to go the other way (Canberra DAB+ annoying CTC10 in Goulburn). More so when they increase the DAB+ power, if that happens before analogue switch-off. CTC10 is only 160 watts and living in Canberra, I've never seen a whiff of its transmissions, or the ABC FM radio transmissions from the same tower.

There are no DAB+ repeaters or translators in Canberra, only the main test transmission from Black Mountain tower. There are a few TV/DTV/FM translators in the southern suburbs.

Edited by Digital Penetration, 21 February 2011 - 10:09 AM.


#39 alanh

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 06:21 PM

All,
It is more likely that the Prolinear is in overload, because it is breaking up on line of sight to the transmitting antenna. The other radio is fine.

CTC10 is unlikely to be the problem where it has a directional antenna with a maximum effective radiating power of 0.16 kW compared to a much closer 1 kW. The strongest signal is pointed west of Goulburn. The distance between Mt Grey and Black Mountain is 84 km.

Remember that this is a trial.

The temporary Licence for the Melbourne CBD has been extended from 1st Feb to 30 July 2011. The translators are definately on air.




AlanH

#40 mgaleano

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 08:28 PM

All,
It is more likely that the Prolinear is in overload, because it is breaking up on line of sight to the transmitting antenna. The other radio is fine.

CTC10 is unlikely to be the problem where it has a directional antenna with a maximum effective radiating power of 0.16 kW compared to a much closer 1 kW. The strongest signal is pointed west of Goulburn. The distance between Mt Grey and Black Mountain is 84 km.

Remember that this is a trial.

The temporary Licence for the Melbourne CBD has been extended from 1st Feb to 30 July 2011. The translators are definately on air.




AlanH

Would that be overload from the digital signal, or by analog/digital TV overloading the DAB+ signal. When I drive around the towers in and around Gore Hill, no issues. The Northern suburbs of Canberra basically didn't have a steady signal. Using my portable digital radio through AUX was more affective :).
Could it be the polarisation being different to Sydney?

I wrote to 2CA, they said given they will increase the power in a few weeks it might be ok then.

Edited by mgaleano, 21 February 2011 - 08:32 PM.


#41 DigitalRadioNow

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 08:39 PM

Let's keep this discussion firmly to Canberra DAB+ circumstances only as per the thread title. Leave other DAB+ market discussions for their appropriately named threads.

Thanks.

#42 mgaleano

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Posted 21 February 2011 - 08:50 PM

Let's keep this discussion firmly to Canberra DAB+ circumstances only as per the thread title. Leave other DAB+ market discussions for their appropriately named threads.

Thanks.

Yeah agree.. was just comparing the two locations and behaviour of the signals ;). Curious with what alanh said how my radio could be overload being line of sight with Black Mountain when the same does not happen in Sydney. If overloaded wouldn't the increase in power in a couple of weeks make it worse?

Anyway next trip let see.

#43 El Saif

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 05:21 PM

Here is the link to the press release issued by Senator Conroy after the demonstration to federal MPs of digital radio at Parliament House, Canberra on 1 March 2011.

The Minister is also responsible for the ABC. He apparently made no reference to the ABC's refusal to join the Canberra trial.

http://www.digitalra...ay_news_id=1076

#44 Audiofile

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 09:30 PM

Here is the link to the press release issued by Senator Conroy after the demonstration to federal MPs of digital radio at Parliament House, Canberra on 1 March 2011.

The Minister is also responsible for the ABC. He apparently made no reference to the ABC's refusal to join the Canberra trial.

http://www.digitalra...ay_news_id=1076


Can you blame the ABC with the severe drop in sound quality? How are you guys finding it? I find DAB+ grating until I am forced to switch it off or go back to Internet Radio, thankfully I got a Kogan that does both so I have the alarm set to DAB+ for extra reliability and then switch over to Internet Radio for half decent non tinny quality once I wake up.

