Digital audio broadcasting, DAB, is the most fundamental advancement in radio technology since that introduction of FM stereo radio. It gives listeners interference — free reception of CD quality sound, easy to use radios, and the potential for wider listening choice through many additional stations and services.
DAB is a reliable multi service digital broadcasting system for reception by mobile, portable and fixed receivers with a simple, non-directional antenna. It can be operated at any frequency from 30 MHz to 3GHz for mobile reception (higher for fixed reception) and may be used on terrestrial, satellite, hybrid (satellite with complementary terrestrial) and cable broadcast networks.
DAB system is a rugged, high spectrum and power efficient sound and data broadcasting system. It uses advanced digital audio compression techniques (MPEG 1 Audio layer II and MPEG 2 Audio Layer II) to achieve a spectrum efficiency equivalent to or higher than that of conventional FM radio. The efficiency of use of spectrum is increased by a special feature called Single. Frequency Network (SFN). A broadcast network can be extended virtually without limit a operating all transmitters on the same radio frequency
Mono talk radio, news and weather channels and other non-music programs need significantly less bandwidth than a typical music radio station, which allows DAB to carry these programmes at lower bit rates, leaving more bandwidth to be used for other programs. DAB radios automatically tune to all the available stations, offering a list for the user to select from.
DAB can carry "radiotext" (in DAB terminology, Dynamic Label Segment, or DLS) from the station giving real-time information such as song titles, music type and news or traffic updates. Advance programme guides can also be transmitted. A similar feature also exists on FM in the form of the RDS. (However, not all FM receivers allow radio stations to be stored by name.)
DAB receivers can display time of day as encoded into transmissions, so is automatically corrected when travelling between time zones and when changing to or from Daylight Saving. This is not implemented on all receivers, and some display time only when in "Standby" mode.
Some radios offer a pause facility on live broadcasts, caching the broadcast stream on local flash memory, although this function is limited.
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