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Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by john d hamilton, Oct 11, 2008.

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  1. How did Arqiva taking over NGW get past the monopolies and mergers

    Steve - - Digital Radio News & Info

    The adoption of DAB was the most incompetent technical
    decision ever made in the history of UK broadcasting:
  2. Whiskers

    Whiskers Guest

    I have read it - before I read anything you've posted in usenet, as it
    happens. You express your own opinion very forcibly, but with little
    support from external sources and the very blindness to your own ignorance
    that you are so fond of accusing others of. At excessive length.

  3. Little support from external sources, you say?

    "AAC was first specified in the standard MPEG-2 Part 7 (known formally
    as ISO/IEC 13818-7:1997) in 1997"

    Multi-channel listening test for AAC vs MP2 in which the BBC took part
    in 1996:

    Conclusion from test was that AAC is twice as efficient as MP2.

    Stereo listening test for AAC vs MP2 in which the BBC took part in

    Conclusion from test was that AAC is twice as efficient as MP2.

    BBC R&D open day brochure from 1999 saying AAC it twice as efficient
    as MP2, and they say "don't squeeze the bit rate":

    BBC mentions plans to launch 4 new stations in 1998:

    We've seen that it took them about 16 months to add AAC+ and RS coding
    to DAB when they designed DAB+.

    So, explain to me why they couldn't add AAC and RS coding in the 1990s
    when they had a 5-year window from when AAC was standardised in 1997
    to when DAB was re-launched in March 2002 when the BBC launched 6
    Music and they began the first of 21 TV advertising campaigns for DAB?
    The FACT IS that they could easily have adopted AAC prior to
    relaunching DAB in 2002, but they didn't, and here we are in a right 2
    and 8.

    That's soon to be 22 TV ad campaigns by November, when they start
    advertising DAB again on BBC TV, even though they will be advertising
    DAB when the large majority of receivers in teh shops won't support
    DAB+ - BBC encouraging people to go out and buy to-be-obsolete DAB
    radios. Tut tut.

    The adoption of DAB was grossly incompetent, and only people who
    *deliberately choose* to ignore *the facts* would suggest otherwise.

    Steve - - Digital Radio News & Info

    The adoption of DAB was the most incompetent technical
    decision ever made in the history of UK broadcasting:
  4. Whiskers

    Whiskers Guest

    Yes. Not DAB+, just another audio codec.
    Yes indeed, no dispute with that. But that's about audio codecs, not
    about digital radio broadcsting standards (which are not the
    responsibility of the BBC anyway).
    "They" isn't the BBC, or Ofcom. The point is, DAB+ didn't exist as a
    standard to which anyone could build commercial equipment until 2007.
    Because the BBC weren't in the business of inventing new broadcasting
    systems, they were and are in the business of providing content for
    systems. Your "FACT" is not a fact, it's an opinion - which you still
    haven't given any support for.
    So when do those DAB-only receivers become useless? You are the one with
    hindsight before the event; the world needs to know and only you can tell
    No, the adoption of DAB was bold, but not in the least incompetent. We've
    had years of digital radio to enjoy which no other country has. If the
    exercise were being started from scratch today, as is the case in other
    countries, provision ab intio for the latest codecs would make sense - but
    no-one can turn back the clock.

    Ideally, I'd want Vorbis, FLAC, and Dirac, to be accomodated; that's an
    opinion. I am not going to create a large web site and spend my days
    posting uselessly to newsgroups bemoaning any 'facts' of 'incompetence'
    that such facilites are not already available for me - and certainly not
    attacking the BBC for not having invented a way to do it before anyone else
    had and without international consensus. There are many ways digital
    radio broadcasting /could/ be done, but most of those ways are not going
    to be developed.

    DAB is right here, right now, and it works - just as it did ten years ago.
    DAB+ looks likely to get off the ground within the next year in one or two
    countries; doubtless it will eventually become useable here too, but
    there's no point whingeing about it not having happened years ago.

    In the UK, the BBC has set a very high standard for any commercial radio or
    TV station to equal. That's something to be glad about, I think. But then
    I'm not a commercial broadcaster trying to come up with content that
    rivals the Beeb's but lacking more than 70 years experience and
    back-catalogue and a guaranteed revenue stream. I do sympathise with the
    likes of Channel 4 about that :)) That's the big problem for independent
    broadcasters in this country, not the technology. It has been ever since
    the first commercial TV stations were licensed in the 1950s.