Really disappointed to say the least that 80kbs is regarded as 'high quality' when even the most average Internet Radio station is at least 128kbit/s with high quality at least 196, normally 256kbit/s.

Classical music would just sound appalling on this.

And Conroy is off in la la land somewhere, I'm really not sure what planet he's on if he supports the current situation.

Is 80kbit/s the best we can ever expect from DAB+?

#45 MLXXX

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 10:11 PM

Really disappointed to say the least that 80kbs is regarded as 'high quality' when even the most average Internet Radio station is at least 128kbit/s with high quality at least 196, normally 256kbit/s.

In my experience, a great deal of internet radio streaming (over 50% of stations) on offer is below the quality of nominal 80kb/s DAB+. You can see that for yourself by looking at comprehensive listings of internet stations, codecs, and bit rates.

It's important to differentiate between codecs. For example, AAC is significantly more efficient than mp3. If an internet station were delivering 256kb/s, it would almost certainly not be using AAC.

Is 80kbit/s the best we can ever expect from DAB+?

A small number of DAB+ stations in Australia are using nominal 96kb/s, an AAC bitrate that is difficult for most people to distinguish from CD quality. And even nominal 128kb/s can be seen in use from time to time.

If there is a serious proposal 10 to 15 years from now to decommission FM stations in Australia, then better than nominal 80kb/s AAC would be needed as a replacement for classical music FM stations. Nominal 80kb/s HE-AAC v2 is not good enough for classical music for my ears, and I'm sure for the ears of many other music lovers.

Of course in 10 or 15 years, who knows what codecs and what technologies might be available?

Edited by MLXXX, 02 March 2011 - 10:23 PM.


#46 Digital Penetration

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:19 AM

Can you blame the ABC with the severe drop in sound quality?

They don't seem to have a problem since they ARE broadcasting DAB+ in the mainland state capitals.

How are you guys finding it?

About the equivalent of AM on a good day. Certainly not FM quality. And the comparisons with "CD quality sound" are simply ludicrous with the bitrates in use.

I find DAB+ grating until I am forced to switch it off or go back to Internet Radio,

I also find SBS Chill (80kbps) grating after a while (listener fatigue, it used to be called). But all wallpaper pop music does that to me, I can only listen to it for so long, no matter what the source. And for pieces I know well, I can still occasionally hear coding artifacts.

Really disappointed to say the least that 80kbs is regarded as 'high quality' when even the most average Internet Radio station is at least 128kbit/s with high quality at least 196, normally 256kbit/s.

Classical music would just sound appalling on this.

And Conroy is off in la la land somewhere, I'm really not sure what planet he's on if he supports the current situation.

Is 80kbit/s the best we can ever expect from DAB+?

Agreed. But I would listen to ABC RN on DAB+ instead of AM in my computer-filled office, given the choice, but the ABC isn't on in Canberra.

The ACMA report about re-stacking (came out yesterday, http://www.acma.gov....RD/pc=PC_312460 ) mentions quite a bit about digital radio in section 5.2. Looks like only 14MHz of spectrum is to be made available. So low bitrates in the range 48-80kbps are all we can expect, I'm afraid, as more stations go DAB+.

Edited by Digital Penetration, 03 March 2011 - 09:21 AM.


#47 Audiofile

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 11:34 AM

They don't seem to have a problem since they ARE broadcasting DAB+ in the mainland state capitals.

About the equivalent of AM on a good day. Certainly not FM quality. And the comparisons with "CD quality sound" are simply ludicrous with the bitrates in use.


I am concerned about the ABC moving to this technology, it seems like a cost saving measure more than anything. Very disappointing.

I agree, comparisons with CD sound quality are ludicrous - can we honestly say that if you plug a DAB+ receiver in to a large set of speakers no one would tell the difference between a DAB+ 80kbit/s broadcast and a CD? And I'd like to see exactly how 80kb/s AAC is CD sound quality and better than even 128 or 192kbit/s mp3. Sure it's more 'efficient' but I doubt it's 100% more 'efficient', that's ludicrous. It's simply not possible to compress something to 1/12th or 1/15th it's size and few people to notice any difference.

