EXCLUSIVE: Consumers in Sydney who during the past few weeks have purchased a digital radio are going to have to conduct factory resets particularly if they have already tuned their new digital radio’s to trial signals of the new DAB + digital radio service claims Commercial Radio Australia.
The problem could cost manufacturers thousands as well as hours in support calls as consumers struggle to re tune their DAB + stations. A spoksperson for Pure said “I am surprised that we have not been told about this issue”.
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During the past few weeks mass retailers such as Dick Smith and Harvey Norman have been heavily promoting the availability of digital radio in Sydney after initially being told that the service would be available in Sydney from May 30th
Two weeks ago ChannelNews and SmartHouse exclusively revealed that despite the promise of a May 30th transmission date the service was still not available.
Earlier today Commercial Radio Australia claimed that Digital radio had been finally switched on in Sydney. However tests by ChannelNews and SmartHouse have revealed that a warning message comes up on a Pure Digital Radio that indicates that the new DAB+ services are off air.
with the Pure radio a trim radio stations feature found under Options/DAB Settings also failed to activate a transmission of the new service.
A check with Commercial Radio Australia revealed that any digital radio that has been tuned to the test transmission will have to be reset or re programmed some with a full factory reset said a CRA spokesperson.
In a press statement issued earlier today CRA said that Commercial radio stations in Sydney 2GB, 2CH, 2UE, 2DAY, TRIPLE M, 2KY, WS-FM, MIX 106.5, 2SM, NOVA, VEGA Radar, Pink Radio, Koffee and NovaNation began broadcasting DAB+ digital radio services and that the ABC will go live on August the 6th.
Joan Warner, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia said “In the first few weeks of the DAB+ digital radio broadcasts in Sydney stations will be broadcasting at lower power while technical aspects of the broadcasts are finalised; then broadcasts will go into variable power mode while any interference is identified, assessed and remediated, as required by the Australian Media and Communication Authority.
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Ms Warner explained that because of the poor weather conditions over the past month, lower power in the first couple of weeks is required to finalise some aspects of the infrastructure build. In addition, as Sydney is densely populated with many high rise buildings the variable power stage of the Interference Management Scheme (IMS) may continue a little longer than in other states so that any issues can be addressed.
“In the first few weeks in the other switch on cities we broadcast in interference test mode – lower power at night and higher during the day – without any major issues. Following this phase we added high power over the weekends and then, in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne have moved onto full power at all times. However, Sydney’s unique topography will mean we will remain in interference at low power for a little longer than in other states so any interruption to service is not a cause for alarm – but simply part of the technical aspects of the switch-on,” said Ms Warner.
Manufacturers who now face communicating with their customer base re the problems associated with a test transmission include Pure, Roberts, Bush, Revo, Grundig, iRiver, Sangean, Yamaha and Teac.
Len Wallis of Len Wallis Audio in Sydney who has sold close to 100 Digital Radio’s said that consumers will “most probably come back to a retailer if they have a problem. It could be an issue”.