  5. DAB+ has got nothing to do with this discussion whatsoever. DAB+ came
    years later. I'm talking about the fact that the AAC audio codec was
    available to be used from 1997 onwards, but the non-technical BBC
    executives chose to ignore its existence - even though the BBC R&D
    guys were saying how good it was.

    AAC was the solution to DAB's problems. But the non-technical BBC
    execs simply didn't have a clue what they were doing. And here we are

    If the BBC wanted to upgrade DAB prior to relaunch it could have done
    and it would have done.

    Again, what on earth has DAB+ got to do with this? You don't even seem
    able to follow which digital radio standard we're talking about here.
    We're talking about DAB, and the fact that DAB wasn't upgraded prior
    to its relaunch when it should have been upgraded.

    BBC R&D has always been in teh business of inventing new broadcasting
    technologies. For example, DVB-T2 that will be used to deliver HDTV
    via Freeview from next year was basically an idea that stemmed from
    BBC R&D experimenting with MIMO antennas.

    People that know about DAB+ and who're considering buying a DAB radio
    tend to want one that supports DAB. By keeping quiet about the DAB+
    issue, and especially advertising DAB aat a time when most receivers
    don't support DAB+, the BBC is misleading the general public.

    This is just ridiculous. From when you first turned up on this thread,
    you continually got things wrong, and now you're lecturing ME about

    You get one chance at launching a new radio system, so it's got to be
    right. But they screwed up royal, and here I am basically some
    know-nothing telling me what's what.


    They had the opportunity from 1997 to 2002. They did nothing. Nada.
    Niet. Sweet FA.

    The DAB crisis this year could have been avoided if they'd have
    adopted AAC.
    The audio quality on the BBC's stations would be shithot if they'd
    have adopted AAC.
    There wouldn't have been the bubbling mud that people suffer from if
    they'd have adopted AAC, because adoption of AAC also requires
    adapting the error correction coding.

    That just displays your incompetence. FLAC is a lossless codec, and
    the chance of a lossless codec ever being used on a terrestrial
    digital broadcasting system are nil.

    Diract is a sodding video codec. Why would you want sodding Diract to
    be implemented? Eh? Explain yourself oh wise one.

    The thing you're ignoring is that the BBC R&D people were already
    telling the non-technical suits to use AAC.

    It works if you don't mind shit quality, and if you actually receive a
    signal that doesn't suffer from bubbling mud.

    Don't tell me what to do or what not to do.

    The audio quality on BBC DAB stations is shit.

    And BBC has been providing far lower quality on its Internet radio
    streams than commercial radio for the last 2 years, and it's currently
    trying to fabricate excuses to avoid providing the SAME bit rate as
    commercial radio Internet streams.

    That's your idea of setting a very high standard, is it?

    How would you explain the BBC providing its Internet radio streams at
    32 kbps until last year? And transcoding the audio by receiving the
    radio stations off satellite? And why did they transcode the stations
    for the listen again streams when they could have been sent via the
    Internet? And why did they transcode anythying when it would only have
    cost £10k per year for a direct link?

    And why is the audio quality on Radio 1 and Radio 2 FM shit these days
    when it used to be superb?

    You saying that the BBC sets very high standards is yet another
    ridiculous thing you've said.

    Yeah, it's absolutely fantastic. I'm over teh moon about the BBC's

    Steve - - Digital Radio News & Info

    The adoption of DAB was the most incompetent technical
    decision ever made in the history of UK broadcasting:
  6. Whiskers

    Whiskers Guest

    DAB with AAC support, is DAB+. You are trying to pretend that DAB should
    have been DAB+ from the start, but it couldn't be. AAC didn't exist in
    the mid '90s, for a start.

    That 'relaunch' seems to be something you've invented; the BBC started
    broadcasting on DAB in the mid '90s. All that happened in 2002 was the
    addition of more BBC stations and some advertising of the services.
    Clearly the BBC didn't change the codecs used for their broadcasts,
    because the existing broadcasting standards (which are not set by the BBC)
    made no provision for doing so. As for what the BBC may or may not have
    'wanted', that is unknown. You know what /you/ want to have happened, but
    that's just your own opinion.

