Digital radio

Digital radio is the use of digital technology to transmit or receive across the radio spectrum. Digital transmission by radio waves includes digital broadcasting, and especially digital audio radio services.


In digital broadcasting systems, the analog audio signal is digitized, compressed using formats such as MP2, and transmitted using a digital modulation scheme. The aim is to increase the number of radio programs in a given spectrum, to improve the audio quality, to eliminate fading problems in mobile environments, to allow additional datacasting services, and to decrease the transmission power or the number of transmitters required to cover a region. However, analog radio (AM and FM) is still more popular and listening to radio over IP (Internet Protocol) is growing in popularity.

In 2012 four digital wireless radio systems are recognized by the International Telecommunication Union: the two European systems Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) and Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), the Japanese ISDB-T and the in-band on-channel technique used in the US and Arab world and branded as HD Radio.

An older definition, still used in communication engineering literature, is wireless digital transmission technologies, i.e. microwave and radio frequency communication standards where analog information signals as well as digital data are carried by a digital signal, by means of a digital modulation method. This definition includes broadcasting systems such as digital TV and digital radio broadcasting, but also two-way digital radio standards such as the second generation (2G) cell-phones and later, short-range communication such as digital cordless phones, wireless computer networks, digital micro-wave radio links, deep space communication systems such as communications to and from the two Voyager space probes, etc.

A less common definition is radio receiver and transmitter implementations that are based on digital signal processing, but may transmit or receive analog radio transmission standards, for example FM radio. This may reduce noise and distortion induced in the electronics. It also allows software radio implementations, where the transmission technology is changed just by selecting another piece of software. In most cases, this would however increase the energy consumption of the receiver equipment.

One-way (broadcasting) systems

Broadcast standards

Digital audio radio service standards may provide terrestrial or satellite radio service. Digital radio broadcasting systems are typically designed for handheld mobile devices, like mobile-TV systems and unlike other digital TV systems which typically require a fixed directional antenna. Some digital radio systems provide in-band on-channel (IBOC) solutions that may coexist with or simulcast with analog AM or FM transmissions, while others are designed for designated radio frequency bands. The latter allows one wideband radio signal to carry a multiplex of several radio-channels of various bitrates as well as data services and other forms of media. Some digital broadcasting systems allow single-frequency network (SFN), where all terrestrial transmitters in a region sending the same multiplex of radio programs may use the same frequency channel without self-interference problems, further improving the system spectral efficiency.

While digital broadcasting offers many potential benefits, its introduction has been hindered by a lack of global agreement on standards and many disadvantages. The DAB Eureka 147 standard for digital radio is coordinated by the World DMB Forum. This standard of digital radio technology was defined in the late 1980s, and is now being introduced in some European countries. Commercial DAB receivers began to be sold in 1999 and, by 2006, 500 million people were in the coverage area of DAB broadcasts, although by this time sales had only taken off in the UK and Denmark. In 2006 there are approximately 1,000 DAB stations in operation.[1] There have been criticisms of the Eureka 147 standard and so a new 'DAB+' standard has been introduced.

The DRM standard has been used for several years to broadcast digitally on frequencies below 30 MHz (shortwave, mediumwave and longwave). Also there is now the extended standard DRM+, which is designed for VHF bands[2]. Tests of DRM+ has been made in countries such as in Brazil, Germany, France, India, Sri Lanka, the UK, Slovakia, Italy (incl. the Vatican), as well as Sweden[3].

DRM+ is regarded as a more transparent and less costly standard than DAB+ and thus a better choice for local radio; commercial or community broadcasters. Although DAB+ has been introduced in Australia the government has concluded 2011 that a preference for DRM and DRM+ above HD Radio could be used to supplement DAB+ services in (some) local and regional areas.

To date the following standards have been defined for one-way digital radio:

Digital audio broadcasting systems

Digital television (DTV) broadcasting systems

See also software radio for a discussion of radios which use digital signal processing.

