Tag Archives: BBC

MDZhB featured in BBC Future’s “Best of 2017”

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Golan Klinger, who shares the following article which was elected “Best Of 2017″ on the BBC Future website:

“MDZhB” has been broadcasting since 1982. No one knows why.

In the middle of a Russian swampland, not far from the city of St Petersburg, is a rectangular iron gate. Beyond its rusted bars is a collection of radio towers, abandoned buildings and power lines bordered by a dry-stone wall. This sinister location is the focus of a mystery which stretches back to the height of the Cold War.

It is thought to be the headquarters of a radio station, “MDZhB”, that no-one has ever claimed to run. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the last three-and-a-half decades, it’s been broadcasting a dull, monotonous tone. Every few seconds it’s joined by a second sound, like some ghostly ship sounding its foghorn. Then the drone continues.

Once or twice a week, a man or woman will read out some words in Russian, such as “dinghy” or “farming specialist”. And that’s it. Anyone, anywhere in the world can listen in, simply by tuning a radio to the frequency 4625 kHz.

It’s so enigmatic, it’s as if it was designed with conspiracy theorists in mind. Today the station has an online following numbering in the tens of thousands, who know it affectionately as “the Buzzer”. It joins two similar mystery stations, “the Pip” and the “Squeaky Wheel”. As their fans readily admit themselves, they have absolutely no idea what they are listening to.[…]

Click here to continue reading the full article on the BBC Future website.

BBC Local: Mediumwave Closures in 2018

(Source: BBC)

We are closing a number of BBC Local Radio’s medium wave transmitters in January 2018. This will not affect listeners who use FM, digital radio, digital TV, or the internet to listen.

Why is the BBC switching off these transmitters?

We know how much our listeners value BBC local radio – and have invested significantly in this area through our commitment to funding Local DAB expansion and adding all English Local Radio services to Freeview. The savings from these closures will allow the BBC to continue to modernise its infrastructure in order to meet our listeners’ changing needs.

Why have these particular transmitters been chosen?

We assessed the coverage of each BBC Local Radio station on FM, MW and digital radio which highlighted stations where medium wave transmitters duplicated good FM or digital radio coverage. Following this process, we trialled the switch off of a number of medium wave transmitters and asked for audience feedback.

Taken together, the audience feedback and the coverage data have informed which medium wave transmitters are unlikely to be value for money in the longer term.

More information on why we are doing this can be found on the BBC blog.

Listeners can also use the interactive transmitter tool to see how they can receive their local radio service on other radio and television platforms or use iPlayer Radio to access their local radio service.

BBC Genome Project releases 1930s editions of Radio Times

(Source BBC Genome Blog)

The BBC Genome Project is releasing the next batch of pages from Radio Times, this time covering the 1930s.

Genome users will now be able to access the articles, editorial material, letters pages, illustrations and photographs from the 1930s. We hope this will help users correct some of the errors in the Genome data – as well as gain insights into broadcasting during this fascinating period.

The 1930s was a turbulent decade. The country had to cope with the worldwide depression and mass unemployment that followed the Wall Street Crash of 1929. In 1936, King George V died, but his successor Edward VIII abdicated at the end of the year, to be replaced by George VI, his younger brother. Internationally, the decade was marked by the rise of the Nazis in Germany, and the sequence of events which culminated in the outbreak of war in September 1939.

It was a period of change in broadcasting too. At the start of the 1930s the BBC was still overseen by Sir John Reith, its first Director General. In 1932, the BBC moved from its cramped headquarters at Savoy Hill to the purpose-built Broadcasting House.[…]

Click here to continue reading on the BBC Genome Blog.

BBC MW stations in Lincolnshire and Nottingham to close

(Source: Southgate ARC)

More BBC AM transmitters to close

On the British DX Club (BDXC) Yahoo Group Nick Buxton reports that BBC AM stations in Lincolnshire and Nottingham are to close

In his post Nick says:

In an e-mail reply today (29/11) from Andy Roche, BBC R. Lincolnshire’s Acting Programme Editor, he says 1368 kHz will cease broadcasting their programmes on 6 January 2018. It will continue until 28 January 2018 running a continuous loop advising re-tune to FM/DAB. They will shortly be running a campaign to let people know.

In a very brief e-mail reply from BBC Radio Nottingham, enquiring about closure of their 1584 kHz service, they advise “No transmission from late December. Re-tune now”

No reply received from BBC R. Humberside concerning their 1485 kHz transmitter….

British DX Club (BDXC)
http://bdxc.org.uk/
https://groups.yahoo.com/group/BDXC-News

“Soap operas and short-wave radio” punch through North Korea’s armour

(Source: GlobalNews.ca)

One of the BBC’s newest radio stations began broadcasting across the Korean peninsula on Tuesday. And the signal was almost immediately jammed by the North Korean government, according to news reports.

[…]But cracks are appearing in the system. InterMedia, a research firm, interviewed defectors from North Korea and found that 48 per cent of them had seen foreign DVDs and 27 per cent had listened to foreign radio, according to a 2013 report.

Defectors aren’t exactly unbiased sources or representative of the North Korean population – they’re people who hated the regime enough to risk their lives fleeing it and who were able to do so – but such surveys are one of the only ways to learn about North Korean television viewing habits.

Some defectors have reported that what they saw in foreign media influenced their decision to leave, according to Williams.

“I think it’s just spreading dissatisfaction, cracking the government’s complete control of information which is one of the central parts of the entire system. If you start to crack away at that then you start to crack away at the system as a whole,” he said.

[…]Although it’s illegal to watch foreign media, many people watch these DVDs or USB sticks filled with movies and South Korean TV shows. South Korean soap operas are popular, said Williams, and are more seditious than romance and melodrama might seem at first glance.

[…]Radios sold in North Korea are modified so they can only tune in to certain frequencies – government-operated North Korean stations, of course. But people do illegally “jailbreak” their radios, says Reporters Without Borders. They can then listen to South Korean stations near the border, or to shortwave foreign broadcasts like the BBC’s and similar ones from Radio Free Asia and Voice of America.

“North Korea does its best to stop the broadcasts coming in but it is the only way that exists at the moment to get current information into the country,” said Williams.[…]

Read this full article at GlobalNews.ca.