Listen Up Further changes to some bbc local radio medium wave services

william-1

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The BBC is committed to a digital future for radio, and in the past few years we have funded local DAB expansion, made all local radio stations available on digital terrestrial TV (such as Freeview), and we have transformed our online and mobile offering with BBC Sounds. Together with FM (which has recently been expanded for Radio Wales), these ways of receiving our stations now make up the great majority of listening, and as a result continuing to transmit these services on medium wave would no longer represent good value for money.

 
Channel Hopper

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The BBC is committed to a digital future for radio, and in the past few years we have funded local DAB expansion, made all local radio stations available on digital terrestrial TV (such as Freeview), and we have transformed our online and mobile offering with BBC Sounds. Together with FM (which has recently been expanded for Radio Wales), these ways of receiving our stations now make up the great majority of listening, and as a result continuing to transmit these services on medium wave would no longer represent good value for money.

The quality of medium wave reception is on par with the DAB in this area. Some areas a few hundred metres of here cannot get DAB/DAB+ at all.
 
Llew

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As long as Radio Four on long wave stays put for the foreseeable future (passim recent discussions), my 40+ year old Roberts MW/LW radio might survive another few years, despite the computer/microwave hash...:unsure
 
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Same here.

I'm slightly suspect over the reasoning of the removal of services on the lower frequencies.

Yes, the cost of running duplicate/vintage/analogue services is one that should be considered, but I can't help feeling that the ability to provide something that (on a good day) reaches the other side of the continent could be useful to somebody, moreso if the transmission protocol used is robust.

Another potential frequency band sell off in the future ?
 
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Taken from a thread in DS, has anyone else heard anything about Radio 5 closing on MW or entirely?

whitecross;c-95669195 said:
Mikw, you were saying a few days ago, that the BBC was not bloated, or overstaffed, in answer to my suggestion, that the BBC has far too many staff - now we have a fairly sudden, 450 redundancies, from the News dept - also affecting 5 live, which my OFCOM pal, suggests is for the chop. at least on MW.

I can sympathise, with those who will be losing their jobs - I have been in that position myself in the distant past.
I suspect, this this may be, the first of quite a few BBC economy cuts, to enable it to be able to fund the over 75 free licence.

Interesting times, at the BBC......
I wonder how many creep back in through the back door, & become agency staff?
It happened before :D
 
Fisty McB

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Taken from a thread in DS, has anyone else heard anything about Radio 5 closing on MW or entirely?
Are we to take seriously a claim from some random anonymous poster on a popular Internet forum? Unless said poster has been there for some time & has a reputation of accurately delivering predictions, announcements or news well ahead of them being made public or being "leaked" by others in the industry, then such a claim is worth next to nothing.

A major issue is that a large section of BBC R5L's audience right now still listen to them via Medium Wave, particularly in vehicles that don't have DAB tuners in the head end - although this is slowly decreasing & is no longer an absolute majority of them. They may make an announcement in due course of closing down some of the low power MW TX sites (following the examples of Absolute Radio last year and Talk Sport's plans later this year) especially in places where the MW service area is otherwise well covered by DAB**, but a complete closedown of the whole 909/693/990 network without both a significant period of notice and if a notable amount of listeners still use the network - especially as R5L doesn't have full time FM coverage to fall back on, compared to BBC local radio stations - would likely lead to public complaints. I'd reckon that it'll definitely outlast Absolute going off MW entirely, and quite likely Talk Sport too - though again that will depending on how their audience listen to them, they have a similar profile to R5L IIRC.



**Where I live, R5L reception from Enniskillen on 693 kHz is usually reliable 24/7, but neither Absolute or Talk Sport have ever transmitted from the same site (in the past BBC R3 was on 1197 kHz and BBC R1 on 1053 kHz) meaning that the best reception for them comes from Lisnagarvey (nr Belfast) about 75 miles away, but they (as well as R5L on 909 kHz from there) can be weakish during daytime, and at night they all suffer from fading & distortion from co-channel skywave from TXs in Britain - Absolute especially, even during daytime at this time of year. In terms of the Enniskillen MW service area for R5L, there are quite a few black spots in terms of coverage of the BBC National DAB ensemble.
 
