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Disaster Highlights DAB Advantage

When FM signals went down in Holland, DAB remained on the air

Thanks for the comprehensive article by Marc Maes on the dual tower incidents in Holland (“Radio Silence in the Low Country,” September 2011). Not surprisingly one angle of the situation was not covered by his sources, who were and still are very much preoccupied with restoring full services and/or litigation.

The missing angle transpired when during a newscast about the incidents a picture was shown of a portable radio. This happened to be a Pure Evoke DAB receiver — precisely a receiver that did not suffer bad reception in the way FM did.

Thus the tower incidents drew attention to propagation properties that are different for FM and DAB and that are well known, but that had never been tested in a practical situation with partial FM radio silence. In this case the single-frequency DAB network of our National Public Broadcaster kept on performing well, providing uninterrupted services to the estimated 20,000 to 30,000 owners of DAB receivers in the western part of the Netherlands.

A quote of Johan Cruijff comes to mind: “Every disadvantage has its advantage!”

I am attaching a TV screen picture of the newscast.

Ruud Vader
Secretary of the Dutch Digital Radio Foundation DigiRadio