Status by country

DAB adopters

Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB), also known as Eureka 147, has been adopted by around 20 countries worldwide. It is based on the MPEG-1 Audio Layer II audio coding format and this has been co-ordinated by the WorldDMB.

WorldDMB announced in November 2006 that DAB would be adopting the HE-AACv2 audio coding format, also known as eAAC+. Also being adopted are the MPEG Surround format, and stronger error correction coding called Reed-Solomon coding.[4] The update has been named DAB+. Receivers that support the new DAB standard began being released during 2007 with firmware updated available for some older receivers.

DAB and DAB+ cannot be used for mobile TV because they do not include any video codecs. DAB related standards Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) and DAB-IP are suitable for mobile radio and TV both because they have MPEG 4 AVC and WMV9 respectively as video coding formats. However a DMB video sub-channel can easily be added to any DAB transmission - as DMB was designed from the outset to be carried on a DAB subchannel. DMB broadcasts in Korea carry conventional MPEG 1 Layer II DAB audio services alongside their DMB video services.

United States

The United States has opted for the proprietary HD Radio technology, a type of in-band on-channel (IBOC) technology. According to iBiquity, "HD Radio" is the company's trade name for its proprietary digital radio system, but the name does not imply either high definition or "hybrid digital" as it is commonly incorrectly referenced.

Transmissions use orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing, a technique which is also used for European terrestrial digital TV broadcast (DVB-T). HD Radio technology was developed and is licensed by iBiquity Digital Corporation. It is widely believed that a major reason for HD radio technology is to offer some limited digital radio services while preserving the relative "stick values" of the stations involved and to insure that new programming services will be controlled by existing licensees.

The FM digital schemes in the U.S. provide audio at rates from 96 to 128 kilobits per second (kbit/s), with auxiliary "subcarrier" transmissions at up to 64 kbit/s. The AM digital schemes have data rates of about 48 kbit/s, with auxiliary services provided at a much lower data rate. Both the FM and AM schemes use lossy compression techniques to make the best use of the limited bandwidth.

Lucent Digital Radio, USA Digital Radio (USADR), and Digital Radio Express commenced tests in 1999 of their various schemes for digital broadcast, with the expectation that they would report their results to the National Radio Systems Committee (NRSC) in December 1999.[5] Results of these tests remain unclear, which in general describes the status of the terrestrial digital radio broadcasting effort in North America. Some terrestrial analog broadcast stations are apprehensive about the impact of digital satellite radio on their business, while others plan to convert to digital broadcasting as soon as it is economically and technically feasible.

While traditional terrestrial radio broadcasters are trying to "go digital", most major US automobile manufacturers are promoting digital satellite radio. HD Radio technology has also made inroads in the automotive sector with factory-installed options announced by BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Jaguar, Lincoln, Mercedes, MINI, Mercury, Scion, and Volvo.[6]

Satellite radio is distinguished by its freedom from FCC censorship in the United States, its relative lack of advertising, and its ability to allow people on the road to listen to the same stations at any location in the country. Listeners must currently pay an annual or monthly subscription fee in order to access the service, and must install a separate security card in each radio or receiver they use.

Ford and Daimler AG are working with Sirius Satellite Radio, previously CD Radio, of New York City, and General Motors and Honda are working with XM Satellite Radio of Washington, D.C. to build and promote satellite DAB radio systems for North America, each offering "CD quality" audio and about a hundred channels.

Sirius Satellite Radio launched a constellation of three Sirius satellites during the course of 2000. The satellites were built by Space Systems/Loral and were launched by Russian Proton boosters. As with XM Satellite Radio, Sirius implemented a series of terrestrial ground repeaters where satellite signal would otherwise be blocked by large structures including natural structures and high-rise buildings.

XM Satellite Radio has a constellation of three satellites, two of which were launched in the spring of 2001, with one following later in 2005. The satellites are Boeing 702 comsats, and were put into orbit by Sea Launch boosters. Back-up ground transmitters (repeaters) will be built in cities where satellite signals could be blocked by big buildings.

