The Rebirth of Radio

Using handsets with suitably developed DAB receivers the project users will have access to Sky Sports News, Sky news and a new music video channel called Blaze. Broadcasters and mobile operators are obviously fired-up by the potential for revenue through advertising and even pay-per-view content.

Meanwhile, back in the home the TiVo/Sky+ PVR model is just as easy to implement on digital radio. The national commercial dab broadcaster Digital One and content providers have now agreed on the fundamentals of a DAB EPG and first trials are slated very soon.

At which point putting a hard disk inside a DAB tuner is a no-brainer. If the EPG trials work favourably, DAB personal radio recorders (PRRs) will hit the shelves before Christmas.

And if commercial reasons alone are not enough to ensure DAB's glorious future, the government is going to make sure it succeeds.

Like the analogue TV spectrum, the mainstream FM band (88-108MHz) is a valuable resource for either military use or, better still, to flog off to enterprises looking for large chunks of spectrum for new wireless services. And just like analogue TV the government will one day pull the plug on FM - it's just not on their public radar as yet.

This summer sees a big push for digital radio and the dynamic duo of Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders have been commandeered to bring the digital message to an analogue radio near you. Buy a DAB radio now while the retailers still have stock.

What does it all mean?

Audio compression
- a technique that reduces dynamic range of broadcast music to make it sound louder overall.

AM - Amplitude modulation. Analogue radio differentiated by the height (amplitude) of the radio wave in metres.

DAB - Digital Audio Broadcasting. The one-to-many broadcasting concept that underpins digital radio and a host of new services.

EPG - Electronic Programming Guide. A DAB EPG will be unveiled in beta version this summer, potentially commercial product by Christmas.

F-type connector - the screw winch fitting for DAB antenna (and also satellite dishes for that matter).

FM - Frequency modulation. Analogue radio carrier signals differentiated by frequency.

Multiplex (Mux) - A single channel containing several digital radio stations sharing the same bandwidth.

Signal strength - The relative strength of each multiplex at reception. Dab won't pick up anything below 60dB, 90dB and above is perfect.

RDI - Radio Data Interface. An optical digital port to output as yet unspecified DAB-based services.

PRR - Personal Radio Recorder. DAB radio with EPG and HDD recording. PRR is not yet an official term but we think it will be. You heard it here first.

Warble - The noise made when a DAB radio is struggling with low signal strength. Sounds like presenters are speaking underwater.

The TechRadar hive mind. The Megazord. The Voltron. When our powers combine, we become 'TECHRADAR STAFF'. You'll usually see this author name when the entire team has collaborated on a project or an article, whether that's a run-down ranking of our favorite Marvel films, or a round-up of all the coolest things we've collectively seen at annual tech shows like CES and MWC. We are one.