LONDON�Since the end of January, Sound Digital, the consortium that holds the license for the second national digital network in the UK, has been transmitting a test service that allows listeners to find out if their radios can make use of the new DAB+ standard that will be in use (along with plain old DAB).
The tests are currently taking place on VHF Block 11A ahead of the official launch (on February 29) of the new Sound Digital mux – also known asSDL National or Digital 2.
The DAB+ service is the using HE-AAC v2 audio codec, which means some DAB+ radios will offer the station in mono, while others will enable the listener to hear stereo sound, depending on whether or not they have the relevant chip for HE-AAC v2, according toa516digital.com.� DAB+ radios with a mono speaker can be checked for their compatibility with HE-AAC v2 by plugging in head or earphones and checking if you can hear the waves breaking from one side to the other as they hit the coastline. Other stereo effects include a distant ambulance siren and a train speeding past in the background.
For many UK listeners, the Sound Digital DAB+ test is the first chance of trying out DAB+, which is already the adopted standard in other many countries, including Australia, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Italy, France and Germany.