Sound Digital: full station list announced

The countdown to the UK's newest digital radio multiplex has begun, with 18 stations joining Sound Digital's new service from 29th February 2016.

Covering 75% of the UK population from 45 transmitters, placeholders for the new stations will begin to appear on 15th February, but listeners will need a DAB+ compatible radio to listen to the full set of stations, including Jazz FM, which has confirmed it will be available in stereo. Jazz FM was pulled from national DAB in 2013, and its impending launch on Sound Digital has already been welcomed by listeners.

The multiplex, known previously as Digital 2, has been testing on VHF Block 11A from a number of transmitters during the past few weeks, further transmitters are due to go live ahead of the launch.

Stations launching on Sound Digital are:
  • talkRADIO
  • talkSPORT2
  • Virgin Radio
  • Share Radio (replaces TalkBusiness in the original bid for the licence)
  • Mellow Magic
  • Magic Chilled (new) DAB+
  • Absolute 80s (moving from its current slot on Digital 1)
  • Kisstory (moving from its slots on various local DAB services)
  • heat radio (moving from its slots on various local DAB services)
  • Planet Rock (moving from its current slot on Digital 1)
  • Sunrise Radio
  • Awesome Radio (new -  from Asian Sound Radio)
  • UCB2 (the recently renamed station, moving from its slots on various local DAB services)
  • Premier Christian Radio (moving from its current slot on Digital 1)
  • Premier Praise! (new)
  • Panjab Radio 
  • Fun Kids (existing London DAB frequency remains)  DAB+
  • Jazz FM  DAB+

The changes will increase coverage of stations such as Kisstory and Heat, but reduce coverage of national favourite Absolute 80 as well as Planet Rock and Premier Christian Radio.

Culture Secretary John Whittingdale will officially switch the multiplex on a day later, at a special event on 1st March 2016, an event that will trigger a big retune campaign to get listeners tuned in to the new stations.
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale

Due to the changes, freed up capacity on Digital 1 will be used by Global Radio for its new Heart Extra radio station.


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13 comments:

  1. Absolute 80s is my favourite radio station on DAB radio! If I find, I can no longer get it. I will be a bit pissed off!

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    Replies
    1. If you can hear Sound Waves on your DAB radio after a rescan you're OK! (Although not all transmitter sites are on yet.)

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  2. Do we know what quality the stations will be broadcast at and also will they be mono or Stereo?

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    Replies
    1. There's a mixture of mono and stereo stations; full tech parameters to be confirmed. Jazz FM is stereo, but DAB+. As reported yesterday, some DAB+ sets can't decode the stereo signal and will offer in mono - consequently, it's not just bitrates that will dictate quality.

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    2. This is from Sound Digital's site. Page 120 shows the bit rates that most stations will have. This is from March so this may have changed slightly.
      http://licensing.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/radio/digital/nationalradio/SoundDigital.pdf

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    3. When the current details are published, I'll share the data.

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  3. Is the switch on going to be shown live on TV I wonder ?

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  4. Lets get one thing straight, anything below 128 bit rate sounds like singing in the bath. Yet NOT one of the new stations is going to be using anything close to this. I will not be listening to any of these stations. Also what a waste of the first DAB+ transmissions. A chance to improve sound quality ruined by the drive to provide a million stations sounding worse than medium wave. Why do we have to put up with this in 2016!

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  5. TalkRADIO launching 21st March.

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  6. Will Planet Rock be in Stereo on this new frequency ?

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  7. Jazz FM and Mellow Chilled have started testing both in 32kbps stereo DAB+ mode , they both sound quite good but much like a DEM transmission everthing sounds metalic and cold, really we need a minimum of 48 if not 64 kbps, bit of joke when many stations are well over this bit rate in Germany etc...but hey it's a start

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