Photo: Pixabay/fancycrave1

FM switched off

Today the first FM transmitters where switched off for good.

Today at 11:11 marked the start of shutdown of the FM network. First up was Nordland which will be followed by Trøndelag and Møre og Romsdal in early February. During this year all FM transmitters in the country will be turned off.

Simultaneously with the shutdown of the FM transmitters NRK stopped their transmissions in DAB and sends hereinafter only in DAB +. P4 and Radio Norge will still transmit on DAB.

In order to receive the full national radio offer you must from today either use a DAB+ radio or take advantage of other digital platforms such as internet radio, mobile, tablet or TV.

-We managed the same transition to television for 5-6 years ago. It was not any easier when all television viewers had do get decoders. Then we had the same discussion and turmoil in advance as we have seen around the transition to DAB, the broadcast manager Thor Gjermund Karlsen stated to NTB.

DAB stands for Digital Audio Broadcasting. Unlike FM DAB is free of noise and hiss.

The earliest research to get at a robust and effective system for digital radio broadcastasting begun in the 1980s, and was formalized the European project Eureka 147 in 1987. This led to the DAB standard as we know it and who became an ETSI standard in 1997.

It was robust mobile reception, frequency efficiency and sound quality that was emphasized and should be improved with a new digital radio system to replace AM and FM radio. Later, the standard has been accompanied by a number of additional standards which permit both improvements and new features. This has made it possible to develop simple receivers with basic functionality or more advanced models with more features.

In 2007, a new audio coding was introduced based on AAC as a supplement, known as DAB+. The result in no changes in the transmitter networks, but requires support for DAB+ in receivers. Older receivers without DAB+ can therefore not listen to channels with DAB+.

In Norway we have one national program block, and six regional program blocks. The programs transmitted in the region blocks, is to have a particular geographical provenance of the region. As an example NRK Østlandssendingen is transmitting in region-DAB Østlandet, while NRK P1 is in the national program block.

DAB adaptor for use in cars. Photo: Håvard Wien, CC license.

Many older cars have not installed DAB radios. New cars which are sold in the recent years has been delivered with DAB radio. Older cars can get DAB installed either by replacing the car radio or by purchasing an adapter.

According OFVs calculations ther are between 2.2 and 2.3 million Norwegian cars without DAB. In addition to this, about 400,000 vans, and relatively many trucks and buses.

Most foreign cars missing are missing DAB, although there is a certain extent of DAB in Germany and some in England. Otherwise it’s mainly FM applicable.

Tunnels which has FM coverage has already got, or will get, DAB coverage. The Public Roads Administration is responsible for the radio coverage in tunnels.

It is recommended to occasionally update the channel list on your DAB radio to capture new stations and changes in the DAB transmitter network. Your radio may have a separate button for this, or it is in the function list. Look for the “scan”, “full scan”, “auto tune” or the like.

For more information about DAB, tips and advice on radio.no.