/What is DAB and why you need it in your car

What is DAB and why you need it in your car

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How DAB radio has become the main attraction in car technology.

Plans to kill off analogue radio in Norway have marked the beginning of the end for the once revolutionary technology. Europe is adopting digital audio at a much faster rate than the rest of the world, and the UK is leading the way in developing the infrastructure needed for the inevitable switchover. Digital video broadcasting was adopted by the entire country back in 2012; however, radio has been slower to evolve due to its ongoing popularity.

As many as 6 in 10 households listen to digital radio rather than analogue radio. This number is increasing year on year, and the number of cars equipped with DAB radios is also rising. Once the digital listening figures hit 50% of the total number of radio listeners, the government will announce their plans to stop transmitting analogue signals once and for all. That is why the time to purchase a digital car stereo has never been better, with most car manufacturers now producing cars with DAB radios so that drivers can take advantage of the many features on offer.

This article discusses a few of those features and examines the reasons why DAB radio is set to lead the car industry into a new digital revolution.

Names not Numbers: Information of the Digital Age

Information, or the transmission of information to be exact, is what defines this exciting period in history. With social media and satellite technology ruling global networks, humans have developed a craving for information.

Analogue signals are severely limited in the amount of information they can transmit. With interference further reducing the quality of the information, digital radio has become the only viable alternative for drivers. With DAB radios, the signals not affected by interference and displays are capable of sharing a multitude of information. Things like track name, station name, and other artist information can now be transmitted alongside the audio signal.

DAB Radios: Digital Multimedia Machines

Digital radios are becoming more and more sophisticated, and manufactures are beginning to create complex machines that are able to complete the tasks of a number of other devices. GPS, iPod control, DVD playback and internet connectivity are becoming more common features of high end digital stereos.

While some of these features do appear on FM/AM radios, they are still not capable of receiving digital radio shows and are severely limited by their hardware. They often require expensive peripherals in order to accept Bluetooth connections or they require unreliable auxiliary connectors.

Digital Radio in 10 Years Time

Audiophiles feel a nostalgic connection to FM/AM radio and refuse to convert to digital. Unfortunately for them, digital is here to stay and will one day be the only option for new car drivers. While in car DAB has been adopted at a slower pace than household digital radio, the majority of modern cars are now being fitted with digital radios.

Once listening figures hit 50% of the radio listening population, the timeline for the switchover will be announced. Before analogue television transmitters were turned off consumers were offered digital ready televisions in order to make the transition happen more smoothly. That is why manufacturers are opting for DAB: in 10 years time there will not be a choice. Pirate analogue radio may still remain, but digital radio – offering potentially hundreds of stations – will be here to stay. And with the announcement that over 175 mono digital stations are soon to be rolled out, there has never been a better time to invest in digital radio.

(Journalist) – Andreia is the lady in our team and is responsible for the DIY/Guides section.