On February 19, 2007, Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio merged, to form Sirius XM Radio.

The FCC has auctioned bandwidth allocations for satellite broadcast in the S band range, around 2.3 GHz.

Terrestrial broadcasting has advantages in being free and local. Satellite radio is neither of these things; however, in the early 21st century it has grown by providing uncensored content (most notably, the crossover of Howard Stern from terrestrial radio to satellite radio) and commercial-free, all-digital music channels that offer similar radio formats to local stations.

The "HD Radio" signal of an FM broadcast station in the US has a limited listening distance from the broadcast tower site. FCC regulations currently limit the power of the digital part of the station's transmission to 10% of the existing analog power permitted the station. Even at this power level, the presence of the digital signal right next to the station's analog signal can result in older radios picking up noise due to trouble rejecting the adjacent digital signal. "There are still some concerns that HD Radio on FM will increase interference between different stations even though HD Radio at the 10% power level fits within the FCC spectral mask." HD Radio HD Radio#cite note-14.

"HD Radio" allows each existing broadcast station to add additional "channels" in the USA by transmitting a digital signal on both sides of its channel, just beyond their existing analog Frequency Modulation signal. The HD Radio signal occupies the 0.1 MHz that begins 0.1 MHz above and below the carrier frequency station. For instance, if a station's analog signal's carrier frequency is 93.3 MHz, the digital signal will fill 93.1 - 93.2 MHz and 93.4 MHz - 93.5 MHz within the FM Broadcast Band. Several digital audio streams, or "subchannels", can be carried within this single digital data stream, with the number of audio of subchannels and bandwidth allocations at the choice of the station. On the radio tuner, these will appear as (in the above case) "93.3-2", "93.3-3", and so on. The frequencies that are used do not change as more channels are added to the one radio station (93.3 MHz in the example above). Instead, a fixed total amount of bandwidth is simply reallocated across the audio streams such that each now receives less bandwidth, and therefore lower audio quality, than before.


Canada has begun allowing experimental HD Radio broadcasts and digital audio subchannels on a case-by-case basis, with the first stations in the country being CFRM-FM in Little Current, CING-FM in Hamilton, and CJSA-FM in Toronto (with a fourth, CFMS-FM in the Toronto suburb of Markham applying to operate HD Radio technology), all within the province of Ontario.[7][8]

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, 44.3% of the population now has a DAB digital radio set and 34.4% of listening is to different digital platforms.

26 million people, or 39.6% of the population of 65.64 million, now tune into digital radio each week, up 2.6 million year on year, according to RAJAR in Q1 2013. But FM listening has increased to 61% and DAB decreased to 21% DAB listeners may also use AM & FM too.[9]

The UK currently has the world's biggest digital radio network, with 103 transmitters, two nationwide DAB ensembles and 48 local and regional DAB ensembles, broadcasting over 250 commercial and 34 BBC radio stations; 51 of these stations are broadcast in London. On DAB digital radio most listeners can receive around 20 additional stations, in addition to the analogue stations available on digital. The frequency band used is 217.5 to 230 MHz.

Digital radio stations are also distributed on digital television platforms such as Sky, Virgin Media and Freeview, as well as internet radio.

The Government will make a decision on a radio switchover subject to listening and coverage criteria being met. A digital radio switchover would maintain FM as a platform, while moving some services to DAB-only distribution.


The first DAB station network was deployed in Bavaria since 1995 until full coverage in 1999. Other states had funded a station network but the lack of success led them to scrap the funding - the MDR switched off in 1998 already and Brandenburg declared a failure in 2004. Instead Berlin/Brandenburg began to switch to digital radio based on an audio-only DVB-T mode given the success of the DVB-T standard in the region when earlier analogue television was switched off in August 2003 (being the first region to switch in Germany). During that time the DVB-H variant of the DVB family was released for transmission to mobile receivers in 2004. During 2005 most radio stations left the DAB network with only one public service broadcaster ensemble to remain in the now fully state-funded station network. At last the KEF (commission to determine the financial needs of broadcasters) blocked federal funding on 15. July 2009 until economic viability of DAB broadcasting would be proven - and pointing to DVB-T as a viable alternative.

