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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 18:11 GMT
Digital broadcasting: Industry answers
Some of the leading figures in the broadcasting industry have answered your questions about TV and radio in the digital age.

The BBC News website asked for your queries about the way new technology is being used - and the eight sharpest and most pertinent questions were put to the virtual panel.

Click on each question to read the answers. The answers given are those of the experts concerned, and are not the opinions of the BBC.


I like the idea of digital radio but am put off by the knowledge that it is in many ways inferior to analogue FM. I'm told the quality of digital radio is on a par with average quality MP3 or worse and is nowhere near CD quality which many people have been led to believe is the case. Will there ever come a time when DAB is broadcast in a superior quality to warrant changing from FM? Pino Agnello, Ealing, UK

  • Ian Dickens, Digital Radio Development Bureau:

    In a survey of over 22,000 digital radio owners, more than 90% said they were satisfied with the audio quality of their DAB Digital Radio, rating it between 'good' and 'excellent'.

    Digital broadcasting is more efficient than analogue, allowing a greater number of stations and therefore a greater amount of listening choice for the consumer. In many cases, DAB digital radio doubles the number of stations available to listeners on FM, and research shows that 'to receive new stations' is by far the biggest reason people buy DAB radios. Were DAB stations to broadcast at CD quality levels, there would only be enough spectrum for a handful of stations.

  • Simon Spanswick, Association for International Broadcasting:

    The benefits of digital radio include significant extra choice for listeners, plus extra information about the broadcast.

    On DAB digital radio, there are far more stations available, all without the hiss and crackle that can affect mediumwave (AM) and FM reception. Sound quality is generally much better when you listen on a portable digital radio set than you will get with FM or AM, and a good digital radio hi-fi set-up produces stunning sound, coupled with far more choice of listening, from music to speech-based stations.

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