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Old Yesterday, 9:21 pm   #1
Julesomega
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Default Is Radio as we know it obsolescent?

Last year my wife suggested for her Christmas present that I get her a bedside DAB radio-alarm. I started looking but she changed her mind so I got her something else. This year I wanted to get one for her birthday so I went out looking again. What was different was how few DAB radios there are in the shops now. Last year I had concluded that really the only ones on the market that really fit the bill were the Pure Siesta series so I popped into the local Currys, who had no Pure models and only a handful of others, most of which were reduced for a quick sale. No matter, I knew they had them in Argos. During the epidemic you have to order for delivery so I went home and selected the Pure Siesta Mi Series 2 DAB+/FM Alarm Clock Radio. When you try to 'add to basket' it shows 'not available' so I went to the Pure website where exactly the same events happened.

In the end I went on eBay and found an earlier and arguably preferable model from the series: it is white and doesn't have Bluetooth. Pure now only make docking stations, Bluetooth speakers and internet radios. Why would anyone want a radio which has to receive RF signals from outside your room? I mean, your wifi is always on, and all the music you want to listen to is already on your phone. Young people now don't know what a radio is and don't want to listen to the news or 'programmes' about anything they are not already interested in. I sound cynical but they all manage somehow to explore new and emerging artists and music styles through media channels that I don't know about.

I don't buy many new cars these days so I don't know if DAB radios are offered as up-market options now, but when I was browsing for what to choose for my next car I didn't see that option. - again it's Bluetooth and docking stations that people want.

It's not just DAB radios that are disappearing from the shelves these days, radios of any sort are going out of favour. Another product that is getting scarce now is the corded headphone or earbud. Just look in the shops. Plenty of Bluetooth earbuds which obviously you use with your phone which contains all the music you want to listen to, but there doesn't seem to be any kind of Bluetooth sender device that you can plug into your phono preamp or CD player. Cordless proper headphones are wonderful but you can't walk around with the base unit plugged into your mp3 player. The domestic TV nowadays is an internet-connected device which offers more channels that you can get from any transmitter, terrestrial or satellite.

btw, the pre-loved radio-alarm suffers from the Pure malfunctioning buttons syndrome: you press one and nothing happens, so you press it again, and again... until suddenly you've pressed /every button simultaneously and started a rescan or switched to FM or overwritten one of your presets. Otherwise they are all functionally wonderful.
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Old Yesterday, 9:44 pm   #2
ThePillenwerfer
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Default Re: Is Radio as we know it obsolescent?

I've always thought that DAB would prove to be a technological diversion as by the time that had fully caught on mobile internet would be reliable and cheap enough for that to do the same thing. In houses you can get 'radio' via Sky/Virgin or FreeView as well as the internet.

As for Bluetooth transmitters for existing equipment there seems to be plenty on e-Bay and AliExpress at around the 2 mark. Not something I'm interested in as the wire stops the earphones dropping on the floor.
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Old Yesterday, 9:57 pm   #3
Julesomega
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Default Re: Is Radio as we know it obsolescent?

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Originally Posted by ThePillenwerfer View Post
As for Bluetooth transmitters for existing equipment there seems to be plenty on e-Bay and AliExpress at around the 2 mark. Not something I'm interested in as the wire stops the earphones dropping on the floor.
Yes, but the cable gets wrapped up in your Covid mask, hat, hedgecutter, SDS drill etc etc

Just looked on eBay, thanks. I see they seem to be sold typically as "Bluetooth Receiver 3.5mm"

Will order one
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Old Yesterday, 10:06 pm   #4
Nuvistor
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Default Re: Is Radio as we know it obsolescent?

Appear to be plenty of radios on Pure.com web site.
https://www.pure.com/en-GB/audio-hif...type_DABRadios
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Old Yesterday, 10:12 pm   #5
trh01uk
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Default Re: Is Radio as we know it obsolescent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julesomega View Post
Why would anyone want a radio which has to receive RF signals from outside your room?
Because I am not always in my room?? I can be in various parts of my home where the wi-fi is still a bit dodgy, and also I can be well away from home, where mobile signals are non-existent. I walk quite a lot, and stay in remote places, and its not surprising that GHz signals (which is most mobile networks these days) don't get that far. Indeed DAB and FM signals can get pretty patchy when you get far enough away from inhabited areas - try driving around the Scottish Highlands for instance.