Digital radio deployment was rebooted during 2011 - a joint commission of public and private radio broadcasters decided upon "DAB+" as the new national standard in December 2010. The new station network started as planned on 1. August 2011 with 27 stations with 10 kW each giving a coverage of 70% across the nation. A single "Bundesmux" ("fed-mux": short for "federal multiplex") was created on band 5C as a single-frequency network with the band 5C to cross over to neighbouring countries. Berlin/Brandenburg joined the DAB+ broadcasting in January 2012 but other dark regions remain in Eastern Germany (see [1]). With the initial market success of DAB+ the contractors decided on an expansion of the digital radio station network in November 2012. With DAB being available across Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and Northern Italy there is good coverage across the European Backbone area (see countries using DAB/DMB) indicating a sufficient momentum on the market.


Australia commenced regular digital audio broadcasting using the DAB+ standard in May 2009, after many years of trialling alternative systems. Normal radio services operate on the AM and FM bands, as well as four stations (ABC and SBS) on digital TV channels. The services are currently operating in the five state capital cities: Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, and is being trialled in Canberra and Darwin.[10]


Japan has started terrestrial sound broadcasting using ISDB-Tsb and MobaHO! 2.6 GHz Satellite Sound digital broadcasting


On 1 December 2005 South Korea launched its T-DMB service which includes both television and radio stations. T-DMB is a derivative of DAB with specifications published by ETSI. More than 110,000 receivers had been sold in one month only in 2005.

Developing nations

Digital radio is now being provided to the developing world. A satellite communications company named WorldSpace was setting up a network of three satellites, including "AfriStar", "AsiaStar", and "AmeriStar", to provide digital audio information services to Africa, Asia, and Latin America. AfriStar and AsiaStar are in orbit. AmeriStar cannot be launched from the United States as Worldspace transmits on the L-band and would interfere with USA military as mentioned above.. in its heyday provided service to over 170,000 subscribers in eastern and southern Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia with 96% coming from India. Timbre Media along with Saregama India plan to relaunch the company. As of 2013 Worldspace is defunct, but two satellites are in orbit which still have a few channels. See main WorldSpace article.

Each satellite provides three transmission beams that can support 50 channels each, carrying news, music, entertainment, and education, and including a computer multimedia service. Local, regional, and international broadcasters were working with WorldStar to provide services.

A consortium of broadcasters and equipment manufacturers are also working to bring the benefits of digital broadcasting to the radio spectrum currently used for terrestrial AM radio broadcasts, including international shortwave transmissions. Over seventy broadcasters are now transmitting programs using the new standard, known as Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM), and / commercial DRM receivers are available (though there are few models on the DRM website and some are discontinued). DRM's system uses the MPEG-4 based standard aacPlus to code the music and CELP or HVXC for speech programs. At present these are priced too high to be affordable by many in the third world, however. Take-up of DRM has been minuscule and many traditional Shortwave broadcasters now only stream on Internet, use fixed satellite (TV set-boxes) or Local Analogue FM relays to save on costs. Very few (expensive) DRM radio sets are available and some Broadcasters (RTE in Ireland on 252 kHz) have ceased trials without launching a service.

