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Is DAB The New MiniDisc?

Written by on December 1, 2021

“In-between” technology; Mini Discs. DVDs. DAB. With Harrogate & District being awarded a SS-DAB ability, Admin have been toying with the idea of Harrogate Community Radio broadcasting on DAB, regionally. But, would it be worth the expense of getting our station on an ageing platform? When was the last time that any of our target demographic used a DAB Radio? My DAB Radio is collecting dust in the kitchen.

OFCOM have been in the process of rolling out regional DAB ability across the country. It is Harrogate & District’s turn to have the ability for DAB transmission in January – we have the regional scope to transmit on DAB. There have been talks about SS-DAB (Regional DAB) since the days of Stray FM. It is old news and we made enquiries for our volunteer-led, crowd funded station to start broadcasting on DAB. It was not plain sailing and sometimes it was grim viewing.

We needed to look at the users of the website and we needed to see if there would be any clear benefit to adding a DAB Broadcast to our existing services. We through our research we found that the average visitor to the station’s website was 35yrs old – 45yrs old and that they were technologically adept. Well, they would be tech adept – we are currently an internet-only radio station.

You need to have an ounce of tech-know-how to access the station. You need to have a connection to the internet, be this your phone, laptop, tablet or a smart speaker. If you have any of these, head HERE to find out how to listen.

But, we had been looking to boost our reach to further than it is now through broadcasting on DAB, regionally. But, we would be broadcasting to sheep on the moorland due to the typography of the area. If we lived in a city centre, it would make perfect sense to switch to DAB. But there is not the density of population to warrant the cost of adding DAB to our services.

And, a DAB Transmitter costs the best part of ยฃ10k and there is no way we could ask our listeners to raise that much, no amount of bake sales would get that much. Have a look at www.transmittersrus.com to see for yourself.

In short, we have been priced out of being able to broadcast on old technology.

Yes, we would have found new listeners. Yes, we would have enabled tuning in to our broadcast easier. But., we will think of policies to get our broadcast in more ears. We are one of the more established stations in town (the only older station, since the collapse of Stray FM, is Harrogate Hospital Radio – long may she sail) and the technology is still in its infancy. The ability to be online is an accessible option for people in Harrogate.


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