Why is DAB so delayed?

18 December 2012

Question

The big disadvantage of a DAB is the delay. How can we we get the timing right for digital radio?

Answer

John - There's no magic answer to this one because there's so much intelligence going on in the audio coding system in order to compress it to 256 or less. In fact, the DAB standard for most stations now is 128 kilobits. There's a lot of sampling of the audio to begin with, to analyse how much can we throw away and still make an acceptable signal. That takes time at the transmission end, but also, it takes time at the decoding end where your set has got to understand what's going on there. So, fundamentally, DAB is going to be behind analogue, in the same way as digital television is behind analogue television, when it existed of course.

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