Low-cost DAB radio receivers are now available from various Japanese manufacturers, and WorldSpace has worked with Thomson Broadcast to introduce a village communications center known as a Telekiosk to bring communications services to rural areas. The Telekiosks are self-contained and are available as fixed or mobile units

Two-way digital radio standards

The key breakthrough or key feature in digital radio transmission systems is that they allow lower transmission power, they can provide robustness to noise and cross-talk and other forms of interference, and thus allow the same radio frequency to be reused at shorter distance. Consequently, the spectral efficiency (the number of phonecalls per MHz and base station, or the number of bit/s per Hz and transmitter, etc.) may be sufficiently increased. Digital radio transmission can also carry any kind of information whatsoever — just as long at it has been expressed digitally. Earlier radio communication systems had to be made expressly for a given form of communications: telephone, telegraph, or television, for example. All kinds of digital communications can be multiplexed or encrypted at will.


  1. ^ "Digital Broadcast - bringing the future to you". Archived from the original on 2007-10-17.
  2. ^ "Digital Radio Mondiale - Technical Info". Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  3. ^ "Digital Radio Mondiale - DRM+ Testing gets underway today in Stockholm, Sweden". Archived from the original on 2 February 2018. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-03-08. Retrieved 2016-02-06.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ Behrens, Steve. "Field testing resumes for radio’s digital best hope." Current, Aug. 16, 1999. Available at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-07-20. Retrieved 2009-06-15.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "iBiquity Digital Corporation - Automotive". Archived from the original on 2008-11-17.
  7. ^ (CRTC), Government of Canada, Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. "Digital radio policy - In this public notice, the Commission sets out its revised policy for digital radio broadcasting". Archived from the original on 2014-09-18.
  8. ^ "CRTC looking at bringing HD Radio to Canada". Fagstein. Archived from the original on 2014-04-29.
  9. ^ "Analogue radio will CONTINUE in Blighty as Minister of Fun dodges D-Day death sentence". Archived from the original on 2016-11-10.
  10. ^ Digital Radio Plus Archived 2011-07-29 at the Wayback Machine (accessed 26 July 2011)

External links

ABC Jazz

ABC Jazz (formerly Dig Jazz) is a digital radio station, available on mobile devices, DAB+ digital radio, digital TV and online. It is operated by the ABC Jazz team at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

Absolute Radio 80s

Absolute 80s is a digital radio station in the United Kingdom catering for "reluctant adults" who want to reconnect with the tunes of their 1980s youth.

Astra Digital Radio

Astra Digital Radio (ADR) was a system used by SES for digital radio transmissions on the early Astra satellites, using the audio subcarrier frequencies of analogue television channels. It was introduced in 1995. As of February 2008, there were still 51 stations transmitting in this format.

BBC Radio

BBC Radio is an operational business division and service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (which has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a Royal Charter since 1927). The service provides national radio stations covering the majority of musical genres, as well as local radio stations covering local news, affairs and interests. It also oversees online audio content.Of the national radio stations, BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Live are all available through analogue radio (5 Live on AM only) as well as on DAB Digital Radio and online including BBC iPlayer. The remaining stations, BBC Radio 1Xtra, 4 Extra, 5 Live Sports Extra and 6 Music, all broadcast on digital platforms only.

All of the BBC's national radio stations (with the exception of 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra which broadcast from MediaCityUK in Salford) broadcast from bases in London, usually in or near to Broadcasting House in Marylebone. However, the BBC's network production units located in Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow and Manchester also make radio programmes.

BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra

BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra (also known as just 5 Live Sports Extra or 5 Live Extra) is a national digital radio station in the United Kingdom, operated by the BBC, and specialising only in extended additional sports coverage. It is a sister station to BBC Radio 5 Live and shares facilities, presenters and management, and is a department of the BBC North Group division.

If a news story breaks during the live sport broadcasts on 5 Live, this coverage will be redirected and continued on 5 Live Sports Extra, whilst 5 Live switches to live news coverage.

The station is only available on digital radio, television platforms and online. From 25 July 2016, Radio 5 Live Sports Extra is no longer available for international streaming.

Cashbox (magazine)

Cash Box was a music industry trade magazine, originally published weekly from July 1942 to November 1996. Ten years after its dissolution it was revived and currently continues as Cashbox Magazine (with "Cashbox" now a single word), an online magazine with weekly charts and occasional special print issues.