    You are talking about DAB with the ability to handle AAC codecs; that is
    DAB+, not DAB. DAB by definition does not support AAC and never will;
    DAB+ does, and is about to 'go live' in Italy and Australia.
    They do research (or used to); sometimes the results of that research
    eventually finds its way into new broadcasting standards, sometimes it
    doesn't. The BBC don't impose technical standards unilaterally; such
    things have to be done by international agreement between governments,
    broadcasters, manufacturers, and others.
    When mass-market DAB receivers support both DAB and DAB+, people will be
    able to buy them. At present, hardly any support DAB+ at all, and only a
    few claim to be 'upgradeable'. That's how new the new standard is. Now
    that there is an agreed standard for DAB+, manufacturers have undertaken to
    start designing models to accomodate it. But there is nothing to listen
    to on DAB+ in this country yet, and it's anybody's guess when there will
    Actually, I'm tryig to introduce you to the concept of 'logic'.
    No, you are expressing an unsupported and unrealistic opinion and I'm
    telling you so.
    That's your opinion. How "they" were supposed to start using a standard
    in 2002 or 1995 or at any other time in the past, that wasn't available
    until 2007 at the earliest, is beyond anyone but you.
    It would be iven better if they;d used soe other system that doesn't exist
    yet. Get real!
    I don't see why; it's still a more efficient use of resources than
    analogue, and would give the potential for genuinely 'as good as a CD'
    sound - which no lossy codec ever will, not even your beloved AAC. It
    would also remove the temptation to impose low bit rates to get more
    stations into the space - which will always tend to result in listeners
    getting a 'just about good enough for the uncritical masses' listening
    experience. FLAC is also royalty-free, unlike AAC.
    Why not? Moving pictures would be a useful adjunct to sound radio -
    without necessarily going the whole hog to 'television' quality. Film
    trailers, animations, traffic-cameras, ...

    I notice you haven't commented in Vorbis.

    No they weren't, they were publishing the results of some research.
    Aha. I think we've got to the point of your ire; you're in a poor
    reception area, or haven't got a good enough aerial.
    Why not? You put a huge amount of effort into telling everyone else what
    to do.
    Actually, no, it isn't. The quality of your DAB reception may be though.
    The quality of the BBC VHF/FM stations is about as good as DAB (at its
    best it used to be better, but I don't think any of the content now on
    analogue radio has escaped being digitised and compressed at least once
    on its way to the transmitter). Where I live, analogue reception is
    mostly poor - Radio 3 FM is useless. But that's down to geography and
    transmitter placement and power, not to the underlying technology. But
    I'm close enough to the BBC's local DAB transmitter to get a 'full
    strength' signal even with the aerial of my portable folded. That's luck,
    not technology.
    You are confusing content with transmission technology; they aren't the
    same thing at all. I agree that for internet listeners with a lot of
    bandwidth available, the BBC could provide better streams and 'podcasts'.
    But they'd still have to accomodate those on lesser internet connections.
    If you think you could run the BBC better than the present staff, why not
    apply for a job?
    I've never understood why anyone would choose to listen to Radio 1 so I
    can't comment on that. I seldom listen to Radio 2 either - and would use
    DAB if I did. But apart from poor reception (which is often worse now
    than it used to be thanks to the profusion of licensed and pirate stations
    in what used to be a nearly empty VHF waveband), I'm pretty sure even the
    analogue stations now get digitised and compressed material, which will
    never sound as good as genuine analogue.
    Do try not to confuse technology with the content. Content is
    /programmes/, not codecs or transmitters. Anyone trying to compete with
    the BBC has access to exactly the same technology, but finding programmes
    to equal what the BBC produce is what defeats commercial competitors.
  7. tony sayer

    tony sayer Guest

    They rolled over and let them tickle their tummies like the way we do so

    I expect that no one at the commission really understood it all....

  8. Ah, I see the penny looks to have dropped a bit, but not all the way
    to the floor yet.

    You say that AAC didn't exist in teh mid 90s. It was actually in
    development from 1993/4 (so BBC R&D would have known about it from
    1993/4). The BBC carried out a listening test on it in 1996. It was
    standardised in 1997.

    There was FIVE WHOLE YEARS for them to adopt it before 2002, but they
    did nothing. Hence the accusation of gross incompetence.

    AAC would have solved all of DAB's main problems. It's incompetent to
    launch the system they did when AAC had been available for so long.

    The "big launch" happened in 2002. There had been absolutely no TV
    advertising for DAB prior to that. I remember something published by
    the DRDB in around 2002 which said that consumer awareness of DAB
    before the TV ads was 1%. A whopping 1%.

    DAB was properly launched in 2002.

    The BBC could have added AAC if they'd have wanted to.

    No, we're talking about DAB. We're talking about what happened in the
    1990s. DAB+ only came out about 18 months ago.

    DAB+ is irrelevant to this discussion.

    The BBC could have done whatever it wanted with DAB. If the BBC didn't
    want to launch DAB, DAB would have failed in the UK. So the BBC had
    the opportunity to adopt AAC if it wanted.