Even for 'wallpaper pop music' it still sounds pretty hollow to me. Talk is great though, that's where I think this technology shines.

The ACMA report about re-stacking (came out yesterday, http://www.acma.gov....RD/pc=PC_312460 ) mentions quite a bit about digital radio in section 5.2. Looks like only 14MHz of spectrum is to be made available. So low bitrates in the range 48-80kbps are all we can expect, I'm afraid, as more stations go DAB+.


It seems the best anyone can come up with is that it is 'better than AM', but struggles to compete with even FM so I hardly see the point of it all for non-AM stations.

I do agree though, for talk stations like Radio National it's a step forward, for sure. Not for FM stations though, it seems to be more about 'spectral efficiency' than 'sound quality'. I'll be really upset if the ABC move over to low bitrate DAB+, everyone will just move to Internet Radio in that case.

So does anyone know why we are stuck with low bitrates?

I would think that 128kbit/s AAC may be getting somewhere, but not until this point?

Edited by Audiofile, 03 March 2011 - 11:41 AM.


#48 MLXXX

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 06:27 PM

Let's keep this discussion firmly to Canberra DAB+ circumstances only as per the thread title.

Yes, I've just started a new thread: Is 80kbit/s The Best We Can Ever Expect From Dab+?

Audiofile's broad topic can be continued and developed in that new thread.

#49 :)

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 07:14 PM

I am concerned about the ABC moving to this technology, it seems like a cost saving measure more than anything. Very disappointing.

I agree, comparisons with CD sound quality are ludicrous - can we honestly say that if you plug a DAB+ receiver in to a large set of speakers no one would tell the difference between a DAB+ 80kbit/s broadcast and a CD? And I'd like to see exactly how 80kb/s AAC is CD sound quality and better than even 128 or 192kbit/s mp3. Sure it's more 'efficient' but I doubt it's 100% more 'efficient', that's ludicrous. It's simply not possible to compress something to 1/12th or 1/15th it's size and few people to notice any difference.

Even for 'wallpaper pop music' it still sounds pretty hollow to me. Talk is great though, that's where I think this technology shines.



It seems the best anyone can come up with is that it is 'better than AM', but struggles to compete with even FM so I hardly see the point of it all for non-AM stations.

I do agree though, for talk stations like Radio National it's a step forward, for sure. Not for FM stations though, it seems to be more about 'spectral efficiency' than 'sound quality'. I'll be really upset if the ABC move over to low bitrate DAB+, everyone will just move to Internet Radio in that case.

So does anyone know why we are stuck with low bitrates?

I would think that 128kbit/s AAC may be getting somewhere, but not until this point?


I am not sure really where you have come under the impression 80kbs dab+ is going to be comparitive to CD. :rolleyes:

I think from day one it has always been made clear its not going to be cd quality. just how can it ? have you considered that ? this is a compressed sound source we are talking about cant compare it to uncompressed CD.

It is also 80kbs AAC plus so a bit silly to be trying to make direct comparisons with mp3 who listens to mp3 :huh:

if you search this website you will find all sorts of comparisons. my own have shown 80kbs AAC plus of dab+ not as good as itunes plus which is 256 AAC plus. whihc is also though pretty good not quite as good as CD. if your thinking you want CD quality you want to be buying the CD.

128kbs isnt necessarily the solution either...there is documented research on the topic. it is a compressed medium keep that in mind and dont unnecessarily have unrealistic expectations :rolleyes:

ps also keep in mind the radio as source (quality of receiver, dacs, analog output stage, power supply) , and broadcast variables have quite an impact on the end result too..

#50 MLXXX

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 10:26 PM

Al, please see post #48. The discussion has transferred to another thread.