Coverage boost for DAB in the Plymouth area

UPDATED | Local digital radio is to get a coverage boost around Plymouth next week.

At the same time, local DAB services on the Plymouth multiplex will change frequencies, meaning listeners will have to retune their DAB radios.

The Plymouth DAB multiplex currently carries BBC Radio Devon, Capital, Gold, Heart, Kiss, Pirate Oldies, Pop Up Radio and Smooth Radio from the Plympton transmitter on VHF Block 12A.

During the night of 24/25th November 2015, these services will migrate to a new frequency on VHF Block 12D. 

The coverage boost will come courtesy of three new transmitters going live: North Hessary Tor (for Tavistock), Poron (or Torpoint) and Ivybridge, part of a process that when complete will see local DAB coverage being boosted to cover over 90% of households in the Plymouth area.

Update: The BBC has confirmed that the extra transmitters will be going live as follows:

  • North Hessary Tor: 25th November (coinciding with the frequency change - the site will provide the largest geographical coverage boost)
  • Ivybridge: 26th November (one day after the frequency change)
  • Torpoint (Poron). 27th November (two days after the frequency change)

How it will affect listeners
  • On the evening of the 24th November, local DAB services in the Plymouth will cease broadcasting on the old frequency. This is expected to occur around 10pm.
  • By 6am on the 25th November, local DAB services will be back on-air on the new frequency of VHF Block 12D, and will be available across a much wider area, as a new transmitter at North Hessary Tor will go live. Further transmitters will go live during the week (see above).
  • Listeners to BBC Radio Devon, Capital, Gold, Heart, Kiss, Pirate Oldies, Pop Up Radio and Smooth Radio via DAB in the Plymouth area will need to retune and reset any presets on the 25th November.
  • It won't affect listeners on FM, AM, nor will it affect DAB services not listed above
  • Some listeners may have duplicates of the above stations from the neighbouring Cornwall multiplex.
  • Listeners can check digital radio coverage on the official coverage checker at http://www.getdigitalradio.com/whats-on-dab/at-your-address/

Why the frequency change?
Frequency changes are required in order to allow local DAB multiplexes to boost their coverage area without interfering with other DAB multiplexes.

Plymouth is the latest area to undergo a DAB retune exercise as part of a national programme to boost DAB coverage. In December, the Sussex multiplex will switch frequencies.


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