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Portsmouth radio stations adopt DAB+ standard

More and more digital radio stations in the Portsmouth area are making the switch to the DAB+ broadcast standard.

Seven of the 13 stations broadcast on the local trial DAB multiplex as of Thursday 12th now use DAB+, making it the first UK multiplex where the majority of services are using the newer standard.

It's part of a massive surge in the number of stations in the UK switching to DAB+ this year, including Chris Country, which made the switch to DAB+ in Portsmouth last Monday, after launching a DAB+ service on the local DAB multiplex for Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool earlier this year. Jazz FM returned to the airwaves across many parts of the UK this spring, also having made the switch to DAB+.

In Portsmouth, local services Jamm and Mango Vibe switched to DAB+ on Thursday. A new DAB+ nostalgia service called Unforgettable is currently testing. Other DAB+ services for the city include BFBS Portsmouth and Radio Caroline.

The Portsmouth digital radio multiplex is operated by Solent Wireless, as part of a 10-location trial of low-cost, local DAB broadcasts run in association with Ofcom. Listeners in the area can tune in via VHF Block 7D, but will need a radio supporting DAB+ to enjoy all services. DAB+ compatible radios often display the logo shown above or the digital radio tick mark.

DAB+ stations require less bandwidth for the same audio quality. Many stations who have made the switch to DAB+, and who couldn't afford a stereo slot on a DAB multiplex have used the switch from DAB to DAB+ to move from mono to stereo thanks to the lower bitrates required. The bubbling mud noise sensation experienced on DAB in weak signal areas is absent from DAB+ stations.