Re: DAB Bashing
Whoopie for you.
Personally, I'm not a big radio listener so have no "bias" either way. But DAB doesn't receive where I drive. It means replacing every radio I own. It also means that signals exhibit the same as digital TV signals when the power is weak - artifacts that you can't compensate for rather than a slight static / loss of volume as on FM. Not only that, but the WORST thing that ever happened to UK TV was when we went from 5 channels to 100's. Reason: The advertising revenue dive-bombed and so did the quality. There's a reason Saturday night TV died, when it was the staple for decades. There's a reason that channels are full of "cheap" repeats. There's a reason that advert breaks are twice as long as they were when I was a kid. Putting 50 DAB channels when there's only X amount of channels bothering to take an FM licence means two things - the big channels die and the small, junky, new, channels take over to get their 0.1% of the audience in their place.
The reason vehicle manufacturer's don't install it is because people won't pay for it. I'd rather have no radio at all (literally - same as me giving up my TV for several years when the digital switchover happened and barely noticing - I only have one now because it's "free" with my phone/broadband).
The death of DAB is not when there are zero DAB channels. It's when people don't buy into it. There are lots of Thunderbolt-interconnection products out there. It doesn't mean that it's dead, but it also doesn't mean that it'll rule the world.
When you take into account the "Oh, your Freeview needs another upgrade" DVB-T2 debacle, then it's inevitable that people are loathe to jump into DAB especially when there's been talk of codec upgrades and DAB2 for a long time now. And that will mean changing all your hardware again. Freeview etc. could piggy-back on the fortunately-timed fad for large, flatscreen TV's on walls taking over from thick, bulbous CRT's on a TV cabinet. DAB doesn't have any such thing. "HD Audio"? I couldn't tell when my laptop advertised 96Kb/s audio 10 years ago, why would I care now?
DAB isn't dead, but it's never really got a good start in life and won't be going far without being FORCED as a standard. And it's just as likely that people abandon radio entirely in that case, rather than move on. It's a risk that the major stations don't want to take because they know it probably won't go their way. They may be FORCED to at some point but if you have to force people onto a technology, rather than letting market forces play out, then you know that it's doomed.
If FM turned off tomorrow, I wouldn't be buying a DAB radio. At all. Probably forever. I'm a geek, and I have multiple dual-tuner TV cards from both analog and digital eras, just "because" it then gives me an adaptor to view that content if I ever need it. In comparison I have an FM radio in the car, one on my phone, one in the shed, one in the kitchen, etc. - which of those would I DAB if they turned off? None of them. I'd just stop using them. I wouldn't even bother to go to the effort of binning them.
If DAB were just a digitisation of radio that could be implemented on a simple circuit, they'd already be implemented. It would be like LW/MW/FM transitions - just switch to digital audio and have the same channels. The fact it that it requires a lot of upgrades and a lot of junk and a lot of frequency allocation and provides poorer overall service when you consider ALL current users of FM. And all the "selling points" aren't - sending additional data and even images over DAB is a waste of time in the Internet era.
Fact is, DAB is streaming audio over 3G (maybe not specifically, but that's basically what it is) but without any significantly useful buffering. If I want that, I have that elsewhere but done a lot better (sometimes on my existing devices, e.g. smartphone).
DAB isn't dead, but it's a dead-end. It might be forced into the market and enjoy a small resurgence but DAB2 will be the decider - death of all DAB or obsoletion of the existing DAB. When you have found out which, come back and tell me so I can look at buying it then.