Currently reading: Car radio to go digital
New cars will all be supplied with digital radio as standard by 2015 due to the digital switchover

Car manufacturers are making progress in ensuring all car radios are digital as standard by 2015. As part of the government’s Digital Britain report last year, it was confirmed that the analogue radio signal would be switched off by 2015. The take up of digital radio in cars has so far been slow, but Digital Britain is speeding up the development of the in-car technology.

Anthony Sethill, chief executive of the UK’s leading DAB component supplier Frontier Silicon, said, “Digitial radio is here to stay now. There have been some false starts in the industry in the past but Digital Britain is ensuring that it will be rolled out as standard in all new models from 2013.”

Sethill also said France’s decision to switch off analogue radio from 2013 was a factor in speeding up development.

The switch-off of analogue radio in Britain will begin in 2013, and the government plans to have completed the switch-over by 2015, although Sethill believes 2017 is a more realistic completion date.

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JPW 18 February 2010

Re: Car radio to go digital

This matter was fully discussed in the House of Lords committee stage debate on the Digital Economy Bill, on Wednesday 3 February 2010, Bishop Nigel McCulloch, Lord Bishop of Manchester, spoke for the retention of FM for local radio when he said,The limitations of DAB for local and community stations are well acknowledged by Ofcom. Indeed, it is already planning for small-scale commercial and community stations to stay on FM in the medium term as the most appropriate technology for those stations in terms of both coverage and cost. The vacation of FM band space by the removal of national and large local stations would free up more capacity for smaller stations. Ofcom sees this as a natural staging post in radio's digital evolution.” He then went onto say, “The future of local radio - which is so crucial to forging community cohesion and identity, and promoting local social action and democracy - should not be left to chance. That must mean embracing a multi-platform ecology which creates a pathway towards digital broadcasting for local radio, retaining space for them on FM until such time as a digital platform offers them the right environment to continue what they do best.”In the debate Lord Young, the Labour Government Minister, said,” For those licences where analogue broadcasting is the most appropriate or only means of broadcasting, these powers need not apply and their terms will be unaffected, including the right to broadcast on an analogue frequency. The continuation of FM is therefore already provided for in this legislation and should be read alongside the commitments in Digital Britain." Lord De Mauley, the Conservative Spokesman, said in the debate, “…when we finally switch over to digital transmission it is important to be sure that the Government stay true to their promise that the FM spectrum will remain available for use by local and community radio stations.”

After the debate the Christian Broadcasting Council’s Broadcasting Consultant, J Peter Wilson, said, “We now have a commitment from all major political parties, written into the parliamentary record in Hansard, saying that FM will be kept for small local commercial stations and for community radio as part of a multi-platform ecology. We could not have asked for anything better.”

Ade.j 15 February 2010

Re: Car radio to go digital

Having used a digital radio in a car in the states last year i have to say i don't know what all the fuss is about on this forum.

The device I was using was plugged directly into the aerial of the cars built in FM radio - the quality was perfect, nothing like the little FM transmitters folks use with portable MP3 players... I think it was the XM radio unit that has now merged with Sirius that I was using through the standard OEM radio on an old Discovery . If the DAB mobile gear is anything like the setup that was in that car we'll be fine.

as for those folks worrying about built in radios in new cars not being DIN or double DIN, there are many companies making very good fascias to allow you to use a DIN radio in them - even on something as completely integrated as the Mazda 3 - look on ebay

Jon Hardcastle 10 February 2010

Re: Car radio to go digital

It's about time they automotive industry caught up. It cant'come soon enough for listeners of 5 Live and Talksport.