… 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.
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.
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.
last rev: 18.sep.2020