Norway is shutting down FM radio in 2017

By Scorpus ยท 13 replies
Apr 20, 2015
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  1. norway radio shutdown fm radio digital audio broadcast dab

    Norway has decided that it's time to shut down FM radio, flagging the beginning of 2017 as the time the country will fully transition to Digital Audio Broadcast (DAB) as the standard for over-the-air audio transmissions.

    The Norwegian Ministry of Culture first proposed switching off FM radio in 2011, but it's taken four years for the idea to be approved. The government believes that they have all the necessary tools to smoothly transition away from FM radio, and when they do so in 2017, they will be the first country to switch off broadcasts in the FM portion of the VHF radio spectrum.

    The country has a number of reasons for switching off FM radio. Firstly, the audio quality that can be achieved through DAB is much higher than FM, and DAB comes with additional functionality not possible through FM. The cost of transmitting a channel over FM is also around eight times higher than over DAB, according to the Norwegian government.

    On top of these benefits, digital radio has room for many more stations broadcasting simultaneously. In Norway, there are currently five national FM radio stations, but 22 available through DAB with the ability to host an extra 20 channels. Switching fully to DAB will allow the FM spectrum to be repurposed for other uses where possible.

    Norway will begin the shutdown of their FM radio stations on January 11th, 2017. As digital radio has been available in the country since 1995 (albeit in a limited capacity back then), the transition should be relatively straightforward.

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  2. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,669   +1,102

    It should be noted that this can be delayed a few years depending on how fast they manage to replace normal FM hardware with DAB or other conditions. (for example cars)
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    It's only a matter of time before all countries follow suit. 1st world counties will be the 1st naturally with my country only relinquishing their grip of their monopoly when milking the citizens doesn't yield much milk anymore.
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,171   +989

    Consider: largest demographic for the U.S. (both AM & FM) is vehicular traffic, not home stations
  5. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,374   +69

    Why don't we quit talking on radio and broadcast in morse code like shortwave
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,171   +989

    . . . - - - . . .
    cliffordcooley and dms96960 like this.
  7. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    I wonder if a DAB radios cost more then an FM radio on the consumer side.
  8. Never happen here in the U.S. We started some tracktion on digital radio then the auto industry hopped into bed with the satilite radio companies. I also dought the record industry will ever let us have access to album quality music without getting a much bigger cut than they do with FM
    SNGX1275 likes this.
  9. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    Have you been living in a bubble? DAB radios are considerably more expensive. Also DAB radios require a decent signal which makes listening to DAB radio in cars a very frustrating experience. It is either on or off. At least with FM you can listen without a break but occasional lowered quality.
  10. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    Then again we do use digital for ours tvs now.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,733   +3,706

    For many of us in the US, we never knew DAB existed. It has never been an option for us.
  12. DeWeller

    DeWeller TS Rookie Posts: 21

    Is it only Norway? Or other countries will follow?
  13. Emexrulsier

    Emexrulsier TS Evangelist Posts: 574   +72

    In the UK atleast probably 99% of cars use FM and only FM. I would have thought for this move to progress here ALL car manufacturers would need to start selling new cars with stereos that support both DAB and FM.

    But then you have the problem with the millions of older cars on the roads still with older FM radios, you can't force them to upgrade and unlike TVs you can't just buy a DAB box that will work with all models. Also what about all the AM, MW, and LW transmissions that still go on and are still popular of which many don't broadcast on digital it's a bigger more expensive change than some would like.
  14. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    That is a pretty good point. Bigger cities have HD Radio which I'm assuming is the same as this DAB. It is true about satellite radio and the auto industry here.

    I'm very curious about the 8x more expensive to broadcast FM vs DAB. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Can someone explain?

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