Norway will say goodbye to FM radio in 2017

Looks like Norway will become the first country in the world to completely¬†phase out FM radio over the next two years, in favor of digital audio broadcasting. The cost savings is pretty significant, according to a press release issued: “The cost of transmitting national radio channels through the FM- network is eight times higher than with the DAB-network”.

The DAB model is really interesting, surprisingly (to me) as of this writing, 43 countries use this as a communications medium.

Digital audio isn’t a new technology, I’m pretty familiar with its use in two way communications, specifically trunked radio systems going digital for encryption purposes. This¬†usually results in many more transmission sites, poor/choppy audio and a myriad of complaints from those using the system if it isn’t done right. But that’s here in the states where there’s a limited number of frequency ranges available for use, with the higher frequencies unable to reach long distances without repeaters all over the place.

I’m really interested in how the spectrum is going to be handled in Norway, if they’ll be using low frequency terrestrial transmitters, or multiple higher frequency sites. I’m sure some of the information is out there…my inner-geek has been awoken, need to learn more about this.

Radio feed issues fixed / Hampton goes encrypted

For those of you not aware, we’re providing RadioReference with audio feeds of both the Hampton Police Division and Newport News Police department broadcasts. If you’re interested, see the links on the right side of the page.

The machine streaming the audio got in a funky state and started handing of some very choppy and unreliable audio and needed a swift kick, which it got. Things are back up and running now, hopefully for a while.

Update: The Hampton Police Division feed is no longer being provided to Radio Reference or being carried by this site. The City of Hampton had decided to take advantage of P25 encryption on all police talkgroups (no longer just tactical channels) which unfortunately can’t legally (or otherwise) be decoded.