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Are we to take seriously a claim from some random anonymous poster on a popular Internet forum? Unless said poster has been there for some time & has a reputation of accurately delivering predictions, announcements or news well ahead of them being made public or being "leaked" by others in the industry, then such a claim is worth next to nothing.

A major issue is that a large section of BBC R5L's audience right now still listen to them via Medium Wave, particularly in vehicles that don't have DAB tuners in the head end - although this is slowly decreasing & is no longer an absolute majority of them. They may make an announcement in due course of closing down some of the low power MW TX sites (following the examples of Absolute Radio last year and Talk Sport's plans later this year) especially in places where the MW service area is otherwise well covered by DAB**, but a complete closedown of the whole 909/693/990 network without both a significant period of notice and if a notable amount of listeners still use the network - especially as R5L doesn't have full time FM coverage to fall back on, compared to BBC local radio stations - would likely lead to public complaints. I'd reckon that it'll definitely outlast Absolute going off MW entirely, and quite likely Talk Sport too - though again that will depending on how their audience listen to them, they have a similar profile to R5L IIRC.



**Where I live, R5L reception from Enniskillen on 693 kHz is usually reliable 24/7, but neither Absolute or Talk Sport have ever transmitted from the same site (in the past BBC R3 was on 1197 kHz and BBC R1 on 1053 kHz) meaning that the best reception for them comes from Lisnagarvey (nr Belfast) about 75 miles away, but they (as well as R5L on 909 kHz from there) can be weakish during daytime, and at night they all suffer from fading & distortion from co-channel skywave from TXs in Britain - Absolute especially, even during daytime at this time of year. In terms of the Enniskillen MW service area for R5L, there are quite a few black spots in terms of coverage of the BBC National DAB ensemble.
I had forgotten the personal need for the medium wave band in the car.


Otherwise all the wife would receive would be radio 2 and a dodgy local pirate station or two
 
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Well just like many 'extras' in the NW England, for example anything approaching a train or bus service, Dab radio is almost non existent, so MW is still essential
 
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Dave5118

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Well just like many 'extras' in the NW England, for example anything approaching a train or bus service, Dab radio is almost non existent, so MW is still essential
Well I'm in the NW of England too, and I use DAB in my car all the time, most people I speak to seem to think DAB is not available in my home town, and looked surprised when I put them right. I do remember a few years back, my Father had a DAB radio and good only get some services on it and that was only if the aerial was in a certain position.
Do remember it being a bit hit and miss in Norfolk on my hols last year though.
 
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Well I'm in the NW of England too, and I use DAB in my car all the time, most people I speak to seem to think DAB is not available in my home town, and looked surprised when I put them right. I do remember a few years back, my Father had a DAB radio and good only get some services on it and that was only if the aerial was in a certain position.
Do remember it being a bit hit and miss in Norfolk on my hols last year though.
Out of interest, what can you get with DAB in the car that you can't get with the FM (or MW/LW options) and is there any difference in the quality that you can notice, either way ?
 
Adam792

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The DAB service here in the South West Midlands is vastly superior to FM/MW. On FM the only things you can get with a consistently decent signal are the two local stations. BBC National FM is poor - pretty much impossible to get inside on a portable radio without noise, and constantly fading and flicking transmitter in the car.

The DAB signal is much stronger, easier to receive indoors, and works well in the car across the area.

There are always going to be areas where that isn't the case, and it isn't a perfect system by any stretch of the imagination (low bitrates and sound quality being the biggest annoyances), but certainly for us here it's a vast improvement on what was available before.
 
R

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Are we to take seriously a claim from some random anonymous poster on a popular Internet forum? Unless said poster has been there for some time & has a reputation of accurately delivering predictions, announcements or news well ahead of them being made public or being "leaked" by others in the industry, then such a claim is worth next to nothing.