Digital Radio Mondiale

Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM; mondiale being Italian and French for "worldwide") is a set of digital audio broadcasting technologies designed to work over the bands currently used for analogue radio broadcasting including AM broadcasting, particularly shortwave, and FM broadcasting. DRM is more spectrally efficient than AM and FM, allowing more stations, at higher quality, into a given amount of bandwidth, using various MPEG-4 audio coding formats.

Digital Radio Mondiale is also the name of the international non-profit consortium that has designed the platform and is now promoting its introduction. Radio France Internationale, TéléDiffusion de France, BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, Voice of America, Telefunken (now Transradio) and Thomcast (now Ampegon) took part at the formation of the DRM consortium.

The principle of DRM is that bandwidth is the limited element, and computer processing power is cheap; modern CPU-intensive audio compression techniques enable more efficient use of available bandwidth, at the expense of processing resources.

Digital audio broadcasting

Digital audio broadcasting (DAB) is a digital radio standard for broadcasting digital audio radio services, used in many countries around the world, though not North America.

The DAB standard was initiated as a European research project in the 1980s. The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) launched the first DAB channel in the world on 1 June 1995 (NRK Klassisk), and the BBC and Swedish Radio (SR) launched their first DAB digital radio broadcasts in September 1995. DAB receivers have been available in many countries since the end of the 1990s.

DAB is generally more efficient in its use of spectrum than analogue FM radio, and thus can offer more radio services for the same given bandwidth. However the sound quality can be noticeably inferior if the bit-rate allocated to each audio program is not sufficient. DAB is more robust with regard to noise and multipath fading for mobile listening, although DAB reception quality degrades rapidly when the signal strength falls below a critical threshold, whereas FM reception quality degrades slowly with the decreasing signal, providing effective coverage over a larger area.

The original version of DAB used the MP2 audio codec. An upgraded version of the system was released in February 2007, called DAB+, which uses the HE-AAC v2 audio codec. DAB is not forward compatible with DAB+, which means that DAB-only receivers are not able to receive DAB+ broadcasts. However, broadcasters can mix DAB and DAB+ programs inside the same transmission and so make a progressive transition to DAB+. DAB+ is approximately twice as efficient as DAB, and more robust.

In spectrum management, the bands that are allocated for public DAB services, are abbreviated with T-DAB, where the "T" stands for terrestrial.

As of 2018, 41 countries are running DAB services. The majority of these services are using DAB+, with only Ireland, UK, New Zealand, Romania and Brunei still using a significant number of DAB services. See Countries using DAB/DMB. In many countries, it is expected that existing FM services will switch over to DAB+. Norway is the first country to implement a national FM radio analog switchoff, in 2017, however that only applied to national broadcasters, not local ones.

Digital audio radio service

Digital audio radio service (DARS) refers to any type of digital radio program service. In the United States it is the official FCC term for digital radio services.

The most popular type of DARS in the U.S. and Canada is SDARS: Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service, used by Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio. XM and Sirius both operate in the 2.3-GHz S band, from 2320 to 2345 MHz.Increasing the spectrum available for more services would be difficult, since unlike C-band and Ku band services, which allow over 200 locations for satellites, S-band satellites must be spaced far apart, with current technology. Existing vehicle antennas would not allow reception of two different stations on the same frequency, though new technology, requiring a new kind of receiver, might be possible.WorldSpace also operated a DARS network outside the United States and Canada with a footprint covering Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. It used the L-band.

Digital radio in Australia

Digital radio in Australia uses the DAB+ standard and is available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin and Hobart. The national government owned networks, the ABC and SBS, and the commercial radio stations in each market provide many of their services and a few digital-only services on the digital platform. Australia uses the AAC+ codec provided with upgraded DAB+ standard.

