What is Digital Radio?

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Digital Radio is an exciting emerging technology for humanity that is slowly gaining traction in countries across the globe.  In order to understand what digital radio actually is and the opportunities it offerings, I have compiled the following list of definitions to help you to navigate the technical differences between digital, analog, and internet radio.

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Definition of Digital Radio:

Digital radio is the transmission and reception of sound processed into patterns of numbers, or “digits” – hence the term “digital radio.” In contrast, traditional analog radios process sounds into patterns of electrical signals that resemble sound waves.

Digital radio reception is more resistant to interference and eliminates many imperfections of analog radio transmission and reception. There may be some interference to digital radio signals, however, in areas that are distant from a station’s transmitter. FM digital radio can provide clear sound comparable in quality to CDs, and AM digital radio can provide sound quality equivalent to that of standard analog FM.

Digital radio is radiouses digital technology to transmit and/or receive across the radio spectrum. In many modern systems, the radio signal is a digital signal that has been produced using digital modulation. Digital radio receivers also exist, that decode analog radio signals using digital electronics.

Digital radio is free and broadcast over the airwaves like AM & FM. Internet radio services are streamed via a one-to-one connection from your internet service provider. Depending on your internet service plan, they will incur a download cost. Free-to-air broadcast radio stations also generally stream their services – including new digital radio services – so you can listen online or on-air via digital.

In addition to audio broadcasts, digital radio offers simultaneous data services to listeners. For example, information about music may be displayed on the receiver’s screen when the music is playing. You could program your digital radio receiver to display weather updates, traffic reports and other news.

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Definition of Digital Audio Broadcasting:

Digital audio broadcasting (DAB), also known as digital radio and high-definition radio, is audio broadcasting in which analog audio is converted into a digital signal and transmitted on an assigned channel in the AM or (more usually) FM frequency range.

Technology Requirements:

To listen to Digital Radio you will need a digital radio receiver, known as DAB+ receivers. DAB stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting.  Standard AM / FM radios are not able to receive the digital signal.  Digital Radio receivers can be found in most electronic stores.

After-market in-car kits are available for digital radio reception. These kits can be mounted just like a GPS and can plug into your existing car radio or sound system. Check with your car dealer to see if a DAB+ radio is available as a “factory option”.

FM and AM Transmissions:

Listening on a digital radio gives access to FM and AM transmissions.  While some countries are making a move to phase out analog (FM and AM), overall the general global picture is that AM and FM will continue without a definite date for phase out.  Digital radios can pick up FM and AM reception in addition to specific broadcasts for digital radio and internet radio, provided a user subscribes to the later.

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This blog is about digital radios and everything you need to know to make informed decisions about what to look for in the best digital radios across the globe. This blog educates on some of the technology behind digital radios and explains things in a way so that you can understand the technical details and how they are expressed in marketing and regulations within specific countries.

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