Commercial radio stations in Melbourne MIX, GOLD, SEN, 3AW, 3MP, FOX, MAGIC, TRIPLE M, NOVA, VEGA, Sport 927, Radar, Pink Radio, Koffee and NovaNation begin permanent broadcasting of DAB+ digital radio services on Monday, 11 May 2009.

Joan Warner, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia the industry body that has driven the move to digital radio said Monday was another milestone for the industry in Australia following the switch on of DAB+ digital radio in Perth last week.

“The possibilities for digital radio in the sport loving state of Melbourne are very exciting. AFL final calls on radio with scrolling text scores and stats or the Melbourne Cup with photos of winners or pause and then rewind if you missed the end of the race – these are all possible with the new capabilities of digital radio,’ said Ms Warner.

“DAB+ services in Melbourne have been greatly anticipated with many of the digital radio manufacturers such as Pure, Sangean, Teac, Roberts and Yamaha based in Melbourne. The digital radio switch on in Perth went very smoothly and traffic to our www.digitalradioplus.com.au website has been very high with listeners seeking more information about digital radio.”

Ms Warner said for the first week to 10 days the DAB+ broadcasts in Melbourne will be in interference test mode which means that the power may be lower at night while any interference is assessed.

Digital radio will be free to air – all you need is a new digital receiver – no subscription fees or signing up, just tune in. Listeners can go to the website www.digitalradioplus.com.au and type in their postcode to see if they live in an area where they can receive digital radio or where they will be able to buy a digital radio.

Alternatively, simply SMS your postcode to the mobile phone number 0409DRPLUS (0409 377 587) to find out if you can receive digital radio in your area.

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DAB+ digital radios will be available in all shapes and sizes including MP3 style devices, hi fi, portable players, clock radios, car adaptors and PC radios. Prices will vary depending on their features. Entry level radios are likely to start from around A$150 and a radio with all the digital capabilities will start at around $299.

Commercial digital radio services are expected to be switched on in each city from the dates below barring any weather delays. For the first 10 -14 days services might be on low power at night as any potential interference is addressed.

  • Perth – 4 May
  • Melbourne – 11 May
  • Adelaide – 20 May
  • Brisbane – 25 May
  • Sydney – 30 May

ABC and SBS are expected to commence digital services throughout June/July. Please continue to check the www.digitalradioplus.com.au website where information will be regularly updated.

Further reading

Digital radio terminology: radiotext and UPnP – digital radio will see some new terms thrown our way, such as radiotext (or dynamic label segment) and UPnP – we look at what these terms mean.

Digital radio review round-up – 12 of Australia’s first – Digital radio begins broadcast in Australia in May… and GadgetGuy has gathered 12 of the first digital radios to go on sale.

Digital radio vs AM and FM radio – Digital radio is touted as being not only new, but demonstrably better than AM and FM radio in terms of audio quality and programming flexibility.

Digital radio FAQ – What is digital radio, and when is it launching? Where can I get it? Is is free? What’s different from AM and FM radio? These questions and more answered.