Digital radio in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, the roll-out of digital radio is proceeding since engineering test transmissions were started by the BBC in 1990 followed by a public launch in September 1995. The UK currently has the world's biggest digital radio network, with 103 transmitters, three national DAB ensembles and 48 local and regional DAB ensembles broadcasting over 250 commercial and 34 BBC radio stations across the UK. In the capital, London there are already more than 64 different digital stations available. In addition to DAB and DAB+, radio stations are also broadcast on digital television platform as well as internet radio in the UK. Digital radio ensemble operators and stations need a broadcasting licence from the UK's media regulator Ofcom to broadcast.

In the long term there will be a switchover from analogue to digital radio when the AM and FM services will cease. The government has set criteria on the coverage and proportion of digital listening before this occurs. In 2018 the criteria of over 50% of digital radio listening was met which will now require the UK Government to review digital radio in view of a potential switchover. In the same year, the BBC stated it would keep some FM radio for the foreseeable future.Digital radio in the United Kingdom is being promoted by radio stations and the broadcasting industry on the premise that it provides superior quality sound over AM, a wider choice of radio stations, is easier to use, and is resistant to the interference which other broadcast media are susceptible to. On the other hand, critics say that coverage is not yet sufficient and the quality can be less than that of FM.

In the UK, 50.9% of all radio listening hours by the first quarter of 2018 were through digital platforms, with DAB making up for the majority of digital radio listening (72.3%), and 63.7% of UK households claim to have access to a DAB radio set. However in the second quarter, digital listening had dropped back to 50.2%

Double J (radio station)

Double J (formerly Dig Music) is an Australian digital radio station owned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It is positioned as a spin-off of the youth-oriented Triple J catered towards an older adult audience, emphasizing genres such as pop, rock, blues, country, soul, jazz and world music, as well as archive content from Triple J's library. Currently it is mostly automated, but has a few regular live programs.

It is available terrestrially via DAB+, as well as other online and digital television platforms.

ETSI Satellite Digital Radio

ETSI Satellite Digital Radio (SDR or ETSI SDR) describes a standard of satellite digital radio. It is an activity of the European standardisation organisation ETSI.

It addresses systems where a satellite broadcast directly to mobile and handheld receivers in L band or S band and is complemented by terrestrial transmitters. The broadcast content consists of multicast audio (digital radio), video (mobile TV) and data (program guide, text and graphical information, as well as off-line content). The satellite component allows geographical coverage at low cost, whereas the terrestrial component improves reception quality in built up areas. The specifications considers conditional access and Digital Rights Management.1worldspace will use ETSI SDR in its new network covering Europe from 2009. Also Ondas Media has announced to use ETSI SDR.The ETSI SDR is also similar to the Sirius XM Radio, the S-DMB used in South Korea for multimedia broadcasting since May 2005, the China Multimedia Mobile Broadcasting (CMMB) and the defunct MobaHo! service (2004-2009). The DVB-SH specifications, which the DVB Project has created, target similar broadcast systems as ETSI SDR.

HD Radio

HD Radio is a trademarked term for Xperi's in-band on-channel (IBOC) digital radio technology used by AM and FM radio stations to transmit audio and data by using a digital signal embedded "on-frequency" immediately above and below a station's standard analog signal, providing the means to listen to the same program in either HD (digital radio with less noise) or as a standard broadcast (analog radio with standard sound quality). The HD format also provides the means for a single radio station to simultaneously broadcast one or more different programs in addition to the program being transmitted on the radio station's analog channel. It was originally developed by iBiquity. In September 2015 iBiquity was acquired by DTS bringing the HD Radio technology under the same banner as DTS' eponymous theater surround sound systems.. It was later acquired by Xperi in 2016.

It was selected by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2002 as a digital audio broadcasting method for the United States, and is the only digital system approved by the FCC for digital AM/FM broadcasts in the United States. It is officially known as NRSC-5, with the latest version being NRSC-5-D. Other digital radio systems include FMeXtra, Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) (Eureka 147), Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM30 and DRM+ configurations), and Compatible AM-Digital (CAM-D).

