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U.K. Government Releases Results of DAB Pilot

Bath residents give digital radio thumbs up

In the United Kingdom, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport sponsored a test pilot completed by independent research company Ipsos/MORI for a switchover to digital radio.

According to Digital Radio UK, the trial involved the conversion of 237 households in Bath, England to digital radio and documented their experience over a six-week period. This pilot took place from February to March 2013 and was similar to a digital TV pilot conducted 10 years ago.

The Go Digital Trial report published by DCMS indicates that listeners were highly satisfied with their digital radios (92%); four in five preferred it to analog and would recommend digital radio to others. Participants also listened to more radio, enjoyed the additional stations and found the DAB digital radios easy to use.

Three quarters of the older and disabled people in the trial found the DAB radios easier to use than expected, said the report, although some required setup assistance. Seven in 10 of this group said that digital radio was better than analog. Additionally, a small sample also had their cars converted, and a few cited reception issues.

Respondents said they needed to know about costs for a switchover and how to convert their car, concerns which they said could be remedied if provided information similar to communications about the digital TV switchover, as well as providing assistance for vulnerable groups.