Sunday, June 19, 2011

About Radio

When is the last time you turn on a Radio? I bet it is only a while ago while driving. Yes I do that all the time. It is either 93.8 or 95.8 and occasionally 92.4. But when is the last time you switch on your Radio at home? Probably you cannot remember. But I do occasionally listen to 92.4 at night despite the busyness with the internet and television. And I listen to 92.4 on my EVOKE DAB receiver. Yes ,DAB ... digital audio broadcasting. The quality is better than that of FM. MediaCorp has DAB services on air besides its 13 FM services. But unfortunately you need new radio receiver to tune in and it is more costly than a FM receiver and manufacturers don’t see a business case to put more receivers on the market. Mainly because there are a number of different digital standards that leave broadcasters and manufacturers uncertain of the future of digital radio. As such FM will remain the king for the next 44 years!
Radio in Singapore started in 1936 with a short wave service. In later years medium wave followed and with the present FM services in 1967. Both SW and MW closed down already. I must say Singapore listeners are spolit for choices on the present FM. There many FM channels by MediaCorp, SPH and SAFRA. I understand two more FM frequencies (FM 92 and FM89.3)are being offered by MDA and there are many takers. Don’t forget also we have Redifusion.

The website of Redifustion says

“Rediffusion is Singapore's ONLY subscription radio, offering a full suite of 15 regional and international channels (the most number of radio stations in Singapore) that include news, storytelling, music, entertainment, education and 17 local free-to-air channels.
is the 1st in the WORLD to broadcast on Digital Audio Broadcasting Plus (DAB+). This digital platform allows subscribers to enjoy Rediffusion's programs on our wireless digital receiver, which boasts flawless crystal-clear sound as compared to the fizzy FM noise.
has a rich history since 1949 and has been entertaining Singaporeans with quality programs that glue listeners to our radio 24/7.”

When I was a boy I used to listen to a famous story-teller on Redifusion and I remember it was the story of “The Monkey God”. He got many ears glued on the box every evening. Now Redifusion is pioneering the next wave of digitizing of the broadcast media that digital radio over the air. I forsee there will many more niche channels on the digital radio wave in the next five years.

If you are young you may prefer to listen to radio while on the go on your mobile phone. Most phones have FM services. And there is also Internet Radioboth on the PC and portables. You probably will know you could get many almost limitless radio channels on the net world wide. My wife and mum wont for this cause of the effort put in to turn on a computer or operate thoswe portable internet radio(using Wi-Fi). I think until Internet Radio is made easier to use FM will forever remain the King of Radio.

Whither Digital Radio??

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