On the back of the news that Norway had started to switch off its FM signal in favour of DAB, we asked you if you thought the UK was ready to do the same.
The answer? A resounding no.
As Ian stated:
‘Unless I’ve missed something, not a single poster is in favour of discontinuing FM in favour of the inferior DAB. Well, seems conclusive.’
Chief among your concerns was poor (in some cases, a total lack of) reception, particularly in cars and in rural areas, where radio is a lifeline.
Chris Frame commented:
‘They had better not switch off AM or FM as we can only get DAB occasionally on a good day – and we are not in some remote mountainous area, just in rural East Devon between Sidmouth and Exeter. Not that we can get a mobile signal either – please think about people like us before switching off our lifelines (or better still, do something about getting us into the 21st century!)’
Even those in cities, where you’d think DAB coverage would be good, had problems, as alanblodge explained:
‘We lived in Cambridge until recently, and we were unlucky enough to have a DAB car radio. Even in the city itself, sitting in the endless traffic jams, DAB dropped out continually. Totally useless.’
Other criticisms of DAB was the fact that the signal gets even worse in bad weather and that the radios seem to ‘eat’ batteries and interfere with LEDs – something ralee213 has first-hand experience of:
‘I have a good DAB signal in my kitchen. That is, until I switch on my energy saving LED GU10 lights. All I get them is a massive crackling. I don’t have an FM radio so end up using a tablet for internet radio as it gets dark.’
And although there are many more stations available on DAB, some of you were completely unimpressed by them (and wondered what Classic FM would do about its name!).
Having to fork out to replace gadgets and sound systems that would become obsolete should FM be switched off completely was another bone of contention.
‘I just bought a wakeup light which only has FM radio as is the case with all wakeup lights which have radio and these are very expensive. The last thing I want to do is have to throw away such an expensive gadget because the radio stops working in a year or two. especially as Phillips and Lumie who make these have not kept up with the times by changing to DAB yet are still putting out new models of over £130. There cannot be a switchover until manufacturers of combinations gadgets like this are even using the DAB technology or unless they agree to take back any models bought today in a year or two if a DAB version is then needed. This is otherwise a financial burden for all consumers and very unfair.’
Others, like Lynda Jane, had the environment in mind and wondered what would happen to all the discarded machines:
‘Before the government goes any further, have they yet identified a hole big enough for all the non-DAB radios to be put in when we throw them away?’
So, considering it’s apparent that there are quite a few creases to iron out before any switch-off is even contemplated and most of you feel strongly it shouldn’t happen at all, we’ll continue to monitor developments.
In the meantime, please do continue to share your concerns with us.
Thanks to alfa for the useful link.