lost in space?

The complaint most often coming from people about DAB(+) broad­casting here in Norway, is lack of coverage and pene­tra­tion-power. In short: bad reception.

“Now you hear it … now you don't” … pretty much describes the current situation in many parts of Norway.

That DAB(+)-broadcasters tend to push the respons­i­bility for failing signal onto the listeners and their (allegedly poor) receiving-setups, doesn't exactly help people with little insight in the technical side of DAB(+).

Most often the “advices” given to people who complain about bad reception, are relayed verbatim by people who have little to no idea what they're talking about, from a long list of pure nonsense seemingly cooked up by the DAB(+) lobby's marketing people.
The resulting techno­babble may be fun to desipher, but is of little to no use to people who experi­ence bad DAB(+) reception at home or on the move and were happy with the FM reception they once had.

The national public broadcaster (NRK) does for instance claim to have provided us with a DAB(+) coverage equal to or better than what we had with the now dis­con­tin­ued FM format. However, nothing can be further from the truth.

Norwegian broadcasters also claimed that DAB(+) would give us more choices, and in a sense they were right. They do transmit a higher number of channels from the three broad­casters behind the FM shut­down, providing us with an increased number of socalled “programs” that are best heard with receivers turned off.

exclusion zones?

The Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) seem to have serious prob­lems with the fact that people in what offici­ally have been declared “FM-free zones” – the four largest Norwegian towns, can receive signals on the FM band from regional (and still legal) stations outside these zones.
This “illegal” bleeding of radio-waves hampers and delays the ongoing “switch-over to DAB(+)” process, as, quite logically, a high number of listeners prefer the some­times weak and maybe a little noizy FM-signal from distant stations that transmit good programs, over the on-​off-​on-​off DAB(+)-signals from the FM-killers.

Makes one wonder when Nkom will declare listening to FM illegal altogether within Norwegian borders, much like the Nazis did regarding radio listening during WW2.
Democracy in action?

we are not amused…

The entire “FM shutdown in Norway” disaster has been rotten from the very begin­ning. The DAB(+) lobby has bluffed, lied, and cheated their way through poli­ti­cal pro­ces­ses, totally ignoring public interests. Now a growing number of the public are simply ignoring them, and their “programming”.

In an earlier article I  have covered how unimpressed I am with the technical side of DAB(+) receivers and the DAB(+) format as a whole, and how the broadcasters' policy of “quantity over quality” is making every­thing sound arti­ficial regard­less of receiver-quality. That in itself is of course good enough reason (to me at least) not to bother listening to DAB(+).

No sensible person would buy DAB(+) receivers today, when all one may want to listen to, and a whole lot more, can be streamed over the internet. There is simply no point in wasting money on totally un­nec­es­sary DAB(+)-crap in order to (maybe) get to listen to degraded audio once in a while.

There are lots of alterna­tives to those FM-killers too, at home, in cars, and at work­places. This is some­thing more and more Norwegians are dis­cov­er­ing and taking full advantage of. No problem even for a picky and selec­tive person like me to find some­thing worth lis­ten­ing to, without com­pro­mising on quality and taste.

digital bellyflop…

The future in terrestrial broad­casting is defi­ni­tely digital. However, the badly imple­mented DAB(+) will end up as nothing but an embar­ras­sing, and very costly, foot­note in Norwegian broad­casting history, mainly because of the untimely shut­down of nation­wide FM radio. Who cares about DAB … we only want proper radio-trans­mis­sion back.

As it is; the FM-killers can keep their DAB(+) trans­mis­sions and “pro­gramming” going till king­dom come without me listen­ing in, and I'll keep my FM receivers.
I can wait for however long it takes to provide Norway with a proper, nation­wide, digital (and/or analog) broad­casting format and tech­no­logy, that actually works, sounds, and delivers content to my satis­faction.

(04.feb.2020) What little radio I listen to these days – in my car mostly – is trans­mitted via FM. At least one commer­cial station is hanging in there in our area, and that is all I need.

sincerely  georg; sign

Hageland 18.oct.2018
last rev: 18.sep.2020

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