    Sorry, but it's just ridiculous to launch a radio system - which are
    things taht are meant to be around for a long time - when it simply
    wasn't up to the job from day one. And I'm talking about day 1 being
    March 2002, when the TV ads started.

    There were no DAB receivers in teh shops until late 1999 / early 2000
    (IIRC), and then they cost £800 - Malcolm Knight off this group bought
    one of the first ones. It will have been late 2000 or early 2001 when
    VideoLogic brought out their DRX601E DAB tuner at £300, and probably
    the Psion Wavefinder came out at about the same time.

    So with AAC being standardised in 1997, it's not as if they didn't
    have the opportunity to hold things up so that AAC could be added to

    Face facts. The BBC was grossly incompetent. That's all there is to
    it. Deny it if you like, but you're just deluding yourself due to your
    BBC Fanboyism.

    Thanks for an update on DAB+. I wasn't aware of the overall DAB+
    picture. Thanks for that. Very interesting. Ta.

    There wasn't any logic in what you said above.

    There is absolutely nothing unrealistic about saying that a digital
    radio system that the broadcasters originally intended to be used in
    this country for a very long time, and they thoroughly expected it
    would become a global digital radio standard should be fit for purpose
    BEFORE it was launched.

    You don't get two goes with these things. It needed to be right first
    time. It wasn't.

    You're still sticking to this nonsense about DAB+. DAB+ is just a
    standard that was designed recently. I'm talking about the AAC codec
    being added to DAB. That could have happened at any time from 1997

    Sorry, but you're just coming out with drivel. I've repeatedly said
    that I'm referring to the AAC codec being added to DAB. Nothing to do
    with DAB+ - that came a lot later.

    AAC could have been added to DAB from 1997 onwards - they could have
    worked towards adding it from 1994 onwards, because that's when it got
    the go-ahead from MPEG.

    An average FLAC bit rate is around 800 kbps. A DAB multiplex can carry
    1184 kbps. So only one FLAC-compressed station could be carrier per
    DAB multiplex. A DAB multiplex has a bandwidth of 1.75 MHz, so that's
    1.75 MHz per station.

    An FM station has a bandwidth of about 400 kHz.

    So, no, it's more efficient than analogue, it's far less efficient
    than analogue.

    And the cost of transmitting a FLAC-encoded station on a national DAB
    multiplex to 90% of the population would be £11m per year - nice and
    economically feasible to go with the high spectral efficiency.

    It's basically one of the most ridiculous things anybody has said on
    this newsgroup all year - possibly 2 years in fact. But you'll just
    ignore that, and come up with some more idiocy in your next post no

    FLAC doesn't offer the potential to provide CD quality, it does
    provide CD quality. That's why it's called a lossless codec, because
    there is no loss - it is a perfect bit-for-bit copy of the original
    when decompressed - that's what a lossless codec is, otherwise it's
    not lossless. Strewth.

    I bet the broadcasters would be over the moon that FLAC is
    royalty-free. Just the £11m per annum transmission costs on national
    DAB to worry about then. Gordon Bennett.

    And what choice we'd have. I'd be able to receive 4 stations on DAB.

    Do you work for the FSA by any chance?

    Yeah, I can see you've considered the bandwidth required for this as
    well. You are aware that video requires far higher bit rates than
    audio, are you? Video on handheld devices requires a bit rate of about
    200 kbps for the video, then there's the audio. You can do video on
    DAB - that's what DMB is, but it consumes a lot of bandwidth, and it's
    basically a waste of capacity when it could be delivered via the

    I didn't need to comment on Ogg, because I had more than enough
    ammunition with your idiotic suggestion to use FLAC.

    Regarding Ogg, what's the point in using it when you'ev got AAC/AAC+?
    AAC+ is more efficient than Ogg, so the broadcasters will use AAC+.

    I've already told you that when non-technical BBC suits make technical
    decisions they get presentations by BBC R&D people to advise them
    about the technical issues. They will have known what the score was,
    but they ignored it.

    No bubbling mud on 3 multiplexes. A bit of bubbling mud on 1
    multiplex. That's indoor reception.

    Perfect FM reception, BTW.

    I could say the same thing about you.

    Erm, yes, it is.

    See above - there's nothing wrong with my DAB reception quality on 3

    The quality on FM still easily beats DAB, and that's with the BBC
    degrading R1 and R2. R3 FM wipes the floor with R3 DAB. The only
    station that has a similar quality on both is R4.

