Tag Archives: DAB

Widest ever choice of listening for UK motorists as 2.3 million new car buyers tune into digital radio in 2016



More than eight out of 10 new cars registered in 2016 featured the latest digital radios, according to figures published by SMMT. Last year, 2.28 million cars hit the roads with the kit fitted as standard – the first time the 2 million milestone has been reached.

Over the past five years, the number of newly registered cars factory fitted with digital radio has increased more than four-fold, thanks to major investment by manufacturers. In 2012, just over a quarter of new cars featured the systems as standard, compared with 84.5% in 2016. Motorists who opt for a car with DAB can now enjoy more than 400 digital radio stations.

The government has committed to switching off the UK’s analogue radio signal when DAB coverage reaches 50% of radio listeners, but no date has been set yet.1

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

With increasing numbers of DAB-enabled vehicle models on the market, and new car registrations at record levels,2 more car owners than ever before are now able to tune into digital radio as they drive.

While vehicle manufacturers have already shown they are committed to the digital revolution, the setting of a confirmed switch to digital date by government would considerably accelerate conversion of existing vehicles in use. This remains a sizeable job and, consequently, a significant opportunity for the aftermarket.

  1. Current share of all radio listening via digital platforms is 45.5%: RAJAR data, Q3 2016.
  2. A record 2,692,786 new cars were registered in the UK in 2016.

Source: SMMT

Co-Star specialise in the supply of antennas to enhance the reception of DAB car radio. Click here for more information>


Sound Digital applies for National Digital Radio Licence

Sound Digital, the joint venture company formed by Arqiva, Bauer and UTV in 2014, has today unveiled its ambition to deliver a step-change in choice for listeners by providing access to 15 distinctive national digital radio stations.  The plans are detailed in Sound Digital’s application to operate the licence for the UK’s second national commercial DAB multiplex.

Sound Digital’s goal is to play a leading role in the development of digital radio.  This will be driven by the unprecedented strength of the digital-only brands broadcast on its network, its strategy for promoting digital take-up and the financial security provided by its shareholders’ firm commitments to the company.

Sound Digital’s line-up comprises popular, well-loved brands which will be entirely or predominantly exclusive to digital radio:

  • UTV will launch three original speech stations – talkRADIO, talkSPORT 2 and talkBUSINESS – significantly extending choice and plurality in a sector currently dominated by the BBC.
  • Bauer will offer high quality music stations catering to a broad spectrum of musical taste, including Magic Mellow, KISSTORY and heat radio, along with highly successful digital stations Absolute 80s and Planet Rock.
  • Virgin Radio will return to the UK airwaves under a partnership between the Virgin Group and UTV.  Sound Digital will also offer a non-mainstream music station, which Jazz FM has signed an agreement to provide.
  • Stations will also cater to specific areas of interest for which there is additional national demand: UCB Inspirational and Premier Christian Radio for Christian audiences, Sunrise Radio and British Muslim Radio.
  • To lay the foundation of a future migration to DAB+ and accelerate take-up of DAB+ compatible radios, Sound Digital will launch a DAB+ channel. The programming content of this ground-breaking channel will be revealed ahead of launch.

Independent research by YouGov with over 4000 adults shows very strong collective appeal for Sound Digital’s stations, with 79% saying that they would listen to at least one of the stations.

Each of Sound Digital’s 15 services is fully committed under binding commitments made by the shareholders and by third party content providers, providing certainty to Ofcom that Sound Digital will deliver on its licence application proposals.

Sound Digital’s planned transmission network is differentiated from the existing national multiplex by its focus on digital-only stations including start-up operators and new entrants.  The network balances cost-effectiveness with high quality national coverage, reaching over 46 million people and an estimated 88% of vehicles on the move.

The presence within Sound Digital’s line-up of recognised brands which will be exclusive to digital radio heralds a major new chapter for the DAB platform.  To realise this potential, Sound Digital will initiate a high-impact promotional strategy for digital radio, coordinated with partners including retailers, manufacturers and the vehicle industry.  Sound Digital is committing media support and cross-promotion worth £15m over six years.

If awarded the UK’s second national DAB multiplex licence by Ofcom, Sound Digital will launch its network within 12 months.

