Tag Archives: United Kingdom

UK digital radio listening now eclipses analog according to study

(Source: Radio Mag Online via Marty Kraft)

LONDON — In the United Kingdom, the use of digital sources for radio has reached 50.9%, up from 47.2% a year ago, accounting for the majority of all listening for the first time, according to RAJAR Q1 2018 data.

“With the 50% digital listening threshold now met, it is anticipated that the UK government will undertake a review to assess digital radio progress and determine next steps in due course,” according to a Digital Radio UK press release.

Digital listening share is comprised of listening across all digital platforms: DAB in homes and in cars, apps and online (which includes the growing number of smart and voice-controlled speakers) and DTV — and this is the first time that listening to digital has been greater than analog platforms — FM and AM.

[…]The UK’s three leading radio broadcasters — the BBC, Global and Bauer, which collectively account for over 90% of UK radio listening — are “fully committed to delivering a digital future for radio and look forward to working with government and the supply chain to continue the transition to digital radio.”

Click here to read the full article.

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BBC mothballs idea of forced move to digital broadcasting

(Source: The Telegraph via Mike Hansgen)

BBC to keep broadcasting on FM

For years fans of wireless radios have campaigned to stop the apparently inevitable march of progress as Britain prepares to switch off its crackling analogue signal and become totally digital.

But now, the BBC will announce that it has shelved plans to force listeners to replace their analogue radios with DAB sets.

In a move that will also be welcomed by the two million motorists with analogue car radios, the corporation will admit for the first time that FM broadcasts must continue to keep audiences on side as music streaming and podcasts threaten its traditional strongholds.[…]

Click here to read this article on The Telegraph (content behind paywall).

 

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A timeline of radio in the UK

Crosley-Dial

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Daniel, who shares a link to this article on the BT website:

From Marconi and the transistor radio to DAB: the history of radio in the UK

93 years ago this week, the BBC made its first radio broadcast. We look back at some of the most significant events in radio’s history.

On November 14, 1922 the British Broadcasting Company began its first radio broadcast. Since then the radio landscape has changed dramatically.

Radio is still an incredibly popular medium. According to Ofcom’s 2015 Communications Market Report, nine in ten UK adults listen to the radio each week. We listen for an average of 21.4 hours a week, but the way we do this has changed.

Families had to huddle around the radio in the 1930s, but now we can listen to the radio anywhere, anytime using our smartphones. We look at some of the most significant milestones of British radio over the last 93 years[…]

Click here to read through the entire article and timeline at BT.com.

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Video: “The very particular world of amateur radio”

BBC-Yaesu

Many thanks to SWLing Post reader, Nick, for sharing this 2013 video produced by the BBC. Here is the description from YouTube:

“In the face of the internet, mobiles and instant messaging you might expect the hobby of amateur radio – or HAM radio as it’s also known – to be on the decline.

But in the last three years, the number of amateur radio licences has risen by over 8,000 – with 80,000 currently issued in the UK.

Using designated frequencies, amateur radio enthusiasts communicate with people over the world. Many prefer the relaxed approach of ‘rag chewing’ or chatting at length with people, who often become friends – while at the opposite end of the spectrum ‘contesters’ compete to make as many contacts as possible in a given period.

The hobby is also a public service, with Raynet (in the UK) stepping in during emergencies when regular communication networks fail. Amateur radio enthusiasts are currently contributing to relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.”

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40th Anniversary Montage of ILR Radio Stations

IRL-StationLogosHat tip to Mike Barraclough for sharing a link to this audio/video montage on the BBC website celebrating the 40th anniversary of Independent Local Radio (ILR) with air check clips from stations across the country.

Even if you have never lived in the UK, there’s some serious radio nostalgia in this montage.

Many of these ILR stations still broadcast today, and you can listen to the majority of them via TuneIn radio.

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Document radio interference via the Ofcom Spectrum Management Survey

PLT devices can produce broad spectrum noise on the shortwave/amateur radio HF bands

PLT devices can produce broad spectrum noise on the shortwave/amateur radio HF bands

Nige (G7CNF) recently contacted me regarding a survey he has created to help document and fight radio interference from power line technology and other sources.

If you live in the UK and can create an Ofcom case reference number, please consider contributing.

Nige writes:

I have created a new forum (or rather relaunched my old one but with some rebranding) […] dedicated to discussing and curing [radio] interference.

I was contacted recently on one of my PLT YT videos by a SWL who was suffering PLT interference and it reminded me that since 2010, SWLs have had no ‘right to complain’ in the UK after Ofcom delegated domestic broadcast interference to the BBC. Frankly I think that is unacceptable and I want to address that imbalance.

I have created a new survey, the ‘Ofcom Spectrum Management Survey.’ Unlike the previous incarnation which was aimed at radio amateurs alone, this time I have opened it up to all radio users, regardless of type; the only qualification needed to fill this survey is an Ofcom case reference number. […]

Like the RSGB noise floor monitoring campaign which has just been stepped up to incorporate the use of the Cross-Country-Wireless Sentinel SDR noise monitor, I believe that my Ofcom survey will offer insights into the regulator’s performance over over time – and highlight its deficiencies by placing Ofcom spectrum abuse cases in the public domain.

The survey can be found here:
http://interference.org.uk/survey/index.php/955793

The forum, here:
http://interference.org.uk

Many thanks for your time and the best of luck with the hobby.

Nige.G7CNF
http://interference.org.uk

Nige, thank you for organizing this survey and campaign–best of luck moving forward!

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Radio Caroline seeks a spot on the British AM dial

Radio Caroline circa 1960's.

(Source: NY Times)

“Since first taking to the air from a makeshift studio on an offshore ship in 1964, Radio Caroline has endured government raids, shipwrecks and a decade of radio silence before finding a land-based studio in the southeastern county of Kent. From there, a cast of volunteer disc jockeys has transmitted album-oriented rock to a global audience over satellite radio and the Internet since 1999.

But to station management, that global reach isn’t enough. In an age when many prefer to listen to music over the Web or by satellite, Radio Caroline would like to be rewarded for its contribution to British popular culture in the most modest of ways: an AM radio designation in the southeast of England, where it was conceived.”

Read full article at the NY Times.

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