Sunday 12 March 2017

With DAB Adapters No Traffic Alert Breaks

Norwegian motorist organization warns that well-established in-car radio function now missing
Just a few of the DAB adapters allow traffic messages to interrupt in-car listening warns motorist organization NAF. This is a well-known feature of FM radio. No matter what radio station you are listening to, listening to different music through the car stereo, or even have turned down the volume  traffic information gets through if Traffic Announcement (TA) is turned on, says NAF communications consultant Nils Sødal. A dedicated traffic DAB channel is just a halfway solution.

We reckon that this feature has not been a priority before the transition to dab. Where responsibility lies, we don’t know. However this traffic information system should have been mandatory in adapters sold to Norwegian car owners, said Sødal.

Public broadcaster NRK has established a separate radio channel for traffic messages for DAB, NRK called Traffic. Sødal says this is a halfway solution because few drivers will probably not shift to a dedicated channel for traffic information.

In order to receive Norwegian DAB channels in cars without built-in DAB system in Norway many different adapters are on sale. With the antennas mounted on the windscreen, an adapter receive a DAB channel which is converted to an FM signal which is then received in the car radio.

Norway has started to the switch-off of FM transmitters for national networks. The switch-off is planned to be complete in the end of this year. Local radio will stay on FM.

Much criticism has been leveled at many DAB adapters are functioning poorly both in terms of reception and sound quality, and also means a traffic  hazard. It is internationally a very limited market for this kind of adapters. Basically, it is all about a market in Norway because no other countries have yet forced listeners away from FM.  In fact in newspapers and on social media you can follow heated debates against this transition. The public broadcaster NRK and others spearheading this transition is facing an increasing unpopularity among Norwegians. Among the disgruntled consumers the car-owners seem to be the most vocal.

Also read
National Radio Network Switch-over from FM to DAB+ in Norway
Norwegians Still Do Not Want DAB Radio