A major issue is that a large section of BBC R5L's audience right now still listen to them via Medium Wave, particularly in vehicles that don't have DAB tuners in the head end - although this is slowly decreasing & is no longer an absolute majority of them. They may make an announcement in due course of closing down some of the low power MW TX sites (following the examples of Absolute Radio last year and Talk Sport's plans later this year) especially in places where the MW service area is otherwise well covered by DAB**, but a complete closedown of the whole 909/693/990 network without both a significant period of notice and if a notable amount of listeners still use the network - especially as R5L doesn't have full time FM coverage to fall back on, compared to BBC local radio stations - would likely lead to public complaints. I'd reckon that it'll definitely outlast Absolute going off MW entirely, and quite likely Talk Sport too - though again that will depending on how their audience listen to them, they have a similar profile to R5L IIRC.



**Where I live, R5L reception from Enniskillen on 693 kHz is usually reliable 24/7, but neither Absolute or Talk Sport have ever transmitted from the same site (in the past BBC R3 was on 1197 kHz and BBC R1 on 1053 kHz) meaning that the best reception for them comes from Lisnagarvey (nr Belfast) about 75 miles away, but they (as well as R5L on 909 kHz from there) can be weakish during daytime, and at night they all suffer from fading & distortion from co-channel skywave from TXs in Britain - Absolute especially, even during daytime at this time of year. In terms of the Enniskillen MW service area for R5L, there are quite a few black spots in terms of coverage of the BBC National DAB ensemble.
I'm not treating this as gospel, because as you say, it's unverified. This is why i'm asking if anyone else here had heard anything.
 
Channel Hopper

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The DAB service here in the South West Midlands is vastly superior to FM/MW. On FM the only things you can get with a consistently decent signal are the two local stations. BBC National FM is poor - pretty much impossible to get inside on a portable radio without noise, and constantly fading and flicking transmitter in the car.

The DAB signal is much stronger, easier to receive indoors, and works well in the car across the area.

There are always going to be areas where that isn't the case, and it isn't a perfect system by any stretch of the imagination (low bitrates and sound quality being the biggest annoyances), but certainly for us here it's a vast improvement on what was available before.
Thanks

You appear to have two transmitters close to you which may be the reason for the improved reception.


From the list I estimate there are well over 300 local transmitters, compared to a list of around 700 FM/AM masts, so coverage would be down on the former, especially when on the road, moreso as a result of the higher frequency and the 'more line of sight' characteristics of Band III.

Transmitter output levels are also a factor, as well as directionallity, if this is a feature on DAB masts. I haven't checked since I don't consider DAB a viable standard for servicing a region the size of the UK.
 
Adam792

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Yes, we get reception from a combination of transmitters here for DAB, which works well because of the SFN (Malvern and Bromsgrove for the local multiplex, along with Churchdown Hill, Clee Hill and Lark Stoke for the BBC National services, and a combination of a couple of those for the national commercial services.)

On FM, we're on the edge of the coverage area for Sutton Coldfield, Wenvoe and Ridge Hill, with none being a very good signal. The medium wave signal is strong because of being a few miles from Droitwich, but it's hardly very good quality to listen to with DAB/Internet available!
 
Dave5118

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Out of interest, what can you get with DAB in the car that you can't get with the FM (or MW/LW options) and is there any difference in the quality that you can notice, either way ?
Tbh, not really sure beyond talksport 2 and radio 5 extra, those are the only ones I listen to. The quality is far superior to mw.
 
william-1

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Here in West Essex FM/band II VHF is terrible & always has been,
Dab is excellent with much better signals & over 100 x Radio stations :):Y
I have not listened to LW & MW for years I would not know that they still existed without the feedback here.
 
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Well I'm in the NW of England too, and I use DAB in my car all the time, most people I speak to seem to think DAB is not available in my home town, and looked surprised when I put them right. I do remember a few years back, my Father had a DAB radio and good only get some services on it and that was only if the aerial was in a certain position.
Do remember it being a bit hit and miss in Norfolk on my hols last year though.
Yes but you live near Manchester, I live in Blackburn and travel to Southport on a regular basis, there is no way it is possible to listen to DAB for 5 minutes during that journey
 
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