While HD Radio does allow for an all-digital mode, this system currently is used by some AM and FM radio stations to simulcast both digital and analog audio within the same channel (a hybridized digital-analog signal) as well as to add new FM channels and text information. Although HD Radio broadcasting's content is currently free-to-air, listeners must purchase new receivers in order to receive the digital portion of the signal.

By May 2018, HD Radio technology was claimed to be used by more than 3500 individual services, mostly in the United States. This compares with more than 2200 services operating with the DAB system.

HD Radio increases the bandwidth required in the FM band to 400 kHz for the analog/digital hybrid version. This makes adoption outside the United States problematic. In the United States the FM broadcast band channels have a spacing of 200 kHz, as opposed to the 100 kHz that is normal elsewhere. The 200 kHz spacing means that in practice, stations having concurrent or adjacent coverage areas will not be spaced at less than 400 kHz in order to respect protection ratios which would not be met with 200 kHz spacing. This also leaves space for the digital sidebands. Outside the US, spacing can be 300 kHz, which causes problems with the digital sidebands.

The FCC has not indicated any intent to force off analog radio broadcasts as it has with analog television broadcasts, as it would not result in the recovery of any radio spectrum rights which could be sold. Thus, there is no deadline by which consumers must buy an HD Radio receiver. In addition, there are many more analog AM/FM radio receivers than there were analog televisions, and many of these are car stereos or portable units that cannot be upgraded.


Koffee is a digital radio station broadcast by NOVA Entertainment in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. It was launched on 16 April 2009 prior to the commencement of DAB+ broadcasts.


In telecommunications and computer networks, multiplexing (sometimes contracted to muxing) is a method by which multiple analog or digital signals are combined into one signal over a shared medium. The aim is to share a scarce resource. For example, in telecommunications, several telephone calls may be carried using one wire. Multiplexing originated in telegraphy in the 1870s, and is now widely applied in communications. In telephony, George Owen Squier is credited with the development of telephone carrier multiplexing in 1910.

The multiplexed signal is transmitted over a communication channel such as a cable. The multiplexing divides the capacity of the communication channel into several logical channels, one for each message signal or data stream to be transferred. A reverse process, known as demultiplexing, extracts the original channels on the receiver end.

A device that performs the multiplexing is called a multiplexer (MUX), and a device that performs the reverse process is called a demultiplexer (DEMUX or DMX).

Inverse multiplexing (IMUX) has the opposite aim as multiplexing, namely to break one data stream into several streams, transfer them simultaneously over several communication channels, and recreate the original data stream.

In computing, I/O multiplexing can also be used to refer to the concept of processing multiple input/output events from a single event loop, with system calls like poll and select (Unix).

Radio broadcasting

Radio broadcasting is transmission by radio waves intended to reach a wide audience. Stations can be linked in radio networks to broadcast a common radio format, either in broadcast syndication or simulcast or both.

The signal types can be either analog audio or digital audio.

Satellite radio

Satellite radio is defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)'s ITU Radio Regulations (RR) as a broadcasting-satellite service. The satellite's signals are broadcast nationwide, across a much wider geographical area than terrestrial radio stations, and the service is primarily intended for the occupants of motor vehicles. It is available by subscription, mostly commercial free, and offers subscribers more stations and a wider variety of programming options than terrestrial radio.Satellite radio technology was inducted into the Space Foundation Space Technology Hall of Fame in 2002. Satellite radio uses the 2.3 GHz S band in North America for nationwide digital radio broadcasting. In other parts of the world, satellite radio uses the 1.4 GHz L band allocated for DAB.

Sound Digital

Sound Digital is a semi national commercial digital radio multiplex in the United Kingdom, owned by Arqiva, Bauer Media Group and Wireless Group. The multiplex covers 73% of the population from a total of 45 transmitters.

Subcarrier signals
Wireless video and data distribution methods
and funding

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