In car radio – digital or analogue, you’ll always get some reception problems
Over on the BBC News website is a little video of Zoe Kleinman driving down the road playing with incar DAB radios.
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As someone’s who has had DAB for years in his home and loves it to bits, I was interested to see what the car experience was like but I confess that I watched that yesterday and thought “bloomin’ hell”.
However this morning I cast my ear back to driving round the east of Manchester in my late teens.
Radio 1 on FM was always dropping out on 98.8 and you had to hastily retune to 98.5. Only to find that a mile down the road, 98.5 had dropped out and you had to switch back to 98.8!
It was a nightmare unless you had a radio which retuned itself. But that then gave complications of its own – specifically on Thursday evenings when the Session in the Nations was between 7 and 9.
For 98.5 is actually from a transmitter in Wales but is very strong in East Manchester (indeed I used it as my default at home). So you’d Steve Lamacq suddenly had disappeared and had been replaced by Huw and Bethan coming life from Cardiff. You’d enjoy a good track only to find it disappeared half way through.
Ultimately there will always be some problems somewhere when you’re driving. Reception black holes, interference and the like.
However as someone who doesn’t drive in London, what I can’t say is if the drop outs on FM are fewer than on DAB – maybe we should send Zoe out to repeat the test!