“Sound Digital’s goal is to play a leading role in the development of digital radio.  Our application pools our collective experience, expertise and financial backing to provide certainty that Sound Digital will deliver on its commitment to build and launch a new national digital radio network within 12 months of Ofcom’s decision, and to maintain the network for the full 12 year licence term.”

“Sound Digital’s proposals are fantastic news for radio listeners, with an unprecedented expansion of choice in speech and music radio content. As well as providing expansion opportunities for existing successful digital broadcasters like Bauer, our network’s cost-effectiveness and open and accessible approach ensure that Sound Digital caters to the full range of digital radio content providers.”

“Sound Digital’s plans combine popular, well-loved brands such as the return of Virgin Radio with unique content including three brand new speech radio stations. The result will be a major increase in choice for audiences that already have digital radio, and a surge in take-up from those that don’t. This is fantastic news not just for listeners but for the wider radio industry.”

Source: Arqiva




Co-Star antenna adaptor converts FME female to SMB female

Co-Star have just launched a between series coaxial adaptor that has been designed to quicky convert an antenna terminated with an FME female connector to SMB female.

SMB coaxial connectors are  very  common on DAB and Telematics equipment  but most antennas for these types of applications are terminated with an FME female connector so Co-Star have developed the adaptor to enable engineers to quickly convert the FME female on the antenna to an SMB female without having to re-crimp and use additional tooling.

The right-angle design of the adaptor means that there is less strain on the antenna and it also makes the connection into the equipment easier and more secure.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star commented;

” We were approached by some of our OEM customers to come up with a solution to quickly change the termination on an antenna from FME female to SMB female for engineers installing DAB radio and Telematics equipment on site.

The antennas are installed to enhance the customers DAB experience so the quality of the connector is vital to the overall performance. It can be complicated and time consuming for engineers to re-crimp the antenna on-site as special tooling is required ,  so Co-Star designed an adaptor that quickly screws on to the existing factory fitted connector and converts it into an SMB female without having to use additional tooling and testing equipment. We used the right-angle design as it puts less strain on the antenna and makes the connection into the equipment secure. It has been a big hit with engineers as it allows them to quickly complete installations “.

Part No: CF.30   http://www.co-star.co.uk/prod/3792/fme-male-smb-female-right-angle-antenna-adaptor.html

Co-Star have a comprehensive range of between series adaptors to enable quick and easy conversions on antennas for different applications. For more information please visit our website: www.co-star.co.uk.



Co-Star design adaptor that converts FME or SMA to FAKRA

Co-Star the UK based distributor to the Mobile Communications Industry have designed a coaxial adaptor that quickly converts an antenna terminated with either an FME female or SMA male to FAKRA Code Z  Waterblue female in seconds.

A standard antenna for mobile broadband or celluar applications is usually terminated with an FME female or SMA male connector, but some in-car communication applications require a FAKRA connector. To re-crimp a FAKRA connector can be time consuming and needs special tooling. The Co-Star adaptor has been designed to simply screw on to the existing connector providing a professional, fast and cost effective conversion  in seconds.

The FAKRA Code Z Univetrsal Waterblue connector is the most versatile connector in the FAKRA range and is suitable for most applications.

Tim Cosgrove of Co-Star commented: ” This is a fantastic product for engineers  as it allows them to re-terminate equipment very quickly without using additional tooling. Sometimes an engineer will turn up to install some equipment not knowing which connectors are needed to complete the installation so the FAKRA adaptors offer the engineer versatility ”   

The connectors are available now from Co-Star:

CFF.FMEP-NEUJ      FME Male to FAKRA Female Universal Code Z  (Converts an antenna terminated with FME female to FAKRA female).http://www.co-star.co.uk/prod/3755/fme-male-to-fakra-female-waterblue-antenna-adaptor.html

CFF.SMAJ-NEUJ      SMA Female to FAKRA Female Universal Code Z  (Converts an antenna terminated with SMA male to FAKRA female).http://www.co-star.co.uk/prod/3754/sma-female-to-fakra-female-waterblue-antenna-adaptor.html

Source: Co-Star Press Office