Temp

DAB Radio vs iPlayer/mobile data

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When I go out walking I sometimes like to listen to the radio, mostly BBC stations. Problem is the FM radio in my phone isn't great, every time you move the headphone wire (used as an aerial) you get break up, silence or crackling. So I was thinking about getting a small portable DAB radio but that's yet another device that needs charging.

 

Don't know why I didn't think about it before but today it occurred to me to try installing the BBC iPlayer Radio App on my phone. Worked a charm. The stereo effect was way better than the FM radio and no breakups. One hour walk round a local lake and I'd used 24MB of data.

 

So how does mobile phone data coverage compare with DAB coverage?

 

 

Edited by Temp

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Outdoor 3G/4G coverage is generally decent, at least in areas where people live or drive. If you're walking on a deserted fell somewhere, I bet you'll have trouble.

 

The thing that bugs me about the iPlayer Radio app is the 60-to-90-second delay!

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DAB coverage is a nightmare around here.  I have a DAB radio in the car, but always leave it in FM mode, as the constant drop outs with DAB (it just goes silent for tens of seconds when it loses a signal) make it unusable.  The FM signal gets a bit noisy, but usually not enough to be a nuisance before the RDS switches it to a stronger signal.  My car has two antennas and a diversity receiver, too, so should perform a fair bit better than a single antenna receiver.

 

I think the main problem with DAB is that it's fine on level ground, or urban areas where there is a local transmitter, but the higher frequency means that it doesn't terrain follow as well as the VHF FM band, hence all the drop outs in signal when dipping down into valleys.  The other really big problems are its susceptibility to impulse interference and the total lack of graceful degradation.  When there is the slightest bit of interference it just goes silent, which is far worse than just getting a bit of noise, especially when listening to speech, and damned annoying when you lose 20 seconds from an interesting news item..

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Been using the iplayer radio app for ages now-I use it with a little Bluetooth speaker for my music st work.  Love that you can download programnes-uses less battery when playing them & doesn’t matter about phone signal then. 

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I have been using the BBC iPlayer Radio since it came out.  Nice that you can download things and listen to them later.

There are also the podcasts that can be kept indefinitely (well until the format becomes obsolete).

 

My DAB is erratic down here to say the least, can go silent for days, so tend to listen the the FM which is pretty good and consistent.

The PIPs are on time as well.

 

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Off topic but for home listening I use satellite. Indeed I am having a second satellite receiver exclusively connected to the hifi that won't be connected to a tv. Advantages are better signal, better bit rate than DAB and more stations than on DAB.

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Thanks for that, think I'll stick with the phone for now. See how it goes in my area. 

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11 hours ago, richi said:

Outdoor 3G/4G coverage is generally decent, at least in areas where people live or drive. If you're walking on a deserted fell somewhere, I bet you'll have trouble.

 

The thing that bugs me about the iPlayer Radio app is the 60-to-90-second delay!

 

^ This.

 

I’ve had to dig out an old Roberts radio I’ve had for 20 years to listen to sport.

 

I prefer to keep the BBC’s crap off my phone so I use a radio station app instead. Radioplayer or Tunein. They’re compatible with the Sonos but work on the phone to listen to much more than just the bbc.

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