    The audio for BBC FM stations is distributed to the transmitters via
    NICAM. NICAM uses a 14-to-10 bit companding algorithm with a bit rate
    of 728 kbps.

    Anybody with a high SNR signal is effectively listening to NICAM, and
    NICAM pisses all over MP2.

    Right. So don't even bother commenting on FM.

    Bored of this now.


    Steve - - Digital Radio News & Info

    The adoption of DAB was the most incompetent technical
    decision ever made in the history of UK broadcasting:
  9. tony sayer

    tony sayer Guest

    I've never understood why anyone would choose to listen to Radio 1 so I
    Well seeing they have the licence fee behind them that shouldn't be too

    They could up the rates on satellite so as to get rid of that metallic
    audio on 192 K this would cost them bugger all and then they'd match
    other European broadcasters.

    DAB can then be consigned to clock radios and the like;!...
  10. The reason i wanted a small DAB radio is mainly for news and world service
    whilst walking around. In north london my other small FM radios keep
    breaking up at almost every other corner.

    I rang phillips and they are now saying something different. that the
    *wiping off* of all the presets after a 'local' scan is normal for this
    Phillips pocket DAB radio DA1103/05.

    I emailed the 'Pure' radio people and they have advised: Ofcom has
    explicitly not licensed DAB+ services, and key figures in the UK broadcast
    industry have indicated that it will be years before the new standard starts
    to be used and many years after that before there is expected to be any
    change to existing DAB services.

    So I think I'll go and get another phillips DA1103 and make do with it for a
    few years. thanks for all the 'education'/ hornets nest :) i got in this

  11. Pure is hardly going to say "yeah, DAB+ is just around the corner, so
    don't buy a DAB radio at the moment, wait until everything supports
    DAB+", are they?

    Steve - - Digital Radio News & Info

    The adoption of DAB was the most incompetent technical
    decision ever made in the history of UK broadcasting:

  12. Looks like it.

    Sounds like the FSA or Ofcom must have advised them if they couldn't
    figure out that one transmission provider taking over the only other
    transmission provider left a monopoly.

    Steve - - Digital Radio News & Info

    The adoption of DAB was the most incompetent technical
    decision ever made in the history of UK broadcasting:

  13. I see FLAConDAB Boy has disappeared. Or are you just having a break,
    FLAConDAB Boy? Probably best if you run along, FLAConDAB Boy, cos I'd
    only bring up your idiotic idea to use FLAC on DAB again.

    Incidentally, thinking about it, you couldn't use FLAC on DAB anyway.
    You see with FLAC being a lossless audio codec, you can't guarantee
    that teh bit rate will be below the 1184 kbps maximum capacity of a
    DAB multiplex.

    I also have to say that it's gloriously ironic that you came up with
    the suggestion that you could use FLAC on DAB when you'd previously
    claimed that "technology is easy". Technology is easy, but *only once*
    you've done the hard work studying the appropriate subjects, and you
    blatantly haven't.

    And when the BBC chose to adopt DAB in the 1990s, the people making
    the decisions were a marketing person, Simon Nelson, and Jenny
    Abramsky, who probably can't even programme a video recorder - harsh,
    but probably true. They obviously thought technology was easy as well.
    And the end result was that they incompetently chose to launch DAB
    without first upgrading it.

    And the people who make the technical decisions about digital radio at
    the BBC at the moment similarly don't understand the technologies.
    Their current decision making is mostly simply based on being biased
    against the Internet streams and being biased in favour of DAB. If I'm
    wrong about that, and they really are trying to provide good quailty,
    then they're also simply making incompetent technical decisions
    because they don't understand the technical aspects.

    It's about time the BBC employed people who understand engineering.
    Anthony Rose, who's in charge of the iPlayer TV streams, understands
    it. But no-one on the radio side understands engineering at all.

    Steve - - Digital Radio News & Info

    The adoption of DAB was the most incompetent technical
    decision ever made in the history of UK broadcasting:
  14. Whiskers

    Whiskers Guest


    If you must troll and cross-post, at least try to do it with some style
    and without making yourself look desperate and ridiculous. Or at least
    stay out of 24HS.D - I'm sure we've had all the entertainment you can

  15. There was absolutely nothign desperate or ridiculous about what I
    said. It was you that ridiculously claimed that FLAC could be used on
    DAB, and I was merely taking the piss out of that suggestion.

    You've been cross-posting nonsense on throughout
    this thread, so don't tell me where I can or cannot cross-post to.

    Steve - - Digital Radio News & Info

    The adoption of DAB was the most incompetent technical
    decision ever made in the history of UK broadcasting:
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