So for me, even in the UK, radio on VHF and sometimes on MW/LW, is far from obsolete.

One area of radio which appears to have been declared obsolete by the government is HF radio as used by radio amateurs. The government - despite laws saying they mustn't - have allowed devices which effectively blank out most of the HF spectrum to proliferate, and if you live in any sort of built-up area, you will probably find that HF reception is now severely degraded.

Having said that, I note the SAS still have the antenna farm up and running near me, which consists of a lot of very impressive towers with rotatable HF log-periodics on the top. No doubt they are playing for safety when the Russians start shooting the satellites out of the sky.


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Old Yesterday, 10:22 pm   #6
Cobaltblue
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Default Re: Is Radio as we know it obsolescent?

Reluctantly I have to say yes for most radio even RDS the time seems to be passing.

We have more smart speakers in daily use now than radios.

It's going to mean in the next few years there will be nothing broadcast for our sets to pick up at all.

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Old Yesterday, 10:39 pm   #7
Bazz4CQJ
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Default Re: Is Radio as we know it obsolescent?

I am a quite a fan of Internet radios; I think the current estimate of the number of stations available is going towards 40,000.

I use an internet radio as the source for my pantry transmitter. So apart from all the usual stuff that anyone might listen to in the UK, I listen to a number of stations doing vintage comedy, stations specialising in certain types of music (there's a station playing the Beatles 24/7/365 if you want that), and as an insomniac, I listen to CBC in Canada and the National Public Radio (NPR) network in the US, both of which have content which is very high quality. The time difference means they are still doing evening shows well in to our night. Alternatively, I may just listen to BBC Radio Leeds to keep me informed on the fantastic premiership football going on there now.

I have some DAB sets, including a Roberts with very good sound quality, but I cannot recall when I last switched one on.

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Old Yesterday, 11:00 pm   #8
Nuvistor
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Default Re: Is Radio as we know it obsolescent?

I normally use DAB but listening to a 40 year old Panasonic FM radio at the moment. I do occasionally listen the internet radio but normally is a standard radio. To be honest I would miss the radio much more than the TV, if the TV went off air I would manage quite well with the old radio.
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Old Today, 12:38 am   #9
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Default Re: Is Radio as we know it obsolescent?

I suppose DAB has had quite a good innings as technologies go, in that the service began something over 20 years ago and it won't be vanishing just yet. Four of the six radios in most regular use here are DAB models (two of which also offer FM) between 15 and 18 years old. I've only the vaguest idea of Bluetooth and the preponderance of current radios featuring it came as a fresh surprise to me, which only goes to show that I've not been paying attention lately: in the light of such developments "obsolescent" seems probably a fair term for radio as such. I'll be using it while it and I both last, and will decide whether to investigate an alternative if I should happen to outlive the transmitters.

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Old Today, 1:34 am   #10
rambo1152
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Default Re: Is Radio as we know it obsolescent?

It would be nice to have radio as I know it in my car, but I don't.

If I did I would have liked to tune across the FM band to see if I could hear any DX stations during the recent "lift", but I can't.

The radio handles FM stations in a similar way to DAB, there is no concept of manual tuning.

No MW at all. As for LW, it was quite a few cars ago when I had that.
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Old Today, 9:05 am   #11
Julesomega
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Default Re: Is Radio as we know it obsolescent?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuvistor View Post
Appear to be plenty of radios on Pure.com web site.
https://www.pure.com/en-GB/audio-hif...type_DABRadios
As I said they are all there, at reasonable prices - it's just the option to buy any of them that's missing

Must emphasise that my tongue was firmly in my cheek when I said all the radio you need is available from your wifi. Another thread is currently discussing the village where every user lost broadband every morning! We were without broadband for 10 days last month while BT got their act together to change what turned out to be the router. Fortunately they refunded the small fortune we'd run up on mobile data
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